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Girls use digital skills to boost classmates’ reading

In China, girls are gaining valuable digital skills while managing their school libraries and supporting their classmates to read.

Girls using library management software in China
Encouraging girls to manage their school libraries is helping them learn key digital skills and make books more accessible for their peers.

Join the movement for girls' rights Our research shows that in Yunnan, Ningxia and Shaanxi provinces, less than 1 in 3 children read books outside of school. In addition, although many school have their own library rooms, nearly two-thirds of children seldom or never read books in them.

This is often because teachers don’t have the knowledge or means to catalogue the books correctly and track when they have been borrowed. As a result, the libraries are inaccessible and don’t encourage children to read.

Accessible libraries and books

Girls reading books in a school library
Girls' education is benefiting from more accessible libraries.

In response, Plan International China has initiated a project that supports children to run their own school libraries alongside local partner organisation 1kgbook.

I think information technology is important and will be very helpful in the future

As part of the project, children, especially girls, are encouraged to become volunteer members of library management teams. They are provided with and trained to use child-friendly book management software and barcoding equipment so they can create simple library administration systems that make books easily available to their peers.

Valuable digital skills for girls

Girls borrowing books from a school library in China
Girls who volunteer to become members of library management teams learn key digital skills that will benefit them in the future.

Hui, a girl from Yunnan Province, is a volunteer on her school’s library management team. “It is really incredible that I can use the bar code scanning gun to enter dates and track books,” she says.

“My volunteer work is so cool! I think information technology is important and will be very helpful in the future for my jobs. I can type 60 characters per minute now and know how to use search engines to look for solutions when there are problems.”

Fang, another member of the library management team says, “When I grow up, I want to develop some great software to help people read more.”

Learn more about our global work to help girls learn digital skills