Work and activities

ASCEL works to promote the value of public and schools’ library services for children and young people. We contribute to the national dialogue around children’s and young people’s learning, reading development and library services and respond to national initiatives and consultations. We work on a range of national initiatives with key partners including Libraries Connected, the Reading Agency, BookTrust and National Literacy Trust and we jointly agree policies and strategies to develop and sustain services.

Our ‘Children’s and Young People’s Promise’ sets out what we believe all public library services should offer children and young people and we work to ensure that children’s services are represented in the Universal Offers (four key areas – reading, information, digital and health ­ which customers and stakeholders regard as essential to a 21st century library services).

We work to highlight the impact of schools’ library services on children’s literacy and levels of attainment in schools and how schools can maximise use of scarce resources by subscribing to these services.

We support the development of our members and future leaders; promoting discussion and exchange of ideas through training and development, our annual members’ conference and our members’ only website and e-forums.

We regularly commission and publish research and create Toolkits in partnership.

During 2016 ASCEL and Libraries Connected commissioned research to make recommendations on family-friendly libraries. Along with recommendations as well as standards from The Family Arts Campaign, Kids in Museums and the ASCEL Children’s Promise, a ten-point pledge was developed. This encapsulates the commitment of public libraries to a family-friendly welcome based on the books available to borrow, activities offered, staff attitude and library layout.  Read our Blog post for more details

ASCEL works through a National Committee supported by regional committees and members across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.