Monthly Archives: March 2015

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Recommended by a Librarian: Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood

The Recommending Librarian this week is: Sarah Watters

What are you recommending?

My recommendation is Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.


Why have you recommended it?

Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite writers ever. The obsession started when I read The Handmaid’s Tale as part of my English Literature ‘A’ Level many years ago. I adore dystopian literature, and this, for me, this is dystopia at it’s very best. Atwood has created an eerie world that we learn about through the fantastic Snowman, seemingly the only human survivor of the apocalypse.

If you’ve enjoyed Hunger Games, Matched or any other YA dystopia and you want more of a challenge I would recommend you give this a try. The best part it, it’s part of a trilogy, and there’s a TV show currently in production, so something to look forward to when you’ve read the books.

Reading is Magic: a Librarian Game

A Library Live Action Role Playing (LARP) Game for one player (the Librarian) and a class of students

Stories are magic, and as all readers of magic and fantasy know that magic is capricious and that not all spells will work on all people.

In this game the Librarian plays a magic user (wizard/witch/warlock/mage/other magic user) that must get all the children in the library under his or her power. This is accomplished by getting all students reading quietly.


The aim of the game is to get all students to be entranced by what they are reading.

The books or magazines do not need to be fantasy or magic-based, any genre will do.

The goal of every student reading does not to be accomplished in one lesson (if you can though that is great).

Over the weeks get to know the students in the Library lesson, their likes and dislikes and using this information get them reading.

Once all the students are reading you must keep them engaged with what they are reading form week to week.

The end goal is to imbue all students with a love of reading.


One point per student that enjoys reading.

Five points per student that struggles to focus on their reading material once they are reading.

One point per every minute all students are focusing on what they are reading.

The game can be played alone or against librarians in other libraries, each player is expected to tally their points honestly.

The Write Stuff 2015


The Sunday Times in partnership with international best-selling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford is asking girls to write a short, fictional story with a central theme of ‘friendship’.

Barbara Taylor Bradford, international bestselling novelist:
“Friendships are hugely exciting but also can be complicated, and sometimes difficult.
All sorts of things can happen between friends – from rivalry, jealousy and competitiveness right through to someone undertaking an amazing act of kindness that helps a friend in a time of need. Whatever the scenario, there must always be a resolution to the story to satisfy the reader. If you don’t have trouble or a problem, you have no drama and you don’t pull in the reader. The theme can be quite dramatic in a personal way. It has to have emotions and real feelings.”

Barbara Taylor Bradford and The Sunday times are asking girls to write a short, fictional story with a central theme of ‘friendship’.

It should run to a maximum of 1,000 words, not including the title and be submitted online by Friday 3 July 2015.

For full details of the competition and to enter, follow this link:

The Write Stuff

Teen Librarian Monthly March 2015

Download (PDF, 329KB)

Recommended by a Librarian: The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein

The Recommending Librarian this week is: Elena Morris

What are you recommending?

The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein

What is it?

It’s a psychological horror set in a girls’ boarding school.The story follows an unnamed narrator as she sees her friend Lucy becom closer and closer to new arrival, Ernessa. Strange things start happening and Lucy starts getting ill, and the narrator must ask the question: is Ernessa a vampire, or is she just going mad?

Why have you recommended it?

It’s probably my number one favourite book of all time and recommended for those who are tired of sparkly vampires and want a beautifully-written horror with an unreliable narrator.

Wintersmith by Steeleye Span & Sir Terry Pratchett

In 2013 Electric Folk band Steeleye Span released Wintersmith, an album based on Sir Terry Pratchett’s YA Discworld novel of the same name.

Listen to the full album here: Wintersmith

Use it to introduce young people to folk rock and the works of Terry Pratchett if they have not already discovered him.

Terry Pratchett

I was 12 the first time I picked up a Discworld book. Equal Rites, the hardback with the wonderful Josh Kirby cover.

I read it in several days – I was young and had to go to school and do other things that prevented me from finishing it in one or even two goes. Reading it was like a lightbulb going off in my head, I can still remember sitting in the kitchen with my mother as I finished the final page, then turning to her and saying: “I loved this, I wish he would write more books!”

Moments later my mother took the book, flipped to the front papers of the book and pointed out that there were two other Discworld books.

That was the single happiest moment of my reading life to that point.

His books brought me great joy over the years, and one moment of paranoia when I thought the series was coming to an end – it was Pyramids the Book of Going Forth and I convinced myself that he was going to end it with that one, no idea why (it had something to do with the subtitle). His books got me through some tough times as a teenager, they made me laugh and cheered me up during some miserable times.

There are still a handful of his books that I have yet read but I am saddened that his tales are now done.

I met him twice but never knew him as a person. I will miss him.

Recommended by a Librarian: Smile by Raina Telgemeier

The Recommending Librarian this week is: Clare Hemsworth

What are you recommending?

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

What is it?

It’s an autobiographical graphic novel about a girl who loses her front teeth when just about to enter high school.

Why have you recommended it?

It is perfect for any teenager coping with braces for the first time but also deals with body image, the ups and downs of friendship and family issues. Sisters and Drama by the same author are also must-reads.

Julianne Moore for School Libraries

South African Library Week 2015

Libraries in South Africa are gearing up to celebrate the 2015 SA Library Week from the 14 March 2015 – 21 March 2015.

The theme Connect @ your library resonates with the belief that libraries connect people to each other, to knowledge and information, to print and electronic resources, to technology and professional support.

Libraries must take the lead in being active community partners towards developing an informed and educated nation. This means providing access to information about health & hygiene, economic empowerment, poverty eradication and education in desired spaces that foster lifelong learning and knowledge exchange. This is further enhanced by skilled and proficient library staff who connect their communities to relevant and appropriate information & knowledge resources, emerging technologies, as well as dynamic and innovative programmes & services for personal and community development.

Libraries are fast emerging as technologically enabled environments, which provide individuals the opportunity to connect to:

  • The Internet
  • Databases, online learning & research tools
  • Friends, families & colleagues via social networking sites
  • Employment opportunities
  • Digital libraries, which include institutional repositories
  • Emerging mobile technologies such as tablets, e-Readers, smartphones, etc
    This theme also highlights the importance of library practitioners connecting with each other, across all sectors, for the sharing of skills, best practices, global trends and national priorities, so that a strong cohort of professionals emerge with a common understanding and vision for the development of an informed nation.

    South African Library Week is organised by the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)

    Check out the Blown Away by Books Festival being celebrated by the Libraries of the South Peninsula during SALW 2015: