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Helping children discover the joys of reading

Date: 17/06/2008           Category: Learning and Achievement

The children’s mobile library is one year old. Launched in June last year the library has seen 22,511 pupils come through its doors and has rented out a staggering 19,829 books to school children aged between four and 11. The library stocks a wide selection of children’s books including fiction and non-fiction, picture books, modern classics like Harry Potter and family favourites by Roald Dahl. The mobile library visits 18 Medway schools during term time, during which pupils can borrow books for one month at a time. The library also visits other locations during the year such as The Country Side Experience at Riverside Country Park, the Will Adams Festival and the country parks during the summer. Pupils at Allhallows Primary in Avery Way welcomed the mobile library to their school on Monday, 16 June. The school has been very supportive of the library and the pupils have enjoyed its regular visits. Assistant headteacher Sandi James said: “The children really value the mobile library coming out to them. It not only encourages them to read but also to take responsibility for the care of the books. One pupil commented: 'it is really good that you can take a library everywhere with you and the books are really great'.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “The mobile library gives children the chance to discover books and the joy of reading. “We hope the mobile library will encourage pupils to investigate their local library and all the services it offers from books to DVDs and music and Internet access.” Libraries are not just somewhere to borrow books. Libraries rent out DVDs, CDs and videos and for many people, who do not have access to a computer; they provide a venue for PC use. There are 16 libraries spread across Medway, plus a mobile library. Medway Council has invested in its library provision. There is a new library in Rochester, integrated with Adult Education at Eastgate. Gillingham, Hempstead and Rainham have been refurbished and Chatham has moved to a larger building. An investment of £300,000 in new technologies will bring Medway libraries up to date.