A warm welcome to Sylvie to tell us about Chatterbooks: book groups for children.
I am part of the Young People’s Team. Our job is to encourage children to read and to that effect, we facilitate a range of events in Glasgow libraries. We tell tales at story times, make books come alive while being crafty at library clubs, teach school children how to choose and use books, and more. It is no secret to anybody that my personal favourite is Chatterbooks, and I’m going to tell you all about it.
There are three Chatterbooks groups in Glasgow libraries – in Ibrox, the Mitchell and Hillhead. I work with the children at both the Mitchell and Hillhead.
Chatterbooks is for children from 8 to 12 years old who love books. And I’m lucky enough to work with book fans who also love to write. A session is a lively event where we chat about their latest read as well as focusing on a particular book or author. Because of the age range, it is sometimes better to work on the author rather than the book, as we can have a wider choice and make sure each child gets a book appropriate to them.
We create original games (board games, quizzes, writing games) linked to the books on offer.
In Hillhead, the children have published their first “Chatternews”, a magazine filled with short stories, reviews, comic strips, all written and drawn by our young authors/ illustrators themselves. The next issue will come out in January 2012.
All in all I can say that, if we are trying to challenge the children with Chatterbooks, they definitely challenge me with their requests. If I’m asking them to be creative, they do not demand any less of me . Making sure that the group keeps moving, that we renew ourselves constantly to keep the children’s interest is a job I love to do.
And a last thing I can tell to all the book groups out there, children are worth it!