Amanda Childs shares her experience of joining in with our Picture Books In The Pub events…
At the age of seven I wanted to be a librarian. From an early age – I guess I was about nine I would visit Eccles Library on my way home from primary school and help the library staff – whether they wanted me to help or not!
At eleven we moved and at thirteen/fourteen I discovered a new library to help out at.
For my work experience, no prizes for guessing …. I went to a library which led me onto getting a Saturday job and some holiday work. I went to university and gained a degree in librarianship and from leaving university until today I have almost always been a librarian – both in schools and the public arena. During my twenty five plus years in this wonderful job, I have been fortunate to have encountered a wide range of CPD. For the majority of these days (as we know) the best part is getting together with other librarians to discuss what we love most – books and our jobs.
…what I have professionally and personally gained from the last few months have been almost indescribable
This year I have been lucky enough to be involved with the North West Committee of YLG. Last July two of the group headed to the North East for a training day and learnt of a project there – Picture Books in the pub. My ears pricked up – how does this work? Getting books out to more people is of course one of the joys of our jobs and I wanted to learn how to get involved. In reality it hasn’t been as I imagined but what I have professionally and personally gained from the last few months have been almost indescribable. Since the Greenaway List was announced a number of the committee and others have met in a pub in Manchester to discuss the shortlist. Our first meeting involved looking at all 8 on the shortlist and Emma the North West CKG representative gave us a brief overview of why these had been selected. It was marvellous. We then planned on what two books we were going to look at in detail two weeks later….
It was amazing how looking at the criteria with others truly enhanced the experience with the books.
The format for the sessions became – we would order food and drink first (priorities, priorities) then settle with the first book and go through the criteria item by item and discuss whatever pages would catch our eyes. Some folk would email in their thoughts and these were discussed too along with our own analysis. I absorbed every comment, analysis and pages of these books. It was amazing how looking at the criteria with others truly enhanced the experience with the books.
After the first sessions I devised a library lesson for my Year 7 groups sharing the Greenaway books with them, something it had never occurred to me to do before – I know, 25+ years in the field of librarianship, where every year I devoured and loved reading all the Carnegie books but had never really taken much notice of the Greenaway! I was very much ashamed of this and now I can’t wait to explore the backlist of past shortlisted books with my students.
After the discussions of the two books was over we would vote – which one we thought would possibly win/our favourite? It was always such a tough choice. We of course ate, drank and chatted more about work and I have found these times enormously helpful professionally but also because we all love literature I have had the best of fun.
If you ever get the chance to join us please do I know you won’t regret it.