Posts by Melanie Graaf

June's activities in Bolton

Posted Tuesday 23 June 2015 by Melanie Graaf in Latest Libraries News

June was a busy month for Bolton's Libraries

National Crime Reading Month

4th June An entertaining evening with Chris Simms speaking about his writing, his latest novel “Sleeping Dogs” and why he decided to self- publish. The time just flew by, as the audience were keen to ask lots of questions. chris at signing table with reader

Make a noise in libraries week

 We invited a group from Action for the Blind. They received information about our services and there was a chat about books they enjoy reading;  this included James Patterson titles, Ruth Hamilton and non-fiction books about Tarot, mind body and Astrology. It was a great opportunity to promote our e-books and e-audio books.

As it is National Crime Writing Month; we read aloud the introduction of  “The Water’s Edge,” by Norwegian Crime writer Karin Fossum As a result of the visit, one lady re-joined and took out three talking books, another has taken out an e-audio book and three people have also signed up to be a Friend of the Museum.

The launch of the Creative Design Show – University of Bolton 11th June 2015

A wonderful show case of creative courses on display at the University of Bolton.  Bolton Libraries and Museum worked in partnership with the University as part of their “Writers at Work” project placement for third year students. This involved students visiting our Egyptian collection and producing a piece of creative writing about the artefacts.

Following on from this, one of the placement students led a writing workshop at our Harwood community library. The feedback was fantastic – “We were impressed with Jack’s presentation and knowledge on Ancient Egypt, and found the talk on the artefacts you brought fascinating. It was wonderful to see them ‘close up’ and discuss them in more detail. You inspired us all and I’m sure you’ve given us all material we can use in our writing for the future.” Jack enjoyed his placement and is planning to do an MA in Museum studies.

Photography students were also working with the Egyptian collection to complement the creative writing. One student’s work from the project, led to being presented with the neo: artprize 2015 and gaining a twelve week neo residency placement.

This was a pilot for a regular programme, which will take place again in 2016. We also presented an award and prize to a creative writing student for an innovative and inspirational poetry poster.

Adult Learners’ Week 15th -19th June

  Local poet Dave Morgan hosted a workshop that looked at what influences our views of other cultures, discussed perceptions and stereotypes and how this influences our lives. Dave explored the Chinese culture, referring to popular Chinese book and film characters.

The group had fun trying to translate some poetry from the Chinese. One of the participants described the session as “thought provoking” and not what she had expected

Six Book Challenge Celebration -16th June

To celebrate Adult Learners’ Week, students from Bolton Sixth Form College were invited to the library to meet inspirational writer Steven McLaughlin. The College has been very successful with students completing the Six Book Challenge and ithas been a pleasure to work with them this year.

Staff were invited to their Six Book Challenge presentation, where we had a stall promoting activities and services offered by our Libraries and Museum.

Steven McLaughlin gave a very interesting talk and engaged his audience. Comments about the event – “Good informative and interesting subject matter.” “Very good –excellent in fact! Would like Steven McLaughlin to come to the Six Book presentation at the college next year.” “Really enjoyable experience and Steven has a knowledge that he can pass on to other people, about life and writing/publishing.” “I have joined the library for the first time and I can say that I enjoyed listening to the author talk.” Looking forward to working with the College on future events.

A lot of the students said they were keen to attend more of our author events.

National Reading Group Day -20th June group around table

To celebrate National Reading Group Day our book groups were asked to send us photos of their groups and some information on each one. Leading up to the day we have focused on a different book group each day by tweeting about them.

There is also a fantastic blog article on our Libraries and Museum website featuring Harwood Library which has three successful book groups; to include one that has been running for 15 years!

Melanie Graaf (Bolton)

Busy Bolton Libraries

Posted Tuesday 14 October 2014 by Melanie Graaf in Latest Libraries News

Bolton Library and Museum Service has sent an update about some special activities they have held in recent months to attract audiences to its libraries.

Many library authorities are doing similar things but not many pull them together into an updated report. Thanks to Melanie for sending this information.

Grandma’s Antique recipes with author Patricia Matthews

( Aug 21st Bolton Central Library ) A wonderful afternoon of entertainment with Patricia Matthews talking about the background to her book, Grandma’s Antique Recipes. Demonstrations were shown on screen of Pat in action, cooking recipes from the book. The highlight of the afternoon was the food tasting.

There were 64 people at the event; which linked to the Bolton Food & Drink Festival. From the feedback, it was considered  very successfult!

This was a lovely entertaining afternoon. My mum and I really enjoyed ourselves.

It was interesting, brought my childhood back when Gran used to bake at weekends.

Very enjoyable –nice humorous touches and very down to earth. Nice and informal.

Absolutely fabuloso! Well done Pat and thanks for teaching me what mother never had the chance to –PASTRY! 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid event at Breightmet Library

(Saturday 13th Sept) Breightmet Library took part in the Wimpy Kid Diary Giveaway. This was linked to The Just Read Campaign, backed by ITV’S Good Morning Britain; which encourages parents to spend 10 minutes reading with their children every day.

Children were keen to get their free book and take part in the linked activities.

Breightmet Library 5th Birthday Celebrations

  On the 18th Sept Breightmet Library celebrated its 5th birthday with a day of special activities.

People were invited to view the exhibition of paintings by the Silver Sketchers art group.

[Silver Sketchers sessions are run by Age UK every Friday, from 10am, at Breightmet Library in Breightmet Health Centre. For more details call 01204 332352]. 

Breightmet is a fine example of a community library that always has something going on! This was reflected in the wonderful display created by the library manager; showing all the different groups that use the library, with photographs and comments.

In the afternoon a nursery group was invited for a story session.

Following this, popular local crime writer Bill Rogers discussed his writing with an audience of 30, including the “Books & Banter” book group.

National Poetry Day on October 2nd

Local poets, read your poems  The day was promoted to local poets as an opportunity for them to read their poetry, on the National Poetry Day theme of “Remember” or otherwise. The event was enjoyed by all those who attended (26)

Comfy, relaxed, supportive. Very enjoyable –a chance (not often taken) to read my own stuff and listen to poets with more and less experience.

Brilliant!!! Great Atmosphere. Great words.Very enjoyable. Lots of talent in Bolton.

Summer Reading Game 2015 presentation

(Saturday Oct 4th) Bolton Central Library Another successful Summer Reading Game Challenge for Bolton Libraries. There was an increase in participation from last year. Staff played a major role in this, by going into schools and promoting the challenge with a “speedy read” (poem/short extract from a book/picture book story for younger children) & providing information about taking part. Craig scratching head

Schools were keen to win the Reading Trophy; which has been offered for the last 2 years. Blackshaw Primary School in Breightmet have been the winners both previous times, but this year it went to St Thomas of Chequerbent in Westhoughton.

Activities took place in all libraries. The young Summer Reading Game volunteers organised events at our Central Library.

Bolton Central Library held the Summer Reading Game presentation for children from the winning school and finishers from libraries, entered into a prize draw. The mayor presented children with a book token and the young volunteers with a certificate. Popular poet Craig Bradley was invited to perform some of his poems at the event.

Westhoughton Library author event ( Oct 7th)

Westhoughton library hosted an event with local writer Johanna Winard to talk about her debut novel Ruby’s War.

Happy Birthday Elmer the elephant (Saturday 11th Oct)

Popular children’s book character Elmer the elephant celebrates his 25th Birthday. Central Bolton’s Children’s Library joined in the celebration by reading Elmer stories and providing a fun Elmer activity.


North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

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