Children give libraries the thumbs up in survey
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Over 1,300 children and young people responded to the survey which was carried out in January. The results found that 89 per cent of the children and young people surveyed rated the overall service as good.
The most positively rated aspect of the service for parents with 0 to 4-year-olds was the range of activities, with 95 per cent of them considering story time and rhymetime for their little ones to be good.
Nadika Lokuge is mum to Vianne aged 32 months and Thej aged 8 months, who both enjoy coming to Staple Hill Library every week. Nadika said: “My daughter loves coming to rhymetime and story time at the library. It gives both of my children an opportunity to meet and interact with others in a safe and friendly environment, and the librarians are brilliant, they always make rhymetime and story time fun for the children.”
For 88 per cent of 5 to 11-year-olds, the library is a safe place to visit, and most consider the choice of books to be good.
Downend mum Shelley Kent appreciates the holiday activities for her children, Libby aged 11 and Ted aged 3. Shelley said: “Our local library is a fantastic resource for so many people. The summer holiday reading scheme is particularly good for encouraging children to read during the long summer holidays. It’s also a brilliant place for my children to bump in to friends.”
Libraries bring many benefits to our local schools too. Ashley Yates, headteacher at The Tynings School in Kingswood, said: “Our frequent links with our local library are essential to promoting the importance of reading to our children. Our regular visits are vital for children to provide a wealth of books for them to borrow especially for those children who have a limited number of or sometimes no books at all.
“Most importantly, the library offers our pupils the chance to borrow books for free, books that will take them to new places, different times and help them problem solve. Libraries open new doors for our children to futures they may never have considered, thus raising aspirations.”
By the time children turn 12 and attend secondary school, the library is still important as a safe place, but they also appreciate being able to find their way around easily. 84 per cent of children who took part in the survey told us that using their local library has helped them enjoy reading more.
Martin Burton, South Gloucestershire Council’s Community Cultural Services Manager, said: “It is essential that we listen to the views of children and young people using our library services and take action as a result of the issues they raise. Not only are they the users of today but we want them to continue to use libraries and read throughout their lives.
“All of the age groups reported that the library had helped them enjoy reading. Parents of young children told us that the library had helped their children with speaking and listening skills plus learning to read, and young people have said that libraries helped them do better at school.”
For more information contact the library service on 01454 868006 or visit www.southglos.gov.uk/libraries
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