Sunday, 18 August 2013

We are not alone....

You can never have too much of a good thing, right?
Well this month I thought I would pick some of my favourite book blogs and give them a shout out!  After all, we enjoy sharing the love in Havering Libraries!
So, if you have a few minutes, why not pop along to one of these book blogs!  Don't forget to leave them a comment and let them know we sent you!
And just to leave a little question that we are running over on our Facebook Page at the moment - what is the strangest place you have read a book?  So far, we have one lady telling us about how she read Harry Potter while she was in labour!
Make sure you pop into one of our libraries and say hi!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Me & "In favour of Reading Groups"

I overheard in a cafĂ© today “I’ve been writing the paper for 15 months and now listening to you I’m changing it in my head” This comment made me smile and look at myself I was asked weeks ago if I would blog for Havering Libraries and my immediate reaction was really ME?!

I’ve always wanted to blog but never really had the nerve. I mean I can talk for England but writing it down to the point of actually gaining someone interest that’s a whole different ball game isn’t it? In my head I’ve written pages and pages but in reality nothing. I realised that it had been weeks since being asked and that in a way I was quite similar to the man who said it so here goes.

First let me tell you about myself I’ve recently turned 50 a fact I am very proud of - I had a tattoo to celebrate. I am married with 2 adult children who are both married and we have a grandchild due to be born in a few weeks. My favourite season is Autumn, my favourite drink is tea but recently I have converted to white hot chocolate – it has to be made with milk to get the full effect (if you haven’t tried it go on I dare you, its delicious). My favourite author is Jodi Picoult. My favourite fruit is a nectarine. I love Marmite.

I run a reading group in Rainham Library and go to the knit and natter there. I enjoyed it so much we have now started a Knightly Knitters as well. I also help with an adult craft and chatter group on a Saturday in the library.

The reading group started in January 2007, our first book was “The Reading Group “ by Elizabeth Noble. As the song goes it “is a very good place to start” – it set the scene for future meetings where now we have nibbles and a glass or two whilst discussing the book.
The reason I joined the group was to meet new people and read books I otherwise would leave on the shelf. Trust me I’ve read lots of book through this group some excellent, some good and some that were so awful I couldn’t get passed the first chapter.
We have a saying in the group “Life is too short to read a bad book” really honestly it is. A book is where you can lose yourself and enter into another world. So why would you go into a world where you weren’t happy you just wouldn’t would you? – it's your choice.

Each library in Havering has reading groups it’s well worth taking a look, they are all different but all fun. There is always have enough copies of the book as there is now a new way of requesting them. Some of the libraries have reading groups that are for listening and a new venture is a signing group in Romford. There are huge benefits from being involved in a group.

Our group have a mix up of people including a solicitor, teachers, retired, a CEO, a BBC prop artist and we even have a budding author but despite our differences in ages, jobs and gender we all have a love of books.

So that’s me introducing myself and telling you a little bit about the book groups. They really are worth exploring. I’ve recently ventured into other libraries in the Borough and realised there are some excellent fun projects going on in each of them. I just really need more hours in my day but don’t we all wish for that?

Have fun and keep reading.

Monday, 24 June 2013

A discussion on present and future libraries:

There is a wide debate over the positives and negatives of libraries in the UK; are libraries a dying tradition, or can they be modernised to appeal to upcoming generations?

Research into the young generation’s opinion shows that due to the digital world’s dominance and accessibility, libraries have lost their purpose and significance. The birth of kindles, iPads and eBooks has allowed the world to have easy access to any form of literature they choose with less responsibility of returning it on time or keeping it in pristine condition. The absence of time limits, fines and possibilities of the desired books unavailability have seen a dramatic drop in UK libraries’ popularity. To add to this, the stereotypical view of librarians amongst the younger generations is that they are strict, unwelcoming and petty. With better things to be doing in their free time, visiting a library which has a reputation of being ‘un-cool’ is not common choice.

However, libraries do have their positives for teenagers who are faced with examinations. They offer quiet study areas outside of the house and away from any distractions where resources are easy to find and mainly free. There is also specialised help on offer and access to computers for research on specialised projects. In addition, libraries offer placements for voluntary work which enhances many young people’s personal statements for university. Computer access also allows older generations to attend courses that familiarises them with the internet and general use of a computer; this service encourages them to accept the digital age and move with the times. 

In an informal interview, some young people were questioned on where they see libraries in five years time. The widespread agreement was that they would be digital based providing free access to kindles, iPads and eBooks for the public that could not be removed from the premises. Also it was discussed that libraries would become more popular if treated like a community centre; where workshops, projects and clubs would bring the local community together.

Libraries may not appeal to everyone in the community, but their presence and resources will always have a purpose to generations to come. Perhaps the stereotypical reputation will never be removed, but as the young generation mature, they will realise the importance of libraries in the local community. 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

New Children's Laureate

I am so excited that the new Laureate has been announced as Malorie Blackman.  She will be such an inspiration for teens who perhaps have slipped away from reading. 
I first read Noughts and Crosses years ago - I read it as part of my job, when I felt I needed to improve my knowledge of teen stock in the library.  I loved it!  It spoke to me like no other book I had read at that time.
Since then, I have read many more teen books, some as good, some not as good (shhhhh, some that I have enjoyed even more!) but this was one book I really wanted my son to read - he was 10 when he read it and thoroughly enjoyed it too - this was around the time when he was reading the Twilight Sagas so it had some competition (as far as he was concerned).  I feel it gave him an alternative view of fiction - and, perhaps more importantly, helped him to understand prejudice in a very safe way. 
I am so thrilled that Malorie's books are now required reading in some secondary schools - I think this speaks volumes for their quality but also their ability to engage young people.  And if you want a very different read from Malorie try her book Unheard Voices - oh boy!!!

I am going to stop enthusing now, suffice to say that I am chuffed that Malorie will be our new laureate and, Malorie, if you want to pop over to Havering Libraries we can offer you a very enthusiastic and admiring audience!


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Smallest book ever....

Well, it has yet to be confirmed, but the Telegraph have reported about this book....

Created in Japan, it is claimed to be the smallest ever printed book.  The pages measure 0.75mm (0.03") and is impossible to read with the naked eye!  

The book, Shiki no Kusabana (flowers of seasons) has tiny illustrations of Japanese flowers, such as cherry and plum.  The letters are just 0.01mm wide.
So, in keeping with this...what is the shortest book you have ever read???  Ooooo that's a hard question!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Been so long.....

Its truly been an age since I got the chance to update this blog - no whys, wherefores or excuses, just please accept that I will be doing this more regularly from now on!

Just a reminder that this is our blog for Havering Library book lovers!  I have updated the book reviews (see the tabs above)...if you want to submit a review then drop me an email with it.  

OR if you are an author or publisher who would like a book review then feel free to contact us - however, the review will be done by either a member of staff or a member of public - so you will get an honest review!!!  Email is ruth dot gedalovitch at havering dot gov dot uk (yes that does HELP to deter spammers!).

thanks for popping by today! 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

All change over on facebook!

Dickens is still continuing in libraries - I haven't just given up on Oliver, but the previous posts were taster posts as I went through personally, so please continue to read Oliver Twist and feel free to add a comment!

We have been running Facebook Havering Reading Group for quite a while now.  We have nearly 300 members but felt that we needed to make it more obviously Havering Libraries and also take the original page back to the reading group concept which we had originally planned - it became more a news and information page.


So - we have now acted upon this distinction.  So, if you want to join an online reading group then pop on over to our Havering Reading Group facebook page.  If you want to find out all about the fabulous new services we are offering, our events, and special activities we are running etc then you need to pop over and like our Havering Libraries facebook page.  This will become the main source for information about Havering Libraries - unless I forget to change accounts and post on the wrong page!  OR (and this just HAS to be the best option) why not like both the pages and get the best of both worlds?


Look forward to seeing you over there