What’s the best thing about working in a school library?
The answer, arguably, has to be having the chance to talk about books and reading to just about everyone. Some people may be surprised by the number of conversations we have with our borrowers that focus on what we’ve read, what they’ve read and what we’d all like to read. It’s truly heartening to hear our borrowers share their thoughts so freely. Yes, it’s true we hear both staff and students say “I don’t have time to read” and we understand that because we’re busy too, but still, reading before going to sleep, or even for just a few minutes here and there in the day helps make a difference for us.
The Trinity Schools Book Award offers a chance for our young readers to read a themed shortlist of books and to engage with the stories through creative responses and voting for their favourite. Shortlisted authors often visit the participating schools to talk about their work and many attend the awards ceremony. Last year Dulwich College was thrilled to host the ceremony which saw Stewart Foster win with Bubble Boy. Sadly #UKsnow forced the cancellation of the 2018 award ceremony but Sarah Govett was the winner with her book The Territory. Many congratulations to Sarah and well done to the creative response prize winners.
As well as sharing our love of reading, here in the Wodehouse Library we work hard to promote it too. There are always half a dozen displays dotted around the Wodehouse which promote the works of individual writers or genres like fantasy, crime or comedy. Alternatively we use them to highlight anniversaries, events or themes. Often our displays chime with what’s going on in the wider school and draw participation from staff and pupils. Borrowers are welcome to take items that are included on the displays – we can always fill a gap!
It’s been a busy Michaelmas Term for the Wodehouse Library.
Over the summer a new Library Management System came on stream so there was a fresh look to the Library Catalogue and, at half-term, the new security system was switched on. Gradually all the items in the Wodehouse collection will be RFID tagged so, please, do return to the Issue Desk if the alarm goes off as you leave – you’ll hear a beeping noise if you have an item that hasn’t been issued and deactivated.
Pupil Librarians and Library Prefects have worked hard to help staff sort all the items which have been withdrawn from the collection during the tagging process. All the removed items will eventually go to charity or be recycled where possible.
We’ve been encouraging all Library users to make good use of the resources, including space, in the Wodehouse Library. This means that we are prioritising PC and table spaces for boys who want to get on with prep or quiet reading. Likewise, in the Periodicals Room we have been asking anyone not reading the magazines or newspapers to make way for others.
There have been a number of exciting author visitors to the school since September including Alex Wheatle, MBE, Matt Haig and Stewart Foster. For Stewart, this was a return to Dulwich College where his novel Bubble Boy won the TSBA Award 2017 earlier in the year.
Junior School boys visited the Wodehouse Library for a Shakespeare Tour. Groups were shown around by Mrs Lucy, the Keeper of the Archives, Mrs Cerio and Mr Fletcher.
Back at the start of Michaelmas, boarders spent an evening in the Wodehouse with Mr Fletcher and Year 9 boys took part in a Library and Archives induction. This offered a chance for boys to learn about the resources available to them in the Middle School. Working in groups the boys completed a quiz and listened to a brief talk on Library procedures.
Mr Fletcher presented the non-fiction collection and e-resources that will support Upper School boys, particularly those undertaking CREST Awards or EPQs, in their studies and all Wodehouse Library staff have tried to keep the Upper School study area a peaceful working environment. Specifically aimed at the Upper School we also introduced ‘Readaxation’ as a way of helping boys understand the benefits reading for pleasure can bring despite the various pressures of deadlines and preparing for the future beyond Dulwich College.
Many classes have also come to the Wodehouse with their English teachers to take a closer look at the 42 Reading List books and all have been encouraged to borrow from the fiction collection as part of our ongoing promotion of reading for pleasure in the school.
The Wodehouse Library staff took that reading for pleasure message out and about with our pop-up libraries just after half-term. Popping up in the PE Centre, Lord George Building, The Laboratory and the Christison Hall we were really pleased to speak with so many boys and staff about reading and loans for the week were encouragingly high. If you’re ever stuck for inspiration for what to read next, themed displays appear throughout the Wodehouse and staff are always on hand with suggestions.
We hope the long Michaelmas term has been successful for you all and wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and we look forward to many more good reads in 2018.
This entry was posted in 42, About the Wodehouse Library, Author visits, Book prizes, Periodicals Room, Pupil librarians, reading for pleasure, Trinity Schools Book Awards and tagged #readmore, 42, author visits, Book Prizes, Junior School Library, library services, pupil librarians, TSBA, Wodehouse Library.
On Wednesday 6th December the award winning Children’s and Young Adult novelist Alex Wheatle (MBE) visited Dulwich College.
No golden envelope hiccups here at Dulwich College as the Master, Dr Joe Spence, announced Stewart Foster as winner of the Trinity Schools Book Award for 2017.
The event was live tweeted with #tsba2017 if you want to check out the Twitter photos and you can read the TSBA blog write up here
It was a great evening with lots of enthusiasm for reading and writing. Both authors, Stewart Foster and Diana Hendry (The Seeing) gave thoughtful and thought-provoking answers to the questions that the students from participating schools had submitted for the Q&A session. In particular we enjoyed hearing about the books which had captured their young imaginations and how hearing their characters speak helps them move the story along.
Many thanks to all the sponsors for the goody bags, the staff and pupils who helped out on the day, the authors and their teams and most of all to all the students who read the stories, voted and came along to the ceremony.
We can’t believe it’s nearly time to announce the winners!
And it isn’t only the authors who can anticipate being prize winners on Tuesday evening as there are also prizes for the students who submit the Best Review and the Best Creative Response to a shortlisted book.
The fun will start in the Lower Hall with refreshments before we all head up to the Great Hall for the award ceremony, starting with those student winners (good luck to all have submitted entries!).
Before the announcement of the winning book there will be an authors’ panel session at which our special guests will answer questions. After the winner has been revealed and the applause has died down there’ll be a chance to meet the authors, pick up a goody bag* and take a look at all the creative responses which will be on display in the Lower Hall.
So, here as promised, are the remaining shortlisted books (again, no clues here for the winner):
There Will Be Lies, by Nick Lake
She Is Not Invisible, by Marcus Sedgwick
The Smell of Other People’s Houses, by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom
The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness
Many thanks to all the sponsors of the goody bags:
Faber & Faber, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Penguin Random House, Quercus Children’s Books, Simon and Schuster, Walker Books, and Browns Books for Students.