All newborn children in Swindon will receive a library card, designed by illustrator Steve Antony, as part of a drive to tackle low literacy in the area.
Antony created the design, which features two characters from his Mr Panda series (Hodder Children’s Books), as part of his role as Patron of Reading in the Borough of Swindon.
Last month the National Literacy Trust designated Swindon as a “literacy hub” because by the age of five, the children from the poorest families in the town are on average 19 months behind children from the richest families in terms of vocabulary.
All newborns in Swindon are given a library card via the Registry Office, along with a leaflet explaining the benefits of using the library.
Antony, who lives in Swindon, said: “Designing Swindon Libraries new children’s library card was an honour. I can still remember the feel of the worn and tatty paper library card I once owned as a child: I never imagined in a million years I’d end up designing one. I feel lucky to have such a great rapport with Swindon Libraries, and I always enjoy meeting with the team to brainstorm new and creative ways of encouraging children to engage with their local library.”