Julia Donaldson's Laureate Library Tour
In autumn 2012, Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson set out on an ambitious six-week tour of libraries covering England, Wales and Scotland, from the Highlands to Penzance. The tour aimed to celebrate libraries as a precious community resource at a time when a great many are threatened with closure.
The tour began on Monday 10 September with an event at Thurso Library in the North Highlands as part of the Scottish leg of the tour, which was organised by Scottish Book Trust and sponsored by Scottish Friendly. The English and Welsh leg of the tour began with an event at Wigan Library on Tuesday 25 September and finished at Carlisle Library on Thursday 18 October.
A separate week-long tour of Northern Ireland libraries took place in March 2013: read more about Julia's trip to Northern Ireland.
‘Libraries are very close to my heart; not only do they provide a wonderful opportunity for adults and children to browse, borrow and engage with books, but they are also great community centres. This tour is my way of celebrating libraries, to highlight all that they do and offer – from lively baby and toddler Rhymetimes and book club discussions to calm spaces for study and contemplation – and to protest against the cuts and closures which are threatening so many of them.’
Schoolchildren from selected local schools attended the library events, which saw Julia bringing some of her hugely popular stories to life through special dramatisations. Children also had the chance to show off their own acting and singing skills during 5-minute performances inspired by children’s literature which they presented to Julia. In addition to the library visits, Julia also visited local independent bookshops, celebrating community relations between libraries, bookshops and schools.
Julia documented her travels during her Laureate Library Tour with regular posts on the Children's Laureate blog.
Take a look at a gallery of photographs from Julia Donaldson's Laureate Library Tour