EVERY child in Scotland is set to become a library member under new plans announced today.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed that pilot projects are currently being developed in every local authority to introduce automatic library membership.
The pilots – which will give all children a library card at birth, age 3 or 4 or in P1 – will also see libraries working with schools and communities to promote the services they offer to families.
Sturgeon joined new P1 library members at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to take part in a reading group.
The children are part of Glasgow Life’s pilot which will target 2,000 pupils in six areas with issues of lower literacy. As well as this, from September 7, 2015, every baby registered in the Glasgow area will be given a library membership card by the registrar.
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, added: “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 new born 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.”