City of York Council is piloting a project to ensure all children and young people receive a library card so they and their families can enjoy their local libraries and reading.
In York, the Automatic Library Membership Project sends all children who start primary school in September a new library card – which is also a York Card – along with the letter telling parents at which primary school their child has a place. Children who already hold a library card are being asked to use their new card.
Councillor Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “We want to encourage all children into a lifetime habit of reading, regardless of whether they attend state or independent schools or are home schooled. So those who are not going to attend a City of York Council primary school are invited to call at their local York library or Explore centre and ask for one.
“As well as being a library card, their free York Card gives free entry to council supported museums and discounted or free entry to a range of leisure facilities in York. The new card features a robot whose design was chosen by children visiting our library reading groups.”
The project, supported by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), reflects the Arts Council’s and the council’s own aim that every child and young person has the opportunity to use and enjoy their library service, and to help ensure that libraries are sustainable and resilient.
Nicky Morgan, Director of Libraries, Arts Council England, said: “Libraries are the very heart of their communities and are centres of knowledge that are available for everyone to use. Through these projects, we hope that children and young people will be encouraged to use their libraries now and in the future, and will develop a real love for learning and a natural curiosity about the world around them.”
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