29 August 2013

Thrifty new Jamie book in every library

Penguin Random House and Jamie Oliver, in partnership with the national charity The Reading Agency, will today donate a copy of his new cookbook Save with Jamie free to every library in the UK. Brighton & Hove City Council Libraries will dispatch a copy of the book to the 14 libraries across the city.

It is Jamie’s mission that the book, which is a response to the overwhelming public demand for a cookbook about exciting food that doesn’t ‘break the bank’, should be made accessible to everyone, not just to the people who can afford to buy it. Brighton & Hove library users will now have the chance to learn recession busting cooking skills for free, thanks to Jamie, his publisher, and the unique brokering role that The Reading Agency plays in connecting public libraries such as the Brighton & Hove  network to publishers. The Save with Jamie gift is a powerful example of the rich reading experiences made available to libraries in Brighton & Hove and 4000+ libraries around the country through The Reading Agency’s publisher partnerships programme, supported by the Society of Chief Librarians and 43 publishers.

Jamie Oliver said:

‘We know from the fabulous work that libraries do every day that everyone deserves a chance to learn basic skills that can improve everyday lives. Reading and cooking are two of those skills for sure. I’ll admit I’ve been a late developer with the first, but I can definitely help with the second.’

Save with Jamie is clear in its intention: to help families and communities under financial pressure to shop smart, cook clever, eat well and waste less. In this age of austerity, with spiralling food costs and the average family wasting £680 on food a year, Jamie’s mission is to make sure everyone can cook well. And libraries, with their vital, free community services and space, are a crucial resource for people when times are tough.

Thanking Jamie, councillor in charge of Brighton & Hove’s libraries Geoffrey Bowden said:  “If you’re aiming a cook book at people on a budget it’s a nice idea to make it available free in libraries.  This helps us with two council priorities.  Firstly it addresses food poverty and getting people eating more healthily in the face of an obesity epidemic.  Secondly it underlines the value of libraries.  Jamie’s book will join hundreds of thousands of other books, e-books, computer games, music CDs and computers for internet access - all available free at libraries.”