The past five days will now be known as ‘the busiest week EVER, or at least the busiest week since the last time we claimed we were having an especially busy time.’
The madness began on Monday when two of team were at a training session coordinated by the Eastern Committee of the Youth Libraries Group (YLG). Entitled ‘Living Legends’, the day took place at the brilliant Cambourne Village College and was a great opportunity to see colleagues from other Local Authorities in our region. The programme was structured around the upcoming Summer Reading Challenge, with Sue Jones from the Reading Agency opening the day with a keynote in which she highlighted how Schools and Libraries can come together to encourage children and young people to build upon their reading throughout the summer and into the Autumn term. One of our own team even presented a workshop on Library Displays, inspired by her own experience of working within Public Libraries and here at the SLS!
On Tuesday the shortlists for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards were announced and there was much chatter in the office as we saw who’d made the cut. We’ll be reading all of the books and letting you know our thoughts ASAP, as well as getting involved with some schools who’ll also be taking part in the shadowing scheme. If you haven’t seen who made the final list, why not take a look here; it’s an interesting bunch!
On Wednesday, the whole office decamped to a Cliff Park Infant School and hosted a Picture Book Party in honour of Peter’s Book of the Year prize. With the help of local author and illustrator Peter Kavanagh, we played lots of party games inspired by some of the nominated books: an escaped penguin led a mass dance of watery musical statues and the children helped us put together the most disgusting sandwich ever which NOBODY wanted to eat!
At the end of the party, all 180 children took part in a vote to decide which of the titles they had enjoyed reading the most. The winner was Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’ ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ (a favourite in our office too!) which triumphed with 47 votes, followed closely by Helena Hancocks’ ‘Penguin in Peril’ with 44. The children were even given party bags as a reward for being so brilliant!
Yesterday saw the first school visit from our inaugural Author in residence, Dee Shulman, who we’re working with over the next few months. Along with one of our Librarians, Dee visited a school in Hunstanton and BBC Radio Norfolk came along to talk about how inspiring it can be for children to meet a real Author. In case you didn’t hear it this morning, you can listen again here: http://t.co/rHfDtwDekG(just jump to 17 minutes into the show to hear Dee and Mandy!)
Meanwhile, back in the office it was all hands on deck in preparation for our Developing a Rich Reading and Writing Culture Conference which is taking place AS WE SPEAK, featuring some brilliant speakers including poet Brian Moses, writer Kevin Crossley-Holland and of course the wonderful Dee Shulman! We’re very excited about it as you can tell and will be providing a full account of how things went as soon as we’ve recovered!
(Our friday reads feature is on a momentary hiatus but will return soon!)