We have announced 22 projects that will share approximately £55,000 to test automatic library membership for children and young people. It is hoped these projects will lead to an increase in children, young people and families using their local libraries and stimulate more reading for pleasure. £10,000 of this funding will be used for evaluation of all the projects.
These projects are supported by the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The projects include libraries working with birth registration services to offer library cards at birth, work with nurseries and school library services to promote library memberships to local children and families, and work with leisure services to offer combined library and leisure cards for children and young people.
The automatic library membership projects will work towards achieving the Arts Council's goals of ensuring that every child and young person has the opportunity to engage with their library service, and of ensuring that libraries are sustainable and resilient.
The projects are located in: Barking and Dagenham; Barnet; Brent; Brighton & Hove; Bristol; Havering; Lewisham; Medway; Norfolk Library and Information Service and School Library Service; Northamptonshire; Plymouth; Portsmouth; Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead; Sandwell; South Gloucestershire; Staffordshire; Surrey; Thurrock; Waltham Forest; Wiltshire; Worcestershire; York.
Arts Council England is working with the library sector to help create libraries which are at the heart of local communities, helping to inspire and empower people to lead active lives enriched by culture. More details of the Arts Council's work with libraries, including the Libraries development initiative and a programme of research and debate entitled Envisioning the library of the future, can be found in our Supporting libraries pages.