INSET, a Display Trip Away & Friday Read #10!

I know we seem to say this every week, but the past seven days have been especially manic- in the best possible way!

On Wednesday we were once again joined by the wonderful Anne Harding who led another full-day session entitled ‘Making Reading Attractive to Pupils with SEN at KS2 & KS3’. This course first took place just before the summer holidays and we were overwhelmed with how positively our schools and their staff responded- so much so that we decided to run it again! As predicted, the event proved as popular as the first time round (we even had a waiting list again!) and was well received by those who attended. We’d like to thank Anne for all her work and hopefully we’ll be able to work together again in the future- that’s if she’d like to visit our city again! Anne has also written a blog about her experiences with us which can be found here.

On the same day as this INSET, one of the newest members of our team was in Birmingham at a course run by Peters Books & Furniture, the main supplier of the lovely stock that lines the shelves in our office. Here are her thoughts on the day’s activities:

‘On a dull and rainy Wednesday morning, I made my way to Birmingham and after a little map-related confusion, ended up at Peters Warehouse on Bromsgrove Street. It being my first visit and having heard a variety of good things from the rest of my team, I was pleased to find that my expectations were most certainly met- what a place!!

Heading up the stairs and into the peters bookshelvesshowroom felt a bit like walking into a book-filled Narnia and it took every ounce of my being to not get lost in the aisles gawping at all the brilliant things they have on offer.

I was there for an event designed to give Display tips and ideas to those involved in Libraries and it’s safe to say that I came away with a plethora of brilliant thoughts. There were other SLS’s present, as well as Librarians from Schools and public Libraries across the country- a wide mix! It was great to meet other colleagues, especially those eager to see what tricks Peters have up their sleeves for utilizing display space and promoting books in and out of library spaces.

One of the best aspects of the day was the way in which conference-style presentation was combined with hands-on display production- we all got to put what we’d learnt into practice! After an initial session with Alec Williams, whose wealth of knowledge was a great starting point for the day, we were given the expert advice of James Wilson, the man responsible for Peters’ in-house display work (an example of which you can see below!)

Peters History Display

After talking us through the way he approaches displays within the showroom, he gave us practical advice and sneaky low-budget tips on how to produce displays which can provide a powerful impact without taking hours to produce and costing the earth. James’s insight was worth the trip alone and his enthusiasm for his job was evident!

Before and after lunch, we were given the opportunity to produce some of our own displays using the techniques James had showcased and I for one loved being able to put something together- even if it did struggle from an initial bout of inspiration block! These crafting sessions were also an excellent opportunity to work alongside other delegates at the event as we were grouped together and encouraged to see what we could come up with. It was great to compare our experiences, swap notes, and gain insight into how we all operate within our various job roles.

Jack Display Dragon Display

After a final Q&A and whizz round the showroom, I left Peters feeling incredibly inspired with a brain full to the brim of things I can do with our display spaces not just in the SLS office but on the van too! And who knows, maybe I’ll even be able to share some of my new-found tips with schools in the future…!’

Peters themselves have written about the event Apryl attended in their latest issue of eGazette, so look out for that!

And last but not least…our friday read! moon forestMoon Forest by Patricia MacCarthy has been in our office for a while but we’re very obsessed with it- and rightfully so, as it’s just made its way onto the nominations list for the 2014 Greenaway prize, details of which were announced this week.

Poetic in language and illustrative style, this is a look at the very active animal night life in a forest. The style is reminiscent of Mark Heald’s artwork and is sure to captivate readers young and old.

(MoonForest by Patricia MacCarthy, Frances Lincoln, £11.99, 9781847802835)

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