The CICC has been approached by Library Service to consult with members as ‘why more young CLA people have not accessed their second book, after been given their free book pack’.
The project is designed to encourage children to enjoy reading, explore all the different ways to read and to use libraries as a friendly, welcoming and supportive place to discover books, stories and information. The scheme is aimed at 2-11 year olds. At the heart of the scheme is a pack that is posted out to children in foster care and it includes a voucher for them to collect a 2nd free book from their local library. The library service sent out packs out in December and March. So far take up of the 2nd book is just 1 in 5 children and are keen to find ways of increasing this.
The consultation covered a number of areas:
- What they currently think about the project/initiative looking at it on behalf of all CLA young people?
- What the barriers might there be to accessing this?
- How this can be promoted and new ideas to add to the project?
Young people from the Children in care council said:
The young people appeared to be confusing this scheme with the Letterbox Scheme and haven’t personally received a book pack.
They were shown packs and this was their response:
- The books are quite childish, there should be a wider range of 2nd free books to choose from.
- Not publicised enough as the young people have never heard of the scheme or received their packs.
- There are lots of different other book services to access, e books and library books/cards.
- One young person said they didn’t feel there was ‘not much point’, and suggested the library service should email carers with publicity happening in local libraries instead.
- One young person said the books need to be more grown up, with more lifelike stories and books.
- ‘Not sure’, one young person said the pack was age appropriate for them, they liked the newer books, but thought that the activities in the pack needed to be right for the age groups.
- The group suggested that the library service could offer reading clubs and book clubs suitable for the different ages of young people.
- Liked the pens, pad and arty stuff in the packs.
- Packs should be as visual as possible.