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Wendy Cooling

After a varied career and two years drifting around the world, Wendy settled down to teaching and worked in Inner London Secondary Schools as an English teacher, later deputy and acting-head-teacher. During that time Wendy was seconded to the ILEA learning Resources Branch as an advisory teacher to help schools and colleges - infant to FE - set up library resource centres and to develop independent styles of learning. Wendy studied at London University's Institute of Education for an MA and wrote a dissertation on the role of the school library in curriculum development.

At the end of 1990 Wendy left teaching to run The Children's Book Foundation (now Book Trust). This involved Wendy in talking and writing about children's books and reading, organising National Children's Book Week, overseeing the annual production of Children's Books of the Year and working on a range of projects to promote reading. One of the most interesting was Bookstart, which aims to encourage parents and carers to read to their children from a very early age. It is run in co-operation with local health centres and public libraries and involves the gift of books, and a pack about reading, to families taking babies to the health centre for the 7-9 month health check. Wendy currently works freelance but continues to act as Senior Consultant to Bookstart, now a national project. This has given her many opportunities to speak on radio and TV and at conferences, about pre-school reading. In 2003 Wendy visited Thailand and South Korea to launch Bookstart projects and to lecture on early reading.

At the other end of the age range Wendy has worked on many projects on teenage reading with teachers, librarians and parents and has talked on the subject on such radio programmes as Women's Hour, Treasure Islands, Front Row and Open Book.

Wendy now works as a consultant to a range of children's publishers, reviews books, runs in-service training sessions for teachers and librarians, makes presenta