Website of the Week: Literary Hub

This week’s  Website of the Week, is Literary Hub. So, just what is Literary Hub? In their own words, the editors say:

Literary Hub is an organizing principle in the service of literary culture, a single, trusted, daily source for all the news, ideas and richness of contemporary literary life. There is more great literary content online than ever before, but it is scattered, easily lost—with the help of its editorial partners, Lit Hub is a site readers can rely on for smart, engaged, entertaining writing about all things books. Each day—alongside original content and exclusive excerpts—Literary Hub is proud to showcase an editorial feature from one of its many partners from across the literary spectrum: publishers big and small, journals, bookstores, and non-profits.

The LitHub site is a veritable treasure trove of all things literary. Featured sections include:

For loads more reading suggestions visit out own Reading page here.

Read what you like. Like what you read.




Website of the Week: The Book Smugglers

This week’s  Website of the Week, is The Book Smugglers.

This site is a fabulous, up-to-date book blog curated by two self-confessed bibliophiles and book geeks. 

Like many foolhardy ideas, The Book Smugglers was born of a time of great adversity. Faced with threats concerning the overwhelming volume of books purchased on a daily basis, Ana Grilo and Thea James resorted to “smuggling” books home in huge handbags to avoid scrutiny. In 2008, the devious duo founded The Book Smugglers, a blog dedicated to speculative and genre fiction for all ages. In addition to being an outlet for Ana and Thea’s bottomless obsession with books, reviews, and assorted popgeekery, it is also the home of original SFF short fiction and nonfiction.

The Book Smugglers won the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine in 2020.

For loads more reading suggestions visit out own Reading page here.

Read what you like. Like what you read.




World Book and Copyright Day Literary Quiz (and World Book Night too…)

“Books have the unique ability both to entertain and to teach. They are at once a means of exploring realms beyond our personal experience through exposure to different authors, universes and cultures, and a means of accessing the deepest recesses of our inner selves.”

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day

On March 4th World Book Day was celebrated in the UK. The official United Nations (UNESCO) World Book and Copyright Day is actually 23rd April each year. UK schools tend to celebrate WBD in early March in order to avoid a clash with the Easter Holidays. This year’s theme is ‘Read…so you never feel alone’.

So, due to the fact that we were in Lockdown once again on March 4 we decided to celebrate World Book Day this year only, on April 23rd instead. In the first two weeks of this term our Year 9 English classes have been participating in a World Book Day Literary Quiz leading up to the final held today.

I am pleased to be able to announce our worthy winners. In third place was Georgiana, followed closely by Louisa in second place with. Our overall champion however is Tansy by a substantial margin. Well done Tansy!

Georgiana, Tansy and Louisa. Our Year 9 World Book and Copyright Day Literary Quiz Winners.

Our winner and two runners-up will each receive a National Book Token which they can redeem in local bookshops or online for books of their choice.

Thank you to all the Year 9 students and their English teachers who made the quiz so much fun and to all those who found a new book to read or maybe a new favourite author over the last few weeks.

Happy World Book and Copyright Day!

World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, celebrations take place all over the world to recognize the scope of books – a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures. On this occasion, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry – publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a year to maintain, through its own initiatives, the impetus of the Day’s celebrations. 

and just for good measure today 23rd April is also celebrated as World Book Night here in the UK!

Carnegie Award Shortlist Books Hit Millfield Library Shelves

We are excited to announce that several copies of each of the eight shortlisted books for this year’s Carnegie Book Award are now available to borrow in the Library. The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the UK’s oldest and best-loved children’s book awards, recognising outstanding reading experiences created through writing and illustration in books for children and young people. If you’d like to borrow any of these and/or get involved in our ‘Shadowing’ project just let the Library staff know.

Click below for more information on the shortlisted titles and their authors.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson

The Girl Who Became a Tree by Joseph Coelho

On Midnight Beach by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

UK Children’s Laureate Leads Call for £100m School Library Fund

Cressida Cowell, the UK’s current Children’s Laureate is leading a call for the government to commit £100m per year in ring-fenced funding for Primary school libraries in England. Read her open letter to the Prime Minister here.

The letter has also been signed by former Children’s Laureates including Michael Rosen, Quentin Blake and Jacqueline Wilson.

Cowell noted how one in eight primary schools don’t have a library.

That statistic doubles in schools with a higher proportion of children on free school meals.

She also noted that in prisons, libraries are statutory – but not in schools.

Read the news coverage of her open letter and her ‘Life-Changing Libraries‘ project below:


BBC News

The Guardian

The Independent

New University of Bristol Library plans approved

The University of Bristol recently gained planning permission for their new £80m Library. Despite initial rejection of the proposal, the plan for a brand new Library and revamped surroundings has gotten the green light. Check out the video flythrough below to get a feel for the project and the design.

According to the University’s website the New University Library (NUL)

‘will be a stimulating and nurturing learning environment providing world-class academic facilities that foster innovation in teaching, student attainment and new research partnerships. The building will accommodate learning and research space and provide:

  • capacity for around 2,000 new study seats
  • approximately 420,000 books and 70,000 journals
  • a new space to showcase Bristol’s world-class cultural collections
  • a museum style café, exhibition gallery space and reading rooms, open to all

The NUL will be a new cultural destination for the city of Bristol. The ground floor of the library will be fully open to the public and is designed to be accessible to all. It will welcome students, staff and Bristol’s communities by opening up exhibition spaces and the University’s accredited museum and archive services, including the renowned Theatre Collection and world-class Special Collections.’

Artist’s impression of the NUL and surrounding gardens.

It is heartening to see a local learning institution investing so heavily in new library infrastructure and services at a time when many others are withdrawing funding or scaling back plans. The university’s new library project will incorporate ethically sourced materials and environmentally sustainable design including a green rooftop terrace. The project forms part of the University’s Campus Heart programme which aims to transform the centre of the campus into a vibrant hub for the University and city community.

Since the start of the programme in 2018, the University has already improved a number of its spaces and facilities for the benefit of our staff, students and members of the local community.

These changes include a larger and better equipped Indoor Sports Centre providing bigger class capacities, improved changing facilities and faster access; and a new environmentally friendly and fully wheelchair accessible café – Source Garden Café – offering sustainable, ethically sourced food and great coffee.

Find out more about Campus Heart by visiting

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Today, March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day. So, just who was St. Patrick and why should it matter?

Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St Patrick is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians. Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”

Many folk ask the question ‘Why is the Shamrock the National Flower of Ireland?’ The reason is that St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.

25 Books by Irish Writers You Should Read

Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been – the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice. While not the first to bring christianity to Ireland, it is Patrick who is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites. The story holds that he converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and thousands of their subjects in the “Holy Wells” that still bear this name.

There are several accounts of Saint Patrick’s death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against the “evil eye.” Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin.

People with Irish heritage the world over celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, March 17. Some calculations place the total population of people with predominantly Irish ancestry at over 100 million people. That’s over 15 times the current population of Ireland which stood at 6.4 million in 2011. At last count (2011 Australian Census) there were over 2 million Australians reporting Irish Ancestry; that’s just over 10% of the total population and of this number a little over 12% were first generation Irish immigrants to Australia.

Read St. Patrick in his own words here.

The Irish Diaspora: Global Irish Site and Wikipedia Article. Also Telegraph article on the history of St Pat’s Day.

Website of the Week: The Library 100

This week’s  Website of the Week, is The Library 100 from OCLC

This site has collated the  top 100 novels of all time as collected by libraries around the world. What makes a novel “great”? At OCLC, they believe literary greatness can be measured by how many libraries have a copy on their shelves.

Yes, libraries offer access to trendy and popular books. But, they don’t keep them on the shelf if they’re not repeatedly requested by their communities over the years. They’ve identified 100 timeless, top novels—those found in thousands of libraries around the world—using WorldCat, the world’s largest database of library materials.

Download the Library 100 Checklist

See the Full 500 Greatest Novels of All Time checklist. Filter by genre too.

For loads more reading suggestions visit out own Reading page here.

Read what you like. Like what you read.




Website of the Week: How to Research a Quotation

This week’s  Website of the Week, is How to Research a Quotation by Sharon Rickson at the New York Public Library.

What do all the following quotations have in common?

“Not everything that counts can be counted.”

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

“Two things inspire me to awe–the starry heavens above and the moral universe within.”

“Education is that which remains, if one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”

“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.”

None of them were ever said by Albert Einstein!

The nature of the internet, Social Media and search algorithms means that the attribution of authorship for a particular quote or saying seems to gain authority each time it is read, shared, repeated and re-shared. Often the wording, the original source or the actual author of the quotation itself becomes confused, misattributed or completely lost. In place of a definitive author and source for even famous quotations, people tend to repeat and share exactly what they first read without researching or checking if the details are correct and verifiable.

Like a snowball gathering weight and mass as it travels downhill, many now famous quotes are still being wrongly associated with famous figures as they continue to be re-posted and re-shared via Social Media and the Internet. 

This excellent NYPL article gives us plenty of tips and tricks to help identify and confirm who actually said or wrote that quote you want to use. 

He Said, She Said….

or did they?

Some more Quote Hunting Resources:

Quote Investigator

 “Hemingway Didn’t Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations.” by Garson O’Toole