This summer children’s author Joseph Coelho is joining every library service in the UK to help celebrate the inclusive, vital role libraries play in our lives.

The author and poet has set himself the challenge of a special ‘library marathon’ - visiting a library in each authority to join and receive his library card. He hopes his marathon will encourage as many people as possible to join their local library.

Joseph explained: “It was in my local library where I studied for exams with friends, browsed books about beach combing and imagined living by the sea, bought second-hand encyclopedias that I’d otherwise never own and where I had my first Saturday job. It was in my library that I got to know and connect with my local community, where I read, studied and wrote.”

Visits to Scottish Libraries

So far Joseph has already joined a number of Scottish Library Services including South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, West Lothian and Glasgow. When he returns to Scotland next month he hopes to join even more.

The library marathon is being supported by both CILIP and Libraries Connected with special activities planned for Libraries Week in October. There are around 3,600 public libraries across every part of the UK, serving more than 200m physical visits a year and over 90m online. Libraries have a more diverse audience than any other arts/culture sector with the demographic most strongly correlated with library use being 15-24 year olds.

Nick Poole, Chief Executive CILIP added: We are delighted to support Joseph in his library quest, that showcases the important role of libraries in so many people's stories. As an avid library supporter and advocate Joseph demonstrates the joy the library can bring and we will be watching and supporting his journey with enthusiasm. We look forward to celebrating with Joseph and libraries across the country during Libraries Week this October."

You can plot Joseph’s progress on the giant library marathon map or follow his journey on Twitter.

*Picture Credit: Paul Musso