YOUNG pirate mates were dancing, singing and, of course, talking like a pirate, for Australian Reading Hour on Thursday morning.
By evening, others gathered to turn pages in a silent reading party.
Their purpose was the same - to slow down and take the time to learn, explore another world and relax.
Ballarat mum Orla Fallon felt it was a great way to stimulate her 5 1/2-month-old daughter Ilka, a regular Rhyme Timer at Sebastopol Library.
"It's important for her communication and her concentration. She's been concentrating so much," Ms Fallon said. "Socialisation is great, you can see her watching the older kids, and it's really stimulating being in a different environment to home, exposing her to different language and someone else's singing and voice."
The junior reading hour event in Sebastopol, with Ballarat deputy mayor Jim Rinaldi joining in stories, started off Ballarat Libraries' events to coincide with the national campaign. Ballarat Library hosted a public event after work and school.
Reading has been shown to help with identity formation and strong foundations for schooling and education, according to Australian Reading Hour. In adults, reading has been shown to reduce stress by 68 per cent more than listening to music, going for a walk, or having a cup of tea.
Ballarat Libraries community engagement and participation coordinator Lesley Morgan hoped this would encourage people of all ages to take time out - for themselves or to read together.
"We don't often do something for ourselves," Ms Morgan said.
"We want to foster a life-long love of reading and a love of books...and a love of libraries as well."
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar is celebrating 50 years and it's just as popular as it was 50 years ago. It's amazing to think how a book can still be as popular as it is.Lesley Morgan, Ballarat Libraries
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