Helping children develop and maintain a love of reading

We believe that reading has the power to change lives. Encouraging children to read for pleasure can have a significant impact on wellbeing and boost educational attainment.


Here’s just a few ways we are getting children to read.


The SNP Scottish Government has introduced Bookbug, in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust, gifting books to children across Scotland and providing free story sessions.


The programme gifts every child in Scotland four free packs of books between birth and primary one, and runs free interactive story sessions. In 2017-18 the Scottish Government provided the Scottish Book Trust with over £1.6 million in funding for the programme.


We are committed to ensuring that every child in Scotland receives library membership.


We have launched a National Library Card pilot, ‘One Card’, which would allow a single card to be used at any council library across Scotland.


‘One Card’ aims to encourage more people to use libraries, by removing barriers between services. Five local authorities are taking part in the pilot, which, if successful, will be rolled out to the whole of Scotland.


We are introducing a National School Library Improvement Fund, investing £1 million over the next three years.


The First Minister’s Reading Challenge has been launched to encourage children to read widely and develop a passion for reading.

The Challenge offers prizes for schools and pupils to celebrate their reading journeys, and has been a huge success across Scotland, with 74 per cent of primary schools participating in its first year. The Challenge has been extended from P4 – P7 to cover all primary school age groups, and piloted in selected secondary schools. An evaluation of the Challenge has found that 76 per cent of pupils who took part in its first year now read more.