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:
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.
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: http://www.dawnoftheunread.com/
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
If you are interested in becoming a teen librarian or helping out with working with young people in public libraries then check out YALSA’s competencies, developed through decades of work with young people.
YALSA first developed these competencies in 1981, which were revised in 1998, 2003, and 2010. The competencies can be used as a tool to evaluate and improve service, a foundation for library school curriculum, a framework for staff training and a set of guiding principles for use when speaking out for the importance of services to teens in libraries.
Audiences for the competencies include:
School and library administrators
Young adult specialists
Library training coordinators
Public library generalists
Human resources directors
Non-library youth advocates and service providers
Download the competencies here:
I have spoken about the love I have for Roman Dirge’s work before; it is a weird, slightly disturbing love that would have a restraining order out against it if it were not so lazy and just waited for comics by Mr Dirge to be delivered.
The latest item to be delivered was Roman Dirge’s The Cat with a Really Big Head. It is a collection of textual works with illustrations by the man himself and it is totally disgusting* (and sickeningly cute)! It reminded me of something my cat threw up, if fact there is an illustration of something the cat did throw up!
Please note that I am not saying that I disliked this work – no not at all! It is wonderful and disturbing, the stories contained within are fairly simple and incredibly entertaining but it is the artwork that makes this volume sing.
There are three stories contained within – the first one being the titular cat, and anyone who has owned a cat will recognize the illustrations as being horribly accurate (although not everyone will have owned a cat with a huge head).
The second story, A Big Question, told in verse is my favourite tale it is a fairly short intermission between the two main stories and concerns Little Alisa McGee who was as cute as could be… needless to say it does not end well but it does put the ‘awwww’ in autopsy.
The second chapter is The Monsters In My Tummy which is sort of like the Star Trek Mirror Universe version of Pixar’s Inside Out except it was written years before it came out.
This story is for anyone who has been in love and had their heart pulled out and ripped to shreds by the one they loved.
The stories Cat with a Really Big Head is recommended for anyone who loves their stories dark and disturbing but with a really good rhythm.
It goes without saying that it may not be suitable for the very young, sensitive or those that take a dim view of gratuitous dark humour…
*In the best possible way
On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him.
But as they arrive at her husband’s home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him.
In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.
It has been over 20 years since I first picked up the book and when I started reading the chills crawled down my spine.
It was the opening line that did it;
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
I have never experienced a reread so viscerally as I did with Rebecca!
This read was haunted by the ghost of past reader me who hung over my shoulder reliving the feelings I experienced back then.
I would have been around 11 going on 12 when I first encountered it, I heard the girls in my class whispering about it – it was always whispers with Rebecca. The only other book that was spoken of in hushed tones was Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews – but talking about that book is a topic for another time!
I was a nosy child, I still am depending on whom you ask; so I asked them who Rebecca was, and was told that “Rebecca is not a ‘who’ Rebecca is a ‘what’ and she showed me the book but would not let me touch it.
I managed to get a copy from my school library (a medium-sized room full of books), I can remember that it was old and creased but I did not care as I loved reading.
Rebecca was first published in 1938 and stands up well against modern fiction. The pacing is slower than late 20th/early 21st century works but the language is rich and draws you in, painting a rich tapestry in your mind with beautifully descriptive passages. I found that reading it as an adult gave me a greater appreciation for du Maurier’s skill as an author and her ability to give me chills on a second reading.
Rebecca is a wonderful and near perfect example of a gothic novel; it is dark, bleak and has enough twists to keep the reader guessing. If this tome is new to you then get yourself ready to stay up all night visiting with the second Mrs. de Winter in her lovely home!
If you have already read Rebecca don’t you think it is time to go to Manderley again?
I do not know about anyone else but sometimes getting students to write reviews is akin to getting blood from a rock.
No matter how many times I show examples of good reviews or give out review questions to help students write their reviews but from a large percentage of them all I get reviews like:
“I enjoyed this book”
“It is a good book”
“This book is funny it made me laugh”
I know for a percentage of the classes I work with reading is a chore and not something that they really enjoy so this coming year I will be trying something different.
Instead of a written review I will ask them to use emoji to give an outline of what the book is about and what they thought about it. It will force them to actually think about what they have read either a novel, short story or comic book and engage their non-language communication skills as well as their creativity.
For this exercise I will allow them to use their mobile phones in the lesson
by Simon Mason
In the days running up to the lessons I will use emoji posters to recommend books for students to hopefully catch their interest.
This lesson will act as an introduction to Genre for Year 7 students.
A particular type or style of literature, art, film or music that you can recognize because of its special features
Start with a general discussion on genres and look at some examples
Examples of Genre:
Discuss some of the features of each that make novels fall into that particular genre.
Choose a book it can be your favourite book or the book you are currently reading, determine which genre it falls into then design and draw six alternate covers for it as if it was another genre. This can be done in library lesson time and also for homework.