Book Week Scotland is always our busiest and probably favourite week of the library calendar and this year was no different. In fact our Book Week Scotland programme was bigger and better than it’s ever been. Here’s a round up of all the book related fun that happened here at the Special Collections Centre.
Flash Fiction 2014
Launched in September, writers of all ages and backgrounds were inspired by images from our collection to write a 500-word short story. The children’s competition was judged by prize-winning author Caroline Clough, while the adult competition judge was local author and University of Aberdeen lecturer Dr Helen Lynch. The high quality of writing gave Caroline and Helen a difficult job choosing our winners. Congratulations to Phil Olsen and Anisah McDonagh, our 2014 Flash Fiction winners! Read their winning stories as well as all the other Flash Fiction entries on our Book Week Scotland website.
Bookbinding Workshop and Talk
This popular workshop has become a staple of our events programme and always books up quickly. Participants learn practical bookbinding skills with our Book Conservator, Brannah Mackenzie while our Rare Books Cataloguer, Jane Pirie, talks them through a range of amazing bindings from our collection.
We were very excited to pilot a new event series during Book Week Scotland, our Collections Close-ups. These events give the public the chance to get up close and personal with the treasures of the Special Collections Centre in an informal setting, asking questions of Jane and our Senior Rare Books Librarian, Keith O’Sullivan. Held at lunch time over three days the Book Week Scotland Collections Close-ups showcased some of our most beautiful and rare books including Audubon’s Birds of America Volume 2, the Medieval Hortus sanitatis and a collection of tiny books.
The Big Book Theory – Teen Book Quiz
Hosted by our teen volunteer, Alice, this quiz tests the literature knowledge of young people in a fun and informal setting. Our Book Week Scotland quiz was very popular with teams coming from Torry Academy, Aberdeen Grammar School and the International School Aberdeen as well as a small team of two from Harlaw and Cults Academies. This team (the Lit Amis) were our winners, taking home some book vouchers, while the winner of the most inventive team name went to Torry Academy’s Swashbooklers. Well done to Alice for hosting a brilliant quiz and congratulations to all of our teams!
Big Book of Beasts!
Thursday was a day of storytelling and crafts for schools, all inspired by the magnificent medieval Aberdeen Bestiary, or book of beasts. Primary classes from three local schools explored the Bestiary with the Learning and Outreach team, heard tales of animals, myth and adventure from storyteller Diana Bertoldi and made some slithery snakes to take back to school.
Bestiary Bake Off
Bakers were invited to be inspired by images from our amazing Aberdeen Bestiary to create cakes, cupcakes and biscuits. This was a challenge for their decoration abilities and our winners really rose to the challenge. The Bestiary’s swan and bees inspired winning entries in all three categories. We had some fantastic prizes including a signed Mary Berry recipe book and a private audience with the Bestiary!
This year we worked with our colleagues in the Glucksman Conservation Centre to deliver an exciting event for families during Book Week Scotland. Participants learned how our conservators look after our books from Head Conservator Erica Kotze and tried out suminagashi, a Japanese paper marbling technique. Some amazing patterns were made by our incredibly creative participants. Then Brannah taught everyone how to make Japanese ledger books to take home with them.
It was a whirlwind of a week but we enjoyed every minute of it and we’re looking forward to next year’s Book Week Scotland already!