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National Literacy Trust: Libraries vital for youth reading skills

7th February 2011

New research by the National Literacy Trust has highlighted how important libraries are to the reading skills of young people.

A study of 17,089 pupils aged between eight and 16 found that 18 per cent of those who use their local library are above their average reading standard, compared to just 9.5 per cent of youngsters who do not use the service.

In addition, the poll showed that library users are more than twice as likely to read each day outside of school, while 38 per cent think having access to a public library is beneficial to their education.

Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, commented: 'Our research shows just how important a role libraries play in supporting literacy. In the UK today one in six people struggle to read, write and communicate, which can affect their health, confidence and employability.'

The research was published as authors such as Philip Pullman and John Dougherty supported a series of 'reads-ins' at libraries to protest against threatened closures.

Furthermore, The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson told Sky News that closing libraries would increase illiteracy in the UK.
 

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