Sharon Wagg reports on her first YLG training event

Keen to engage with students and support aspiring librarians, YLG North West ran a competition to offer a free place to one student to attend our Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal training event on 11th October this year.  In return, the student was required to write a report of the event.  Sharon Wagg was our lovely winner and here is her account of the day:

As I sat on the train travelling to my first Youth Libraries Group (YLG) training event, my mind kept replaying the events of the year that led me to be offered a free student place on the YLG North West’s Carnegie and Greenaway Medal training event: “Inspiring Books for Young Readers.”

Having embraced the world of school libraries over the past few years and then moving to the beautiful Peak District, I have just begun studying for an MA in Librarianship at the University of Sheffield. Whilst slightly daunted by the idea of going back to study, I relished the idea of attending conferences and training events. And so here I am, a rather mature MA student reporting on her first ever YLG training event. CKG photo 1

Hosted in the library of St Gregory’s Catholic High School in Warrington, I was one of 16 delegates attending the event. Joy Court, Chair of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Award’s Working Party, opened the day’s proceedings by explaining the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shadowing scheme, and how it engages thousands of children and young people in reading the books on the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals shortlist every year. The talk made me reflect on my school library jobs, and how I enjoyed enthusing and inspiring children and young people about books and reading, yet to date I have to admit I have not set up a shadowing group. This statistic will most certainly change as I found Joy’s explanation was both enlightening and inspiring.

Joy also discussed research entitled Enriching Reading for Pleasure: the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shadowing scheme. Commissioned by CILIP and undertaken by researchers from the Open University, the research explores the value and impact of the shadowing scheme. If you haven’t read the report, download it immediately, as it is certainly worth reading and promoting.

After a short break the day continued with a mock judging panel where Jake Hope, Freelance Children’s Book Consultant; Alison Brumwell, Librarian and Information Officer at Kirklees Council; and Kathryn Flagner, Senior Librarian, Cumbria, all discussed this year’s regional nominations for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway awards, providing an interesting insight into the judging process.

CKG training event photo 2

This was followed by lunch where the delegates had time to mingle and network and also vote for their favourite book as discussed in the previous session.

After lunch we all had the privilege of watching illustrator Levi Pinfold, this year’s Kate Greenaway award winner, talk to a group of very lucky children about his book Black Dog. Levi’s talk was absorbing as he talked about how he got into writing and illustrating books and all the children, and I stress all the children where completely focused. Even two boys who openly acknowledged that they didn’t like reading asked some very interesting questions. Afterwards there was an opportunity to buy his books and I couldn’t resist getting a signed copy of Black Dog for my two daughters.

CKG training event photo 3

Levi Pinfold

To finish off the day Diana Thompson, Senior School Services Officer for Cumbria County Council, led a practical session on useful hints and tips on how to go about shadowing the awards, focusing on what to look for in picture books. Another great session.

CKG training event photo 4

To sum up this is certainly an event I would highly recommend and encourage others to attend. The training was excellent, the YLG North West team were incredibly welcoming and I came away feeling inspired and part of a network of amazing librarians and information professionals. Thank you to everyone for making it such a great day.

Sharon Wagg


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