We welcome news this week that pilot projects in Scotland are rolling out a scheme to automatically sign up newborn babies to their local libraries at the time of the registration of their birth.
The scheme, designed to tackle issues with literacy and equality in some of Scotland’s poorer areas, aims to make libraries a hub through which children and their parents can access a range of services.
With funding from the Scottish government, the project is sure to give some interesting results. Nicky Morgan, our education secretary, has recently launched a literacy programme aiming to “get every child reading widely and well”, which boasts the ambition to get every eight-year-old child signed up to their local library. In the plans laid out in the Guardian article announcing the scheme, a numbers of ways of improving literacy without any financial input were mentioned. We can only hope that these alternate methods are the tip of an iceberg which will see a similar investment in children’s literacy from the UK government.