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Scotland’s Schools Set For Library Energiser


Survey of parents in Scotland reveals 42 per cent have at some point been concerned about school facilities

ScottishPower Foundation will celebrate its partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival this week by launching Library Energiser, a brand new initiative giving primary schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Lothians the opportunity to improve their reading provisions with a £2,000 investment and their very own book festival.

The initiative comes after a new survey of parents of children aged four and over in Scotland found that over 4 in 10 (42%) had at some point been concerned about facilities in their child’s school, while 96 per cent of Scottish residents view a well-equipped library as important to a child’s education.

The survey also revealed strong bias towards real books, with 85 per cent of those parents surveyed saying it was important for their children to read books in a paper format, as opposed to reading digitally.

In partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival, ScottishPower Foundation is inviting primary schools across Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Lothians to submit an image of their current library or reading area along with 100 words on how they would like the space to feel in the future.

The two winning entries will each receive a £2,000 investment for their reading provisions, along with their very own mini book festival, featuring a visit from one of Scotland’s leading authors.

Launching the new initiative, acclaimed children’s author Vivian French, said: “Reading spaces are a truly wonderful idea. They say: we recognise that reading is an important occupation; we respect your right to read (enjoy!); and if you're reading a book, you deserve to be comfortable.”

ScottishPower and now the ScottishPower Foundation is marking its tenth year of sponsoring Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Ann Loughrey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at ScottishPower Foundation, said:

“We’ve enjoyed an extremely successful partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival over the years and we’re delighted to mark our ten years together with Library Energiser; a brand new initiative that spotlights schools’ reading environments.

“Reading provisions for Scotland’s young people are clearly important to parents all over the country and we look forward to celebrating with them when our Library Energiser winners are chosen later this year.”

Janet Smyth, Children’s Programme and Education Director at Edinburgh International Book Festival, said:

“We rely so much on teachers and librarians to bring schools to experience and enjoy the Book Festival and this is a wonderful opportunity to support them and give children of all ages and backgrounds access to both contemporary and classic authors.”

Professor Christopher Chapman, Director of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at the University of Glasgow, said:

"There is considerable evidence to support the claim that a positive learning environment plays an important role in children's development. This is equally important at home, in school, and in a library.

“A safe, calm and ordered atmosphere that stimulates children to engage with books and other resources that motivate them to ask questions, challenge assumptions, to be creative and develop their ideas is a prerequisite for maximising our children’s potential. In fact, access to a positive learning environment and books should be considered a basic human right, equally available to all our children whether they are growing up in Hyndland in Glasgow or Helmand Provence in Afghanistan.

"In the early nineteenth century Robert Owen, the visionary social reformer, recognised the importance of a dedicated learning environment and in so doing improved the life chances of many children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The University of Glasgow’s Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change is built on his vision and is committed to creating a level playing field where all children irrespective of their background can achieve their full potential. Therefore, we welcome the ScottishPower Foundation ‘Library Energiser’ initiative, which strives to broaden access to libraries and books, and ultimately to support enhancing the achievement of all of our children."

Entries should be submitted by email to by Friday 26 September, 2014. Terms and conditions for the competition are available at


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,003 adults of which 160 were from the Lothians. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th - 11th August 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

For further information or additional images, please contact Chris Bone / Emma Paul, Stripe Communications, on 0131 561 8620 or 07540 372528.
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About Vivian French

Vivian was first published in 1990, a natural progression after careers in the theatre, in counselling and in storytelling. Since then, she has established an enviable reputation as a writer of integrity and imagination, a writer illustrators love to work with, and a writer her readers want to meet.

Despite publishing well over 200 titles including ‘The Tales From The Five Kingdoms’, ‘The Tiara Club’ and ‘The Draglins’, Vivian has led a very busy life away from her keyboard conducting writing workshops for both children and adults, teaching at Edinburgh College of Art, and mentoring new writers and illustrators.

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