Summer Reading Challenge Prize-Giving 2016

Reading, Doric and Aberdeenshire were all celebrated this weekend as the prizes for a hugely popular annual reading challenge were announced.

Local author and Doric extraordinaire Debbie Leslie led the prize-giving for the Summer Reading Challenge, run by Aberdeenshire Council’s Library Service and sponsored by Total E&P UK, at Ellon Academy Community Campus on Saturday, October 29.

Poster Picture 1The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge was ‘Your Place, Your Space…Just Read’ and focused on people’s favourite places to read in Aberdeenshire.

Alongside the reading challenge, which involved each child receiving a themed card to keep track of the number of books they read, there was also a photography competition for children to enter.

Entrants were asked to write a Doric caption to accompany their photos.033

Six-year-old Jamie was the winner of the photography competition for the photo of him sitting reading in his father’s tractor which had the caption ‘Weel I hope ma favourite book “Tractor Trouble” disna gee ma fither’s tractor ony daft ideas’.

Nine-year-old Morgan was a runner-up for the picture of himself reading at ‘the fit o’ Bennachie’ which he says is ‘a braw place ti learn a’ aboot bugs an’ beasties’.

Two-year-old Isla was also a runner up for the photograph of herself reading beloved children’s book The Gruffalo on a isla-wilson-2bench with the caption ‘A quine took a stroll ben the deep, dark wid. The quine saw a book and the book luiked guid’.

In comparison to last year there has been a 41% increase in the number of books read as part of the challenge, which this year reached 45,396 with 7,566 participants completing the challenge.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a wonderful scheme which inspires thousands of children to pick up books and read.

“It’s gone from strength to strength and this year is no different – 7,566 participants completed the challenge, reading a fantastic 45,396 books!

“The photography competition has also been very special, with some excellent entries and hilarious captions. It’s good to see Doric being promoted to younger generations so they can learn about its influence on the cultural heritage of the North East.”

Communication Co-ordinator at Total E&P UK, Virginie Jégat, said: “Total E&P UK is thrilled to be associated with the success story that is the Summer Reading Challenge.

“It is encouraging that children continue to be enthused by a good book and visiting their local libraries.

“Numbers have consistently increased which proves the appeal of a good book, even in this era of electronic gadgetry.

“Weil done tae o’ the bairns!”

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Play Talk Read Bus!

Bessie the bus is visiting a town near you in Aberdeenshire in November!  Climb aboard to share some stories, singing and fun activities with your children. Ideal for toddlers and preschool age children and their accompanying adults!


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“Our Lives”

'Our Lives' book cover

The Huntly Express and associated group of newspapers have produced a book entitled “Our Lives” which is based on a yearlong project where readers were asked to submit photographs of events and everyday happenings in their lives. The book is a pictorial record of a year in the life in the Buckie, Banff, Keith and Huntly wide areas.


'Our Lives' book coverOn Friday 29th July there will be a small informal talk, and a display of some of the photographs from the book in the Brander Library, Huntly at 1pm and in Insch Library at 3.30pm. All are welcome

For more information please contact the library on 01466 792179 or email

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Summer Reading Challenge 2016 – Launch

Scottish Children’s Author Barry Hutchison joined Aberdeenshire school pupils on Thursday 23rd June to launch the Summer Reading Challenge. It inspires thousands of children every summer to pick up books and read.


The annual Reading Challenge, sponsored by Total E&P UK, was launched at Ellon Academy Community Campus. The Primary 7’s from the Ellon Primary Schools network enjoyed a great talk from Barry. He spoke about how he started writing and about his books that include the Invisible Fiend, Benjamin Blank series, plus his new series Beaky Malone: World’s Greatest Liar!

The theme of this year’s challenge, entitled “Your Place, Your Space…Just Read”, is about the places we go to enjoy a good read.

Poster Picture 1

Each child taking part in the reading challenge will receive a themed card to keep track of the books they have read. They collect one sticker for each book and receive a book as a prize after reading six books. They can do this as many times as they want.

A photo competition is also being held, open to all children regardless of whether they are taking part in the reading challenge.

Prizes for the photo competition will be awarded to three age groups: 0-4, 5-8 and 9+. Children should submit a photo or drawing of themselves reading a book in a place of their choice in Aberdeenshire with a caption in Doric, if possible.

The only limit is the child’s imagination – it could be a familiar place, somewhere unusual, a holiday location, by a landmark or even a secret place.

All photographs submitted must be accompanied by the appropriate permission from a parent or guardian so that the photos can be published.

Get along to your nearest library to join the Summer Reading Challenge and find out more!

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Bookbug rocks!

Bookbug joined families at Alford Community Campus on Saturday 4th June for the Around the World with Bookbug event. Children were able to make fruit sushi, boomerangs, pom poms, toy haggis, chinese fans and flags from different countries. At each activity they got a special flag for their passport.

Music was a feature too, as children joined in with lycra games and musical instruments, and even a Canadian Barn Dance!

The morning ended in a Bookbug Session with songs, rhymes and a story from around the globe.

Special Bookbug Sessions will be running on Saturdays in July in Alford Library, starting on Saturday 9th July 9.45-10.15am.   No booking is required – babies, toddlers and pre school children and their families are all welcome.

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British Newspaper Archive

A new free resource from Aberdeenshire Libraries

British Newspaper Archive is a rich source of news articles which covers every aspects of news from major events such as the World Wars and the sinking of the Titanic to local community happenings.

There are over 10 million fully searchable pages, featuring more than 200 newspaper titles, dating from 1710 to 1955, from all over the UK and Ireland

Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire newspapers are

  • Aberdeen Evening Express
  • Aberdeen Free Press
  • Aberdeen Herald and General Advertiser
  • Aberdeen Journal
  • Aberdeen Peoples’ Journal
  • Aberdeen Weekly
  • Banffshire Journal and General Advertiser
  • Peterhead Sentinel and General Advertiser for Buchan District
  • Stonehaven Journal

Family history enthusiasts will find this a fascinating resource as they can view birth, marriage and death notices as well as related announcements such as engagements, anniversaries, in memoriam, obituaries, birthdays and congratulations.

In addition users can view illustrations, such as photographs, maps and editorial cartoons, advertisements, including classified and shipping notices, and letters to the editor

There is a My Research area where you can store and organise articles you have viewed for future access. Notes can also be added to any of the articles

See the following for hints on using British Newspaper Archive

It’s free to search but to view the original newspaper pages you need to be in one of our libraries and sign into the service (after registering for the first time)

If you have any queries please contact your local  library or email


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Around the world with Bookbug!

Libraries across Aberdeenshire are gearing up for Bookbug Week, which has an international flavour to it this year. Look out for 19 Bookbug Sessions and Story Times for 0-5 year olds and their parents/carers next week 16th-22nd May!

And the excitement doesn’t stop there because Alford Community Campus are hosting a special Around the World with Bookbug event on Saturday 4th June from 10am-12noon. The morning promises to be filled with fun, food, music and action – all related to different countries across the world. You’ll need to be accompanied by a child of Bookbug age (0-5 years) to join in the fun, so save the date!

Watch this space for more details….!Bookbug the Explorer

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