Category Archives: News

Crowdsourcing an Updated Library Advocacy Resource

The Carnegie UK Trust is looking for public librarians to tell them about the activities that public library or library service run.

They are updating their Speaking Volumes resource databases and need feedback from any and all librarians working in public libraries in thr UK.

For full details and to find out more follow this link:—culture/the-future-of-libraries/speaking-volumes

make impact carnegie
The Carnegie UK Trust works to improve the lives of people throughout the UK and Ireland, by changing minds through influencing policy, and by changing lives through innovative practice and partnership work.

Creating a Thirst for Knowledge: The Dawn of the Unread


Nottingham Trent University won the Teaching Excellence Award for The Dawn of the Unread online, interactive comic.

Incensed by the closures of libraries and low literacy in 21st-century Britain, the famous historical literary figures of Nottingham rise from the grave to wreak revenge.

Find out more about the project here:

Visit the Dawn of the Unread website here and be inspired:

The remit of Dawn of the Unread is not to thrust ‘complex’ books on people to read. It’s to create a thirst for knowledge. To tease, tantalise and inspire. To use digital technology to enable numerous routes into literature knowing that our reading paths are ultimately solitary and taken at different speeds. And if kids go on to the library to get out books it will be because they want to learn more.

Read the full manifesto for Dawn of the Unread here

Stuff Mom Never Told You: Judy Blume Forever

For the past several months I have been listening to the phenomenal Stuff Mom Never told You

“What is that?” you may well ask, the website explains it far more succinctly that I ever could!

Hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin, Stuff Mom Never Told You is the audio podcast from HowStuffWorks that gets down to the business of being women from every imaginable angle. Fueled by boundless curiosity and rigorous research, Cristen and Caroline are girls-next-door gender experts who skillfully decode the biology, psychology and sociology of ladies and gents, from their evolutionary past to millennial present, to better understand all the Stuff Mom Never Told You.
(taken from

One of their recent podcasts is called Judy Blume Forever a celebration of the awesomeness that is Judy Blume – one of the greatest writers for children, young people and, well everyone actually!

Judy Blume will be at the Manchester Central Library this evening – in conversation with brillaint UK author Keris Stainton and will also be popping up around the UK – check out her UK tour details here:

If you cannot make any of those appearances, heck even if you can and want to find out more about JB then take a listen to Judy Blume Forever here:

Episode Summary
One of the most beloved and banned authors, Judy Blume wrote adolescence like no other. Cristen and Caroline investigate how Judy Blume’s real life intersected with her fictional books, censorship activism and feminism.

The Guardian Young Critics Competition 2015

If you are aged 18 or under and love reading, or you run or are part of a school book group, then you should enter the Guardian’s young critics competition – and here’s how:

All you need to do is submit a review (maximum 500 words) on one of the books long-listed for the Guardian children’s fiction prize 2015. The prize for 10 individual winners is a complete set of the long-listed books plus book tokens and an invitation to the Guardian children’s fiction award party on 19 November 2015. The group winners will get 10 copies of each of the long-listed books, the chance to come to Guardian’s education centre and make their own newspaper and up to 20 members of the winning book group are invited to the awards party.

The deadline for entries is 30 October 2015, so you’ve got all summer (and some) to read one of the books. Great for new school book groups that don’t start until September!

There are two ways to enter:

1. You can enter on your own by filling out form on the Guardian Young Critics Competition page including your review of a Longlisted Book.


2. you can enter as part of a school group if you and at least three other students from your school all submit reviews. The school that is judged to have the strongest overall group of entries will win a prize – there will also be one runner up prize in this category. In order for a submitted review to be entered as part of a school group, that review must be submitted, either online or by post, together with at least three other reviews by other eligible students from the same school.

The prizes

The 10 individual winners will each receive a complete set of the eight longlisted books, plus a £20 National Book Tokens gift card and an invitation to attend the award ceremony at the Guardian on 19 November 2015.

The winning school will be invited to spend a day at the Guardian Education Centre: up to 30 students (chosen by the winning school’s Head of English, or equivalent) from the winning school will have the chance to edit and print the day’s news at the Guardian Education Centre in London. In addition, the winning school will receive 10 complete sets of the eight long-listed books, a £150 National Book Tokens gift card as well an invitation for up to 20 pupils to attend the ceremony in London on 19 November. The runner up school will receive a complete set of the eight long-listed books.

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

Midlands School Library Camp 2015

For the second year running the Midlands will host a School Library Camp.
This year we have decamped (sorry!) to the north of the region and the 2015 event will be held at the University of Derby’s main campus at Keddleston Road.

More details about the location here:

The event is taking place on Saturday 11th July. Doors open 10:00 and we expect to be finished and wiping up cake crumbs by 3:00pm.

Click here for more information and to grab your free tickets:

At last year’s event we discussed all sorts of stuff from our policies towards noise to using Minecraft. What will you discuss this year?

Pitch your ideas or see what others want to talk about here:

Hachette Enid Blyton’s Summer of Adventure Offer

Hachette are celebrating the May publication of five new covers for The Famous Five with Enid Blyton’s Summer of Adventure this summer and are producing a brilliant pack that will provide librarians and bookshops with everything they need to hold their own Summer of Adventure event in their library or bookshop. The call is celebrate Blyton’s birthday 11th August creating a Summer of Adventure.

The pack contains:
Detailed plan on how to hold your event;
Display poster;
When and Where fill-in-the-blanks poster;
100 x bookmarks;
6 metres bunting;
6 activity sheets (for copying);
Sticker sheets;
Certificate (for copying).

These free packs are now available for order ISBN 9781444930504 with a deadline of 30th June to ensure delivery. Orders after that date will be processed on a first come, first served basis. Get in quickly!

Hachette have set up a survey monkey order form here:

2015 CILIP Carrnegie & Kate Greenaway Medal Award Ceremony

Well the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals have been awarded for 2015 and what was an amazing experience for a first-time judge is now receding rapidly in the rear-view mirror.

The selection of Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman for the Carnegie Medal and Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill for the Kate Greenaway Medal was no easy task, cutting the long-list of 20 books (for each of the awards) down to eight titles was a painful process. I will not even attempt to describe the bloody winnowing of the nominated titles that went into creating the long-list.
Tears were shed, passionate arguments were heard and many persuasive techniques were made by the judges and now looking back I can honestly say that the correct decisions were made! As a judge alongside my fellow judges we stand proudly by the titles we chose.

Attending the Awards Ceremony is a perk of being a judge and I really recommend that everyone with an interest in literature for children and young people try and attend at least once. Heck, if you are a librarian and a member of CILIP then get involved with your regional YLG Committee and put yourself forward for the position of CKG regional representative (aka a Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Judge), it really is rewarding, you get to meet reps from other regions, improve your knowledge of children’s books (including YA, MG & picture books) and get to be part of a panel that selects the most outstanding books of a year (for children & young people).

The ceremony this year was amazing! It took place in the British Library, prior to the awarding of the medals there was a mingling with coffee and biscuits in the foyer with authors & illustrators being besieged for signatures by shadowing groups and everyone else in attendance that did not write or draw. During the awards ceremony we were welcomed by CILIP CEO Nicholas Poole and entertained by MC Mel Giedroyc, host of the Great British Bake-off. Chris Riddell the Children’s Laureate was in attendance and showed how swift he is at drawing by live-sketching the ceremony, you can view his sketches on his Instagram site here:

You can see what the judges thought of the Carnegie-nominated titles here:

the Greenaway-nominated titles here:

and hear Tanya and William’s acceptance speeches here:

Check out the CKG site for full details on the 2015 awards:

Children and Young People’s Promise: the Public Library offer to Young People

ASCEL (The Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians) is today launching a new version of the Children and Young People’s Promise. The Promise outlines the public library offer to children and young people. It highlights the quality of the experience they should have when visiting their library or using digital services. It identifies the role the public library plays in supporting children’s literacy and reading for pleasure; their health and wellbeing; cultural activity and community participation.

The Promise also outlines the children’s library journey detailing the interactions public libraries should have with children as they grow, responding to their changing needs, from providing rhyme times for babies and toddlers, support for school transition to volunteering opportunities for young people.

The Children and Young People’s Promise supports the Universal Offers developed by the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and their partners.

Sarah Mears, Chair: ASCEL. “Children and public libraries need each other. We want every child to love their library. This Promise means that we’ll do everything we can to ensure that all children using libraries feel inspired, excited and valued”.

Ciara Eastell, President: Society of Chief Librarians “Regular access to a library for children is a vital ingredient of a happy childhood, and sets children up to benefit from all that public libraries offer at every stage of life. We embrace this new Promise and library journey research and look forward to seeing it used in libraries across England.”

Chris Riddell the Waterstones Children’s Laureate for 2015-2017

Each Children’s Laureate brings something new and amazing to the role, my personal favourite has been Malorie Blackman due to the frankly amazing work she has done in raising the profile of teen fiction and YA engagement in general.

When Chris Riddell’s name was announced yesterday I punched the air and whispered “Yeah!” (I was in the Library), I think he is a brilliant choice and has appeal from small children to their parents and grandparents as well as everyone in between.

I am a big fan of Chris Riddell’s work and after hearing his views on libraries, reading, illustrations and how he let his chidren draw in his sketchbooks with him, I have become a fan of the man himself!

At his unveiling as Laureate he released his Five Point plan for the next two years and School Libraries feature heavily:

five point plan

Chris Riddell on Illustration:

During my term I want to use the immediacy and universality of illustration to bring people together and lead them all into the wonderful world of books and reading

On School Libraries:

It’s bizarre that it is not a requirement for the very places where children will learn how to read, draw, think and create to have a space for books…

I want to help and encourage every school to do more for readers. If they have nowhere to read, create a space with a few books; if they have a bookshelf, have two; if they have a reading room, aim for a library.

I am looking forward to following what he does as Laureate and will be sharing it with the students in my school and encouraging them to pick up pencils and paper with their books.

Find out more about Chris, his plans and previous Laureates at the Children’s Laureate site here:

Follow his Laureate Log here:

Win a Year’s Supply of Books with Atom Books

Atom are offering readers the chance to win a year’s supply of books in anticipation of CJ Daugherty’s amazing new series, The Secret Fire!

secret fire

That’s right, CJ Daugherty – the internationally best-selling novelist of the Night School series – will be publishing her next YA series this September! The Secret Fire is about a boy in Paris and a girl England who meet as pen pals. Unbeknown to them, they are connected by an ancient curse which dictates that our Parisian hero, Sacha Winters, will die on his eighteenth birthday and an ancient prophecy will be fulfilled. Unless Taylor Montclair can save him . . .

Atom want to know what you would like to do MOST before you turn eighteen. As well as what kind of books you love reading. Take their survey and have a chance at winning that life-time supply of books!

You can follow the link to their survey here

Atom Books Reader Survey

Co-written with French author Carina Rozenfeld, The Secret Fire is the first cross-channel YA novel ever and promises to be the most anticipated book this year!