The Children's and Young People's Promise

.ASCEL's Children and Young People's Promise sets out the public library services offer to children and young people.


  • Every child and young person visiting a public library is inspired by an exciting accessible environment which makes reading for pleasure irresistible.
  • They have the opportunity to engage with imaginative digital opportunities through public libraries, building their skills, knowledge and creativity.
  • They will find a range of inclusive and diverse fiction and non-fiction books and other information resources to support growing confidence in literacy and formal and informal learning.
  • They are able to take part in a wide range of literacy and cultural experiences including reading and book-based activities.
  • They are actively involved in decisions about service developments and are offered opportunities to volunteer.
  • They are supported through library services and activities to improve their health and wellbeing.

The Promise covers children and young people from birth to eighteen and sets out the “library journey” that children should experience as they grow. It also highlights how the Promise links to the national public library Universal Offers




Public Libraries welcome children from the very earliest months, helping parents and carers to support their child as they grow and learn.  The Children’s Library Journey: Early Years demonstrates the work libraries do to underpin this important area.

 (January 2019)


ASCEL's Children's Promise: Self Assessment Tool

This self-assessment tool will enable library services to measure their children’s provision against the statements in ASCEL’s Children’s Promise.

This assessment can either be used service-wide or for specific libraries. Version 1 (Blue heading) is intended for Service-wide assessment and Version 2 (Yellow heading) is for specific libraries.

You will need to decide how frequently it should be carried out. We suggest annually.

(June 2019)