Littlehampton Library: Children encouraged to go wild with reading
Children are given a warm welcome at Littlehampton Library and if they go a bit wild this August, well, it is all in keeping with this year’s summer reading challenge, Wild World Heroes.
Staff at the library, in Maltravers Road, have seen families gradually returning to search the shelves of colourful books in the children’s library since restrictions started to lift on May 17 and with the reading challenge, they hope to see more and more visiting.
Kim Tucker, acting manager of the families wellbeing team, said: “We really want to encourage children and families to come in and choose any book they want to read. It is a really good free activity.”
The team at Littlehampton Library was discouraged to read a quote from MP Nick Gibb in the Gazette two weeks ago, when he mentioned fines for late returns.
Kim said: “We don’t have fines on children’s books. We don’t want any barriers, worrying about fines or books being damaged.”
What they do want is to make children feel welcome and encourage them into the library to find something they like from the vast array of books available.
Kim added: “The summer reading challenge is a really good way of encouraging children to come in. They can take books home and read them in their own time, and they really love getting a medal at the end.
“There are real benefits because it gets the children reading over the summer and gets them in the habit of reading for pleasure.”
Children can borrow up to 20 books at a time, with no fines for late return and no charges for damage by the under-fives.
Wild World Heroes links The Reading Agency and World Wildlife Fund for a nature-themed challenge. Visit www.westsussex.gove.uk/src to register then pick up a free pack containing a map and stickers at the library.
Vicki Davey, cluster manager for the Littlehampton group of libraries, is working with the team to bring back the children’s activity groups in September.
Rhyme Time will be on Mondays at 11am, Toddler Time will be Fridays at 11am and Multi-Sensory Story Magic will be the last Saturday of the month at 2.15pm.
Vicki said: “We have done a multitude of tasks behind the scenes in the past year or so. We have been offering Rhyme Time and Story Time online but we are now making plans to bring back all the activities to the library.
“We want to reconnect with people. The number of people coming into the library is definitely increasing but we are still offering select and collect as well.
“We have a lot of customers who are still vulnerable and the essential delivery service we have offered them over the lockdown will also still be running.”
The library has a computer section with free internet and customers no longer need to book. Remote digital support is also available for those who are unable to go into the library.