Storytelling sessions to inspire a lifelong love of reading

Explore York Libraries are teaming up with Mud Pie Arts Theatre Company, drama specialists for early years and primary school age children, to create weekly storytelling sessions.

Acomb Explore Library

Acomb Explore Library

These lively, fun sessions are based on a different picture book every week which will be explored through games and role-play for children aged two to five year olds.

Each week children will be encouraged to discover book characters and objects hidden in a specially-made hollow book, which will be used to lead the games and activities.

The session will end with that week’s story being read.

Frances Postlethwaite, Explore Library’s Children and Young People’s Librarian, said: “carer will also get ideas of fun things they can do with reading at home. Each week there will be a different story and different activities”.

The aim of these sessions is to encourage and develop a love of books and reading early in life through active participation and play in an exciting and fully immersive way. The sessions are for a carer and child

Starting tomorrow, there will be 10 sessions offered per term, with a charge of £2 per child per session.

The sessions will take place at Explore Acomb Library, Front Street, Acomb, York YO24 3BZ from 1.30 – 2.30 pm and the dates for this first half term are:

  • Thursday 25 September 2014
  • Thursday 2 October 2014
  • Thursday 9 October 2014
  • Thursday 16 October 2014
  • Thursday 23 October 2014

Places can be booked in person at any Explore York Library or ring Explore Acomb Library to book over the phone. Tel 01904 552661

Big City Read author signs off at Acomb Explore

Join us for the Big City Read 2014 finale event at Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre on 24 September with the York-based author of this year’s chosen novel, The Orpheus Descent.

Acomb Explore Library

Acomb Explore Library

After a summer of 24 events held in libraries across the city alongside associated events held by partners, Big City Read author Tom Harper will bring this year’s Big City Read to a close on Wednesday 24 September at 6.30 pm. The event is free but booking is advised through any Explore York Library.

Tom will reminisce on his experiences of being this year’s featured author, the events he has taken part in and will give a taste of some of the other books he has written to take Big City Read participants’ reading further.

The Big City Read issues 5,000 copies of the chosen title to residents to read over the summer. Books always have some link to York and the book for this year, The Orpheus Descent is by local writer Tom Harper. Tom came up with the idea for the book from reading in the University of York Library, which he researched in more depths in York’s libraries before writing the novel in York.

Big City Readers have given Explore York Libraries feedback on The Orpheus Descent including: “A well-crafted archaeological adventure with a fast-moving narrative thread and telling descriptive passages”, “A thought-provoking read” and “A rattling good yarn by a new-to-me teller of tall tales! If they’re all as entertaining as this, then I’d happily read his others.”

Fiona Williams, Chief Executive of Explore York, said: “It has been another successful Big City Read and we would like to thank Tom for all the time he has given us. I loved the book and am now reading another of his about the Crusades.”

Labour challenged over Library closure

The beleaguered Labour Leadership have been challenged over rumours that they are intending to close at least one library under their 2015 budget plans

Bishopthorpe Library

Bishopthorpe Library

Usage of libraries varies greatly across the City but Labour are likely to target those in areas represented by opposition Councillors.

Those that look to be vulnerable include Bishopthorpe where some Councillors apparently have hopes of building social housing on a cleared site.

Libraries were one of the City’s success stories during the last decade with use increasing from 750,000 a year in 2003 to over 1 million in 2011.

Bishopthorpe library attracts over 20,000 user visits each year.

Labour then outsourced the management of the libraries to a social enterprise company but retained the right to force library closures by reducing service grant levels.

They hope that any public odium will then fall on the “Community Interest Company” rather than their paymasters.

We suspect that library users are rather too sophisticated to fall for that line.

Acomb Explore’s first transatlantic event to be with Orange Prize-winner

Author Madeline Miller will be talking about her Orange Prize winning novel, The Song of Achilles, live from the East Coast of the USA.

The talk, including a question and answer session, will be broadcast from Boston via Skype to a large screen at Acomb Explore on Thursday 21 August, 7-8pm, with entry by ticket only.

The American writer is a classical specialist and her book is a very human retelling of the Ancient Greek tale of the god Achilles and his lover Patroclus, hero Hector and the siege of Troy.

A captivating retelling of the Iliad and events leading up to it through the point of view of Patroclus: it’s a hard book to put down, and any classicist will be enthralled by her characterisation of the goddess Thetis, which carries the true savagery and chill of antiquity.” Donna Tartt, in The Times

Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She has studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms. While for the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students.

Explore York Libraries and Archives presents “Caring for Carers”

On Wednesday 30 July, in the foyer at West Offices, a free exhibition of local care services will be held for carers.

Explore York Libraries and Archives are currently working with local carers to discover the benefits of using computers and being online, and this Caring for Carers event, presented by Explore York will give customers the opportunity to discover the wealth of support available to unpaid care-givers in the city of York.


Flash Read to A-maze city’s book lovers

Acomb Library book sale April 2014

To launch this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, people across the city are being invited to join in a flash read and show their support for children’s reading!

This reading equivalent of a flash mob, aims to inspire more children and their parents to take a few minutes to share the pleasures of a good book, which is a key component of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

The flash read will take place on Friday 11 July at 11am when Explore is urging everyone to stop what they’re doing for a few minutes, pick up a good book and read. It only needs to take a few minutes but it will be a city-wide, fun event to remind everyone of the pleasures of reading. To spread the word, readers are invited to take a reading selfie and tweet it at #yorkflashread, or simply tell us what or where they are reading and join in.