On Wednesday 8 November, we welcomed over 100 authors, partner organisations, funders, fellow charities, MPs, peers, and supporters, to Portcullis House in Westminster, to celebrate the anniversary of our Libraries for Primaries campaign.
Libraries for Primaries is a coalition of organisations united by a common purpose: to ensure that every primary school in the UK has a well-stocked school library. Currently, 1 in 7 state primary schools in the UK do not have a library – a figure that rises to a shocking 1 in 4 schools in the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.
The campaign is not only bringing people together, but – thanks to investment from a range of generous funders including Penguin Random House, Bloomberg, Chase, Arts Council England, Portal Trust, the Marcus Rashford Book Club, Oxford University Press and the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, and more than 30 supporting organisations – we are doing something about it and putting libraries into more primary schools.
Since 2021, 640 primary schools have had their library or reading spaces transformed and we are on track to hit our initial target of 1,000 schools by spring 2024 – a year ahead of schedule. Already, almost a quarter-of-a-million more children are now on a path that will lead them to a life-long love of reading, and all the benefits it affords.
But we need to do more and are urging Government to provide much-needed investment and commitment:
“Through our Libraries for Primaries campaign we have consistently shown the power of having a well-stocked school library and giving teachers the tools they need to create a culture of reading for pleasure. Having a brilliant school library is key to sparking children’s love of reading and ultimately helping to impact their future life chances.
“Today, we are calling on the government to match-fund the considerable private investment to date and commit to ensuring that every primary school in our country has a library.”Jonathan Douglas CBE, CEO of the National Literacy Trust