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Posts Tagged ‘School librarianship’

Yesterday’s blog post was, quite literally, sugar sweet, so today seems like a good day as any to spice the dish with something rather more sinister.

When I was still in primary school, I occasionally went to the secondary school in which they worked, where, to my delight, there was a school library, run by one of my earliest real life childhood heroes, Mrs MacKay. I spent a lot of time in there, and while I had already read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I was, at age 7, yet to encounter the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia. Mrs MacKay lent me the rest, and, when there was a fire in the school – don’t panic: the library survived intact, and replaced the small amount of smoke-damaged stock. For me, despite the initial horror, there was a silver lining to this dark cloud of smoke, as she sent home with my parents a full set of the Chronicles which smelt only slightly smoky. They were wrapped in strong plastic covers, and still have the typed library cards inside them. They are some of my most treasured possessions.  The Magician’s Nephew and The Silver Chair are my two favourites, and to my mind definitely the strangest.  As a lifelong medievalist (albeit unconsciously, at first), I suspect that part of the attraction are the mysterious women to be found loitering in woods and by lakes; for an authentic medieval example of such a woman, may I direct you to my post about Marie de France’s Lanval, also part of this Christmas Feast blog sequence? Given that C. S. Lewis was a real medieval scholar, not a dabbler like me, I’m pretty sure that such stories were, at least partly, his inspiration for Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle, but that’s a discussion for another day. Now on to the feast! (more…)

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I seem to have started every blog post in recent years – yes, years; that’s how bad it has been! – with an apology for not having written in so long. Despite all my good intentions, I have not been able to turn things around to start writing more regularly. Life and work are equally busy, and there was no sign that was going to change, until … (more…)

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As almost everybody I know is currently saying, how can it be 20 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired? It’s been such an important part of life, and I can still remember the first time I saw it, completely by accident. I was at university, with less than regular access to a television, so had somehow managed to miss the first series. One day at the family seat, I was channel hopping, and stopped at the sound of Cibo Matto. Hello, ‘When She Was Bad‘, where have you been all my life? Note: before you proceed, if you’ve never watched the show, there will be spoilers in this post. (more…)

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It’s been almost three weeks since my last blog post; I have survived the first two weeks of running a school library. It’s started really well, but the work is nonetheless hard, with so much to learn, and thus has been incredibly exhausting. Consequently, blogging hasn’t really been a priority. You might suspect me of withdrawing my allegiance from Rupert Giles, given this blogpost’s title, but this will never be so. The truth of the matter is that I wanted to break the ice with the pupils by showing that we had some shared interests; the regrettable truth is that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is older than a good few of the kids, while they are mostly likely to know who Batman is. I haven’t tested them on their knowledge of  the Buffyverse but invoking the Batverse has worked out well. (more…)

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I spent last week in five different libraries in the Glasgow area, in my new job as a school librarian. Over the Christmas holidays, I applied for a secondment to Glasgow Libraries’ School Libraries Outreach department. Readers mine, I was successful! Exactly one week ago today, I began work at my beloved Mitchell Library, a place I have known and loved since my grandparents first took me to visit it. (more…)

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