Joint statement from The Reading Agency and the Society of Chief Librarians

We are delighted that Arts Council England (ACE) has invested in our shared Universal Reading and Health Offers. This investment demonstrates the level of commitment and passion that ACE has for public library development, in particular the important work that library staff do to inspire readers of all ages and encourage people to understand and manage their own health and well being.

The Society of Chief Librarians and The Reading Agency will continue to work with library staff to ensure that the Universal Health and Reading Offers are making a positive impact in libraries. We have ambitious plans to build on the work we are currently doing with the Universal Offers: develop a training and best practice resource for the Reading Offer, which will give more support to frontline staff and offer communities more reader development opportunities, and develop a new Reading Well Books on prescription scheme for long term conditions as well as a health and wellbeing strand for the Children’s Promise led by ASCEL. We are also delighted that the Wellcome Trust has agreed to co-fund the health offer with ACE.

This work is possible thanks to the commitment of library staff and the partnership between our organisations and ACE.