£250,000 boost for city’s children’s libraries

By on 23/07/2014 in News

Birmingham City Council has secured grant funding of £250,000 to support children's literacy at five libraries across the city.

The funding will benefit children's libraries in Balsall Heath, Druids Heath, Kings Norton, Kingstanding and Small Heath, and comes from the Wolfson Foundation, an independent charity that awards grants to support and promote excellence in a wide range of fields, including education and the arts.

It will be used to carry out improvements to the library facilities, including improved lighting and new décor to make them as attractive and welcoming as possible to their younger users. It is anticipated that this refurbishment work will start in the autumn.

Cllr Penny Holbrook, Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Skills, Learning and Culture, said: “By transforming children's libraries into dynamic, exciting and welcoming spaces, we have demonstrated that we can increase take-up and participation in the library experience.

“This funding will enable us to continue building on this strategy, encouraging children to visit their local library for longer and try new experiences they may not otherwise have been able to access.”

There will also be greater investment in new technology, including tablets, e-readers, smartphones, projectors and 3D printers for use by children, as well as older library users.

The money will also be used to help fund a programme of book-based events, starting in September, including a project to train library staff to become better storytellers, with community libraries working in partnership with The REP Theatre, Sonia Sabri Dance Company and Andy Spencer Media.

The project, which will include live theatre events in libraries, author visits and live online streaming of events, will also support Birmingham's Year of Reading, as well as linking into the Children's Literature Festival in 2015, World Book Day, National Poetry Day and Love Libraries Day.

ENDS

For further information contact Jonathan Horsfall on 0121 303 3367

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