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LIBRARY INITIATIVE FOR TEENAGERS 'RINGS' THE CHANGES

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An exciting new initiative is attracting hundreds of new teenage library users by capitalising on the current craze...
An exciting new initiative is attracting hundreds of new teenage library users by capitalising on the current craze for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Throughout February and March 2002, public libraries will be hosting sessions on the theme of The Lord of the Rings in collaboration with Games Workshop, who have produced the strategy battle game which accompanies New Line Cinema's recently released film.

The scheme will be launched at the British Library at 4pm on 31 January 2002. Baroness Blackstone, minister for the arts, will attend the launch, where there will be a chance to view the British Library's The Lord of the Rings display, play the new game and chat to some of the young people involved in the project.

The initiative is the result of an innovative partnership between the National Reading Campaign, The Library Association, Games Workshop and CollinsChildren'sBooks. Games Workshop staff will use sessions in libraries throughout the country to talk teenagers through the rules, play the game alongside them and encourage them to make their own epic journey into the unknown - by suggesting some related reading material such as fantasy and adventure books. It is hoped that the initiative will be particularly effective in encouraging teenage boys to read more - a group who are traditionally very difficult for libraries to attract.

Commenting on the initiative, The Library Association's professional adviser

on youth and schools libraries, Jonathan Douglas, said: 'This really is an excellent opportunity to enthuse young people with the magic of reading, and to show how much libraries can do to introduce them to new interests and enjoyment. It's great that a classic like The Lord of the Rings should have captured the imagination of so many young people.'

'We are delighted to support initiatives that get more teenagers reading and talking about books,' comments Genevieve Clarke, manager of the National Reading Campaign. 'This partnership between libra ries, the Campaign and the Games Workshop offers enormous potential for engaging new readers.'

Notes

-- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first in the film trilogy by New Line Cinema, was released on 19 December 2001. The other two films in the trilogy, The Two Towers and The Return of the King, will premiere in December 2002 and 2003 respectively.

-- The partnership builds on an existing link between libraries and the Games Workshop established as a result of the National Reading Campaign's Reading Champions initiative designed to identify positive male role models for reading. The campaign is delivered by the National Literacy Trust on behalf of the department for education and skills and works to maintain a high profile for reading across the community. It is currently focusing on teenagers through its Booked Up theme.

-- The Library Association is a major professional body for librarians and information managers, with around 24,000 members who work in all branches of the profession. From April, the Library Association will unify with the Institute of Information Scientists to form a new body, CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

-- Games Workshop designs, manufactures, distributes and retails tabletop wargame systems and associated miniatures, marketed as a complete hobby for teenage boys and older. See www.games-workshop.com for more information.

-- Games Workshop's The Lord of the Rings games are based on New Line Cinema's film trilogy. New Line Cinema granted only nine global licenses and Games Workshop is one of the largest, with an exclusive worldwide deal for all three films. A complete range of games, models and other associated hobby products is being created in Games Workshop's design studio at its headquarters in Nottingham. New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy is based on the JRR Tolkien classic fantasy series of books with worldwide sales of over 100 million copies translated in more than 45 languages. Further details may be found here. Founded in 1967, New Line Cinema is the entertainment industry's leading independent producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures. New Line licenses its films to ancillary markets including cable and broadcast television as well as to international venues. The company, which is a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc., operates several divisions including in-house theatrical distribution, marketing, home video, television, acquisitions, production, licensing and merchandising units.

More information about New Line Cinema can be obtained here.

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