Libraries take part in the Summer Reading Challenge with free activities for families

Join the Summer Reading Challenge from Saturday 15 July.

The challenge begins Saturday 15 July 2023, and runs until mid-September. The challenge is simple; children aged between 4 – 11 read six books, or other literature of their choice, over the summer holidays and come back to the library to share what they’ve read. There is also a mini challenge for children aged 0-3 years.

Children can read fiction, fact books, poetry, joke books or picture books. Those that complete the challenge will be entered into a prize draw for a Kindle eReader generously donated by The Cumberland Building Society. The winner will also receive a fantastic certificate to display with pride.

Signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge is quick, easy and free. To sign up you need to be a library member. If you or your child is not yet a member you can join for free at or and get instant access to the library service’s online resources – including thousands of books, magazines and comics.

To join the Summer Reading Challenge visit your local library to sign up and receive your Ready, Set, Read collector folder, collect stickers and incentives along the way.

Borrowbox is also free to library members and is a great way to get free access to Audiobooks and eBooks that can all be used to complete the Challenge.

Some libraries will also be hosting launch events to celebrate this years Summer Reading Challenge with stories, colouring and games. Find out more about the launch events on Eventbrite.

The Summer Reading Challenge is an annual national event, presented by The Reading Agency and funded by Arts Council England. It encourages children to set themselves a reading challenge to help prevent the summer reading ‘dip’. This year’s theme ‘Ready, Set, Read!’ promotes a collection of sports and games themed books. Children can access extra content online at the Summer Reading Challenge website.

An exciting addition to the 2023 Summer Reading Challenge is Active Cumbria’s Season 7 Street Tag competition. Children can visit libraries this summer and help their school climb the Street Tag Schools Leaderboard by scanning the QR codes inside participating libraries and earning bonus points.  Download the Street Tag app.

Cllr Virginia Taylor, Cabinet Member of Sustainable Communities and Localities for Westmorland and Furness Council, said:

“Our Libraries are amazing places! You can go on free visits to other countries and planets, to the past and the future. You can find out about all sorts of real things – stars, birds and dinosaurs – in your own way. You can feel what it’s like to be someone else, somewhere else, an animal or a magical creature. Everyone knows reading can help you do well at school but it’s fun anyway – books beat boredom and help you feel good and have great ideas of your own!

“For parents and carers, nothing could be better for every aspect of children’s development than reading with you (and later on their own). In our Libraries reading is always free and fun for grownups and children alike and the Summer Reading Challenge will make it even more exciting.”

Cllr Anne Quilter, Executive Member of Vibrant and Healthy Places for Cumberland Council, said:

“The Summer Reading Challenge is a great activity to keep children reading during the school holidays, and the chance to win one of the fantastic prizes is a real bonus!

“Don’t forget the libraries’ digital offer too, which provides access to thousands of eBooks and eAudiobooks for free to your smart device from the comfort of your home.”

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