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Treasure 22: Aberdeen Public Library - Children's Book Week Programme, May 1945

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Historic Documents Details
Our featured treasure from the Library archive is a programme describing lectures and exhibitions held in the Central Library Juvenile Department during Children's Book Week 21-26 May 1945. It's really quite different compared to events held for Book Week Scotland, 23-29 November 2015 and the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2015-2016!

The first Children's Book Week organised by the National Book Council/League (now the Book Trust) started in November 1931. Aberdeen received a letter suggesting the "Public Library should be the pivot of local book week activities". However the Library Book subcommittee deferred consideration and instructed the City Librarian meantime to keep in touch with the movement in view of further developments. Surprising there was no uptake considering a reward scheme had been introduced in 1924. Young readers who had completed one year's membership and read at least 12 books during the year were presented with a Library badge with the name of the Library round the outside and the city arms in heraldic colours in the centre.

It was not until 1945 that the Education Department and public library together organised a programme of events, including book displays, lectures and films with a couple of well-known speakers - Nan Shepherd and Dr. W. Douglas Simpson. Over 2000 pupils from schools visited the Library in organised groups and perhaps as a result of the "How to Use Your Library" talk 400 young people applied for membership. Equally important were the beginnings of cooperation between the library and education authorities and the adoption of a scheme of Library visits as part of the school curriculum. Interestingly the Education Committee proposed payment of £117 towards the salary of Library staff for their time spent during the visits.
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