10 January 2017

Parents will be offered a library card for their baby when they register the birth as part of a new pilot scheme aimed at promoting reading with young children.

Registrars will offer a library card to parents of all newborn babies at the birth registration appointment, where they will also be given a free book to share with their baby. They then need to visit a library to activate the card, when they’ll receive a second free book for their baby.

Northampton Central and Corby

The scheme is currently being piloted at Northampton Central and Corby libraries for three months. If successful, it will be rolled out across all registration offices in the county.

Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Cllr Sylvia Hughes said: “It’s never too early to start sharing books with your baby. Enjoying stories, books and rhymes with your child every day is important as it will help develop their early language skills and build a strong bond between you.

“This pilot scheme aims to make it as easy as possible for parents to sign up their child for free library membership, which will give them access to a huge range of books and other resources.

“It’s also a great opportunity to talk to new parents about the many activities available at our libraries for young families, including Rhymetime, messy play and baby massage as well as advice and support for parents.”

How to register a birth

All births must be registered within 42 days of the birth date. Parents can make an appointment to register the birth online by visiting www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/registration.

Northamptonshire libraries are delivered by First for Wellbeing on behalf of Northamptonshire County Council.