Poetry for pleasure : promoting poetry to children in public libraries

This article reports an investigation of the attitudes and opinions of children’s librarians towards poetry, and towards its promotion in the public library. It also reports some attitudes towards literature promotion to young people in general. A series of structured interviews with library professionals currently working in the public sector strongly indicate that children’s librarians are themselves enthusiastic concerning poetry, and are firmly convinced both of the benefits incurred by children encouraged to read, write and listen to poems from a very early age, and of children’s own enjoyment of this genre. Due to its brevity and memorability, poetry is regarded by the interviewees as the most accessible literary form for poor or reluctant readers, despite its wider image as a neglected and ‘difficult’ genre for children and young people.