Author Archives: Caroline Fielding

Chartered School Librarian, CILIP YLG London Chair, Bea-keeper

IBBY

On Wednesday 20th June I went to the AGM of the UK branch of IBBY (the International Board of Books for Young people). IBBY was set up in 1953, after the devastation of WWII, to promote international understanding through children’s books. The work they do is fascinating, focussing on ensuring good quality and relevant work is published for children throughout the world. There is lots of information on the UK website about local and international projects and it is well worth perusing. It only costs £30 a year to join and support their work, as well as receiving a few personal perks, so I highly recommend you do!

The AGM was held at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, a beautiful building with an excellent mission – maintaining and growing the only UK archives of the diverse black history – and finished with a presentation from S.I. Martin about engaging young people using archive material, and demonstrating that writing can be an act of revolution. He showed us a spectrum of black backgrounds in the UK as far back as the 15C. Not only as slaves but also as princes and property owners, educated and not, having a voice and using it. His words reminded me of Geraldine McCaughrean’s impassioned plea at the CKG ceremony that vocabulary and language in writing for children in young people must be rich and wide. Steve said “we’re losing the ability to describe ourselves”, less able to incorporate histories and so embrace differences. It was definitely food for thought.

CKG18 awards winners

In case you somehow managed to miss the news yesterday, the CILIP CKG awards ceremony was held at the British Library.

It was a fantastic event that is well worth watching again for the eloquent speeches. I’m just going to share a link to clips of some of the event, and Jake Hope’s post about the awards and the winners.

Head to twitter and look over the #CKG18 hashtag to catch up on opinions and photos.

It marked the end of my two year judging tenure. It has been such a joy to be involved in the process, although really hard to not join in public conversations about the books! I now have a huge TBR pile to catch up on, ready to pick my nominations for 2019…and TALK ABOUT!

Feminist Fiction

I have to tell you about Angie Thomas and THUG and the Black Girls Book Club, but also about Feminist Book Fortnight which begins TODAY! I considered spamming you all with multiple blog posts on my first day on the job, then thought about it and realised that they’re so perfectly linked that I should just combine them.

On Thursday night, Matt and I went along to SAMA Bankside in Blackfriars for a small party celebrating Angie Thomas’s ‘The Hate you Give’ which, I’m sure you already know, is a powerful story of a young black woman in America dealing with the aftermath of witnessing a police shooting (of her best friend) alongside reconciling her school life with her home life. It is shortlisted for Carnegie and won the 2018 Waterstones children’s book prize. She gave us a bit of information about her next book, On the Come Up, that sounds to be about another strong female and her efforts to break into the patriarchal rap industry while dealing with her mum losing her job. It was wonderful to meet Angie, and chat to librarian colleagues and familiar faces from Walker, but I was also really pleased to meet some members of the Black Girls Book Club. They had collaborated with Walker to host Angie Thomas at an event and spread the word about her outstanding novel, but they don’t focus solely on newly published work. I was blown away by in their passion regarding the back catalogue of fiction written by black women over the years, and am going to be getting touch with them about having some of them as guest speakers at a CILIP YLG London event about what we should definitely have in our libraries. This segues nicely into my interest in Feminist Book Fortnight, which is an inaugural but hopefully annual event organised by independent bookshops to highlight feminist works by women writers. I intend to only read relevant books from my TBR pile, starting with Yaba Badoe’s ‘A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars’. What will you read?

Teen Librarian goes International!

You may have heard that Matt is leaving our shores for sunnier climes, heading to the Sunflower State of North America (Kansas to me and you). With this in mind, he’s asked me to come on board and help keep the UK perspective of Teen Librarian while he dives into US priorities. He’s still very much at the helm but I’m looking forward to doing my bit.

So, a brief introduction: some of you may know me as CazApr1 on twitter, where I’ve been blathering about books and libraries since 2009. I have worked in libraries since 2004, finished my MA in librarianship in 2007, moved from public libraries to a school library in 2009, and Chartered in 2014. I have been on the CILIP YLG London committee since 2010, am currently Chair and have just finished my tenure as CKG judge. My 3 year old arrived as I started pre-reading for CKG (she wasn’t 3 at the time…), and I currently work in a special school library only one day a week. I enjoy rescuing and rejuvenating libraries that have been unloved for years, and supporting colleagues with ideas for engaging students of all ages and abilities, as well as reading lots and lots of kids books.  Now that the enforced CKG secrecy over what I’m reading has ended, I hope to contribute book reviews and book-lists to this site, as well as articles about Important Things.