Ann Cleeves (c) Micha Theiner
Top crime writer Ann Cleeves, children’s publisher Andersen Press and a host of writers and artists will join local library communities for a week of special activities to mark National Libraries Day, Saturday 6 February and the week leading up to it.
Now in its fifth year, the annual celebration highlights the importance of libraries as vitally important public services which are loved by individuals and communities everywhere.
National Libraries Day ambassador for 2016, award-winning crime writer and creator of hit TV series Shetland and Vera, Ann Cleeves, said:
“Libraries matter. If we believe in equality of opportunity we must fight not just for the buildings but for the range of books inside and the skilled staff who can promote reading in all its forms. Not only do libraries encourage us to be more tolerant and better informed, they contribute enormously to the wealth of the nation.
If you’re not a member join on National Libraries Day. It’s easy and it’s free. If you are, go along and choose a title that you might not otherwise have picked. Share the excitement of everyone who’s greedy for reading. Help us to celebrate this wonderful institution.”
Special events taking place in libraries include talks by authors Erwin James, Bruce Fogle, Nicola Cornick, Tom McCarthy, Paul Gill, Simon Brett OBE; poet Roger McGough and prominent children’s author and illustrator Nick Sharratt; and a library residency by the artist Jackie Morris. Themed events covering topics from comics, art, history and local film to coding clubs, digital drop-ins and craft-making sessions are taking place up and down the country.
Celebrating four decades of working with libraries in its fortieth anniversary year, leading children’s publisher Andersen Press will open a special competition for public and school libraries on 6 February, based on David McKee’s much loved children’s book character, Elmer the patchwork elephant.
Elmer creator and National Libraries Day supporter David McKee said:
“From when she could first read until her death at 95, my mother was a passionate reader. She could never have afforded to buy even a small part of what she read. She depended on the library for advice and choice of book. There is a rich mass of literature that is our heritage. Thanks to the library, my mother was able to tap into that heritage and receive enormous pleasure and knowledge. That same possibility has to be available to everyone. Long live the libraries.”
Andersen Press founder and publisher Klaus Flugge said:
“Andersen Press has a long history of working closely with libraries and we value the important work done by our dear librarians. We want to continue to support the libraries in our 40th anniversary year and beyond!”
There are over 400 events published on the National Libraries Day map to date and last year nearly 700 events were held across the UK. Children and adults are invited to visit their local library and take part in celebratory events and to share pictures and messages on social media to illustrate the many ways that libraries are used, loved and valued in their communities.
Notes to editors
Communications and Campaigns Manager, CILIP
Tel: 020 7255 0653
Mobile: 07867 455070
About Ann Cleeves
As well as being Ambassador for National Libraries Day, Cleeves has written a GALAXY® Quick Reads title, Too Good To Be True, which will be published 4th February and has been selected as one of the 2016 World Book Night titles.
With over a million copies sold worldwide and 29 novels published so far, Cleeves is one of Britain’s most successful crime fiction novelists. Her bestselling books are loved in print and on screen: both the Vera Stanhope and Shetland series are now major TV adaptations on ITV and BBC One respectively.
Series six of ITV’s drama series, Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn, is due to hit screens in February 2016 and episode three is an adaptation of The Moth Catcher. The Moth Catcher features the much-loved DCI Vera Stanhope, who has proved a refreshing change from the British tradition of male detectives and, in Vera, Cleeves has created a strong, female central character that continues to rival the likes of Sherlock and Morse.
Ann Cleeves was the chair of the 2015 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, during which Vera was voted the UK’s favourite fictional detective.
In 2015, Thin Air, was nominated for the Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and Cleeves was shortlisted for the prestigious Crime Writers Association Dagger in the Library award. In 2006, Cleeves’ novel, Raven Black, was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger) for Best Crime Novel, and in 2012, she was inducted into the CWA Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame.
About National Libraries Day
Saturday 6 February 2016 is National Libraries Day. It rounds off a week of special events and celebrations held in libraries up and down the country. Libraries in the UK are loved, valued and were visited an astonishing 265 million times last year! Show your support for libraries this National Libraries Day.
National Libraries Day is led by the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), the Reading Agency, the Society of Chief Librarians and the School Library Association together with partners including Arts Council England, the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce and library supporters. It was originally called for by Alan Gibbons, children’s author and campaigner.
About the Andersen Press National Libraries Day competition
To celebrate National Libraries Day and the 40th anniversary of Andersen Press, the children’s publisher has teamed up with CILIP and The Reading Agency to invite libraries across the country to join in the #40years libraries competition!
Launching on National Libraries Day on 6 February, simply tweet a picture that you feel represents 40 years of loving books using the hashtags #40years and #librariesday to be in with a chance of winning one of five sets of furniture and books for your library worth over £1,500 each.
Each of the five winning libraries will win a complete set of Elmer furniture; set of stackable cushions, kinderbox, beancube, large rug, 2 x beanpods; plus the entire Andersen Press 2016 publishing list.
The competition will open on 6 February and close on 6 May and the five winners will be announced on Elmer Day, the 28 May.