The Every Child a Library Member project aims to introduce library membership at key stages throughout the early years.
All 32 Local Authorities in Scotland are committed to delivering ECALM and are working closely with SLIC's ECALM Project Officers to make sure every child in Scotland is an active library member.
Local Authorities can deliver ECALM using a variety of different methods. However, many have opted to chose one or more of the following ways to register children as library 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 and Reading Rainbow.
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.
The ECALM project directly links to Strategic Aim 1 of Ambition & Opportunity, the National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland. The aim focuses on the promotion of reading, literacy and learning – ultimately working towards tackling the significant inequalities in Scottish society.
The ECALM project demonstrates that libraries are strategically placed to work with the Scottish Government in closing the attainment gap and promoting the equality of opportunity for every child. It also builds on the Government’s existing commitment to encourage reading and improve literacy standards through initiatives like PlayTalkRead and Read, Write, Count.
The Every Child A Library Member project is widely supported throughout Scotland’s library community. In many instances partnership working is leading to the removal of unnessesary 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 potential benefits of the ECALM project by reading the ECALM Evaluative Review which looked at the methodologies and recommendations made during the 2016 ECALM pilot project.