#PopUpLibrary Week

Posted on

#PopUpLibrary week started with the #66 spinner looking as if it were about to be kidnapped.

Bound for the #PopUpLibrary

A couple of boys asked what the ransom was and we jokingly replied it was that all the books must be borrowed and read. After that it was off to the PE Centre where we set up in the reception area. Both copies of Fire and Fury were soon issued.

Easter reading for Mr Davy










On Wednesday we popped up in The Laboratory, the newest building on campus. We set up between the George Farha Auditorium and the James Caird Hall and gave top billing to Stephen Hawking’s books after the sad news of his passing. Unsurprisingly, his works were soon snapped up by borrowers, as were many fiction titles including classics from our #42 Reading List and Alex Wheatle’s Crongton series.

RIP Stephen Hawking
Book 1 in the Crongton series










Thursday saw us rolling our trolleys and #66 spinner into the Lord George Building. We added some politics and economics titles to the selection of books and enjoyed some interesting conversations about books people were already reading (and enjoying) as well as lending more, including Gut by Giulia Enders – a book enthusiastically recommended by Mr Rowney. To add to the Library vibe of our little pop-up, Solomon and Toby settled in to do some prep.

Prep in the #PopUpLibrary
Read and digest










On Friday we decided to leave the spinners behind and set up in the Christison Hall with a selection of titles which drew crowds at break time. We could hardly issue books quickly enough! The #Summoner series was borrowed, as were a number of the Master’s recommendations of OA writers – including the C.S. Forester mystery The Pursued.

Ready for action!
A London mystery










Over the 4 pop-ups, we were able to make 116 new issues, lots of renewals and scoop up some returns too. Best of all, we were able to showcase and talk about  the great collection of fiction and non-fiction books that all staff and students have access to here in the Wodehouse Library.

Many thanks to our wonderfully helpful Pupil Librarians and Prefects: Rohan, Francesco, Luke, Jackson, Felix, Paul, Edward, Sami, Tom, Sam, Solomon, Lucas, Oscar and Harry.

Special thanks also to all the Site Officers who shifted equipment about for us and grateful thanks to everyone who held open doors and made way for us as we rolled around the campus.

Fingers crossed for more #PopUpLibrary adventures in the Summer Term ūüôā




Posted on

Look out for the Wodehouse Library #PopUpLibrary at morning break and lunchtime in these locations this week:

  • Tuesday – PE Centre
  • Wednesday – The Laboratory
  • Thursday – Lord George Building
  • Friday – Christison Hall.

We’ll have the #42 and #66 Reading List books, staff recommendations, lots of goodies from our fiction and non-fiction collections and we’re bringing the #ReturnsBox with us too so you can give back anything you’ve finished.

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

Posted on

Harry Muldowney wrote this review of Angelmaker for us:

“Angelmaker is primarily a fantasy novel that follows the life of Joshua Joseph Spork, an eccentric horologist, who has escaped the criminal life of his father to return to his Grandfather‚Äôs profession. However, he now finds himself entangled in an international conspiracy with its roots in a 1950s superweapon. In a book which by turns features world war two covert operations; a pre-Raphaelite like technological monastic sect; an incensed South Asian dictator and a geriatric superspy the eccentric hero, Joe Spork, must somehow save the world from its impending doom. Harkaway flits between these topics nimbly and weaves a satisfying narrative that meanders through a cracked submarine 1000ft under the sea, the Broadmoor psychiatric hospital and a supercharged apiary in a thriller that is an elegantly written and fast-paced that is well worth a read.”

@Harkaway on Twitter

http://www.nickharkaway.com/books/angel-maker/ – Nick Harkaway’s website

Trinity Schools Book Award

Posted on Updated on

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.

Miss Williams recommended The Book of Dust

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!

Screen break

Posted on

Certain areas of the school have become mobile free zones.

The Periodicals Room in the Wodehouse Library is one of them, although mobile phones and other devices (switched to silent mode) are still permitted in other parts of the Wodehouse for study purposes.

Given this new set of circumstances, we are discouraging gaming on personal devices and asking that boys instead reclaim the Periodicals Room as a place for quiet reading.

Furnished with comfy chairs and the latest issues of dozens of magazines and newspapers, the Periodicals Room offers boys and staff the perfect opportunity to take a screen break.

For anyone looking for a longer, more challenging read we would suggest picking up a copy of The Atlantic or Prospect, although other titles also offer in-depth journalism and comment. Prospect’s March issue¬†includes a set of articles on free speech and one of our newest books –Feel Free, by Zadie Smith – might be of interest to you if you read Lionel Shriver’s words on the ‘call-out culture’. Smith’s foreword sets up her essays nicely and any of the them would divert you during a free-study period in the middle of the school day.

We hear you when you say that you haven’t got time to read – we’re busy too! – but nobody can make time for you to read except you. With that in mind, keep a look out for our Short Reads recommendations, coming soon to the Periodicals Room!

Reading is a good way to relax
Topping up on satire with Private Eye

New, new, new

Posted on Updated on

Half term’s approaching and already people are choosing their reading.

Glad to say that you’ll be spoilt for choice amongst all the new titles that have been added since Christmas. Here are a few highlights:

Desperately seeking self-improvement: a year inside the optimization movement. Co-authored by Carl Cederstrom and Andre Spicer this is for you if you had a resolution on New Year’s Day 2018 which has already fallen by the wayside.

Fire and fury by Michael Wolff and Devil’s bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the storming of the presidency by Joshua Green will be must-reads for anyone interested in US politics. You’ll have to be quick for the former though; it’s been in high demand since it arrived!

Across both fiction and non-fiction we have several titles from the Jhalak Prize longlist for 2018, including Hold tight: black masculinity, millennials and the meaning of grime by Jeffrey Boakye, Kumukanda by Kayo Chingonyi and The golden legend by Nadeem Aslam.¬†Shortlisting isn’t far off so take a look at some of these in the meantime or you could try last year’s winner by Jacob Ross The bone readers.

Finally, some titles hotly anticipated for 2018 including Peach by Emma Glass, Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit and Lullaby by Leila Slimani. Again, you’ll need to be quick to get your hands on these goodies!

Keep an eye on the displays around the Wodehouse Library for more inspiration.

Ha ha hard question, hmmmm

Posted on

Tell me about a book that made you laugh…

This week, in honour of the LOLLIES¬†which announces its winner on January 18 2018, we’ve been asking people what books made them laugh. The question, though, has produced more thoughtful faces than immediate grins at the memory of a hilarious book.

Lots of people¬†pursed their lips and did that thing where you look off into the space behind and above the person you’re talking to. Quite a few “hmmmed” thoughtfully and leaned against a desk, table or the nearest wall whilst they thought some more. “A book that made me laugh? Hmmm…”.¬†Not such an easy one to answer, in truth. Lots of people said that their reading provoked a mixture of responses – some laughs, yes, but also sadness, sympathy, elation, empathy and so on.

We do have some suggestions for funny books though, starting perhaps obviously with one by P.G. Wodehouse, the famous OA for whom we are named. Our 42 Reading List includes Carry On, Jeeves which begins with Jeeves, the valet,¬† floating “noiselessly through the doorway like a healing zephyr“* and dealing with Bertie Wooster’s hangover. This is an amusing series of related short stories offering escape and diversion, so we thought we would pop it on our list of books that could make you laugh.

Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island and The Road to Little Dribbling both got mentions for making people laugh. The latter book was shortlisted a few years back for the TSBA and remains popular with borrowers here. Notes was written first and Dribbling is a 20-year anniversary follow-up of anecdotes and observations about the habitual oddities of Brits. Again, amusing, not necessarily taxing and it starts with the funny story of Bryson getting hit in the head. We know the head hitting story is funny because we showed it to Dr Hulls and he laughed out loud right there at the Issue Desk.

Back on the 42 list we have The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams and A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole, both of which are blurbed as funny. Evelyn Waugh’s satire Decline and Fall might cause you to crack a smile too. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett is Funny (note capitalisation!), especially any of the stories starring Death.

So there’s a start to our list of books that could well have you laughing out loud and, in the same week that boasted the most miserable Monday, here’s something that brought a bittersweet smile to our faces. A tweet from Grasmere School which included a photo of the mobile library van welcoming children into its warmth on a wild weather day. Easy to forget how lucky we are here at Dulwich College since every single one of us has access to 4 libraries where we can escape into another (sometimes warmer) worlds, find books to support our studies, work quietly and collaboratively or simply chat about reading with library staff.

*p.12 Carry On, Jeeves