Bump Booster

Thursday, 12 October, 2017

The Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL) Launch Bump Booster


Bump Booster is a new online resource developed for ASCEL to help library staff support parents-to-be. It includes guidance for library staff, ideas for parents-to-be and great rhymes to sing to a bump.


Babies in the womb can hear their parents and the world around them. Parents can give their child an early start by singing and talking to them before they are born.

Bump Booster focuses on three simple messages that can make a huge difference to a baby’s development:

    - Talk to your bump - your baby can hear you from 18 weeks

     - Read to your bump - your baby remembers noises from the womb,

     - Bond with your bump - reading and singing to your baby helps you to bond with your them

Bump Booster is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to help parents and children and to encourage them to become more active users of libraries.

A key finding of the report into the Automatic Library Membership Pilots evaluation (Siddall 2014) presented by Arts Council England (ACE), 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 identify key interactions in a child’s library/reading life that are delivered in libraries across the country

    - A national seminar

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-to-be and supporting and promoting parental and children’s reading journeys.

Following a tender process Diane Dixon Associates was awarded the contract to research and create the tool kit

In addition the following library services successfully bid for small amounts of funding to carry out pilot work with parents-to-be to supplement the tool kit content:

 - Dudley

 - Leicestershire

 - Gateshead

 - Hertfordshire

The learning from the pilot projects in Dudley, Leicestershire and Hertfordshire are now available in the toolkit. 

Neil MacInnes, President of the Society of Chief Librarians comments, “Work around the children’s library journey highlighted a clear need for library staff to engage with parents-to-be so that they can understand how libraries can help them with their child’s early learning. We welcome this new resource and the opportunities it will create for library staff to engage with this audience.”

Sue Ball, Chair of ASCEL says, “We are delighted with the production of Bump Booster. This new toolkit provides library staff with a range of resources to develop their work with parents-to-be in local communities. Parents-to-be can also access the toolkit and sing and read to their bump in the comfort of their own homes. ASCEL would like to thank Arts Council England and The Society of Chief Librarians for funding this work and Diane Dixon Associates for creating the toolkit.”




The Bump Booster toolkit can be found on the ASCEL website http://www.ascel.org.uk/bump-booster

ASCEL is the national network of senior managers in Children’s Public and Schools’ Library Services leading on excellence in library services for children and young people

The Society of Chief Librarians leads and manages public libraries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. SCL is made up of the head of service of every library authority, and advocates for continuous improvement of the public library service on behalf of local people. www.goscl.com