Open Doors Children’s Corners: Outcomes and Lessons
The aim of the Open Doors Children’s Corners programme was to enable children to reach their potential through access to quality books and activities in well-resourced and well-managed libraries.
The programme began in 2014 with the intention of creating 60 Children’s Corners in six countries by the end of 2016. The programme responded to a desire from public library partners to provide a service tailored to the needs of children, helping them to enjoy books and reading. Fundraising for the programme became the focus of Book Aid International’s 60th anniversary year in 2014 and, by the end of 2016, the fundraising target of £600,000 had been surpassed. All 60 Children’s Corners were completed in 2017.
Over the life of the four-year programme, 197,174 UK-donated books were distributed to the 60 Children’s Corners that were established, and a total of £41,735 was disbursed in grants for local-purchase books, with at least 21,857 locally published books purchased, in English and 22 local African languages.
Our Open Doors Children’s Corners final evaluation report summarises the learnings from this, our largest programme to date. Key findings included:
- An increase in the number of children visiting and spending time with books in the Children’s Corners, with 870,000 child visits recorded in total
- Children staying longer in the library space, engrossed in reading
- An increase in librarian led activities for children
- An increase in librarian confidence and engagement
- An increase in library outreach into local communities, encouraging reading amongst children and communities
These outcomes all contribute to communities in which children are supproted to discover books and begin to read. To find out more, read the full report below.