You may have seen us mention a few months ago that we had some very special visitors drop into our office: a class of 27 children from a local school, the FIRST full class we’ve ever had come and see us. Since then, we’ve had several similar visits, all as part of the North Norfolk Stories project which you can read more about here.
One of our librarians, Harriet, has written a summary of how we were involved, which you can read below:
Put a class of 30 pupils among a collection of over 90,000 children’s books, let them choose one to borrow for the term, and see them go! This was the first time we had ever had whole classes of children down in our department at County Hall, and we hope it won’t be the last, as after visits from five schools we all agree we had fun and are keen to invite more.
This all began with a project from North Norfolk Museums, called North Norfolk Stories, with the aim of encouraging more engagement with local history, and with the option for primary schools in that area to take on either a maritime or railways theme. We at School Library Service teamed up with the Norfolk Record office to offer half a day of activities in each department, as we are on the same site. Five schools came during the time of the project, most KS2 and one KS1 group. Children spent time with the Record Office looking at census returns and original documents, then after lunch came (carefully and avoiding all the building works which were still ongoing) down to our department to do a craft activity with the help of some relevant local history books, and to be let loose – but quietly and with guidance! – among the book stacks.
Our aims were to help in the overall objective of the project with our local studies and history resources, to encourage children to do some simple research by means of skimming and scanning and using Dewey classification if necessary, while enjoying some team work in producing posters, and to browse and select a book which they would really enjoy.
We asked the schools to give us evaluations of their day, and below are a few of the typical comments:
“Can we go there again?”
“It was a brilliant trip plus I got a new Tom Gates book (yay) also it was interesting”
“I’ve had an amazing day. I loved that we got to choose a book to read as well”
“The children were amazed to see so many books, greatly enjoyed the story sessions and choosing books to bring back to school…We’d love to come again”
And for us, it was a great opportunity to work with museums and the Norfolk Record Office, and to see how viable it was to bring children to our department here at County Hall. If you are interested in a visit, get in touch.