So the first Book Week Scotland has finished, and I’ve got to say that it was brilliant fun, if absolutely exhausting! I’ve been involved in so many different activities this week, along with all the normal work, so it’s been a bit frantic.
“Wish I was there …” postcards
So many good ideas come from an off-hand remark. On this occasion a group of us LRC Managers were having a discussion and the conversation turned to plans for Book Week Scotland.
One librarian mentioned that the ‘My Favourite Place‘ books that Scottish Book Trust have put together and from that grew the idea of a postcard. But rather than ‘Wish you were here‘ this postcard would say ‘Wish I was there …‘ identifying a place, something to read and a person or a thing to be with.
These have gone down quite well in some classes, with many pupils choosing to be with Katniss at the Hunger Games. Considering they’d probably be dead, that’s not necessarily such a good idea.
I also asked staff if they would have their photo taken with a favourite book in front of their face, the plan being that the pictures would go up around the school, promoting Book Week Scotland and sparking conversations.
Of course, being real life, this plan didn’t work quite as planned. The conversations about reading between staff were wonderful, and pupils who came into the LRC were certainly interested, but of course, it took much longer to get the photos than anticipated. That’s not really a complaint, because the longer I went around taking pictures, the more people wanted to be involved. Note to self though: start at least a fortnight in advance next time!
It also caused a certain amount of hilarity with people removing their glasses or insisting their hair was brushed, even as I pointed out that it would be invisible behind a book cover!
Scottish Book Trust promoted the Reading Hour from 11-12 on St Andrew’s Day to get everyone across Scotland with their face in a book for 60 minutes. 11-12 just doesn’t work with our timetable, so we adapted the idea to Reading Tutor Time (10.40 – 11.10). Notices were put into the daily bulletin all week and I offered a small collection of books to keep pupils reading who might otherwise have forgotten their book or magazine.
But of course, our Andrew House pupils are particularly busy on St Andrew’s Day, and the 4th years are off timetable for exams and 3rd years were trying to complete their Micro Tyco events and vast numbers hadn’t bothered or had forgotten to bring their books.
I was told later that a small army had assembled outside the LRC to get a book to read, but of course I wasn’t around, because I was out taking pictures of the classes that were reading!
In retrospect, it would be better to have our reading time on another day altogether, but hopefully it can be built into forward plans for next year.
I had contacted Scottish Book Trust to ask if they had a template for stickers and they very kindly sent enough for everyone in the school to get one! Like stickers everywhere, these have gone down a treat with pupils, and have been placed mostly in their homework planners beside the LRC barcodes. My only problem was getting one to everybody because of course a sticker gets everyone blethering – not ideal if you want them all to read.
In addition, we were lucky enough to receive a box of the ‘My favourite place‘ book, which we handed out to all 1st years. It was perfect timing for one English class whose teacher had only just started to talk about personal favourites. She couldn’t have been more stunned when I walked in and handed these out.
Of course, there’s also a couple of bad words in there, as many 1st years were keen to point out to me.
Catalyst Longlist Launch
The Catalyst Committee used Book Week Scotland to launch the Catalyst Longlist for this year, with Theresa Breslin providing a talk to an audience of 3rd year pupils and some visiting Russian librarians!
The Headteacher has now asked that we create a Book Week Scotland display for one of our assembly rooms, full of photos of pupils reading. We’ve also got the staff photos and plenty of postcards so we should be able to make a decent job of it.
So now my only problem is …