Foxglove Summer Map

Ben Aaronovitch, writer of the River of London/Peter Grant series, has done another location map for the last book, Foxglove Summer. Head on over to Google Maps to check it out.

Also, don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Rivers of London five-part comic series. Released July 15th and only available in comic book stores and digitally, the story takes place between the fourth and fifth books and sees Peter look into a case where cars are coming to life and killing their owners! The series is written by the author himself, alongside former Doctor Who show runner Andrew Cartmel, with art from Lee Sullivan.

From Aaronovitch’s blog: To find your local comic book store, go to FINDACOMICSHOP.COM for the UK and North America or use Search for a Comic Shop which says it is for everywhere else.



Young Volunteers wanted

As a former library volunteer, I can vouch how good the experience can be. I loved it and can definitely recommend it!

Wakefield Libraries


Aged 14-24? Keen to make a difference and develop your skills?

Libraries are looking for young volunteers to help out over the busy summer holiday period.

You could help staff with the Summer Reading Challenge and talk to children about the books they’ve been reading, help with summer activities and create in-library displays. Perhaps you’ve got some good ideas about how you could help children to have fun in the library this summer?

If you’d like to be one of the 8000+ young people who volunteer in libraries every summer, ask you local library for details now or email

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Harry Potter’s 18th Birthday

18 years ago, a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling was released here in the UK, which led to the phenomenon today that defines many young people’s childhoods and created a generation of readers and writers, myself included.

Quite timely, today JK Rowling revealed that she is working on a play called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child due to open next year in London. Telling the untold part of Harry’s life, including the story of James and Lilly’s life. Find further details by visiting the BBC News story.

This is to be closely followed by the film version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in November 2016, starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne.

Happy Birthday Harry and may you keep fans new and old fascinated for years to come.

Read Regional 2015

Discover new writers from the North of England with this year’s Read Regional list.

Wakefield Libraries



It’s Read Regional time once again. Every year this scheme introduces library users to new titles by authors based in the north of England. This year there are 10 exciting titles to explore.
There are five novels:
Letters to my Husband by Stephanie Butland
The Last King of Lydia by Tim Leach
The Quick by Lauren Owen
Herring Girl by Debbie Taylor
Into the Trees by Robert Williams

Three books of poetry:
Ellen Phethean: Portrait of the Quince as an Older Woman
Helen Tookey: Missel-Child
John Wedgwood Clarke: Ghost Pot

a novel for young people, Hate by Alan Gibbons and finally a graphic novel, Sally Heathcote, Suffragette by Mary and Bryan Talbot. If you have never tried reading a novel in graphic form why not give this a try. Their graphic novel Dotter of her Father’s Eyes won the Costa Biography Award in 2013.

You can find out more about…

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Libraries like Café’s? Uh, what?

Yes, I am getting on my soap box about libraries again but I feel the need to talk about it.

Wakefield One, Wakefield. Source: Wakefield First

I have been meaning to write about this since seeing a report in the Daily Mail (a UK daily newspaper) that talked about an independent report calling for libraries to become more like Costa Coffee shops. You can read the original report here. What has spurred me to finally write about it today (not least of all because I haven’t posted this week) is a quote MyLittleBookBlog posted yesterday:

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries”Anne Herbert

I have no doubt the authors of the report mean well and agree with Mr Sieghart when he says how important libraries are to those who are the poorest in our society. I also agree that Wi-Fi has to become a necessity for libraries to continue to survive and thrive (digital book lending on e readers anyone?), the need for comfy sofas and toilets as well as offering other services to make the library a community hub but the part that made go “uh, what?” is the suggestion that hot drinks should be offered in libraries. I think he has missed something very important in that regard. If libraries offer hot drinks along with everything else, doesn’t the library then become a café with books to browse and read?

There is a reason why there is a rule in most libraries that I have visited that no food or drink is allowed near the computers in the library at least: it’s called health and safety and making sure that other people don’t gag over horrible food smells! By all means offer food and drink but NOT in the library itself!

I am proud to say that most libraries in the Wakefield area offer comfortable areas to sit and read, toilets and programmes for the community as well as a place for the older members in the area to meet and talk to other people. Frequently, the library staff are the only people they talk to all week. In my mind, the libraries offer a great value for money service. A library building that offers everything that the report says need to be all libraries is the Wakefield One building in Wakefield however hot drinks and food are only available in Create Cafe downstairs and food and drink is not allowed near the computers.

So it is possible to cram all of what this report is saying libraries need to do but libraries like coffee shops? Uh, no. I doubt libraries are actually heading for disaster if they don’t incorporate all of this but let’s maybe have more like the libraries in the Wakefield area and Wakefield One but keep libraries and coffee shops as separate entities. Possibly the best compromise available.

P.S.: Find out more Wakefield Libraries and the latest news by visiting the Wakefield Libraries blog and check out Wakefield (and it’s library) during the Food, Drink and Rhubarb Festival taking place Friday 20 to Sunday 22 February 2015.

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

In case anyone is interested.