A NEW reading scheme has launched in a bid to help tackle low literacy levels in the town.

Roundabout Reading is a Swindon-based initiative aimed at young people and adults to encourage more people to read.

“It’s all about promoting the fun side of reading to help people progress their skills,” said Leon Flower, library development and innovation manager.

“We take our commitment to promoting reading and lifelong learning very seriously.

“One in six adults struggles with their reading, which means they have a reading ability of less than a 13-year-old.

“But reading is such an important skill to have. Being able to read opens doors and gives you opportunities in life,” he added.

Available through Swindon’s libraries, Roundabout Reading encourages people to pick three reading activities from a list including online content like blogs or a webpage, magazines or newspapers, graphic novels, e-books or audio books among other things.

Leon continued: “This is a reading scheme, not a reading course. It’s not formal, but meant to be a fun way of encouraging people to read more. We’ve got lots of different materials available so people can find what they like to read.”

The new initiative is supported by Swindon Learning Town and Swindon Stories.

“We took the Magic Roundabout as the inspiration for this, because there are many ways for people to progress with their reading and many routes you can take, just like when travelling over the roundabout,” added Leon.

Readers are asked to complete an online or paper form with what they have read, and submit it to the library service. There is no restriction on the number of times individuals can enter.

“There’s no time limit with this, so everyone can do their reading at their own pace and read whatever they’re comfortable with,” said community outreach librarian Sarah Rigby running the scheme.

The ongoing initiative is available to library members and all completed forms will be entered into a quarterly prize draw for a £50 Amazon voucher.

Sarah added: “Libraries are one of the few free services around which are for everyone in the community.Swindon’s libraries are a safe environment where everyone can come and learn, and develop their reading skills through this scheme.”

To get involved visit swindonlibraries.wordpress.com/adults/roundabout-reading/ to fill out the form, or pick up a paper copy at your local library.