Every child to become library member under new council scheme

This Is Local London: WIMB: Council pledge to get more children reading WIMB: Council pledge to get more children reading

Every school child in Merton will become a member of their local library, if a new trial scheme by the council is successful.

Merton libraries have pledged to get more children reading for life with the launch of a new pilot scheme that aims to get every Merton child aged five to 11 signed up with their local library by working with local schools.

The pilot scheme will see premium library cards offered to five schools in the borough which will allow five children's books to be borrowed with all overdue fines waived.

By working with schools and parents, it is hoped all primary school children will be signed up as library members by April 2014.

Councillor Nick Draper, cabinet member for community and culture, said: "Whenever I visit Merton’s excellent primary schools, I’m really encouraged by our children’s positive attitudes to reading and to libraries. 

“This pilot from Merton’s visionary Library Service is a natural progression, tapping into our children’s enthusiasm and giving them even more opportunities to get involved in Arts & Crafts, music sessions, story-telling and loads of other fun activities.

“I would encourage their parents to join the library themselves as part of this scheme and enjoy the library experience with their children."

Only 45 per cent of children aged four to 15 have used their library at least once in the last 12 months.

The trial will start with Poplar, Lonesome, Cranmer, Joseph Hood and Wimbledon Chase primary schools and if successful will be rolled out to further schools.

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