Children’s library refurbished in time for this summer’s Big Friendly Read

Children’s library refurbished in time for this summer’s ‘Big Friendly Read’.

Launching on Saturday 16 July at Luton Central Library

Luton Central Library’s Children’s library, run by Luton Culture, has transformed with a recent refurbishment which has created a brighter, more welcoming space, just in time to launch this year’s Summer Reading Challenge ‘The Big Friendly Read’, which runs from Saturday 16 July to Saturday 10 September.

The refreshed library now features new iPad stands, vibrant furniture, a larger study space and more comfy seating. There is a dedicated area for teenagers, including a section called Shelf Help – a Reading Well collection for young people recommending expert endorsed books providing advice and information about key issues such as mental health, and an area for under 5s with star attraction ‘Chicchi’. Furthermore, improved guiding and more books displayed face-on makes it easier for children to find what they are looking for amongst the thousands of books, including new copies of all classic Roald Dahl titles.


The Children’s Library will be officially reopened by Roald Dahl’s BFG (Big Friendly Giant), when he visits the library himself on Saturday 16 July; you can join him for Breakfast, Snozzcumbers and Tea at Luton Central Library, 9.30am til 10.45am (he will also be appearing at Leagrave Library 11am til 11.45am, and Marsh Farm Library 2.15pm til 3pm). Children, young people and their families are invited to the re-launch and to join one of the three challenges that run over the summer holiday at all Luton Libraries. Sign up your children to enter ‘The Big Friendly Read’ Summer Reading Challenge 2016 for free; they can collect six limited edition collectors cards, featuring favourite Roald Dahl characters illustrated by Quentin Blake with ‘stinky ink’ for added smells.  Children who complete the challenge will receive a certificate and ‘golden’ medal!

Libraries Operations Manager, Sarah Barry, said “Throughout the summer holiday, there will be plenty of mischief and mayhem in Luton Libraries, from a visit by Horrid Henry, to the unusual creatures that Animal Edutainment will bring for children to hold. In addition to the Summer Reading Challenge, there is a special mini challenge for younger children, whilst older ones can get creative and take part in ImagiNation or even volunteer as a Reading Hack.”

Find out more at your local library, visit or call 01582 547418. The Children’s library is located on the ground floor of Luton Central Library, St. George’s Square, Luton, LU1 2NG


The Big Friendly Read – Summer Reading Challenge 2016 (Roald Dahl)
To take part in any challenge, children just need to have their own library card.
A library card is free. Taking part in the challenge is also free.
Children have until Saturday 10 September to complete the challenges.
Young volunteers, called ‘Reading Hacks’, will be on hand to help with all challenges  and talk with children about the books they have read.
The Summer Reading Challenge is a national campaign organised by the Reading Agency.

ImagiNation in Libraries
This summer ImagiNation is back with an exciting new activity: ‘Read Me! Awesome Art and Refreshing Reads’. ImagiNation is about reading for pleasure and making art inspired by books. Young people can join the activity in their library where they will collect their free ImagiNation log and choose from a huge supply of exciting books to borrow. The log offers a choice of activities designed by young people to get the imagination flowing, including the opportunity to contribute to a giant artwork and earn a collectable lanyard. Young participants can also share their art and ideas online at

ImagiNation has been developed by library authorities in the east of England, with young people involved in the design and development at every stage.

ImagiNation is a Grants for the Arts Funded project involving library services across the eastern region: Bedford Borough; Cambridgeshire; Central Bedfordshire; Essex; Hertfordshire; Luton; Norfolk; Peterborough; Southend; and Thurrock.

Shelf Help
The Shelf Help section is a Reading Well collection ‘for young people, which recommends expert endorsed books about mental health, providing advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams.

The books have all been recommended by young people and health professionals, and are available to borrow for free from public libraries.’

About Luton Culture
Luton Culture is an arts and culture charity which runs Wardown Park Museum, Stockwood Discovery Centre, The Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton’s Library Theatre, and Luton Libraries.  Luton Culture aims to provide high quality arts and culture experiences, to engage and inspire audiences.
Registered Charity No. 1122964

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