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Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 24th January 2011.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many libraries offer reading groups for young families; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

This information is not held by the Department. However, according to The Reading Agency (TRA) report Reading Groups in Libraries: Mapping Survey Findings (September 2008):

"the most popular type of reading group linked to libraries is the adult group, of which the survey estimates there are 4,546 in England and Wales. Other popular groups include Chatterbooks groups for children up to 11 years (an estimated 550), teen or young people's groups (238), visually impaired people's groups (134) and women's groups (113)."

Outreach work like this helps libraries to attract new audiences and is a valuable example of how libraries can and do play an important role in delivering priority policies like literacy improvement, support for families, health and happiness development and building community cohesion.

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