Friday, 5 July 2013

Marvellous librarian - Duncan Wright

Hints of purple, some hand-drawn swirly bits, and other stuff we liked. That was the background for our blog in its first days. Of course, we like all sorts of other stuff too and within days Little M had denounced the use of pink or anything that could be interpreted as ‘too girly’* on our blog. And, this was all because of Duncan Wright – or rather his post about boys and reading on the Hot Key Books blog.

Duncan is a school librarian and runs a book blog, Literature for Lads. Along with Anne Thompson and Hot Key Books**, he’s ingrained in the history of We Sat Down. Without further ado and continuing our series about marvellous librarians, here’s Duncan....!

author Moira Young
Author Moira Young's school visit
Duncan works as the school librarian at Stewart's Melville College, an independent, fee paying, boys school for ages 12 -18. The Sixth Form is co-educational. The library is for boys aged 12-18 and school staff.
And there’s something spooky: “Our library is in the old school chapel so we have an amazing space with an enormous high ceiling and lots of stained glass windows. We also have an organ loft with an organ still in situ! We also have a library ghost which some pupils and staff have seen...”. Yikes!

Duncan has been a recipient of The School Librarian of the Year award. We asked him what this is: “It is awarded annually by the School Library Association and is the SLA's prestigious honour to recognize the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day, and to highlight the best practice of those whose work is outstanding. It was a great honour for me to be awarded this title.”
Duncan Wright, Literature for Lads, school librarian of the year
Duncan Wright- he's not strict!
Little M will be delighted to hear that Duncan does not consider himself “to be a 'strict' librarian and I certainly don't enforce silence in the library.” Rather than shushing, Duncan sees the job of a school librarian as putting “the right book, in the right child's hands, at the right time.”

We asked him for a top recommended read for teen boys that might be viewed by some boys as 'a bit girly': “Mary, Spy for the Queen of Scots by Theresa Breslin could easily be ignored by boys due to the 'girly' cover but it's a great historical adventure story full of excitement with a dash of romance. I really don't think girls are influenced as much by covers, lead roles, etc. as boys.”
*Too girly – we like pink, blue, purple and all sorts. We don’t endorse fixed gender roles and our use of the term ‘girly’ is not an endorsement of gendered thinkin. We agree with Duncan, we think book covers affect boys more than girls - and that is a pity (not just for books).

** Hot Key Books - the first publisher to send us a book proof (we didn't know what it was!) and their reader engagement has been exceptional (in our experience).


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi there! We'd love to hear what you think. Please leave a comment. You need to fill out the word captcha too because of spam. Your comment will be visible after approval.