#95 Theme Days

I have mixed feelings about theme days. I find large corporate ones like World Book Day to be a waste of everyone’s time. The £1 vouchers can be seen fluttering about in the corridors and playgrounds for weeks after the event.

On the other hand, a local or regional one can be quite effective if the librarian’s heart is in it, or if the librarian is working in collaboration with teaching staff. You tend to get a better quality of attention from pupils during class time, particularly if they feel they’re getting a ‘free lunch’ and ‘this isn’t really work’.

It’s useful to keep an eye on other school events also. If you’re going to have a visit from a footballer or a chef, there’ll be requests immediately before and/or after the visit for books and information.

I personally created theme days centred round football, chess, poetry, (various) authors, exploration, history and motor sport, of the ones I remember. They varied from non-events to several hits, i.e. pupils who developed, and retained, an interest in the subject.

I remember an event during my own schooldays (1970s, <sigh> ) where I borrowed a poetry book on a recommendation (Dylan Thomas). I still love poetry and seek out new themes and poets from time to time. So it can work!

This article is aimed at school wind-down activities, but has some very interesting ideas.

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