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A virtual library has opened for children in England

By January 24, 2021Libraries, News

Children in England have been offered the use of free online library access during 2021.

As the pandemic rages on in the UK, and many children are out of school, a virtual library has been set up for remote learning where children will be able to access books online free.

Internet classroom Oak National Academy, funded by the Department for Education, created the library after schools moved to remote learning for the majority of pupils until February half-term.

With the help from The National Literacy Trust, the online library will provide one book a week, and each title is written by a chosen ‘author of the week’.

The scheme was created in hopes that it would improve particularly disadvantaged young readers’ access to e-books and audiobooks.

Oak National Academy has so far provided over 28 million lessons since the 4th of January, and only in the last month 4.1 million pupils have accessed its resources.

Matt Hood, principal of Oak National Academy, said: “It’s incredible to be able to add to our offer something vital for children’s literacy and their mental wellbeing.”


Jacqueline Wilson is the first author whose book is free to access for a week

The chief executive of the National Literacy Trust, Jonathan Douglas, said: “Many children’s literacy skills were profoundly affected by the first lockdown and school closures. We will do everything in our power to support children, families and teachers during this new lockdown period.”

On the 17th of January, the first book to feature was Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s The Story Of Tracy Beaker, which the children could access for free and only for one week.

Dame Jacqueline fully supports the scheme and said: “I think it’s vitally important that every child should have an opportunity to access books.”

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