Children give thumbs up to libraries

Published on: 28 May 2014

THE three libraries in our area are gearing up for another busy summer – buoyed by a positive response from their youngest users.

Children and young people who go to Downend, Staple Hill and Emersons Green libraries were enthusiastic participants in the Creepy House reading challenge in 2013, in which a total of 7,000 South Gloucestershire youngsters got involved.

The three libraries are expecting a similarly strong take-up for this year's Mythical Maze event. The majority of respondents to a recent survey conducted by libraries in South Gloucestershire have said they are pleased with the service.

Downend mum Shelley Kent appreciates the holiday activities for her children, Libby 11, and Ted three. Shelley said: “Our local library is a fantastic resource for so many people. The summer holiday reading scheme is particularly good for encouraging children to read during the long summer holidays. It’s also a brilliant place for my children to bump in to friends.”

More than 1,300 children and young people took part in a survey earlier this year and 89 per cent of them rated the overall library service as good.

Eighty eight per cent of five to 11-year-olds said the library was a safe place to visit, and most considered the choice of books to be good.

The most positively rated aspect of the service for parents with nought to four-year-olds was the range of activities, with 95 per cent of them considering story time and rhymetime for their little ones to be good.

Nadika Lokuge is mum to Vianne, two and half, and Thej, eight months, who both enjoy visiting Staple Hill Library every week. Nadika said: “My daughter loves coming to rhymetime and story time at the library. It gives both of my children an opportunity to meet and interact with others in a safe and friendly environment, and the librarians are brilliant. They always make rhymetime and story time fun for the children.”

The Mythical Maze challenge begins on July 12 and runs until September 13. Children are challenged to read six books to collect a medal and certificate. Libraries will hold free activities to help children complete the challenge. See July's Downend Voice for more details and get ready to visit

For further information contact the library service on 01454 868006 or visit


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