Category Archives: News

Dewey Decimal Classification Card Game

For the past few months I have been tinkering with ways of teaching the Dewey Decimal Classification System to my students in a manner that does not make their eyes glaze over.

I am a bit of a stereotype as a Librarian inasmuch I love Dewey and what it does, but will admit that to the casual user it can seem a bit complicated andconfusing in places.

To that end I have designed a card game that can be used from Year 7 and up.
It is currently called the Dewey Decimal Classification Card Game but that lacks a certain je ne sans quoi, so if anyone comes up with a blinder of a game name please let me know!

I made test prints to see what they would look like and decided that the cards were a bit too stubby, so I lengthened them slightly as can be seen in this comparison between a first and second generation card.
ddc card game cards

These are the first eight cards I made, four from the Picture Deck and four from the Dewey Deck.
ddc card game

There are two decks, a Picture Deck and a Dewey Deck, with 32 cards in each.

Each card is unique and has been created with posed Lego minifigures. I am currently creating supplementary cards which I will make available as soon as I am able.

The game rules are as follows:


Each game set should have two decks, a Dewey Deck and a Picture Deck consisting of 32 cards each.

There should also be game rules, please note that players are welcome to adapt the game to the players.

Players encountering the Dewey Decimal Classification System for the first time can play the game using the main classes at the top of each card and at the end of the game get an extra point if they match up the Picture Card with the correct Dewey Card.

Advanced gamers and Librarians can play using the subject specific Dewey Numbers at the bottom of each card

Game Rules

Card Game:

Shuffle the decks but keep them separate

The aim of the game is to have no cards from either deck by the end of the game

Deal out both decks to people playing the game

The Picture Decks must remain face down in front of the players

All players must hold their Dewey cards

The person on the left of the dealer flips their first Picture Card (face up)

If the player to the left of the player that flipped the Picture Card cannot match it with a corresponding Dewey Card they must pick up the card and place it in the middle of their Picture Cards

If the player can match the Picture card with a Dewey Card then the two cards are placed face up next to each other in the middle of the player circle

This continues until a player runs out of Picture Cards

When this happens the Player with no Picture Cards must put down a Dewey Card and gameplay starts to go anti-clockwise

At this point players must swap their Picture Decks for their Dewey Decks

If the person to the right of that player cannot match a Picture Card to a Dewey Card then they must pick up the card

If a player runs out of Dewey Cards then the game reverts to the clockwise direction using Picture Cards

Gameplay can continue until all the cards are used or until a player runs out of both types of cards

Book Hunt:

This uses only the picture cards

Deal random cards from the Picture Deck to students and ask them to find a relevant book that will match up with the card

The winner is the student that finds the most books

Memory Game:

Place both decks of cards face down on a table

Flip one Picture Card and one Dewey Card

If you can match the Picture Card and the Dewey Card put them together, if not flip them face down again and try to match another two

You can download the beta deck and rules by clicking on the card image below
ddc card 13x

Or click here

Please note: the game is still in active development and as such the rules and cards may change with little to no warning. The game is stable enough to play.

The game is free to download, use and share but please credit Teen Librarian as the originating source if sharing with colleagues.

If you would like to offer comments, criticisms and suggestions on how the game can be improved, please leave them in the comments field below.

Teenage Kicks at the BFI

The sweet pains and explosive joys of youth are celebrated in our selection of films about those in-between years.

Ticket offer: £6 for 15-25 year-olds, or bring a friend and get two tickets for £10 (excluding special events and talks)

Join us for Teenage Kicks Socials in the Atrium after the screenings on Thursday afternoons during August (If…, Show Me Love, Thirteen, and Welcome to the Dollhouse), which will include refreshments and discussion with special invited guests.

Teenage Kicks season allows us – whether we’re young or not so young – to reflect upon ‘teenage’ not so much as a life stage, but as a unique and powerful attitude, one that allows us to approach the world with a radical new energy.

Full details here

Free Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons

Are you considering starting a D&D Group in your Library but do not want to start buying the required gear until you are sure that you know what you are doing?

Well good news!

The Wizards who live on the Coast have made the Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons free to download as a PDF (over 100 pages, in fact) that covers the core of the game. It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options; in addition, the rules contain 120 spells, 5 backgrounds, and character sheets.

The Basic Rules document is divided into three parts.

Part 1 is about creating a character, providing the rules and guidance you need to make the character you’ll play in the game. It includes information on the various races, classes, backgrounds, equipment, and other customization options that you can choose from. Many of the rules in part 1 rely on material in parts 2 and 3.

Part 2 details the rules of how to play the game, beyond the basics described in this introduction. That part covers the kinds of die rolls you make to determine success or failure at the tasks your character attempts, and describes the three broad categories of activity in the game: exploration, interaction, and combat.

Part 3 is all about magic. It covers the nature of magic in the worlds of D&D, the rules for spellcasting, and a selection of typical spells available to magic-using characters (and monsters) in the game.

Grab them here:

Inside the Teenager’s Brain: CPD on stress and teens’ well-being


Is it time for a New National UK Teen Book Award?

Ever since The Booktrust Teenage Prize folded in 2010 there has been no national award for YA titles published in the UK.

This has been bugging me for a while, and today on twitter I discovered that has been niggling away at others as well.

A while ago I had an idea to run a Teen Book Award through Teen Librarian but shelved it with other thoughts I have that require time and money.

The idea is to run an award where the books are nominated by librarians and then voted on by the readers themselves.

There is a wealth of YA authorial talent in the UK and it should be recognized; the only other national award that comes close is the CILIP Carnegie Award and that is aimed at books for children and teens.

At the moment it is only the germ of an idea so please leave comments in the comment field below with suggestions on partnership, sponsorship and anything that can carry this idea to fruition.

“Every secondary school in the UK should have a good library” – call by MPs and Peers

A new report by Westminster politicians calls for every child in the UK to have a good library in their secondary school.

The Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group’s report calls for the Department for Education to start collecting figures about the number of schools that have a library and librarian, and for Ofsted to look at school library provision when they inspect a school. It is vital that all schools have a good library to ensure children develop essential literacy and digital literacy skills in order to fulfil their potential and to contribute to the success of the UK economy, says the report, The Beating Heart of the School.

See more at:

The Big Idea Competition


Tess Daly joins nationwide search to discover the next big story idea for children

Judged by experts from the book, film, TV and theatre world

Challenging convention on how great ideas become stories today

Britain has created some of the greatest children’s stories in history. From J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the nation has produced ideas that have become part of our cultural heritage and captivated audiences around the world.

Now the search is on to find Britain’s next ‘big idea’ with a major new competition to discover original story ideas for children. The Big Idea will be encouraging the nation to get creative this summer, giving participants the chance to see their ideas nurtured and developed by experts in the world of family entertainment. The competition challenges convention on how ideas can be brought to life and made into new narratives in book, film, TV, theatre or gaming.

The Big Idea is working with six respected judges who have a wealth of relevant industry experience between them:

· Tess Daly – TV broadcaster
· Neil Blair – J.K. Rowling’s agent
· Barry Cunningham OBE – Children’s publisher
· Debra Hayward – Film producer
· Sonia Friedman – Theatre producer
· Philip Ardagh – Children’s author and literary critic

The judges will work together to choose six winning ideas. The winners will each receive £1000 plus the chance to see their idea come to life, with one overall winner offered the prize of a publishing contract and the promise of their idea being nurtured, developed and written by a well-known author. As Neil Blair explains The Big Idea is an exciting new way to bring new children’s stories to life by going to the heart of every one of them: the big idea at their core.

The overall winner’s publishing contract will be in line with industry standards, with a shared royalty on every copy sold. The six winners could additionally see their idea work across a variety of media platforms, including film, TV, gaming, websites, apps and stage, with a commensurate royalty share.

Entering couldn’t be easier, and creative writing ability isn’t a requirement – entrants simply need to outline their original idea in up to 750 words, describing what happens in the story, who’s in it, where it takes place and the type of audience it’s intended for. Entrants can visit the website at for creative advice and look out for top tips and inspiration on The Big Idea’s social media channels. The competition opens on Monday July 7th and the winning ideas will be announced in early November.

Tess Daly adds All the best children’s books come from a great idea, and a great idea can come from anywhere! I’ve joined forces with The Big Idea to celebrate Britain’s talent for storytelling and creativity. There are so many people who have a seed of an idea for a book, film or TV programme but don’t know what to do with it, so this is their chance to get support from the best. I love sharing and making up my own stories with my children – so I can’t wait to help uncover the next big story idea to be loved by adults and children alike.


The Fault In Our Stars has repeated its box office success to top the poll at the Booktrust Best Book Awards

Reality has kicked-in to the usual fantasy world of children’s books with the winning titles, voted for by children themselves, being firmly based on real-life issues.

At a party-style awards ceremony in central London, live streamed to schools and attended by authors and 300 child judges, reading charity Booktrust today (July 2nd) revealed the winners of the first ever Booktrust Best Book Awards with Amazon Kindle, as part of Children’s Book Week 2014.

12,000 schoolchildren nationwide voted for the winning titles to produce a host of superb winners crossing six categories. The winners are a genuinely eclectic mix of literary gold ranging from charming and humorous illustrated reads about the challenges and traumas of everyday life, to gritty coming-of-age stories.

The winners from each category are:


In the youngest age group, the 0-5 Best Picture Book category, Peck Peck Peck by Lucy Cousins topped the children’s vote. Written by the multi-award winning creator of Maisy – which sold more than 28 million copies around the world and even has its own popular TV show – this colourful, interactive story tells the endearing tale of a woodpecker being taught to peck for the first time.


Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastiscame out on top in the 6-8 Best Story group. Coming from the man behind the devoutly followed comic strip Pearls Before Swine, the book features a perfect combination of deadpan humour, visual gags and comic-strip style illustrations to tell the tale of a wannabe middle-school detective.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, the eighth book of the bestselling series, topped the fictional category. Written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney, the story focuses on protagonist Greg’s difficulty adapting to middle-school after being abandoned by his best friend.


The 9-11 age group was split into two categories – fact and fiction. Winning the factual award was Operation Ouch!: Your Brilliant Body by twins, Doctor Chris and Xand van Tulleken. Based on the popular CBBC TV series, the book mixes mischief with medicine and engaged the children voters with their unique take on biology.


The Fault In Our Stars by American author John Green is a tear-jerking but irreverent and humorous tale of teen love in challenging circumstances. The book’s critical acclaim is that, as well as seeing soaring sales in bookshops, it made a £3.4m debut at the UK box office on its opening weekend, making it this summer’s must-see film. Beautifully written and laced with humour and teen angst, the story follows the cancer ridden lives of teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. This book was a major hit with the judges and dominated the votes for this category.


Celebrating the innovative use of technology in children’s books, Little Red Riding Hood illustrated by Ed Bryan conquered the Best Tech group. The interactive storybook app provides a completely new take on the classic fairytale, allowing children to create their own story by choosing from multiple paths. Published by Nosy Crow, Little Red Riding Hood beat David Walliams’The Slightly Annoying Elephant, to top the poll.


A group of high-profile judges, featuring widely loved names from literature, showbiz and children’s TV, compiled a shortlist for each category of the awards – before the public vote decided the eventual winners.

Judges included teen-queen author Louise Rennison, renowned children’s author and illustrator Lauren Child, Made in Chelsea’s Andy Jordan and Great British Bake Off star Mel Giedroyc who hosted today’s Best Book awards ceremony.

Viv Bird, CEO of Booktrust said:

What’s unique about the new Booktrust Best Book Awards is that children choose the winners themselves. Strikingly, this year, real life drama has taken over from fantasy, with children voting for books that deal with some of the real challenges facing young people today. Often using humour to lighten the load, these types of books can offer comfort and reassurance to children as well as entertaining them.

Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President, EU Kindle added:

Reading is important. Amazon Kindle is delighted to sponsor the Booktrust Best Book Awards which celebrate the enduring popularity of children’s books. It’s wonderful that children have been given the opportunity to decide the winners themselves and they have clearly chosen some fantastic titles.

Flipside magazine Ceasing Publication July 2014

Following a strategic review by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) of its education activities, it has been decided to discontinue Flipside.

As a technology lifestyle magazine, Flipside has been inspiring teenagers for nearly 10 years. It has been an amazing journey during which we have always searched for the inside story and unearthed fantastic facts. We have also brought readers the latest and greatest in games, apps, gadgets, film, TV, music and books.

The National Public Library Festival