This is another guest post by my friend and former colleague, Gordana Nesterovic:
Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson will be embarking on a national tour of 35 libraries in England, Wales and Scotland, from the Highlands to Penzance, over six weeks. The tour begins today with an event at Thurso Library in the Northern Highlands and will celebrate libraries as a precious community resource at a time when a great many are threatened with closure. The full list of the libraries that Julia Donaldson will be visiting in this autumn's Children's Laureate Library Tour can be found here (events are aimed at groups of school children who will be able see Julia bringing her characters to life, but who will also have a chance to perform to Julia - so not all events will be open to public.)
Julia will also be visiting local independent bookshops, celebrating community relations between libraries, bookshops and schools. To coincide with the launch of her libraries tour, Julia will also be launching a new website for teachers (details yet to be announced) to help them to use drama and performance to bring picture books to life in the classroom. I feel this will be of particular importance as teachers, as well as librarians, are in position to help each child find the right book for them and ignite the spark of enjoying reading that will last a lifetime. The author of Gruffalo, amongst 75 other books, has always been very passionate about libraries and has worked very hard campaigning against library closures, including sending an open letter to the newly appointed Culture Secretary.
Yesterday, the Sunday Telegraph published the list of five of the best children's books about libraries, chosen by Julia Donaldson : Otto the book bear (2011) by Katie Cleminson, Delilah Darling is in the library (2007) by Jeanne Willis, Library lion (2008) by Michelle Knudsen, Wolves (2006) by Emily Gravett and Little Bo Peep's library book (1999) by Cressida Cowell.
If you are a Strathclyde University Library member, you will find the first four book in stock in the Children's Literature Collection. The last one is out of print at the moment, but might be found in your local library.