Services for children and young people

Surrey County Council Libraries have an important role to play in helping individuals and communities fulfil their potential and enhance their self-reliance by promoting access to literature, information, e-services and lifelong learning, in all appropriate formats and delivery methods, through its network of libraries and through community based delivery where suitable and viable.

Where possible, access to resources, trained staff and technology based delivery systems will be provided free at the point of delivery.

To achieve this, Surrey County Council Libraries will:

Remove barriers for children and young people by:

  • removing charges from all service provision relating to educational and literacy targets
  • providing free access to technology for all young people
  • providing an interactive website, with pages suitable for all age ranges
  • ensuring all staff have the necessary customer care skill and knowledge required to provide a service for young people
  • providing an attractive and suitable physical environment in all our libraries
  • providing material in a variety of suitable formats, including books, audio-visual, CD-ROMs and graphic novels
  • ensuring presentation of stock enables both young people and adults to find appropriate material in the library
  • encouraging library visits by groups of young people, schools, brownies, cubs etc
  • ensuring young people have the opportunity to comment on the services offered to them through verbal and written comments, and use of the website
  • treating all such comments with respect
  • encouraging the involvement of children and young people in the development of libraries services

Encourage children and young people to develop their full learning potential by:

  • Providing appropriate access to technology, specifically
    • Free access to computers
    • Terminals located within or near the children's area, with priority given to children with homework needs
    • Terminals located near to study areas for use by older children
    • Equal access to terminals by young people
    • Suitable access to the Internet, appropriate filters and software
  • providing resources to support the requirements of the National Curriculum
  • supporting the individual learner's out of school learning needs, complementing school resources
  • offering appropriate volunteering opportunities

Encourage reading skills and the enjoyment of reading by:

  • using professional expertise in the selection of resources for young people
  • encouraging young people to expand their choice of reading by offering promotions such as the Summer Reading Scheme and use of booklists
  • providing interactive rhyme and storytime sessions in libraries, with suitably trained staff
  • running events and competitions to encourage children to use their imagination
  • providing attractive and professional displays, linked to promotions, events or National schemes
  • using the Carnegie and Greenaway Awards to encourage staff to read and discuss children's books, to give them confidence to promote children's books to young people and parents
  • working with schools, children's centres, children's services, youth service and other relevant organisations

Support parents and carers of children and young people in their use of reading material and the library service by:

  • supporting Book Trust initiatives such as Bookstart across the County
  • working in partnership with Adult & Community Learning in supporting family learning
  • providing material to support parenting and help children and young people through a variety of life events
  • providing Rhymetimes in all libraries
  • giving talks about library services to all relevant groups

Range of services

  • The Library Service Offer shows the minimum level of service that can be expected from each library
  • Libraries provide books and information to encourage and support children in developing their reading and love of books and the written word
  • Libraries work with parents, teachers and other professionals working with children to promote reading and use of libraries by children
  • Children as individuals are given help in their education by access to books and information that supports their school studies
  • All libraries have space identified as a children's area with stock and facilities particularly appropriate for children. The size and layout of this area will vary according to the overall design of the individual library and is always clearly guided. The need for adequate supervision for both safety and security are always taken into consideration when choosing the site for the children's area
  • Children are the legal responsibility of their parents and carers, who should always accompany their young children (under the age of 8) whilst at the library. Children under 8 must never be left unsupervised in the library
  • Library staff are trained in the needs of children and their parents
  • Promotion of reading for children is a key objective in all libraries through a regular programme of activities that are designed to be fun and educational and are not an extension of school
  • Children are encouraged to use new media as an enhancement of reading and information skills not as a replacement for books
  • Libraries work with schools to promote reading. Given available resources, it is impractical to offer a book loan service or general library staff support to schools. Library Managers and other library staff will make contact with local schools as time allows. Activities include class visits, talks, workshops, author visits etc.

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