Bookbug Sessions have begun in libraries across Glasgow in partnership with Glasgow Life, following a family event at Library at The Bridge, Easterhouse on 29 July.
The Bookbug Sessions, part of Scottish Book Trust’s early years programme, are inclusive and welcoming, free, fun-filled story, song and rhyme events for babies to four-year-olds and their families.
Thousands of parents and children across Scotland attend sessions every year and, from today, they will be available in 23 libraries in Glasgow. Bookbug Sessions will be run in all of the city’s 33 libraries by March 2019.
Special Bookbug Sessions will also be held in the Family Zone area at the European Championships in Glasgow, giving families the chance to drop in and experience the fun for themselves.
Bookbug is delivered by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, and is funded by the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative.
The Bookbug programme encourages mums, dads and carers to sing and share stories with their children from birth. It gives every child in Scotland four free bags of books in their first 5 years, gifting over 700,000 books every year, of which around 18,000 bags are received by families in Glasgow each year. Bookbug sessions are run regularly in libraries, shopping centres and other community venues throughout Scotland, and attracted audiences of over half a million parents and children in 2017-18.
Sharing songs, rhymes and stories with children has many positive benefits. It supports speech, language and brain development, as well as social and emotional skills. Bookbug Sessions also provide an opportunity for parents and care-givers to meet others, and build confidence in singing and storytelling with their child at home.
A recent Bookbug evaluation found that parents made good friends through the programme, and those whose second language is English found Bookbug Sessions were a great way to integrate themselves into the local community.
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:
“Sharing songs and rhymes with babies and young children is a really lovely way to spend time together. It’s a simple and effective way for children and parents to bond and also has many well-documented therapeutic benefits, from helping parent and child to relax, to encouraging all kinds of developmental progress.
“We are delighted Bookbug Sessions are now running in Glasgow where more families will have the opportunity to take part in these wonderful free events. Look out for information in your local library to find out where your nearest session is.”
Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life, said:
“Here in Glasgow thousands of children aged 0-4 enjoy the benefits of library membership and I’m delighted that we will now be offering Bookbug sessions in Glasgow Libraries to help them explore the wonder of books, stories and songs.
“We know that parents might not always have time to visit their local library but with 15 sessions already up and running and more planned, including twilight and Saturday sessions, I hope that Bookbug will offer plenty of opportunities for families across Glasgow to come along and enjoy learning and playing together.”
Emma Campbell, Youth Music Initiative Manager said:
“Bookbug sessions are a brilliant way for families to learn new songs and rhymes together, putting music and stories at the heart of children’s early development. We’re thrilled to support Bookbug in Glasgow and across Scotland through Youth Music Initiative funding. We’re looking forward to seeing even more families enjoying the benefits of this fantastic programme following the launch of the Glasgow sessions.”
Glasgow’s new Bookbug sessions will replace the popular Bounce & Rhyme activities for 0-2 year olds in the city’s libraries, extending the offer to the city’s 0-4 year olds.
The introduction of Bookbug complements a number of services already offered to pre-5s and their parents throughout the city’s libraries including Toddlers Tales, breast feeding support groups and multiple birth groups. A number of partner-funded Bounce & Rhyme sessions will also continue to be offered at selected libraries.