Friday, October 23, 2020

Rebellious Sheffield

Sheffield has always had a reputation for being a little bit rebellious.  In fact they've been causing trouble round these parts for a thousand years.  In our new season of events, blog posts, and podcasts, we’ll highlight some of the stories that make Sheffield what it is today.     




We’ve fostered one or two troublemakers in Sheffield over the years.  They include the activities of the radical Chartist, Samuel Holberry and his fight for voting reform, and the violence of the Sheffield Outages, where a series of murders were committed by militant Trade Unionists.  But they also include the more peaceful protests of the poet Ebenezer Elliot, also known as the Corn Law Rhymer, who led the fight to repeal the Corn Laws which caused such hardship and starvation among the poor in the North.   


Yes! We have many protesters, rebels, and activists within our city’s history. To remember these individuals and the political movements they championed, Sheffield Libraries will be producing a series of blog posts, podcasts, and online events in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This will run in parallel with the British Library’s ‘Unfinished Business’ programme, which through a series of digital events will examine the ongoing fight for women’s rights. From bodily autonomy and the right to education, to self-expression and protest, these events (and the London based exhibition) will explore how feminist activism in the UK has its roots in the complex history of women’s rights. 


But back to Sheffield!  We have produced our own timeline, looking at the key rebels, trailblazers and mischief makers associated with the city. It spans nearly a thousand years of history from 1075 to the 2010’s looking at a variety of activists, campaigns and protests. Our earliest featured rebel is Waltheof, Earl of Northumberland. He was the last Saxon lord of Hallamshire (which covered the parishes of Sheffield, Ecclesfield and Bradfield), and for taking part in the ‘Revolt of the Earls’ against William the Conqueror in 1075, was condemned for treason and ultimately executed. 

Sheffield Tree Protesters, 2018 Courtesy of the BBC

The timeline then goes on to explore some of the significant dates in Sheffield’s past, including the destruction of Sheffield Castle, due to the city’s role in the English Civil War. Via the jail break and riot of 1791 in opposition to the introduction of the Enclosure Act, and the infamous Flour Riots of 1812. Through to more modern history, including a look at why the Sheffield region became known during the 1980’s as ‘The Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire’, as well as the recent Sheffield Street Tree protests which garnered international attention in 2017/2018.                              


Reflecting the themes of the British Library exhibition we will also focus on some of the, perhaps, lesser know female activists from Sheffield’s history. These include abolitionist Mary Ann Lawson (who founded the Sheffield Ladies Anti-Slavery Society and fought on both a local and national level to bring about an end to slavery in the British Empire);Adela Pankhurst (sister of Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union) and the Sheffield Suffrage movement; Ann Eliza Longdon (Sheffield’s first female Lord Mayor), and Annie Bindon Carter (founder of Painted Fabrics, an arts charity that provided rehabilitation and employment for disabled ex-service men who had suffered catastrophic injuries in WWI, becoming a national champion for disabled workers rights). All four women broke new ground in society and championed causes that have affected the city to this day.

We will also look at some aspects of Sheffield’s women’s rights campaign, the role of women during the miners’ strike, the campaign for sexual equality and the history of the Sheffield Feminist Archive.

So please come and join us to find out more about Sheffield’s rebellious past and the significant role these Yorkshire Men and Women have played in the city’s history.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Sheffield Children's Book Award - Longer Novels

The Sheffield Children's Book Award is brought to you by Sheffield Libraries and is a celebration of our favourite children's books of the year! This Award is a way to share with you books that children will love to read, whilst also promoting inclusion, diversity and empathy in great stories.

Right about now we would ordinarily be counting up your votes for this year's shortlisted titles, readying for our ceremony in November, but like many things, Covid-19 has meant a change of plans. Don't fear, the book award is still happening. Watch this space for more details.

However, we still have an exciting bunch of beautiful books that we want to promote and enjoy on this year's shortlist so for the next few weeks we'll be blogging about each category of shortlisted titles and giving you a closer look at each one.

Vote for your Favourite!

Why not read the books for yourself and let us know which is your favourite?
Then submit your vote via our online form.


Longer Novels

Our fourth category is the Longer Novels. The category where children can really get their teeth into substantial and wonderful stories.


The Girl Who Speaks Bear


Written by Sophie Anderson

Illustrated by Kathrin Honesta

Published by Usborne

They call me Yanka the Bear. Not because of where I was found - only a few people know about that. They call me Yanka the Bear because I am so big and strong. Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, Yanka has always wondered about where she is from. She tries to ignore the strange whispers and looks from the villagers, wishing she was as strong on the inside as she is on the outside. But, when she has to flee her house, looking for answers about who she really is, a journey far beyond one that she ever imagined begins; from icy rivers to smouldering mountains meeting an ever-growing herd of extraordinary friends along the way. 

Interwoven with traditional stories of bears, princesses and dragons, Yanka's journey is a gorgeously lyrical adventure from the best-selling author of The House with Chicken Legs.

Watch author Shopie Anderson read the prologue of The Girl Who Speaks Bear.




Where the River Runs Gold

Written by Sita Brahmachari

Published by Hatchette

I asked myself where does the river run gold for children's rights? What kind of society can we build in which the rights of the children are truly honoured and protected. I have imagined a near future world in which environmental damage has brought forward a crisis in food production, leading to the decimation of bees, pollinators, tree and plant life ... and of course into this world children are born. Greta Thunberg is such a bright beacon in our times, and like Great, my young characters Shifa and Themba must fight for their rights to be protected. In my story The Emergency Ark Government has suspended the laws to deal with the immediate climate and food production crisis ... and as a result the children must trust in the promises of leaders.

No Ballet Shoes in Syria

Written by Catherine Bruton

Published by Nosy Crow

Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria.
When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship.
But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves and to find Aya's father - separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria. 

Author Catherine Bruton introduces No Ballet Shoes in Syria.




Discover More


To discover all the shortlisted titles download our new Recommended Reads Booklet (PDF).

Join the discussion, tell us your favourite over on our social media pages:
Instagram @shefflibraries






Please leave your comments (subject to moderation).

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Sheffield Children's Book Award - Shorter Novels

The Sheffield Children's Book Award is brought to you by Sheffield Libraries and is a celebration of our favourite children's books of the year! This Award is a way to share with you books that children will love to read, whilst also promoting inclusion, diversity and empathy in great stories.

Right about now we would ordinarily be counting up your votes for this year's shortlisted titles, readying for our ceremony in November, but like many things, Covid-19 has meant a change of plans. Don't fear, the book award is still happening. Watch this space for more details.

However, we still have an exciting bunch of beautiful books that we want to promote and enjoy on this year's shortlist so for the next few weeks we'll be blogging about each category of shortlisted titles and giving you a closer look at each one.

Vote for your Favourite!


Why not read the books for yourself and let us know which is your favourite?
Get a closer look at each title in our Instagram Highlights

Then submit your vote via our online form.

Shorter Novels


Our fourth category is the Shorter Novels Reads. The crucial first steps into reading for children, where the storytelling really starts to come into its own. 


The House of Light


Written by Julia Green

Illustrated by Helen Crawford Wright

Published by Oxford

The sea gives and the sea takes. The sea took Bonnie's mother away from her, to a new life on a distant shore. And now it has brought her three things: A boat, a boy and a chance to be free. A moving story of courage and friendship.


Watch the lovely author Julia Green as she reads an extract from The House of Light.


The Land of Roar

Written by Jenny McLachlan

Illustrated by Ben Mantle

Published by Egmont

When Arthur and Rose were little, they were heroes in the Land of Roar, an imaginary world that they found by climbing through the folding bed in their Grandad's attic. Roar was filled with things they loved - dragons, mermaids, ninja wizards and adventure - as well as things that scared them (including a very creepy scarecrow).

Now the twins are eleven, Roar is just a memory. But when they help Grandad clean out the attic, Arthur is horrified as Grandad is pulled into the folding bed and vanishes. Is he playing a joke? Or is Roar ... real?

Watch Mrs S read an extract from The Land of Roar


D-Day Dog

Written by Tom Palmer

Published by Barrington Stoke

Jack can't wait for the school trip to the D-Day landing beaches. It's his chance to learn more about the war heroes he has always admired - brave men like his dad who is a reserve solider. But when his Dad is called up to action and things at home spiral out of control, everything Jack believes about war is thrown into question. Finding comfort only in the presence of his loyal dog, Finn, Jack is drawn to the heart-wrenching true story of one particular D-Day paratrooper. On 6 June, 1944, Emile Corteil parachuted into France with his dog, Glen, and Jack is determined to discover their fate. 

Watch Tom read chapter one of D-Day Dog to his gorgeous dog 



Join us on the blog next week as we share with you the Longer Novels ....


Discover More


To discover all the shortlisted titles download our new Recommended Reads Booklet (PDF).

Join the discussion, tell us your favourite over on our social media pages:
Instagram @shefflibraries










Please leave your comments (subject to moderation).





Thursday, October 8, 2020

Live with Conrad Burdekin

5th - 10th October marks National Library Week and in celebration we have held numerous online events over Zoom and Crowdcast, offering a new event experience, and playback ability with Closed Captions making the library more accessible than ever before.

We happily filled over 60 school classrooms this week with poet, storyteller and proud Yorkshire pudding lover Conrad Burdekin, who told interactive stories of bogeys, biscuits and spoonerisms! 


Watch the playback of Live with Conrad Burdekin.

We received so many amazing questions from school children that sadly Conrad couldn't answer them all, so we decided to put his answers here instead, including an original poem!! Hope you enjoy.

How long have you been doing poetry for? 

I started writing poems in school, but I’ve been doing them professionally for about 15 years


When did you start writing poetry?

The first poem I remember writing was to a girl I liked and had a caravan in it. I’m not sure why, I can’t remember?!


What is your favourite Marvel character? 

Iron Man I think – I was a late starter with Marvel, but have LOVED the films recently and watched them all on Disney + etc. 


What's the best part of being a poet?

Having an idea, writing it down, turning it into a poem, and sharing it with other people (especially when they like it!)


how old are you?

44 (I know! Ancient or what?!)


How many hobnobs can you fit in your mouth? 

I’m not sure. But I can manage about 7 big marshmallows.


Have you written any poems about jelly?

Yes! A few. There’s at least two in my latest book ‘Space Café and other Poems’


What is your favourite colour?

Depends how I’m feeling, but it’s tough to think of a better colour than bright Orange


Do you like making poetry? What made you want to be a poet?

I really do. And I don’t think I particularly decided to be a poet – it was just something that I like doing and thought I was quite good at.


Is your job hard?

Sometimes it is when I can’t think of how to finish a poem and it’s not going right. But most of the time it’s just fun.


How long does it normally take to think of a poem?

To think of one – not long at all. Ideas keep flying at me all the time. Sometimes it takes a lot longer to actually write it down.


Do you get mad sometimes writing a poem?

YES! Very mad sometimes, and sometimes I just scrunch up the paper I’m using and throw it across the lounge.


Does it take a lot of tries to get a poem perfect?

It can do – my poem ‘Teachers Pick their Noses’ took WEEKS before I could think of an ending.


What is your favourite book you have made? 

Probably ‘Space Café’ because it’s my newest one. But I really like ‘The Baked Bean Queen’ too.


How did you become an author? 

Well, you need to like writing stories and poems and using your imagination. If you do like those things then you keep doing them, and eventually, if you’re lucky, you end up making a book.


What is your favourite book?

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. And my favourite poem is ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ by Roald Dahl


Why do you write poems?

It’s the only way I know how to get all the crazy ideas out of my head


What's your favourite poem?

My favourite poem that I’ve written changes all the time, but right now I like ‘Spoonerisms’ in ‘The Baked Bean Queen’


Do you have any other pets?

Nope, just Pebbles the most ridiculous dog in Yorkshire. In the past we have had two hamsters, three guinea pigs, and a woodlouse (!), but Pebbles is the best of all those.


What is the first poem you wrote?

My first proper poem that is in one of my books was, I think, a poem about My Daughter Alice which is in ‘The Hungrumptious Blumpfh’


How long did it take to write your first poem?

23 minutes and 12 seconds


how long does it take you to write a book?

This                                                                                                 long


How many poems have you written?

Oooh, lots. There’s somewhere around 50 poems in each of my 5 books (so that’s 250), but I’ve got LOADS more on my computer and also I write poems when I visit schools, so I reckon I’ve written over 1000.


What is the poem you're most proud of? 

Spoonerisms in ‘The Baked Bean Queen’ because I felt quite clever when I’d written it!


Do you shove bananas in?

When I’m riding my bike and need some energy I do!


Who inspires you?

Lots of people – my Y4 teacher was a huge inspiration, as was Roald Dahl. I’m inspired by lots of other poets that I’m friends with as well.


Who is your favourite author?

Roald Dahl


What's your favourite animal?

Dog (even though my dog is bonkers)


Do you have to read your poems off paper or can you remember them?

I’m not very good at remembering them. I know SOME off by heart (for example, The Biscuit Burglar) but usually I need the words in front of me. A few years ago I was asked to join in our local village Pantomime, and that was VERY hard because I had LOTS of words to remember. 


Do you like Kits Kats?

I love them! In fact I scoffed a Kit Kat Chunky for lunch today, JUST before I zoomed with all you guys.


Can you pleased write a poem about Naked Mole Rats?? PLEASE!! 

Have you ever seen a Naked Mole Rat?

No clothes, not even a hat

The sight is obscene

If you know what I mean

And he terrifies next door’s cat


What is your most popular poem?

Supersonic Gran (in the book ‘Supersonic Gran’), Banana (in the book ‘Space Café), and Mabel Mobbler (in the book ‘Teachers Pick their Noses)


Do you have to redraft your poems lots of times?

Sometimes they come out almost fully formed, sometimes I have LOTS of scribbling, crossing out, arrows, numbers, etc.etc.


What footy team do you support? 

Man United – we used to be good.


  • Discover more about Conrad Burdekin on his website

Huge thanks go out to Conrad for this great event and all the schools who attended.





Please leave your comments (subject to moderation).

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Sheffield City Archives is reopening on Monday 12th October 2020


We’re delighted to announce that we will be reopening the public searchroom at Sheffield City Archives on Monday 12th October 2020.  We have been working hard to make sure you can resume your archival research in a safe environment.  There have been some changes and the service is somewhat restricted, at least for now.  However, we’re keen that everyone gets the opportunity to access the archives and will do our best to accommodate your research requirements (including the continuation of remote enquiries by email if you don’t feel able to come in just yet).

For now, researchers must book an appointment in advance to see archive material.  Email us to book a time slot: archives@sheffield.gov.uk

·       We are currently offering morning or afternoon research sessions of two hours duration - start and end times will be staggered to ensure there are no queues at Reception.

·       We’re asking that researchers provide the document reference numbers for the items they wish to see in advance.  We appreciate this might not be easy, but the archives team will help you beforehand to identify documents and point you in the right direction.  However, it’s important to reiterate that you can only consult pre-ordered documents.  If you require more documents you will have to book another appointment at least 72 hours in advance. If in doubt, just ask - we want you to get the most out of your session!

·       To comply with track and trace regulations we will ask for your telephone number as a condition of booking.  On arrival you can check in with the NHS Test and Trace service with your smart phone if you wish.

·       You will need to wear a face mask at all times.  If you forget to bring one, staff can provide you with one.

·       Unfortunately we aren’t able to provide toilet facilities at this time.  The nearest toilets are at Sheffield Railway Station and Pond Street Bus Station.

·       Please bring your own pencil and note paper.

·       Please sanitise your hands on arrival and departure.

·       Please maintain a two-metre distance with staff and other researchers.

·       You will be allotted a table number (and locker) and your documents will be waiting for you.

·       There is no access to our computers for now.  We have free WiFi so you can connect to the internet via your own device if you have one.

·       Likewise, there will be no access to microfilms, microfiche or readers for now.

·       There will be no access to catalogues or the searchroom library unless you pre-book specific items in advance.

·       You are welcome to take photographs of documents (with staff permission) and photocopying facilities are available.  Please ask a member of staff and they’ll be happy to assist you.

·       Unfortunately we do not have facilities to accept card payments so you may wish to consider bringing some cash with you.

Sorry this is such a long list of instructions, but it is imperative we keep you safe.

Finally, we just wanted to say how excited we are to be welcoming you back.  It’s been a long time and we’ve missed you all!  Roll on Monday…

Sheffield City Archives

52 Shoreham Street

Sheffield

S1 4SP

Tel. 0114 203 9395 (Mon-Sat, 9:30 - 5:30)

Email. archives@sheffield.gov.uk



Monday, September 28, 2020

The Sheffield Children's Book Award - Emerging Reads

The Sheffield Children's Book Award is brought to you by Sheffield Libraries and is a celebration of our favourite children's books of the year! This Award is a way to share with you books that children will love to read, whilst also promoting inclusion, diversity and empathy in great stories.

Right about now we would ordinarily be counting up your votes for this year's shortlisted titles, readying for our ceremony in November, but like many things, Covid-19 has meant a change of plans. Don't fear, the book award is still happening, but we've moved it over to next year where we will hopefully have a bumper double, and most importantly safe, celebration of titles in 2021

However, we still have an exciting bunch of beautiful books that we want to promote and enjoy on this year's shortlist so for the next few weeks we'll be blogging about each category of shortlisted titles and giving you a closer look at each one.

Vote for your Favourite!


Why not read the books for yourself and let us know which is your favourite?
Get a closer look at each title in our Instagram Highlights

Then submit your vote via our online form.

Emerging Reads


Our third category is the Emerging Reads, Brilliant books to get children dipping their toes into their first attempts at reading. Still highly illustrated, but with more words designed to engage beginner readers.



The Missing Bookshop


Written by Katie Clapham

Illustrated by Kirsti Beautyman

Published by Stripes

Milly loves going to story time at her local bookshop. Mrs Minty is an encyclopaedia of books and knows the perfect story for every occasion ... tales of mischievous children and far away lands, magical beats and daring adventures. But the bookshop is old and creaky, just like Mrs Minty herself. And then one day Milly arrives to find the shop gone! What has happened to Mrs Minty and her irreplaceable bookshops? 

A warm and uplifting tale about the importance of stories. 



Watch the trailer for The Missing Bookshop: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f06hEMPHluk



Level Up!



Written by Tom Nicoll

Illustrated by Anjan Sarker

Published by Stripes

Video game obsessed Flo gets more than she bargained for when she finds herself INSIDE her favourite game. Turns out, virtual reality isn't as much fun when it's not so virtual. 

An engaging page turner for those getting to grips with reading.








The Paninis of Pompeii


Written by Andy Stanton

Illustrated by Sholto Walker

Published by Egmont

Welcome to the last days of Pompeii as you've NEVER imagined them before! Join fart-trader Caecilius, his wife, Vesuvius and their ten year old song, Filius, in a bizarre world of accidental gladiators, pizza-emitting volcanoes and the legendary Ma-wol-n-f.

Full of ludicrous characters, surreal escapades and outrageous word play - if you thought Mr Gum was weird, then get a load of the Ancient Pompeiians!




Watch Andy Stanton read from The Paninis of Pompeii.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQwjtRcwscU&t=21s


Join us on the blog next week as we share with you the Shorter Novels ....


Discover More


To discover all the shortlisted titles download our new Recommended Reads Booklet (PDF).

Join the discussion, tell us your favourite over on our social media pages:
Instagram @shefflibraries









Please leave your comments (subject to moderation).

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Sheffield Children's Book Award - Picture Books

The Sheffield Children's Book Award is brought to you by Sheffield Libraries and is a celebration of our favourite children's books of the year! This Award is a way to share with you books that children will love to read, whilst also promoting inclusion, diversity and empathy in great stories.

Right about now we would ordinarily be counting up your votes for this year's shortlisted titles, readying for our ceremony in November, but like many things, Covid-19 has meant a change of plans. Don't fear, the book award is still happening, but we've moved it over to next year where we will hopefully have a bumper double, and most importantly safe, celebration of titles in 2021

However, we still have an exciting bunch of beautiful books that we want to promote and enjoy on this year's shortlist so for the next few weeks we'll be blogging about each category of shortlisted titles and giving you a closer look at each one.

Vote for your Favourite!


Why not read the books for yourself and let us know which is your favourite?
Get a closer look at each title in our Instagram Highlights

Then submit your vote via our online form.

Picture Books

Our third category is the Picture Books, perfect bedtime stories to entertain and excite little ones, great group or classroom reads the picture books contains a variety of stories and illustrations to delight. 


The Truth About Old People


Written and illustrated by Elina Ellis

Published by Two Hoots

A very funny and loveable picture book tribute to grandparents and older people. 

When you're small, everybody bigger than you seems really old. But does being older have to mean being boring, or slow or quiet? NO! Elina Ellis' wonderful illustrations reveal that the age you are makes no difference to how amazing you can be.

From the winner of the Macmillan Prize for Illustration 2017, The Truth About Old People is an instant favourite with children and grown-ups that joyfully busts stereotypes about older people. Elina has a great talent for characterful illustrations: you'll feel like you've known this family all your life.

Watch Elina read The Truth About Old People in the video below




A Mouse Called Julian


Written and illustrated by Joe Todd Stanton

Published by Flying Eye Books

Julian is a mouse who is perfectly happy avoiding other animals. They seem to just get in the way and sometimes even try to eat him! But one day Julien has an unexpected dinner guest...

When fox tries to sneak into Julian's burrow for a tasty bit of mouse, it finds itself stuck headfirst in Julian's front door! This is a gorgeous modern graphic novel style picture book which has a charming yet funny tale to tell.

Watch Joe Todd Stanton read A Mouse Called Julian over on YouTube




Show and Tell


Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph

Published by Harper Collins

The funny and fantastic new picture book from award-winning and bestselling creative star Rob Biddulph! School has never been so fun.

Meet Class 21. These kids are excited. Today's Show and Tell day and you're all invited! come and be schooled in magic and wonder in this brand new story about how biggest isn't always best. 

Packed to the brim with his trademark warm humour, life lessons and pitch perfect rhyme, this is a story to read together, laugh out loud at and enjoy over and over again. The perfect book for boys and girls to read out loud or enjoy alone.

Watch the official trailer for Show and Tell on YouTube





Join us on the blog next week as we share with you the Emerging Reads ....


Discover More


To discover all the shortlisted titles download our new Recommended Reads Booklet (PDF).

Join the discussion, tell us your favourite over on our social media pages:
Instagram @shefflibraries





Please leave your comments (subject to moderation).