Children to be given library cards in drive to promote early years literacy

Children in Scotland could all be given library cards in a drive to boost literacy rates

PILOT PROJECTS are being developed in each council area in Scotland to register children to libraries in a bid to encourage early years literacy.

The scheme aims to promote integration between libraries, schools and local communities to encourage a knowledge and understanding of literacy in early years education.

The proposed scheme would see young people in Scotland provided with library cards. Depending on the success of the pilot scheme, and on the local council, the library cards will be give either at birth, or aged three, or when entering primary one.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will join primary one pupils at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to highlight the project's significance. The pupils who are due to meet Sturgeon are involved in a Glasgow Life pilot scheme, which seeks to target 2,000 young people in six areas with low literacy rates in the city.

From 7 September, babies born in Glasgow will be provided with a library card by their registrar.

Sturgeon was quoted in the BBC stating: "Our libraries are often the hub of a local community - providing vital access to information and resources that people would otherwise not have.

"Now, thanks to PS80,000 Scottish government funding, every local authority in Scotland will trial methods to give children automatic membership to their local library.

"Libraries can empower communities - often in our most deprived areas where we know that young people can have lower levels of literacy and numeracy.

"Access to books and learning materials will help us to make sure that every child has the opportunity to get excited about reading."

Chairperson of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, added in the BBC : "An appreciation for books and an enthusiasm for reading is one of the most important gifts we can give our children.

"Not only is reading vital to improving literacy levels but it also opens up a number of opportunities throughout young people's lives; developing valuable life-skills, signposting them on to education and employment pathways and supporting our future generations to grow and prosper as active citizens."

Picture courtesy of Tom Brogan

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