Scotland Resurrects the Concept of the "Library"

By Gary Cutlack on at

Scottish ministers have approved an £80,000 fund to pay to test a weird new idea, one which would see all children issued with "library cards" that would allow them to take "books" out of places called "libraries" without even paying for them. What a mad idea. Is it April Fool's day?

The scheme will see every local authority in Scotland receive a chunk of the cash, in return for automatically registering children with their local library. There are several options lined up for testing; giving them out at birth to everyone, or perhaps at age three or four or whenever kids start school.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is backing the plan, explaining: "Libraries can empower communities - often in our most deprived areas where we know that young people can have lower levels of literacy and numeracy. Access to books and learning materials will help us to make sure that every child has the opportunity to get excited about reading."

The scheme's already underway in Glasgow, where the local council has decided to go down the auto-membership route, with every child born from this September getting a little library card in the post. If nothing else, it'll be something to do with a child on a rainy morning, plus free Wi-Fi for dad. [STV]

Image credit: Library from Shutterstock