Books from birth

Books from birthIt’s one year on since Devon County Council’s Library and Registrars Services teamed up to encourage more families to discover what libraries have to offer and the partnership has been a great success, helping families to get the most out of their local library services

Since the scheme started in May 2010, 572 tickets have been activated and 3,710 items issued on those tickets. In addition, tickets have been created for parents and other family members when the baby tickets were activated.

The books from birth scheme ensures that Devon’s proud new parents will be given a library card for their newborns whilst registering their birth. Parents 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.

We know 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. The advantage of early book sharing means that babies and young children who have enjoyed looking at books and listening to stories with their parents develop concentration and stimulate  their imagination as well as extending their language and listening skills, giving them the best possible start in life.

Libraries really are a great place for families to spend time together, with so much to discover and join in with. They offer much more beyond books, from CD’s, DVD’s, audio books of nursery rhymes, story time, to book crawl and ‘bounce and rhyme’ sessions, and there’s also just the sheer enjoyment of sharing a book and a cuddle, and having fun together.

Compared to the previous year, the number of under 5s that have become members has increased by 4.8%, and with over 6300 new babies registered in Devon every year, 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. For more information on the scheme, telephone 01392 384315 or email