‘This is a place for me, and I’m welcome here,’ say libraries in response to Covid.

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‘This is a place for me, and I’m welcome here,’ say libraries after Covid.

BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, wants to make going to the library a regular and long-term habit, particularly among disadvantaged children.

Kate, a human resources caseworker from Salford whose five-year-old child has special needs, says, “I was avoiding taking my son to the library after lockdown because of his social and emotional difficulties.”

“However, when I went to the library without my son, I was encouraged to bring him along.

We now go once a week, and the staff is wonderful.

My son and I were warmly welcomed and embraced.”

Kate is one of the parents who will benefit from a new scheme launched by BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, for families with children aged five and under in England.

Its goal is to make frequent visits to the local library a long-term habit, particularly among disadvantaged groups.

According to a recent survey by the charity of 1,000 low-income families with children in that age group, less than half (49%) of these families are registered with a public library.

After a year of closures, librarians are hoping that the Booktrust Storytime program will reintroduce regular visits by reconnecting them with their communities.

“Although my son struggles to engage in the books when we’re at the library, the fact that he’s accepted ‘just as he is’ means he feels accepted, and he’ll be more likely to engage when he’s more able to,” Kate adds.

BookTrust Storytime was developed with the assistance of librarians and families, so the design and content reflect local experiences and needs.

Parents in cities may be put off by language barriers, while those in rural areas may be put off by a lack of transportation options.

Each week, a librarian leads a group session in which the parents and their children read a book.

The sessions are lively, with drop-ins and participation encouraged.

Other libraries are experimenting with activities like collectibles that children can collect during their visits and activity books that are related to the stories they are reading.

Others are organizing scavenger hunts, setting up memory makers for families to take photos, or using sticker voting charts to see how people are responding to the various books.

“It is.

UK news summary from Infosurhoy.

‘This is a place for me, and I’m welcome here,’ say libraries after Covid.

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‘This is a place for me, I’m welcome here’: how libraries are reaching out after Covid

BookTrust/ Lewisham Library

‘This is a place for me, I’m welcome here’: how libraries are reaching out after Covid

BookTrust/ Lewisham Library

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