Author Archives: Matt Imrie

Sensory Story-time Resource List

Several months ago I started researching how to offer multi-sensory story-times in my library. Mid-way through my preparations I changed library services and now this work is on hold for a few months while I find my feet again in a new position. In the interim I am making the resources I have been collating available, on the off-chance that they will assist others with an interest in extending their library services and story-times.

I will add more links as I go.

The magic of sensory story-times:
https://www.demco.com/webprd_demco/html/landing_pages/vrrp_yourtime/TheMagicOfSensoryStorytimes_June15.pdf

Sensory Story-time 101: where to start and how to make it amazing:
https://floridalibrarywebinars.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/2.1.18-Sensory-Storytime-101.pdf

Story-time for the Spectrum (American Libraries Magazine):
https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2016/03/01/sensory-storytime-spectrum-libraries-add-services-for-children-with-autism/

Sensory Storytime: Roadmap, Tools & Ideas Summary & Bibliography | Laura Baldassari-Hackstaff & Laura Olson
https://infopeople.org/sites/default/files/webinar/2015/02-11-2015/SensoryStorytime_Handout.pdf

Begin your sensory story-time today:
https://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2016/04/begin-your-sensory-storytime-today/

Programming for Children with Special Needs:
https://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2009/06/programming-for-children-with-special-needs-part-one/

Sensory Story-time – a brief how-to guide:
https://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2012/03/sensory-storytime-a-brief-how-to-guide/

SenseSational Storytime Manual:
https://www.eldoradolibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SenseSational-Storytime-Manual.pdf

Tips and tricks for a successful story-time:
https://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2018/08/sensory-storytime-tips-and-tricks-for-a-successful-program/

Books to read during sensory story-time:
https://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2013/09/too-many-choices-books-to-read-during-sensory-storytimes/

Books and props:
https://www.vla.org/assets/Conference_Session_Docs_Slideshows/2017_VLAAnnual/PresenterMaterials/vla%20kaleidoscope%20sensory%20storytimes%20books%20handout%20-%20renee%20edwards.pdf

Advice and ideas for creating sensory story-times: http://systems.mykansaslibrary.org/disabilities-resource/sensory-storytime-information/

Transforming story-time:
https://www.paulsimeone.com/blog-articles/transforming-storytime-create-a-multi-sensory-story

Making Object Books: http://www.pathstoliteracy.org/sites/pathstoliteracy.perkinsdev1.org/files/uploaded-files/makingobjectbooks.pdf

How to Make Tactile Books: http://www.cultureforall.info/doc/guides/guide_about_how_to_make_tactile_books.pdf

Passive Programming Idea: Jokes in a Mug

A passive programme that I have found to be very successful is setting out a mug containing jokes on the service desk.

It has been attracting library patrons of all ages and has a dedicated band of followers who now come in on a regular basis just to pick up a joke.

If you are interested in testing it out, all you need is a mug/cup and a discrete sign advertising hat is on offer. You can collect a range of jokes and reuse them as statistically people would grab a different joke each time.

For those of you who may not have the time to hunt down jokes suitable for all ages I have a selection available to download below.

Jokes

Space and science fiction jokes

One Liners

#TeenLibrarian Monthly March 2019


Download (PDF, 420KB)

Academic Book Week Reveals Top 20 Most Influential Banned Books

Vote Opens to Find Public’s Number One Ahead of Academic Book Week

London 1 Mach 2019: From Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, to Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird to Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, Academic Book Week (4-9 March 2019) has revealed the twenty most influential banned books.

Selected by academic booksellers across the UK and Ireland in association with Index on Censorship, the public are now invited to vote on the most influential banned book, with the winning book revealed during Academic Book Week.

The public vote is open from Friday 1 March until 11:59pm on Wednesday 6 March, to find the book that has been most influential: https://acbookweek.com/bannedbooks/  

Academic Book Week’s Most Influential Banned Books:

  • 1984 by George Orwell (PRH)
  • A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller (PRH)
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison (PRH)
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (PRH)
  • Country Girls by Edna O’Brien (Faber)
  • His Dark Materials (series) by Philip Pullman (Scholastic)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Virago, Hachette)
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence (PRH)
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (PRH)
  • On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (OUP)
  • Rights of Man by Thomas Paine (OUP)
  • Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (PRH)
  • The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (PRH)
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker (W&N, Orion, Hachette)
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (PRH)
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (PRH)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (PRH)
  • Ulysses by James Joyce (PRH)
  • Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (Faber)
  • Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (PRH)

Building on the success of previous years, Academic Book Week 2019 is being coordinated by the Booksellers Association in partnership with University College London.

Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns at the Booksellers Association, said: “Academic Book Week’s Top 20 Most Influential Banned Books will spark debate in Academic Book Week and beyond. Each of the books on this shortlist has been hugely successful, despite attempts to ban them and we look forward to seeing the result of the public vote.”

Academic Book Week celebrates the diversity and influence of academic books throughout history, now and in the future.

To book tickets to events and view the full Academic Book Week line-up, visit:https://acbookweek.com/featured-events/ 

Follow the latest developments via Twitter: @AcBookWeek #AcBookWeek.

To all the Libraries I’ve Loaned from Before part 1

Kalk Bay Public Library, you were my first Library – the one that set the template of expectations of what a Library should be and offer. Although small, to my young eyes you were a Cathedral of books, with windows set high up on all sides. You gave me my first library cards – three little folded pieces of cardboard with my name and address on them that were taken by the Librarian and kept behind the desk whenever I borrowed books. The books that stay in my mind are the Little Tim picture books by Edward Ardizzone, after all these years – they are the books that solidified my fate as a reader, they are the first books I can remember reading on my own (my parents read them with me but I picked them up again at bedtime and read them on my own), there was also that shark book, I cannot remember the cover, but I coveted it regularly and borrowed it several times to read about sharks from around the world, I was most fascinated by the Wobbegong (or carpet shark) of Australia – it is funny what facts stick with you. I still remember the particular smell that the Library had, furniture polish and the smell of books and the feeling of coolness that enveloped me whenever I walked in to the Library with my Mom and younger brother, after the heat of the day outside it was a welcome feeling. I can also hear the Library windows slamming shut as Librarian used a long pole with a hook to pull them shut – to let us know that it was nearly closing time and we had better choose our books quickly but she never chased us out. That Library is long gone, the building now hosts a community centre but I have not been past it for years.

Kalk Bay Primary School had a tiny Library – it was more a box room stuffed with books than an actual Library – but it counts! The books I remember borrowing were The Adventures of Professor Branestawm, and a science fiction short story collection – the title escapes me but I can still remember parts of some of the stories, one was set on a colony on an alien world that was slowly being eaten by a huge slime monster that was being kept at bay by a laser shield, there was only one ship available and the people had to decide who would survive and who would remain behind to face the monster when the shields failed… gripping stuff!

My second Public Library was in Muizenberg, I remember attending story times on a Thursday when the Librarian (the same one from Kalk Bay) would light a candle and we would sit in silence as she read stories, the extinguishing of the candle was the sign that we could start talking and move around again. Muizenberg Library became ‘my’ Library for years, it introduced me to Douglas Hill’s ColSec books and his fantasy duology Blade of the Poisoner and Master of Fiends. This was also the Library where I discovered Terry Pratchett, I started with Equal Rites and never looked back! I visited Muizenberg Public Library weekly, and spent hours choosing books then sitting in the magazine room reading back issues of Punch Magazine (mostly to find the Agent Orange cartoons by David Haldane).

I spent one year at the Fish Hoek Middle School and spent most of my break and lunch times hiding out in the School Library, I became a part time student librarian but hung out in one of the corners with other kids reading comic books – it was my first introduction to Raymond Briggs, I read his Father Christmas comics which were fun then Gentleman Jim and its sort of sequel When the Wind Blows – it is thanks to that book that I learned how to start worrying and hate the Bomb.

I joined Fish Hoek Public Library in my mid-teens so that I could have a greater range of materials to access for my school work – the joys of growing up in a preWorld Wide Web world! My parents paid for this membership as, at the time, Fish Hoek had its own municipality and if you did not live there you had to pay to access the service. This was the beginning of a Library relationship that lasted many years, it was here that I first started weekend work as, first a shelf packer, then after I started my Library degree they decided that I was trustworthy enough to work on the desk (oh the power!) Once I graduated it was also my first professional Library post, it later transpired that I was an affirmative action employee – the first ever male librarian hired by Fish Hoek municipality (I was the only applicant that all the unions could agree on, which at that time in South Africa was no small thing). It was at Fish Hoek Library that I first read the Duncan & Mallory graphic novels by Robert Asprin, I discovered the Dragonlance books by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis and Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

At the time I was also studying at the Cape Technikon (now the Cape Peninsula University of Technology) they had a magnificent Library, apart from the books I needed for my coursework I also borrowed Maus by Art Spiegelman which opened my eyes to the potential comic books have in education and as an art-form.

Special mentions must go to the Grassy Park Public Library that I worked at briefly to cover staff absence – it was here that I discovered (& borrowed) Deathstalker by Simon R Green and became a lifelong fan of his writing and the Hout Bay Public Library where I participated in a temporary staff exchange for a week and discovered ‘zines.

#BlackHistoryMonth Anansi Craft Activity

As part of the Black History Month program at my Library, I have organised a series of story-times based around folk tales from Africa. My South African storytime last week was snowed out but the event today, reading stories about Anansi the Spider trickster was well-attended – three adults and five children who came to listen and participate.

The stories were well-received, as was the craft activity, if anyone would like to obtain a copy of my Anansi template, you may download it below.

Download (PDF, 742KB)

As with all the resources I create, if you do use them please share any pictures of your creations.

Refugee Narratives in Children’s Literature

In 2017 I attended a one-day interdisciplinary workshop about Refugee Narratives in Children’s Literature at Birkbeck College organised by The Reluctant Internationalists.

Apart from making excellent contacts and meeting some old friends I contributed towards the creation of a bibliography of children’s books on migration, refugees / migrants and multicultural living. I have no idea why I have never shared it before, but it can be downloaded below.

Download (PDF, 294KB)

Chinese New Year Craft: Peppa Pig Lantern

The Chinese New Year begins tomorrow Tuesday 5th February and it is the Year of the Pig. I have created a simple paper lantern craft activity featuring Peppa Pig and her family. This will be suitable for younger Library users.  

“新年快乐” translates as Happy New Year: Xin Nian Kuai Le
Pronounced “sheen neean kwai luh,” kuai le means “happy” or “joyous” and xin nian means “new year.”

You can download a .pdf of the lantern here: Peppa Pig Lantern

Peppa Pig was created by Mark Baker, Neville Astley and Phil Davies.

Peppa Pig‘s trademark and copyright is held by Entertainment One

Voices is back for 2019!

Coram Voice is excited to announce the return of Voices, its annual writing competition for children in care and young care leavers across the country. The competition is open for
entries until 10 February 2019.

Coram Voice, a charity that provides a range of services for children and young people in
and around the care system, first launched the competition in 2016 as a platform for care-
experienced young people to express their creative talents and to celebrate their voices.
The theme of this year’s competition, ‘Growing Up’, was chosen by young people who took part in the competition last year.  Entries can be in any written form including poems, short stories, raps or newspaper articles, with a 500 word limit.

There are four age categories:

  • primary school,
  • lower secondary school (age 11-14),
  • upper secondary school (age 15-18)
  • care leavers (age 19-25).
  • Entries will be judged by a panel of high-profile authors, poets and presenters:

  • Kit de Waal, the award-winning author of My Name is Leon which tells the story of a vulnerable young boy who is taken into care
  • Jarvis, whose book Alan’s Big Scary Teeth was selected by the BookTrust to be distributed to children across the country
  • Kiran Millwood-Hargrave, the Waterstones Children’s Book award-winner for 2017
  • Mr Gee, the Sony Gold award-winning poet, comedian and presenter
  • Ashley John-Baptiste, care leaver and ground-breaking BBC reporter, who was shortlisted for the Royal Television Society Young Talent Of The Year award in 2018
  • Alice Broadway, best-selling Young Adult Fiction author of the Skinbooks Trilogy
  • Jenny Molloy, care leaver and inspiring novelist, author of the Times bestseller, Hackney Child
  • Ric Flo, care leaver, innovative rap artist and creative director of the hip-hop collective Jungle Brown
  • Louise, who was a runner up in last year’s competition and met the Queen in December, said: “I entered Voices 2018 on a whim and I’m glad I did! Since entering, I was fortunate enough to read my entry for the Queen. This was a scary experience however getting to share my experience as a care leaver with the Queen was a privilege. I am passionate about making the voices of care experienced people heard and I am very thankful for this
    experience.”

    Previous competition entrants said that participating had inspired them to write more, made them feel appreciated and valued for their talents and helped them to express their emotions about being in care.* One young writer said: “The competition is a safe opportunity to share your personal story – it’s a wonderful way to embrace your history and yourself”, while
    another added “to put what you feel on a piece of paper is quite therapeutic.”

    Brigid Robinson, Managing Director of Coram Voice said, “We are delighted to launch our Voices competition for the fourth year running and can’t wait to see children and young people’s amazing entries.. We are continually inspired by the talent of the young people, their creativity is immense and we hope their stories improve understanding of their experiences.”

    Entries can be submitted on the Coram Voice website until 10 February 2019.

    #TeenLibrarian Monthly January 2018

    Download (PDF, 512KB)