The Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL) are developing the library offer for parents-to-be.
Following the January 2014 report into the Automatic Library Membership Pilots evaluation (Siddall 2014) presented by Arts Council England (ACE), a key finding was that “the principle of having a library card is an important first step. But issuing a library card in itself does not create active library members. The accompanying outreach activities and library events were important factors in making membership real”.
ASCEL was commissioned on behalf of ACE and the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) to undertake research to identify what those interactions should be and to present recommendations for a deliverable but innovative library offer.
This work consisted of:
- ASCEL commissioning a freelance Cultural and Audience Development Consultant to research key interactions in a child’s library/reading life that are delivered in libraries across the country, the impact of this practice and the role of partners. She also explored the interactions libraries would like to deliver and the barriers and gaps. Children's Library Journey Report
- A Children’s Library Journey seminar in February 2015 with ASCEL and partners, including representatives from the Youth Libraries Group, BookTrust, the National Literacy Trust and The Reading Agency.
A key recommendation from both the research and the seminar was to develop the library offer at the pre-natal to birth stage – promoting the benefits of reading and library use to parents and supporting and promoting parental and children’s reading journeys.
The funding from ACE and the Society of Chief Librarians is enabling ASCEL to take this work further and develop a tool kit that will support library staff in their work with parents at the pre-birth stage and into their child’s library journey.
ASCEL are looking for individuals/organisations to develop areas of the toolkit:
a.) Collate all the content for the toolkit
b.) Create or commission a fresh and exciting design in liaison with ASCEL
The areas of content required for the toolkit are:
i) An appealing presentation of the key messages (supplied by ASCEL) with guidance on how to maximize use of the messages
ii) Research into the kind of partners that will support public library staff with their work with parents-to-be and the creation of a list of partners
iii) A summary of good practice examples from libraries (ASCEL will support this research)
iv) A curated collection of 15 nursery rhymes/songs that work well for interacting with an unborn baby (recommended by parents and representing our diverse community)