Monthly Archives: May 2017

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My Concerns with Book Lender

I saw a tweet by Barbara Band last night that got my hackles up:

I started mentally composing this post then fell asleep as it was rather late and woke up this morning still annoyed. I feel (as do many of my colleagues) that this service is not necessarily a bad thing for areas that do not have Schools Library Services or possibly for schools that lack professional input into their library but the way they are going about belittling the work of librarians and teachers is really beyond the pale, I know of no professionals that would put out-of-date materials into a collection just to have something, we are better than that

Upon closer inspection, Book Lender is currently aimed at Primary Schools – this is a smart business move as Primary School Libraries are often run without a professional librarian and sometimes with limited teacher input.

Once this service has become established it is only a matter of time until it is extended to secondary schools which may put even more librarian jobs at risk, as with school budgets becoming ever tighter and the offer of targeted stock to fit in with lesson plans, head teachers may well decide that a professional librarian is a luxury that can be done away with.

It also appears that BookLender is a business run by Carillion, a company that is making inroads into running public library services for a number of local authorities. In the past Carillion has been criticised for running a blacklist against unionised workers, and colleagues who have worked in libraries taken over by this company have mentioned less than satisfactory working conditions.

Carillion were also in the running to take over my local authority’s library service but last I heard they had pulled out.

The privatisation of public library services has long been a major concern of mine and now corporate tentacles winding their way into school library services is widening my concern.

Towel Day

Towel Day is an annual celebration on the 25th of May, as a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams (1952-2001). On that day, fans around the universe carry a towel in his honour.

I have created three posters to celebrate Towel Day, the designs are mine but the words are by Douglas Adams himself.

To download click on the images and save.

Quirk Books Authors Out and About

Love books and pop culture? Have a hankering for something geeky to do next Bank Holiday weekend but no firm plans?

Fret ye not true believers because Quirk Books have an action-packed offering!

For you!

First up why not stop off at MCM ComicCon London? One minute hanging with Archie and the gang from Riverdale or having your photo taken with The (Incredible) Hulk; the next, camping out in Author Corner listening to awesome women in publishing talk about comics, amazing women in history, and twisted fairy-tales.

http://www.mcmcomiccon.com/london/attractions/author-corner/

If that does not exhaust you then grab a date and head on over to the book heaven that is Waterstones Piccadilly on Monday, 29th May for an evening of book-related chat and wine, plus the chance to grab swag and win awesome prizes.

https://www.waterstones.com/events/bookpop-with-ashley-poston-hope-norton-and-sam-maggs/london-piccadilly

Please note that Quirk Books will not accept responsibility for overstimulated minds and having too much fun in one go but they will be secretly pleased by this!

The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship by Philip Pullman & Fred Fordham

Today, the 18th May 2017 marks the 156th anniversary of the ship that became known as the Mary Celeste, the ship that achieved notoriety when it was discovered adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Azores Islands, on December 5, 1872.


Another mystery ship is the Mary Alice – the ghostly ship whose crew travels the seven seas unbound by time first set sale in the first issue of the sadly scuppered weekly comic The DFC, then, as now it was penned by the inimitable Philip Pullman. The original artist was the phenomenal John Aggs; when it took to the high seas in the pages of The Phoenix it was redrawn by the equally talented (but new to me) Fred Fordham. The Pullman/Fordham collaboration is now available as a graphic novel, produced by David Fickling Books and the Phoenix Comic.

I grew up of tales of ghostly ships and spectral schooners, living as I did on the coast with a father who was an ex-navy man and The Mystery of The Ghost Ship reawakened that part of me that thrilled to nautical tales of hair-raising mystery and derring-do. With a no-nonsense heroine teamed up with a mysterious boy and a whole crew of time-displaced sailors all trying to get back to their timelines and survive an all-powerful foe determined to destroy them for reasons of his own.

This book is a thing of beauty, a hardback with a beautiful full-colour dust jacket that hides a gorgeous navy blue cover emblazoned with a mysterious, glowing Macguffin. Speaking as a somewhat obsessive book collector – the outward appearance of items that I choose to keep on my shelves is incredibly important – almost as important as the art and story contained on the pages within and believe me when I say the reread potential in this tome is incredibly high – the story works just as well huddled up in bed under the duvet at midnight with a torch (my favourite reading location) as it does on a bright summer day at the seaside!

#TeenLibrarianMonthy May 2017

Download (PDF, Unknown)

General Election 2017 Display Resources

As you all know we have a snap General Election on the way on the 8th June, I am currently working on some resources for my students. The first three are posters that you can download below by clocking on the images and saving the A3 .pdf files that they link to. Other materials will be uploaded here once they are ready.

#StarWarsDay Library Posters

As everyone is no doubt aware Thursday is Star Wars Day as it is May the Fourth, I have observed it faithfully for a few years and this year I have designed two posters for the day but ones that can be used on every other day of the year as well!

To grab copies just click on the images below to save an A3 .pdf copy of each.

rebellion poster1.png

sith poster1.png

You can also download the classic Darth Vader I find your lack of interest in reading… disturbing! poster here