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Literacy news

Children who use the library are twice as likely to be above average readers

4 Feb 2011

Research published by the National Literacy Trust on Save Our Libraries Day (5 February 2011) confirms the link between children and young people using public libraries and good reading skills.

As communities across the country campaign to save their local libraries from widespread cuts, this new study of 17,089 pupils aged 8 to 16 finds that young people who use their public library are nearly twice as likely to be above average readers than peers who don’t visit their library (18% compared with 9.5%). The research also reveals:

  • Nearly half (44%) of the 8-16 year olds surveyed use their public library
  • Library users are more than twice as likely to read outside of class everyday (47% vs. 22%)
  • 7-11 year olds are nearly three times more likely to use the library than 14-16 year olds (63% vs 25%)
  • Over a third (38%) of young people who use the library believe it will help them to do better at school
  • The most common reasons children cited for not going to the library were that their family does not go (52%) and that their friends do not go (40%) 

Save Our Libraries Day is a day of action intended to bring greater attention to the cuts and closures facing many public library services. The National Literacy Trust has pledged its support and is encouraging people who care about reading, literacy and libraries to use their library and to tell their friends and family to do so too.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust says:

“Our research shows just how important a role libraries play in supporting literacy. In the UK today one in six people struggles to read, write and communicate, which can affect their health, confidence and employability.

“The National Literacy Trust campaigns to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy. We are supporting Save Our Libraries Day and encouraging everyone to get involved and show how passionately they feel about the importance of literacy and libraries.”

You can read the full media release here.

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The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.