​Westerton Primary Academy

"Free to use Community Libraries just for children across Leeds by having Library swap-boxes in all communities"

My idea:

My idea is to create Free to use Community Libraries for Children across Leeds. Libraries will be stocked by the generous donations of local children, users of the service will be encouraged to take a book and leave a book. 

The Libraries take the form of a small cupboard on a post and are hosted at easy to access locations across the city. You may not know but there is already something called the Little Free Library. It is a worldwide organisation but has libraries in Leeds. 

My idea will work on the same principle as the Little Free Library but will be a Children only library. Libraries can be hosted in the gardens of generous local families or in school playgrounds – anywhere where a willing volunteer is happy to take care of the library to ensure it is always full of books and well looked after. 

How will my idea make a difference:

Research has shown that children growing up in homes without books are on average three years behind children in homes with lots of books. But up to 61% of low-income families do not have any books for their kids at home. I believe that all children should be provided easy access to books. One of the most successful ways to improve the reading achievement of children is to increase their access to books, especially at home.

My idea aims to give all kids free access to books. It also aims to increase community spirit by encouraging children to donate their old books for others to enjoy. It will enable children to read a more diverse range of books than they might usually read.

Children with artistic talents could also have an opportunity to display their artwork by decorating one of the Children’s libraries.

Is it a low cost/no cost idea and can children be involved in it?

The libraries themselves will be made at low cost, relying upon the skills of local adults with carpentry skills – think clever Mums, Dads, Grandads etc.

Young artists will be encouraged to think up designs for the libraries and to bring them to life by showing off their skills and painting them with the help of an artistic adult. 

Others can help by volunteering to host a Library in their garden or school or simply by donating old children’s books to their local library.