Campaign launched to give schoolchildren library cards

By on 30/09/2014 in Deputy Leader, News

Children from Nelson Primary School unveiled a giant library card in the Library of Birmingham's Book Rotunda today (September 30) to mark the start of the campaign to give every school-age child and young person in Birmingham a library membership card.

The City Council has launched the campaign - known as Joined Up! – to encourage children and young people to read more and make the most of their local library.

The campaign has received funding from the Library of Birmingham Trust, the independent charity partner of the Library of Birmingham, and sponsors Lenovo and The Birmingham Mail, and is supported by Birmingham Born & Read and the Birmingham Education Partnership. The launch coincides with the start of the Birmingham Year of Reading.

Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Raising standards of literacy in Birmingham is vital to the city's social and economic success, and encouraging our young citizens to join the library is an important step towards this. By putting a library card into the hands of every school-age child in the city, we hope many more children and young people will come along to their local library with their families, discover the benefits of membership and get reading.”

Keith Bradshaw, Chair of the Library of Birmingham Trust, said: “The Library of Birmingham Trust, a registered charity, was established to enable activity that would not be possible with Council resources alone, and Joined Up! is an excellent example of what can be achieved through the work of the Trust.

“This campaign has the potential to make a remarkable difference, investing in our children and young people and helping to instil a love of reading from an early age. As Chair of the Trust I am proud to have supported Joined Up! and even prouder to be part of such a generous community. I would like to thank every person, organisation and business which supports the Trust and I urge everyone to consider what they might do to help the Trust do much more in the future.”

The launch was also attended by education campaigner Ziauddin Yousafzai, who spoke about the importance of appreciating the educational and learning opportunities freely available in this country, when in other parts of the world citizens have to fight for the right to an education.

The campaign is being managed by the Library of Birmingham, which will distribute 180,000 cards via schools in the city. 

Each child will receive a special Joined Up! pack containing a library card and encouraging them to come into their local library with their parents or carer to activate the card and get reading. Children who are already members can swap their old card for the new design if they wish.

The first Joined Up! packs will be given to children in October, with the distribution rolling out over the remainder of the school year.

A picture, for media use, from today’s launch can be downloaded from the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed.

Ends

For more information contact:

Sara Rowell – Partnerships & Marketing Senior Manager, Library of Birmingham
0121 303 6658/ sara.rowell@birmingham.gov.uk

Notes to editors

About the Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham is a major new cultural destination, rewriting the book for 21st century public libraries.

The Library of Birmingham is a showcase for the city's internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books. New facilities including state-of-the-art gallery space open up public access to the collections for the first time. It is also home to a BFI Mediatheque, providing free access to the National Film Archive. Other facilities include a new flexible studio theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre and other informal performance spaces, a recording studio, and dedicated spaces for children and teenagers. By harnessing new technology, everyone from Birmingham to Beijing, Bangalore and beyond is able to access the Library of Birmingham's world-class resources.

Described by its architect Francine Houben as a 'people's palace', the Library of Birmingham is highly accessible and family-friendly. It delivers excellent services through collaboration between the library, The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, partners and communities. It provides a dynamic mix of events, activities and performance together with outstanding resources, exhibitions and access to expert help for learning, information and culture. As a centre of excellence for literacy, research, study, skills development, entrepreneurship, creative expression, health information and much more, the Library of Birmingham is changing people's lives.

About the Library of Birmingham Trust

The Library of Birmingham Development Trust is an innovative charity through which the people and businesses of Birmingham are investing directly in their Library.  We support learning and literacy, economic development and enterprise, culture and heritage. The Trust is proving what can be possible for public services when communities partner with government.  Since its inception, the Trust has enabled a range of live changing initiatives through private sector funding which include:

Joined Up - a campaign to encourage school-age children and young people across the city to join the Library and get reading.

Word Up! - a day of special events, celebrations and fun on the theme of literacy on 30th September, showcasing the important role that the Library of Birmingham has to play in improving literacy skills in the city.

Business and learning – The Trust is enabling the Library to deliver a range of advisory and support programmes which have the potential to make the Library of Birmingham a one-stop-shop for new business needs in the region, and a significant contributor to economic development. 

These services include life-skills such as literacy and numeracy, CV writing, support into work, business start-up and intellectual property advice, entrepreneurship programmes, B2B databases and more.

Culture and heritage - the Trust has match-funded in collaboration with Creative England, five innovative digital projects that both enhance learning opportunities and open access to the Library's rich and rare archival holdings in new and engaging ways.
For more information about the Library of Birmingham Development Trust, contact Calum Nisbet: calum@libraryofbirminghamtrust.org.uk.

Born & Read in Birmingham

For information visit http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/all-about/born-read-in-brum.

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