Summer Reading Challenge: Reach and Engagement 2023

We reached 699,208 children through the Summer Reading Challenge in 2023!

The 2023 Summer Reading Challenge: ‘Ready, Set, Read!’, delivered in partnership with libraries and the Youth Sport Trust, once again brought the fun and benefits of reading to families across the UK. We saw fantastic increases in children’s participation and engagement in the Challenge, with more children visiting their local library to take part, as well as more children taking part online.

Participating library branches (3,159) across 92% of library authorities in the UK saw a surge in the number of children’s book loans over the summer, supported by a cross-authority approach to delivery in 34 public libraries. This new partnership model ensured many more children and families living with disadvantage were able to take part, and helped contribute to an increase the number of children’s book loans over the summer.

More children took part in the Challenge than in the previous year

685,821 Children took part in Ready, Set, Read!, including:

  • 635,115 library starters (+4% on 2022)
  • 50,706 online starters (+7% on 2022)

13,387 additional packs were gifted by libraries to foodbanks, schools, HAF providers and others

More children joined their library and read more books during the holiday

  • 133,697 New library members (+42% on our pre-pandemic total in 2019)
  • 329,166 Children received a certificate of completion from their library or completed online (+6% on 2022)
  • 14,084,931 Total books, including eBooks and audio titles, read and issued through libraries (+10% on 2022)

1,106 parents and caregivers told us about the difference the Challenge made to their children who took part…

  • 80% read more over the summer holidays
  • 75% enjoy reading more
  • 72% feel more confident reading
  • 70% improved their reading skills
  • 58% visited the library more as a family
  • 52% felt more relaxed
  • 34% felt more connected to others
  • 43% felt better

Digital Reach

  • 3,706,561 page views and 657,232 visits to the Summer Reading Challenge website
  • 549,936 Total reach of posts on the Summer Reading Challenge Facebook page
  • 10,336 Total engagements with our Facebook posts

“I found the Summer Reading Challenge made me read more books and spend more nights reading books with my Dad. It made me feel relaxed.”

Boy, aged 8-9 years old

“My daughter is not a confident reader and is behind with her reading according to her age. It was great to be able to select books from the library that she felt confident with and to see her pleasure in finally achieving because of her reading.”

Parent/caregiver of girl, aged 6-7 years old

“A great initiative to motivate children to keep reading over the summer and promote library services(…) the activities we run alongside the challenge are the ideal opportunity for them to meet new friends and build their social skills.”

North Tyneside Libraries

Download the document.

The Reading Agency

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