A librarian in Douglas has reiterated the importance of libraries on the island for young people.

Jan McCartney, who is the librarian at the Henry Bloom Noble library in Duke Street, Douglas, said that youngsters who are encouraged to read at a young age often perform better at school.

Ms McCartney also praised the community aspect of the library, saying: 'It’s a community space where a lot of people come to actually borrow books, but some people just come to sit, enjoy and relax, and that’s absolutely fine.

'It’s probably one of the only public places that you can just walk in at 8:30am and leave at at 5pm - nobody ever asks you why. It’s here for everyone in the community.

'Obviously libraries are a place to access books and literature. The sooner children are introduced to books, the more successful they’re going to be.

'There’s lots of research that says if children are regular library members, their academic success is higher than those children who aren't.

'We have got board books for babies, we’ve got picture books for younger children. We’ve then got this fantastic diverse range of fiction and non-fiction that will help educational needs.'

Joseph Coelho, the 'children's laureate' for Waterstones across the UK, said: 'Reading is a wonderful thing to do. We know time and time again from various studies that it helps with lifelong opportunities as well as it just being fun.

'It broadens horizons and you can lose yourself in a book, but you can also find out about the world on your doorstep and beyond. I think it’s vital that we encourage children to read and to become lifelong readers and learners.

'Libraries are the hubs of communities, so I think it’s vital that kids become familiar and comfortable with libraries as early as possible. That’s key because if a child feels comfortable in the library space it means they feel comfortable to go there and ask for help should they need it.'