Portsmouth school turns dusty corner into a brand new library

A GOOD READ Childrens author Neal Layton opens the new library at Charles Dickens Infants School in Portsmouth. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (121652-2)
A GOOD READ Childrens author Neal Layton opens the new library at Charles Dickens Infants School in Portsmouth. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121652-2)
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AFTER years of neglect, an infant school’s library has had a major revamp that is inspiring generations of readers and librarians.

The £2,000 transformation is at the heart of Charles Dickens Infants. The library now boasts a cheery sea theme, book displays for each year group, a new range of texts and a dedicated librarian, is now one of the most popular areas in the school.

Dozens of pupils who celebrated the library’s opening with the help of Southsea-based illustrator and children’s writer Neal Layton, are now all proud owners of library cards.

The facility will be open to parents who can pick out books with their children to read at home.

Molly Wylie, six, and Macey Blackman, seven, are training to be lunchtime librarians.

Molly said: ‘I love the new library – it has so many great books. I want to take them all home!

‘I never used to visit the library before because it was tiny and it looked dull, but now I go every day. I can’t wait to be a proper librarian, when I can look after the library at break time and make book recommendations to other children.

‘Reading is lots of fun, and my favourite types of books are scary ones.’

Macey, who enjoys Roald Dahl and comedian David Walliams stories, said: ‘The decorations and new books are brilliant and make you want to read all the time.

‘I never took books out of the library, but now I will every week so I can read at home on my own or with my mum.

‘I love stories that make me laugh and have really good descriptions which bring the characters to life.

‘Reading is so important because it teaches you lots of things.

‘We’re very lucky to have such an amazing library which we will all look after very well.’

Caroline Gough, is literacy leader at the school, which has signed up to The News campaign Read All About It.

She said: ‘We hope this will raise the profile of reading.

‘We’ve gone from having an under-used collection of books in a corridor to a beautiful lending library.

‘We want the children to read for pleasure and to be life-long readers.’

Kirsty Williams, library manager, added: ‘The children are all so excited, it’s like a little cosy cubbyhole.

‘What’s wonderful is that the parents are on board too.’