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Suffolk Libraries introduces new animal-themed library card for 0-5 year-olds

Suffolk Libraries Wordplay library card for 0-5 year-olds, featuring an owl, a duck and a fox

Libraries in Suffolk have introduced a new card design for pre-school children as part of a relaunch of their activities for young children and their parents/carers.

The card features a host of woodland creatures, headed by our new children's mascot Oona the Owl, whose name was chosen by our Facebook followers. It ties in with the launch of Wordplay, the new look and feel for the regular Baby Bounce, Tot Rock and Storytime sessions we hold across our libraries. The new name and artwork were officially unveiled at Newmarket Library's Tot Rock session on Thursday 24 October. Staff and Darwin the Chaco owl from Suffolk Owl Sanctuary came along to mark the occasion.

Hannah Foulstone, who managed the project on behalf of Suffolk Libraries, said: "We wanted to engage more with the community and provide a fun and interactive experience for the children that come along to our pre-school sessions, as well as support early childhood development. As another organisation that supports learning – and as our mascot is an owl! - the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary was a natural fit for working together."

Chris Astridge at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary said: "Suffolk Owl Sanctuary are delighted to be involved with the new Wordplay project and look forward to welcoming young visitors to S.O.S where they will see some amazing and unusual owls (and other birds of prey) which we are sure will add extra depth and texture to their reading as they first explore the wonderful world of books."

As part of this partnership, the owl sanctuary is offering free entry to 0-5 year-olds whose parents present their Suffolk Libraries children's card. This offer includes holders of the existing 'rocket' design.

Our library cards allow children to borrow books at their leisure and take advantage of our DVDs, eBooks and other eLibrary services. As of April this year, children’s fines were removed for late returns to make libraries more accessible and welcoming.

An independent impact report recently revealed that attending children's activities in libraries has a positive effect on children's speech development and confidence, and reduces isolation for the parents/carers who attend with them.

Visit our our pre-school activities page to find out about your local library's regular children's events. If your 0-5 year-old already has a library card, it will continue to work, but you can get a replacement with the new design by visiting any of our libraries.