So where were you yesterday? If the answer is watching telly eating Haribo Star Mix then lose five points. If the answer was in the local library celebrating National Libraries Day then Yay! Wahoo! Well done, you! Me too! How did you celebrate? Our tiny village library was heaving; people of all ages turned up to share the event. We had storytelling and refreshments and readings. People left messages about why they loved their library. One of the library volunteers had even made this gorgeous gingerbread cake:
Celebrating NLD13 Mary Berry sty-lee
The events had all been devised by Janet, the librarian. Janet, seen here to my left, has done so much to galvanise Collingham Library over the past two years that I was delighted to be invited to join in with all the activities she had planned.
Back: Janet (librarian), Helena (guest author and library user), Sharon (library assistant)
Middle: Holly from Queen Eleanor School, Harby, Charlotte and Alfie (John Blow Primary, Collingham)
Front: Hanna, Lucy, Holly, Elise (John Blow, Collingham)
The pupils in the photograph are all from local schools. They read extracts from their favourite books or from a book that brought back happy memories from when they were tiny and then talked about why they loved their library. The books they chose were wide ranging which reflected what avid readers they all were.
Holly (middle row) chose Mr Gum by Andy Stanton. Charlotte a non-fiction book on snakes, Alfie read an extract from one of the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. Hanna went for Spot by Eric Hill, Lucy read two poems from Chris White’s Don’t put Dave in the Microwave, Holly went for David Walliams’ Mr Stink and Elise chose The Worst thing About my Sister by Jacqueline Wilson. I read The Snoops Family again as I knew from previous experience it would go down well with all ages. We all read beautifully and the packed library all listened beautifully too.
The doomed candle-blowing antics of the Snoop family can be found, along with all sorts of other treasures, in A Little, Aloud.
Lucy’s chose Don’t Put Dave in the Microwave because Chris White had visited the school and she said when she read the poems she could imagine him reciting them. Author visits, folks – every school should have them.
A poem a day keeps the gloom away – fact
All the readers were fantastic but a special mention has to be given to Elise (end of the front row on the right-hand side of the photo). Like all the children who volunteered to read, Elise uses the library a lot and participated in the Summer Reading Challenge last year. In fact she achieved the incredible feat of completing the Summer Reading Challenge before the summer holidays had started – that’s going some.
So I can safely say National Libraries Day was a huge success in one small village in England and I know from Twitter there were hundreds of similar events going on up and down the country. Let’s keeps the momentum going. Hug your librarians! Visit your libraries! Borrow books until your arms buckle… or something. Use ’em or lose ’em folks – it’s as simple – and scary – as that.