Perth’s first 2017 baby Ava Clark joins her local library

17th February 2017

Little Ava Clark proves that it’s never too early to join your local library!

Perth’s first 2017 baby, seven-week-old Ava, was signed up this week at Perth’s AK Bell Library.

Ava, along with her mum Zowie, dad David and sister Amelia (3), were given a special tour of the children’s section by librarian Elaine Blair. Ava was also presented with a special certificate to mark the occasion.

Library staff believe that Ava – who was born in PRI at 5.24am on January 2, weighing 8lbs 4oz – could be the youngest library member registered in Perth and Kinross this year.

Culture Perth & Kinross is a supporter of the Scotland-wide Every Child A Library Member (ECALM) campaign.

Launched by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in 2016, this innovative pilot scheme encouraged every child in Scotland to become a member of their local library.

Ultimately, it is hoped ECALM will become an established programme with every baby born in Scotland given a library membership card by the local registrar.

Delighted mum Zowie, from Letham, said: “The AK Bell Library is a great place to bring your children. As well as the huge range of books, the wee ones love the fun, colourful and welcoming environment, and you don’t have to worry about being too noisy!”

AK Bell librarian Elaine Blair believes that reading brings a whole host of benefits for youngsters, and she is encouraging new parents throughout Perth and Kinross to get library cards for their babies.

She explained: “As well as helping with language development, reading to children from birth helps to develop speaking and listening skills.

“Reading also can act as a comfort and as a time for parent and child to bond. If your baby is fussy, read to them; if they have a hard time settling down, read to them; if you’re not feeling connected with your kids, read with them.

“Don’t forget that there are lots of books suitable for babies and toddlers in all Perth and Kinross libraries. You can get a library card for your baby from birth and it’s free to join and to borrow books. Enjoy your reading together, share books you both like and have fun!”

Helen Smout, Chief Executive of Culture Perth & Kinross (CPK) added: “I am delighted to welcome Ava as a library member, particularly since CPK is a huge supporter of the Scotland-wide Every Child A Library Member campaign.

“The promotion of reading, literacy and learning is a strategic objective of the current national strategy for public libraries in Scotland.

“And Every Child a Library Member (ECALM) is an important programme both for the library community in Scotland but also because of the role it can potentially play in closing the attainment gap, reducing social exclusion and promoting equality of opportunity.

“Through our busy programme of activities and initiatives such as Bookbug Rhymetime, Chatterbooks and special storytimes, we aim to encourage a lifelong love of reading and learning for all.”

It couldn’t be easier to join your local library. Just follow the “join now” link on the website (www.culturepk.org.uk) or visit your local library with your child and sign up on the spot.

Libraries in Perth and Kinross work with health visitors to give out Bookbug packs of books for babies to help get you started.

For more information on children’s library services please visit www.culturepk.org.uk or visit your local library.

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