14 November 2012

Automatic library membership

Arts Council England have announced 22 projects, including two areas in Worcestershire 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.

The Worcestershire project will provide Instant membership for children over eight years by visiting schools and joining all children in years 4, 5 and 6. 

Initially starting in two areas of Worcestershire, this will be rolled out to all areas with children being offered a newly designed exciting library card and encouraged to upgrade to full membership, bringing along their whole families to join up and become active library members.These projects are
supported by the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Mediaand 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.

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.