Kingston youngsters get the book bug

A new scheme that enrols children to the library through their primary school is paying dividends according to new figures published today.

Initial results show that over half the children from both Lovelace Primary and Burlington Infants, who were given library membership under the Universal Library Membership (ULM) scheme, have borrowed books outside of school time.

The information, produced by our Library Service, reveals that of the 289 children at Burlington who received membership, 160 have become active members of their library. The figures for Lovelace Primary show that 261 of the 479 children who received a membership card are now regularly borrowing from their library.

These figures come on the back of the results of the Summer Reading Challenge this year, which show that there was an 11 per cent increase in children taking part in the programme. Over 4,300 local youngsters got involved in the reading challenge this year. The challenge was to read six library books during the summer holidays. Sixty two per cent of those taking part completed the challenge.

Councillor David Glasspool, Lead Member for Arts, Leisure and Heritage said,

“Reading is one of life’s greatest pleasures and we want all children to discover the joy of reading. We know there is a strong link between children using public libraries and good reading skills, which is the main reason why we introduced Universal Library Membership in 2013. 

“These results, combined with the best ever year for the Summer Reading Challenge, mean many more children and their families are using libraries, borrowing books and discovering the pleasures of reading”.

In 2013 Kingston Library Service began ULM with the aim of giving those children who were not already library members the opportunity to receive a library card through their school.