Library first with free online service to help kids love reading

Wimbledon has become the first borough to offer a free interactive online reading service in the library to help children aged 4-12 years develop a genuine love of reading and libraries

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Literacy issues are at an all-time high both in Wimbledon and across the UK with an average of 1 in 4 children leaving primary school at low literacy levels.

The number of children aged 5-10 years who had used a library in the previous seven days fell by a quarter, according to a survey by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2015.

Setting up here in Wimbledon above the Wimbledon Library, an Australian company is making its mark by helping Wimbledon residents as well as a growing amount of residents around London and the UK, by providing interesting and exciting interactive e-books for children aged 4–12 years.

Since releasing its package for libraries at the end of 2015, Ziptales has been rapidly taken up by local councils as part of their library systems, helping both with literacy levels and helping kids gain the confidence to pick up and read a book from their local library.

According to the National Literacy Trust, when using interactive e-books, boys in a period of 4 months, had their reading levels increased by an average of 210%, while girls increased by 180%. 

At the same time, the percentage of boys who felt that reading was difficult almost halved from 28.0% to 15.9%, and twice as many boys also thought reading was ‘cool’, increasing from 34.4% before to 66.5% afterwards.

Steve Auchettl, Ziptales Manager here in Wimbledon says, “Merton were the first in the UK to take Ziptales on board as a council, after we came across from Australia. We worked with Merton council to tailor make and develop our service to be ideal for libraries and have maximum value for both parents and children.”

Ziptales offers over 500 fun interactive stories, activities, games and more. From adventure stories to yucky stories about slime soup, Ziptales caters for all interest levels of children.

As a Merton resident, if you are a member of a local library, you can access Ziptales 100% for free as part of your library membership.  

This can be accessed from any computer or device such as an iPad.

To find out how to login, go to and follow the Merton links, or visit your local library and ask a librarian for more information.

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