13th September 2016 |

This innovative pilot scheme encouraged every child in Scotland to become a member of their local library.

Launched in January 2016, all 32 Scottish local authorities took part with 24 applying for grants through the SLIC-administered Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF).

A total of £80,000 of Scottish Government Funding was made available through SLIC to trial methods of giving children automatic library membership at key stages. Through the scheme children were given a library card either at birth, age three or four, or in Primary 1. Libraries also worked closely with schools and communities to promote the services they offer to families.

The promotion of reading, literacy and learning is a strategic objective of the current national strategy for public libraries in Scotland. Every Child a Library Member (ECALM) is an important programme both for the library community in Scotland but also because of the role it can potentially play in closing the attainment gap, reducing social exclusion and promoting equality of opportunity.

Research shows that school library and public library services impact positively on the educational attainment of pupils and literacy levels among communities. Thanks to the success of the pilot, it is hoped the scheme will become an established programme with every baby born in Scotland given a library membership card by the local registrar.

Review of Every Child A Library Member

In 2016 an evaluative review of the ECALM pilot was undertaken on behalf of SLIC by Professor Peter Reid and Ms Caroline Hood of the Department of Information Management at Robert Gordon University. The aim was to undertake an independent evaluation of the project and identify key recommendations of good practice. You can read more by downloading a copy of the ECALM 2016 Review.


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