Tuesday, 25 June 2013

50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾

Have you seen this list from the National Trust yet? You can download a copy at
https://www.50things.org.uk/.  Just as the name suggests, it offers 50 activities which children should do before they are 11 ¾. With the end of term approaching, we thought some of you might like to take a look at their ideas. You might find some inspiration for summer holiday activities with your kids, or the more adventurous amongst you might even like to take a crack at the list yourselves!
The activities suggested are all pretty outdoorsy, with rather a nostalgic feel – climb a tree, make a daisy chain, hunt for bugs – they attempt to encourage children to discover and enjoy nature, as well as to become more active. Children can register on the website to earn certificates and rewards as they work their way through the list.

If it’s been a while since you done any bug hunting or pond dipping, you might want to take a look at some of our Teaching Practice books in Townhill Library. Although they’re there primarily for our trainee teachers to use in the classroom, any Swansea Met student or member of staff is welcome to borrow from the collection. You’ll find lots of books on mini-beasts and other creatures to help you identify anything you find. You might like to check out books at Swansea Business School Library, home of our leisure and tourism courses, to find some tips on canoeing, rock climbing and other intrepid activities!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sally Gardner and Levi Pinfold win the CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway Medals

Yes, Sally Gardner has won the CILIP Carnegie Medal for her novel Maggot Moon whilst Levi Pinfold has won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for his picture book Black Dog. The Carnegie Medal is awarded for an outstanding book for children and young people and the Greenaway for outstanding illustration in a book for children or young people. Both winners are available to borrow from Townhill Library, as are the other shortlisted titles for both awards, so you can make your own mind up about the outcome. Let us know what you think!

Both books are well deserved winners, though competition was stiff this year, as it often is. Maggot Moon is a dystopian tale of standing up to dictatorship which takes a dyslexic teenager as its hero. Gardner herself is dyslexic and used her winner’s speech as a platform to speak up for those children who find reading and writing to be particularly challenging. She also spoke in praise of librarians and teachers, so she must be a good sort!

Black Dog is a stunningly beautiful picture book which centres on a fearsome, black dog which is seen one night outside the Hope family home. Only the youngest, Small Hope, is brave enough to venture out and take a closer look. The illustrations really are wonderful, and the story is charming and thought provoking. Levi Pinfold has quite a talent!

The Carnegie and Greenaway medals are well-respected awards in the field of children’s literature. Nominees and winners are chosen by librarians, which makes these prizes a bit different from the other children’s book awards out there. You can find out more about the Carnegie and Greenaway medals, including previous shortlists and winners on the official website. Not a bad introduction to the best in children’s books through the years!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Book Domino Chain World Record

Take a look at this fascinating YouTube video, filmed at Seattle Public Library to launch their summer reading challenge for 2013. Very cool, but a librarian's nightmare having to re-shelve all of those books...!


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The 20 Most Beautiful Libraries on Film and TV

As an antidote to last Friday's post on 'bookless libraries' - today's blog piece celebrates some of the best libraries that have appeared on the big screen, complete with books!

So take a look and tell us which is your favourite.


Or if your favourite isn't amongst the twenty listed, let us know what it is! I personally like the library in the film 'City of Angels' (inspired by 'Wings of Desire').

Friday, 7 June 2013

Future Libraries? 6 Bookless Libraries lead the way...

The debate has been going on for some time now - 'bookless' libraries versus traditional ones complete with printed materials. Where do you stand on this issue? Either way, take a look at these six pioneering bookless libraries from the USA...


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Malorie Blackman has been announced as the new Children’s Laureate

Yes, Julia Donaldson’s tenure as Children’s Laureate has come to an end, and the mantle has passed to Malorie Blackman, who will hold the position till 2015. You can find out more about the Children’s Laureate on the official website.

Blackman is the latest in a line of laureates which began with Quentin Blake in 1999. The list of former incumbents reads like a list of who’s who in modern children’s literature: as well as Blake, there’s Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne and, of course, Julia Donaldson. Malorie Blackman will certainly hold her own amongst these writers and has already stated that her goal is to encourage more children to spend more time reading, which sounds good to us! She also plans to continue Donaldson’s support of public libraries, which must also be a good thing.

If you’ve yet to discover Blackman as a writer, you can borrow some of her books from Townhill Library. You’ll find them in the Teaching Practice section, so if you call in for them now you won’t have to renew or return them until the 4th October! (This is because our 6 week Teaching Practice loans have already rolled over to next term. Look out for this happening with our other loan categories as summer vacation approaches!)

Before we say a final goodbye, you might like to see what we had to say about Julia Donaldson in her role as laureate. Of course, it’s not really goodbye as she’ll still be writing lots of lovely books. You can borrow those from Townhill Library too, including some in Welsh! (Wwsh ar y brwsh, anyone?)