Barnet Libraries (Early Years Team)

Our service should enable easy access to information, and provide services through high quality spaces designed to meet the needs of communities. Specifically, our library service should:

  • Increase reading, literacy and learning opportunities for children.
  • Promote reading and learning opportunities for adults.
  • Engage with communities and offering improved community spaces, access and resources.
  • Provide easy access to wider world of knowledge and information.

The aim of the All for Stories: Stories for All project is to make our library service more relevant to families with children with additional needs. The grant will be used to train staff to bring the world of stories and books to children with disabilities by providing specially designed sessions for them. We are aware that less than 1% of children who engage with our existing library programme of activities for children, have additional needs and we very rarely see children with profound and complex disabilities.

The ‘All for Stories: Stories for All’ project will engage with children ranging from young babies to 11 year olds. We will train a minimum of six staff to deliver sensory Storytelling sessions. This specialist training will involve storytelling to children from a local school for children with special needs. We will then work with Barnet Mencap to deliver a series of special sessions to families with children with disabilities. We will support these families to access library services.

The legacy of this project will be twofold. Firstly a newly trained workforce equipped with the right resources will enable us to deliver a regular service to groups of children in the future. Secondly, we will reach a group of families who currently find access to library services very difficult. Our aim will be for those families to start to engage with mainstream services.