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Catch Up

Illustrator Korky Paul celebrating 25 years of Winnie the Witch

Our conference came and now seems like ages ago!  Well,  it was over a week ago now!  There are comments, blogs and a wonderful storify all available on the website – and these will be added to, so do go have a look at what we discussed and learned. Lighting the Future proved to be a successful, lively, buzzy weekend.

My only regret about the weekend was that I came down with an awful cold and so really didn’t have the energy and clear head to get the most out of the whole thing, or to be able to catch up with as many friends as I would have liked to.  The cough is still hanging around so I am never without a bottle of water to hand!

Simon Mayo listening to Aidan Chambers in the panel discussion at Lighting the Future

Since then it’s been just as busy – and next week is catch up time on all the things I put off until after the conference – oh dear!  Had a fascinating meeting with publishing colleagues about taking a new campaign about information books for children to the public – wonder what will happen with that, but it will tie in with our Information Book Award and national non fiction day .

Also it was this years Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals celebration – at the Barbican which proved to be a super venue.  The winner of both medals, for the first time ever, was the same book!  A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay was a worthy winner, with cheers all round and some super speeches and follow up pieces in the press about both men.  Daily Telegraph piece here .

Will is currently deep in rehearsal for the play at the Royal & Derngate (Northampton) at the end of the month, but we took an evening off to see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: the Radio Show – it was fabulous!  Full website here. Such a joy to see all the exuberance from Douglas Adams back on stage.  This was made even more special by us having coffee with Simon Jones, Dirk Mags and Geoff McGiven in the morning and reminiscing about  all those years ago in Footlights at Cambridge!  Then drinks afterwards in the Mail Coach with the cast and crew rounded off a wonderful evening!  It’s a tough old life when you have a touring show on the road – and the tour buses looked good but not sure it would suit me!

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Busy busy

So very nearly ready for our conference, lots of things moving into place and happily the programme looks great lighting the future looks as if it will be a good one. Think I may owe everyone lunch in the office to make up for all the hard work.

Tomorrow I’m off to the new Canada Water library in docklands for an Arts Council consultation on the model for libraries of the future. Think it may be a challenging day! Frustratingly the APPG on Libraries scheduled for earlier this week has been postponed as they couldn’t get enough MPs and Lords to the breakfast meeting – so heaven knows when that will get rescheduled.

Meanwhile we have an SLA delegation off to see Nick Gibb in early July – to discuss school libraries! Could be good.

Looking forward to all the merriment in the village for the Jubilee – especially Will and Pete’s revue entitled Diamond Geezers. One more mad week at work and then a long weekend of jollity. Bring on the fun.

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Catch Up

Well what a busy time this has been. Had a wonderful conference in Ennis, Ireland at a Comenius funded SLAMit conference with a wonderful group of international librarians and teachers all interested in school library design and their work. It was a great experience and also included a day of tourism – which was one of the requirements of the EU funding. Loved talking to all the librarians about their work and how local conditions and traditions impact on the set up in their countries.

Then been incredibly busy with work. Not only the day to day stuff, but planning some work with CILIP around the ShoutAbout School Libraries campaign, as well as getting everything ready for the Lighting the Future conference.

In the midst of all this there was a quick dash up to Manchester to see Sarah in a super play Seven showing at a small theatre in Affleck’s Palace. It was seven short plays by different playwrights, and all acted by an ensemble of folk – Sarah was in a 17 minute monologue of Gluttony and she was superb! I would say that wouldn’t I but the reviewers thought so too, and an RSC actor told her it was a masterclass in monologue!

Meanwhile we also had a super time at Ben Piercy-Hughes wedding blessing. The ceremony was in Denford and then followed by a lovely meal at the Fox at Thorpe Waterville. It was a lovely day and Becky managed to get up here too.

Becky’s madly busy filming with the RSC – to do with their work in schools and also with their trailers for the season. Great that she’s busy and seems to be happy with it all. Meanwhile she is also busy raising sponsorship and making connections to take Sarah’s play Call Me to Edinburgh Fringe this year. So we’re spending the first week of August in Ed for the Fringe – working the Royal Mile I imagine.

Looking forward to mid June when I expect to get a bit more time to draw breath, meanwhile back to the grindstone!

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