Devon's newborns to receive library cards

Devon s proud new parents will be given a library card for their newborns when registering their birth, in a brand new scheme starting this month.

Devon's proud new parents will be given a library card for their newborns when registering their birth, in a brand new scheme starting this month.

Devon County Council's library and registrars services have teamed up to encourage more families to discover what libraries have to offer.

Parents will just need to take the library membership card to their local library, and staff will do the rest. It doesn't matter whether they go straightaway or in six month's time and they do not need any ID or other documentation in order to join.

Public libraries play a vital role in providing essential services at the heart of our communities. More than 50 per cent of the population are members of public libraries and it is hoped that innovative schemes, like this one, will help families to get the most out of their local library services.

Councillor Stuart Barker, cabinet member with responsibility for libraries said:

"Devon's Libraries offer much more beyond books, from CD's, DVD's and audiobooks of nursery rhymes to storytime, book crawl and 'bounce and rhyme' sessions, there's lots to discover and join in with.

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"Libraries really are a great place for families to spend time together. I hope this scheme will encourage more families to go into their local library and see what is on offer.

"There is also just the sheer enjoyment of sharing a book and a cuddle, and having fun together."

Ciara Eastell, head of Devon County Council's library service said:

"Children are never too young to discover the joy of books and this is a great way of starting them out on their reading journey.

"Research has consistently supported the advantages of early book sharing. Babies and young children who have enjoyed looking at books and listening to stories with their parents are more likely to acquire the skills to support their future learning.

"It helps them develop concentration and stimulates their imagination as well as extending their language and listening skills; giving them the best possible start in life."

Over 6300 new babies are registered in Devon every year, so this scheme offers an exciting opportunity to welcome a significant number of parents and children to the library service, who might otherwise not have considered joining.

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