Building The Literacy Library

We're going to build a literacy centre for 23,000 children's books and create a space for amazingly engaging and creative teaching.

We did it!

On 6th Mar 2018 we successfully raised £63,719 of £30,000 target with 232 supporters in 56 days

New stretch target

When we started this project we really couldn't imagine we would get to our original goal so quickly – £30K was the minimum we needed to get started - we were expecting to have to apply to other funds in order to be able to finish the work. We were amazed and grateful to be at £30K in just a fortnight.  Then we set a stretch target of £50K - again we thought this was unbelievably ambitious.  We can't believe how lucky we are to have such fantastic support and to be in a position where we have reached that goal too.  Our entire project will cost £150K.  Through your generosity and from the Foyle Foundation and Garfield Weston we've raised more than £100K of that cost.  If you can help us raise even more from this campaign before the 6th March we will be able to start sooner and complete the work faster.  Thank you so much for your support.

Everyone has a magical memory from a book they read as a child. Just mentioning The Wind in the Willows or Stig of the Dump to some will bring a tear to the eye. What's yours?The power of a narrative to transport to another world is so palpable to a child. Without it the world is less imaginary, less creative, less magical and all the more grey. And yet this is the reality for a great many children.Literacy levels are suffering in a society that closes libraries and stretches schools. This is an incredibly important topic, and we're going to do something about it.

Illustration by Chris Riddell former Children's Laureate and CLPE SupporterWe're going to build a literacy centre for 23,000 children's books and amazingly engaging and creative teaching. It'll be a centre for literacy, and a first step for many young minds on a journey of the imagination.  We will be a resource for schools, for teachers and for all those working to support children's literacy, a beacon in a landscape of dwindling resource.

Will you help? If you do, there are brilliant benefits. You'll be built into the fabric of our building for generations to come, you'll have the opportunity to use our space for your events and receive special gifts from renowned children's illustrators.  

Through partnerships new and old, and because this centre will be used by literacy charities from across the UK, we estimate that The Literacy Library will impact on around 5,000,000 children and their families each year.

“Having seen the inspiring work CLPE do to help schools to use drama, poetry and stories in creative ways I fully support their bid for improving the building. It’s so exciting to think of their library being able to display all their 23,000 books, and that it could become a nationally renowned training centre for teachers, librarians and literacy charities.”   Julia Donaldson, Children’s author, former Children’s Laureate and CLPE Supporter

Thanks to a pledge from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the first £25,000 donated will be matched - doubling the value of your donation! If you Gift Aid your donation we will also be able to claim an additional 25p on every £1 you donate.

“BookTrust relies on the CLPE learning space to bring people together and share best practice on how to reach children, how to engage them in reading, and how to effect real change on the ground.  The renovation will make a real difference to the work we all do”.  Diana Gerald, Chief Executive, BookTrust

"CLPE is an important partner for the National Literacy Trust and the other reading and literacy charities. Being surrounded by the finest children's literature and book artwork makes for a rich and stimulating environment. As a result, developing and enriching CLPE's central space will impact favourably not only on their work but on all their partner charities.”  Jonathan Douglas, Director, National Literacy Trust

“Beanstalk is very happy to support CLPE’s development project.  We already benefit from working in partnership with CLPE and sharing our resources and knowledge.  We would love to be able to use the CLPE building for training and development for our volunteers.  What better place to learn about supporting children learning to read than in a library of children’s books.”  Ginny Lunn, Chief Executive, Beanstalk

Architect's model, the new library

What will be different?

All our books will be in shelves on the wall.  This means that we won’t have to move trolleys of books or small shelves when we have events in the hall.

The new space will have a dedicated presentation space with proper lighting and AV facilities and will be fully accessible.

There will be quiet places to browse and read, places to chat about books, small meeting spaces and places to showcase books.

The fronts of the bookshelves will be decorated with wallpaper made from illustrations from children’s books.  If you are in the space it will feel as though you are totally immersed in children’s literature.

Who will benefit?

If we can raise the funds then this space and all the amazing books will be used by the 2000 teachers who work with us each year as well as all the major literacy charities.  Between them these charities support the literacy development of and benefit millions of children each year.

The new space will benefit, amongst others:

  • BookTrust
  • The National Literacy Trust
  • Beanstalk – Volunteer Reading Helpers
  • Empathy Lab UK
  • IBBY
  • The Children’s Poetry Summit
  • National Writing Day
  • First Story

And many, many more.

It will give a meeting, conference and training space to charities who don’t have access to such facilities.  It will also mean that these charities can benefit from accessing and using our children’s literature collections.

Photo credit: Ellie Kurttz 

Video: Illustration by Tom McLaughlin, voice by Rafi Kesvani, many, many thanks to Jon Tickner and Sam Smith

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