FOUR Gloucestershire libraries have been shortlisted for the David Vaisey Prize, which encourages people of all ages to read more.

The prize is named after David Vaisey CBE, the son of a Tetbury gardener who devoted his life to libraries. He won scholarships to Rendcomb and to Oxford and became the head of its Bodleian Library.

The libraries in Bream, Longlevens, Brockworth, and Tuffley and Matson will now vie for the top prize of £5,000. The three runners-up will each receive £1,000.

They were chosen from 20 entries from libraries across Gloucestershire.

The initiative has been launched with support from the Gloucestershire Library Services, the Booker Prize Foundation, the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire, playwright Alan Bennett, writer Jilly Cooper and leading Gloucestershire law firm, Willans LLP among others.

Bream Library was shortlisted for its imaginative initiative to increase the number of children to visit the library. It runs a regular LEGO club.

Longlevens Library was singled out for its magical reading space with a focus on Roald Dahl. They are now creating new quiet spaces based on popular children’s books.

Tuffley and Matson Libraries were shortlisted for its Opening Doors initiative with Gloucester Academy. The Year 7 students visit Tuffley library weekly and the library team provide talks and support.

Matson Library staged a Shakespeare production for the students and also worked closely with Gloucester Academy to arrange visits from students.

Brockworth Community Library won praise for its Community Hub which provides a range of events and activities for the young and the older people.

Broadcaster Anne Robinson chairs the charity’s judging panel, with Marianne Hinton, Cheltenham Music Festival chair Edward Gillespie, author Jamila Gavin, and Trevor Lee, head of literacy at Kingshill School in Cirencester. 

The winner will be announced at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 8.