The Reading Agency has been awarded a grant of close to £350k from the Big Lottery Fund to launch a project supporting disadvantaged teenagers.
The My Voice project will work with young people aged 11-19 who don't regularly use libraries, encouraging them to get involved in local branches and take part in volunteering opportunities. The project will run in 22 local authorities in London, the South East and the North of England, over three years.
Miranda McKearney, chief executive of The Reading Agency, said: "At a time of great pressure on libraries, this is a heartening vote of confidence for their vital community work."
McKearney said 30,000 disadvantaged young people would be helped by the programme. "Young people will be supported to get involved in running activities in their local libraries and youth spaces, develop ideas online, choose books and help inspire other young people to read," she added.