…that’s me – and the School Library Association surprised me with a generous Hon Life Membership which rather took the wind out of my sails when I recently attended the SLA Conference in Glasgow. For a start it was quite odd being ‘just a delegate’ at the conference I had a hand in putting together (that was inevitable due to the time of year that I left SLA) but it was delightful too. I got to see and chat with lots of friends, and didn’t have to dash off to be somewhere else! I managed an off the cuff thank you speech – as well as (I hope) adding my voice to the call for the Great School Libraries Campaign. Plus, the Ceilidh band that evening turned out to be a great success too – just right – with lots of help in the dances!
Seriously though, if you can do back the Great School Libraries Campaign – it is vitally important, especially in these times of closing or de-professionalised public library services, that children have access through their schools to a great library. Their literacy, ambition, health and well-being will all suffer if they have no access to good quality reading and information resources when they need them.
Since then it has been a bit of a flurry of activity which has included writing an article, completing a series of reviews, attending our first Youth Libraries Group Virtual meeting plus a few days away. Will was working taking taking photographs for his new book but I was really just enjoying the scenery, catching up with local friends and enjoying Stratford Upon Avon. We were anxious our newly laid lawn and the patio plants would survive in the heat – but all was well.
This week has been a glorious mix of work and and publisher events – including a sneak preview of the work of Chris Riddell in illustrating The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J K Rowling. We are in for a real treat there (publishing Bloomsbury, October 2018). Then off to the Branford Boase event – a celebration of the best in new writing for children and young people, but that also recognises the important role of the editor in the process. It was won this year by Mitch Johnson for Kick with his editors Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker – published by Usborne – their third important book award win this year!
Last night was a fascinating discussion event hosted by Alice Curry at Lantana Publishers called ‘Inspired by India’ an evening of picture books and conversation from Chitra Soundar, Poonam Mistry, Ranjit Singh and Mehrdokht Amini at the Nehru Centre. I had never been to the Nehru Centre before but check it out as it has a programme of events and exhibitions that are varied and interesting.
After 3 late nights in London – and Saturday there for my first FCBG National Executive meeting I am having a quiet day at home – a little light housework, followed by some reading and then a welcome catch up with friends from the village in the pub tonight!