Living Library by Ann Evans

l-r:Kevin Brooke, Chas Eden, Sheryl Browne,
Polly Robinson, Sue Johnson, Ann Evans,
Linda Bromyard, Karen King, Rod Griffiths,
Diana Harrison.

It's always a good thing to inspire the next generation to have a love of books and reading, so I wanted to tell you about the Living Library event that I've been involved with over the last couple of years.

It's organised by friend and school librarian Linda Bromyard for her school – Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, usually for years 7 or 8.

As she tells the children, usually when you go into a library, you see books. On these occasions they come into the library and meet authors.

There's generally between 8-10 local authors, both traditionally published and self published who give up a couple of hours of their time for free to take part. Each author has their own table to display their books, leaflets, bookmarks, posters etc. 

Then small groups of children – no more than four or five descend on an author. They have about 10 minutes to chat to the author about their books or about writing – anything in fact that they want to ask.

When the ten minutes is up, each group moves around the room to the next author – just like speed dating. (So I'm told!)

We have five sessions then the authors have a tea and chocolate biscuit break – and a good old chat, before starting again.

Linda usually prints up a list of questions just in case they can't think what to ask – but usually the kids are buzzing with their own questions and thoughts. And if there's ever a quiet moment, you can always ask them what sort of stories they enjoy reading - or writing.

And of course, it's more than just writing books, if you illustrate, create ebooks, and self publish, this is all interesting stuff for young minds to take in and learn about.

It's not a book selling event, although very often the librarian wants to get your books in her library, to keep the pupils interest, since they've met the author. But it's a really enjoyable – if slightly exhausting way to spend a morning occasionally.

If there's a school or library local to you where you have connections, it might be a fun thing for you to suggest.

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JO said…
What a great project. I don't have library connections, but will certainly pass this on to people who do.
Karen said…
It was a fun event,Ann I've just written a blog about it too for ABBA.:)
Ann Evans said…
Thanks Jo and Karen for your comments. It's such a good idea and the kids seem to get a lot out of it.

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