Libraries ‘can help children catch up’

Investing in libraries is key to driving the national recovery from COVID-19 and enabling children to catch up on lost learning, the LGA has said.

Many libraries are already supporting children to recover from missed classroom time and are helping to plug the widening attainment gap, for example via telephone support to families receiving laptops for home schooling, virtual library services, homework clubs and online reading groups.

They are also supporting plans for an enhanced ‘summer reading challenge’ which will include a range of free online activities, games and fun videos to supplement children’s reading skills.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: “Libraries can play a key role in our national recovery from COVID-19, supporting local communities, and in particular helping children catch up on lost education, and supporting adults to retrain through jobs and skills advice.

“They are a fantastic resource for local areas which is why they need the necessary investment to remain open and continue the great work they already do in the long term.

“Our libraries have worked hard to adapt to new ways of providing services throughout the past year and remain one of the few free cultural and educational services available in every part of the country.

“They will also be crucial to our ambitions for addressing imbalances between our towns and cities.”

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