Books for Keeps urgently needs help to ensure its future. We are asking for your donations to enable us to develop the website and preserve the unique Books for Keeps archive.
Books for Keeps – taking children’s books seriously for 40 years
Books for Keeps is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020. It was first published in March 1980 and since then has reviewed thousands of books for young readers, interviewed hundreds of authors and illustrators, and reported on children’s book issues and the interface between children and their reading.
Our editorial policy is based on the premise that young readers deserve the very best reading material. Consequently, we believe that reviews of children’s books and issues relevant to children’s literature in general should be handled by writers with specialist knowledge, experience and expertise. We have built up a contributors’ list that includes some of the world’s leading scholars in the field of children’s literature.
The archive is one of the most significant children’s book resources on the World Wide Web, an enormously valuable research tool for students, academics, authors, illustrators and the media amongst others and it is our intention to improve the ability to search by genre, theme and age breakdown.
Since its inception, Books for Keeps has been a stand-alone operation financially. A grant from Arts Council in 2009 enabled us to create the website, which has served very well until now. The magazine moved online in 2010 and subscription fees were dropped making it free to read. Each year, it has generated between an average of £10,000 in advertising revenue to cover costs of hosting, design and to pay contributors.
However, the website was designed on a version of Drupal that is now outdated and urgently needs a refresh. The amount of development work required to bring the exiting website up to date is not feasible. Instead we intend to create a brand new, more modern and usable website, fit for the 21st century. The advantages of the planned new website are:
- Flexible and scalable, simple to navigate
- Strengthen Books for Keeps website presence
- Utilise more modern functionality
- Fully searchable across all news items and pages
- Fully responsive to viewing size of users’ screens
- More appealing and contemporary appearance
- Simpler for editors to manage
The Books for Keeps archive, that unrivalled children’s book resource of over 13,500 articles spanning 40 years, will be converted into a fully accessible, searchable HTML site.
Saving Books for Keeps
We can commission the professional redesign of the website to cover both aesthetics and functionality for £10,000.
We can match contributions with £5,000 from the magazine’s own resources.
Benefits of a new website
A revised, easier to use website will enable the magazine to become a more sustainable arts organisation in the medium to long term. It will help ensure that Books for Keeps maximises its potential in this important area of literature by reaching new readers while enhancing its offer to current readers.
It will ensure that Books for Keeps remains at the forefront of contemporary thinking about children’s literature while at the same time providing an unrivalled archival resource on children’s books.
A fully developed, modern website will generate new traffic and interest at a time when review space for children’s books is under constant threat.
Preserving the archive will help teachers, student teachers and students researching in children’s literature (those following taught MA courses and doctoral programmes) in the following ways:
Books for Keeps is the most accessible and widely read UK children’s literature resource and already actively encourages more people to discover and enjoy children’s books. It is successfully reaching a substantial and diverse audience. The funding we are appealing for here will enable us to broaden that reach even more.
To donate now, go to the Books for Keeps Givey page.
Thank you for your support.