SCL, The Reading Agency, and the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL) Sign Strategic Three-Year Partnership
The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL), The Reading Agency and ASCEL have signed a strategic three-year partnership to enhance the public library service in England. Under the partnership agreement, the partners will aim to work together to co-deliver programmes that inspire more people to read, drive innovation and help secure investment needed for new projects.

Working together, the three organisations will plan programmes and initiatives that will have a positive impact on how libraries promote reading, health and wellbeing. The partners will work to develop the shared Universal Reading and Universal Health offers, explore new opportunities for national and local partnerships and help shape the wider library agenda.

The partnership will continue to contribute to the Read On Get On coalition; the BBC’s Year of Reading; the development of the reading outcomes framework (led by The Reading Agency and involving a wide range of partners) along with further development and promotion of the Universal Offers.


Ciara Eastell, SCL President, said: “Our collaboration with The Reading Agency and with ASCEL has been long and hugely beneficial to libraries. We are pleased that we now have a formal agreement which sets out how we will expand on this partnership and build on the dedicated work that public library staff are doing throughout the country. All three of these organisations are doing fantastic work, and together we can be stronger and reach more people.”


Sue Wilkinson, CEO, The Reading Agency, said: “At The Reading Agency our mission is to inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their love of reading with others and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all our lives. With that ambition you can see why our strong and close partnership with public libraries and with the Society of Chief Librarians is so important to us. Together we work with struggling and confident readers of all ages, developing and delivering reading programmes which last year reached over one million people. We are delighted to have signed this new MOU with the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and to continue our work together for another three years.”
Sarah Mears, Chair of ASCEL, said: ASCEL are delighted to be partners in this strategic MOU. Our work has been significantly enhanced by  a close working relationship with the Society of Chief Librarians and The Reading Agency. This MOU gives  us a strong basis to further develop this work, enabling us to work openly and creatively, seeking innovative ways to support  our children, our young people and their families to develop and share a love of reading.
Through its Universal Offers for public libraries, SCL and its partners have developed a core package of partnerships, resources and advocacy messages at a national level which can be delivered locally and shaped to meet differing local needs. Two of these Universal Offers are jointly owned and delivered in partnership with The Reading Agency. The Universal Reading Offer includes the Summer Reading Challenge, which reached over 800,000 children last year in the UK, Eire and abroad via the British Council, while the Universal Health Offer includes Reading Well Books on Prescription, now offered by 97% of library authorities.

The offers provide a positive vision for the future of public libraries; they are a promise to all customers and a commitment to quality provision across these four core areas of our service.
For all queries please contact:
Elizabeth Elford
Mob: 07891056114

Society of Chief Librarians (SCL)
The Society of Chief Librarians leads and manages public libraries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. SCL is made up of the head of service of every library authority, and advocates for continuous improvement of the public library service on behalf of local people.

Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL)
The Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians – is the national membership network of senior managers in children’s and young people’s public library services and school library services in the UK. Its aim is to lead excellence in library services for children and young people and schools so that: every child and young person visiting a public library should be inspired by an exciting environment which makes reading for pleasure irresistible; every school has access to a high quality school library service.
The Reading Agency
The Reading Agency is a leading independent charity whose pioneering work brings the joy of reading to the widest possible audiences across the UK, in partnership with the public library service. The charity’s mission is to create and deliver innovative reading opportunities that inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their enjoyment of reading with others and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all our lives. The Reading Agency is funded by the Arts Council.

The Reading Agency is working with SCL, ASCEL, Arts Council England, BookTrust, the National Literacy Trust and a wide range of other partners to develop a robust framework to measure the impact reading programmes have on people’s skills, enjoyment of reading, health and wellbeing.