Our town library is a great place it goes beyond the realms of a normal library. It is a collaborative effort, between the various levels of government to make a State School and Community Library in the one place. This is such a sensible use of funds and resources. But it does change the atmosphere of a library and in my opinion, for the better.
The atmosphere is great it is child friendly you dont have to be shush shush, you have to respect people but there is talking, laughing and having a pleasant time. During the week you find school kids studying and having classes in the library, along side homeschool kids doing their research, then there are adults there reading, or playing a game of scrabble along side the tourists young and old checking their emails, using the internet or just generally enjoying a library as one does!
Our head librarian has a vision to make our library the cultural hub of our town. One of her main projects for the year is a Writers Festival and this is happening this weekend. During the Writers Festival she has renowned authors, illustrators and musicians come up for meet & greets, talks and workshops. This year the list of visitors includes Di Morrissey, Kim Scott, Craig Smith, Shaun Tan, Leonie Norrington, The Backsliders and Rob Hirst. You may or may not know these peoples work but it is an impressive guest list for any function for the far north of Australia.
Friday night was the Festivals official opening event and it was an opportunity for these distinguished guests to meet some of our local writers. It was a very enjoyable evening listening to and getting to know people. But the best of all for our family was an opportunity that was given to Josh.
Several weeks ago when we had the workshops with the environmental artists Josh wrote a poem about the cane toads which he read in our closing session for that week. Anne, head librarian and organiser of the Writers Festival, heard about it and invited Josh to read that poem at the opening of the Writers Festival.
It was great that Peter was home for the weekend so we were both able to go along with Josh for this occasion. Jess wanted to come and support Josh too. He did really, really well. He read clearly and with expression, he made plenty of eye contact without losing his place, and he handled the microphone very well. It was a big task as there was close to 200 people in that room. We were very proud of him.
But that was not all . Sitting in the audience was a local author/publisher who is putting together book on poems about cane toads, as a fundraiser, and she has offered to include Joshuas poem. He got a real kick out that.
But he takes it all in his stride and his one and only comment was All I need is to take a book into a corner and get over it all!
Well done Josh. Hope you found a quiet corner to read after that!