Library Cards For All Scottish Kids

25 August 2015, 13:53

Every child in Scotland could be registered for a library membership under an £80,000 auto-enrolment scheme.

Children will be automatically issued with a library membership either at birth, from ages three or four or when they start school under a range of pilots being run by local authorities.

Councils will be given a share of £80,000 of Scottish Government funding to develop their auto-enrolment schemes.

Glasgow Life is currently targeting 2,000 primary pupils in six areas of lower literacy and will issue every baby registered in the city a library card from September 7.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "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 £80,000 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.''

Councillor Archie Graham, chair of Glasgow Life, said: "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.

"I'm delighted that here in Glasgow we have committed to supporting primary one pupils and all newborn babies to become library members through the Every Child a Library Member pilot scheme, and look forward to encouraging young Glaswegians to fall in love with books through their local library service.''

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