The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
Scholastic gives gift of reading to children at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.
On Tuesday 17 May 2016, Scholastic Australia in partnership with The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne (RCH) opened the doors to a whole new chapter of literacy and learning through a brand new children’s library. The Book Bunker, a vibrant, inspirational place ‘dripping’ in literacy and learning, is designed to bring comfort, adventure and fun, and help open a world of possible to sick children in hospital.
Chairman of Scholastic International Ken Jolly (AM) said at the opening, “There is nothing more important than being able to support children to develop a love for reading and learning, and in this case allowing the very special children at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne to have easy access to books through The Book Bunker.
“We know it will give children receiving care at RCH the opportunity to discover the pleasure and power of reading.”
The Scholastic 2016 Australian Kids & Family Reading Report™ found that almost nine in 10 children say they love or like being read aloud to a lot.
The report also found that an overwhelming majority of children agree that their favourite books are the ones they pick out for themselves.
Thanks to the latest lending technology from Softlink, patients (via their own personally created avatar) can navigate the collection of more than 8000 books available at The Book Bunker—either from their bedside or in the library itself located off Main Street on the hospital’s ground floor—choosing the ones they want to read, and in doing so empowering themselves with their own choices.
“Generosity from Melbourne-based companies has been overwhelming,” said Sharon Turner, Philanthropy Manager Scholastic Australia, at the event. “Support from companies such as Choices and Signature Flooring, Raeco, Haymes Paints and Office Furniture Direct means that we have been able to develop an environment that offers the patients of RCH the latest in design, comfort and technology, while we focus on providing the very best selection of books available—from the Australian classics we all know and love to the latest titles from Scholastic International and other leading publishers. There is something for everyone.”
Run by teams of dedicated volunteer librarians, Book Bunkers are currently located in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, The Queensland Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, and now The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. The libraries are fully owned and maintained by Scholastic. The first Book Bunker was established in 1997 at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, demonstrating the company’s ongoing commitment to libraries, and the children and families they service. It is Scholastic's goal to have a Book Bunker established at every major children’s hospital across Australia.
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The Children's Hospital at Westmead
The first Scholastic Book Bunker was opened in August 1997 by Australia's favourite children's author Mem Fox at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Australia's largest and most modern specialist children's hospital.
The Book Bunker at Westmead was designed and set up as a leading-edge library with up-to-the-minute technology and ready access to the internet. It also provides for the special needs of its users such as children in wheelchairs, children with IV drips and children confined to bed.
With its stock of 20,000 books The Book Bunker provides for children of all ages, from babies to adolescents, and lends an average of over 1000 books per month to hospitalised children. There are thirty-three dedicated Book Bunker librarians who volunteer their time to work in The Book Bunker at Westmead. Many of them have been there since its inception.
The Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane
The second Book Bunker was established by Scholastic at The Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane in October 2009. Now located at the new The Queensland Children’s Hospital, The Book Bunker is home to over 8000 books and is managed by volunteers, including qualified librarians. The Book Bunker at Brisbane is now lending over 11000 books per month to children at the hospital. The facility is well patronised by hospital outpatients too!
Bed-bound children have access to The Book Bunkers through regular visits by Book Bunker librarians. Specially selected books can be borrowed immediately from The Book Bunker trolley, or the children can access the entire library collection from an available laptop computer networked to The Book Bunker inquiry software.
The Book Bunkers are regularly visited by the Hospital Schools in both Brisbane and Westmead and their resources are drawn on to assist in class. The books housed in the Book Bunkers are regularly restocked and updated with the latest in children’s publishing from Scholastic Australia and other publishers, both Australian and international, guaranteeing a range of titles for children of all ages and backgrounds — there’s something for everyone!
For further information on The Book Bunker – The Scholastic Children's Library, contact:
PO Box 579
Gosford NSW 2250
(02) 4329 9255