This is my first attempt at blogging so here goes…
I thought I would begin by sharing my summer at work and play. This has been a summer of new experiences for me. It began with youth hostelling in the Lake District, attending my first Polish all day/all night wedding and enjoying the company of lifetime devotees of the Harley-Davidson in Laconia near Weirs Beach on Lake Winnepesaukee in America.
Work has also been a busy summer of new experiences. The library service offers a Summer Reading Challenge to children aged from 7 to 11 every year and this year for the first time over 30 young people aged from 16 to 20 volunteered to help us which proved very successful. This summer library staff and volunteers have been out in shopping centres, community and sports centres, in parks and fields to promote the Summer Reading Challenge. With the theme of ‘Space Hop’ there have been many activities to promote reading including comic and author workshops, building spacecrafts and even three Dalek invasions!
I had the opportunity to refer to all this activity with another of my new experiences, putting a question to the panel during Radio 4’s Any Questions? programme recorded in Newcastle in August. Having referred to the outstanding visitor figures for the City Library the rapturous applause from the audience gave me quite a thrill!
With autumn fast approaching lots of things are happening in our libraries. Outer West is the latest library to go self -service and now has many new features including a new relax area where coffee will be available and a new look children’s area. East End will follow in October, Blakelaw in November and Jesmond library will be having major improvements carried out early 2011.
Activities taking place in the community libraries in the Autumn include health taster sessions, smoothy bike rides and much more as part of the Time to Get Moving campaign. Children will be invited to join in The Big Juice Read as part of the Newcastle Juice Festival by reading Walking with Witches written by local author Lynn Huggins Cooper. There will be lots of witchy events taking place during the half term holidays in libraries. Finally the Northern Children’s Book Festival takes place in November with children’s authors visiting libraries and schools in the city with a free spectacular gala day at Mortimer College on Saturday 20th November. Details of all of these events will be listed on this website.
Libraries Development Manager, Communities