The Every Child a Library Member pilot project was launched in 2016 to encourage library membership at key stages throughout early childhood. The pilot focused on investigating methods of automatic library membership.
Every Scottish public library service is now committed to delivering ECALM to ensure high levels of childhood library membership throughout the country.
The pilot ECALM project revealed many different methods were being used within Scottish public library services to encourage childhood library membership. However, many use one or more of the following ways to register children as members.
Registering at Birth
This method utilises departmental programmes such as Tell Us Once. A key factor is training Registration Staff on the benefits of library membership and the promotion of library services at the point of registration.
Registering during Early Years
By focusing on nurseries, many Local Authorities are able to promote the benefits of library membership to parents and link the ECALM project to other reading initiatives such as Bookbug.
Registering at Primary School
Using this method Local Authorities are able to target school groups and clubs as well as scheduled library visits. Allowing school children to have direct experience of the library also encourages active membership.
In many instances partnership working has lead to the removal of unnecessary paperwork and the direct promotion of library services within communities. This in turn is helping to break down barriers to library membership and encourage active participation amongst children and families.
You can learn more about the ECALM pilot project by reading the ECALM Evaluative Review which looked at both the methodologies and recommendations made.