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nigella santa no.2 ... and libraries

When I saw how much fun Neill Cameron (creator of Mo-Bot High) was having, drawing Nigella Santa, I had to have a quick go at it, too. Ta-dah! Now go have a look at Neill's. His Nigella is kind of scary.



And a big congratulations to two friends who were shortlisted yesterday for the Blue Peter award: Candy Gourlay with Tall Story and Philip Reeve with A Web of Air. I've read both books and they are FAB (and, together with Mo-Bot High, perfect for Christmas prezzies).

Libraries. I feel like I need to say something about all these horrendous budget cuts. (Yes, probably just below Nigella Lawson is not the best place, but hey.) I said something on Facebook and got a mixed reaction; some people love their libraries, others wrote that they find them less than useful, or even discriminatory. Here was my response to them:

It does depend on the library, I agree, some are so much better than others. I'm thinking of a visit to Craigmillar Library, a rather unassuming building in the middle of a housing estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The small team of staff who work there are so incredibly dedicated; one guy in particular has really put his heart into making it a welcome space for kids to go, when there aren't any places nearby for them to hang out. It's a laid-back environment, has decent video game facilities and computers, but also a great display of recently published books.

In fact, it was during a quick browse of the display that I discovered the Mr Gum books (by Andy Stanton), and got a terrible case of the giggles reading some of the madcap chapters. 'On to Chapter 8.' 'There is no Chapter 8.' I love to think that loads of other kids may have discovered Mr Gum there, too, and realised books can be a great laugh, and want to read more.

I hate to think that places like Craigmillar will have to stop buying Mr Gum books, possibly lose people like that lovely guy with his huge heart for his community, or even have to shut their doors because of these cuts. It's more than a library, but the focus on books makes it so much healthier a place for these kids to hang out than, say, loitering around a fast food joint or a shopping mall.

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
tortipede
Dec. 8th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
Tags: cameron

From Nigella-Santa to cuts: you're going to have to come up with a tag that distinguishes Good Neill from Evil David...
jabberworks
Dec. 8th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
Ha ha... I just only now spotted the Cameron link! XD
ztoical
Dec. 8th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Your Nigella is a bit scary as well - I thought she was a vampire at first!

Regarding libraries I can't speak for the UK much but it does appear to be hit and miss in Ireland. I've been lucky to be asked to get invovled with several libraries in Ireland and the staff at all have been wonderful but I've approached others [mainly the one in my home town] and it was like hitting my head aganist a wall. Like alot of things it comes down to the people involved and some places are great, others not so great. I do agree that they should be a great place for kids and adults a like to spend time and I'd hate to see any have to shut.
neillcameron
Dec. 8th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
There is totally Something Of The Night about your Nigella Santa! Love it to pieces :D
(Anonymous)
Dec. 8th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
My freind works in Croyden Library. What people don't realise is that they provide a great service on top of just books. My friends works in IT and they run pc courses and loads of other stuff. There are still people who can't for whatever reason have a pc or get broadband at home and libraries play a really crucial role. Also libraries are great for kids as well as adults.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )