New Books for a New Term & Spooky Happenings

A new term starts on Monday, so to tie- in with this there are now a number of new books on display.



Donated by Martin Brown, Illustrator

Spooky Happenings – Storytelling

The annual storytelling session that is Spooky Happenings will take place at lunchtime on Friday the 30th October in the Reading Zone of the library.  Come along and tell us your spookiest ghost story.




Illustrator, Martin Brown, to Visit Stromness Academy

Last term, we successfully applied to the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour (Scottish Book Trust) to have illustrator, Martin Brown visit the school. He is most well known for illustrating the Horrible Histories series of books published by Scholastic.

S2 and S2 pupils will be participating and we will also be welcoming P5,6 & 7 pupils from Stromness Primary school.

He will be visiting on Monday 11th May. The event will be held in the theatre during Periods 6 and 7.

From the Scottish Book Trust website (with permission) :

In May 2015 the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour will be visiting Primary and Secondary Schools in Orkney and Shetland with the brilliant Martin Brown!

Best known as the illustrator for the hugely popular Horrible Histories series, Martin’s drawings have brought the foul facts and nasty nuggets of history to life for millions of children.

As well as sharing wicked, weird and wonderful tales from history, Martin will talk to your pupils about how an illustration for a Horrible Histories book happens – from author’s text, to ideas, through looking at references to the finished drawing – before encouraging your pupils to create drawings of their own. Guaranteed to be lots of fun and to leave your pupils itching to draw more, this is a fantastic opportunity for your pupils to meet the illustrator of one of the best loved series in (horrible) history!


World Book Day & Competitions

World Book Day takes place on the first Thursday in March – next week 5th March. Once again, we are planning a few activities around this national celebration of Reading for Pleasure. It is hoped both pupils and staff will get involved. The following is planned for 5th March. Some (or all) will hopefully be taking place.

  1. Bookish Event in library at Lunchtime on Thursday 5th March. Snacks and drinks provided.
  2. Book swap – swap your unwanted books with the selection available.
  3. Peedie Book Fair – courtesy of Stromness Books & Prints. There will be a small selection of books available for sale in the library.
  4. Teen Book Club – Scholastic book club leaflets available. Earn new books for the school library by purchasing books. Order online at:
  5. Shelfies Competition – Match staff to pictures of their book shelves. Easter Eggs for prizes.
  6. Display – Classroom door posters: What teachers and other staff are reading.

Drawing Competition: There will also be a National Book Token competition running throughout the month of March and this will also be launched next week. Pupils can design a new book-themed token using the template provided . There are three categories: up to 8 years, 9–12 years, 13–16 years. An overall winner will be used on a real book token. 1974_thumb 1975_thumb 1985_thumbExamples of tokens from: National Book Tokens:

FIRST PRIZE in each age range is:

  • £250 National Book Tokens for the school
  • £100 National Book Tokens for the school child
  • £100 National Book Tokens for the teacher

RUNNER-UP PRIZE in each age range is:

  • £150 National Book Tokens for the school
  • £50 National Book Tokens for the school child
  • £50 National Book Tokens for the teacher

Further details can be obtained from the World Book Day website. Entry forms available here or collect one from the school library. Entries should be handed in by the end of term.

Stock Check & Easter Book Amnesty

Easter Holidays are nearly finished and the final term of the year will soon be starting next week. During the holidays, a stock check took place in the library. This labour intensive task, which the librarian carries out every two to four years, is necessary for checking condition of the book stock and other resources as well as helping us to ascertain how many books are missing.

By missing, we mean those resources that have been unofficially borrowed from the library and not returned. People may forget to get them properly stamped out or just take them thinking they only need them in the classroom for a few minutes. Books cost money so it is important that we have a proper record of what is available on the shelves in the library as well as those that are out on loan. Any resources borrowed are the property of the school and should not be removed from the library without permission – in other words, get them properly stamped out.

???????????????????????????????The stock check involves all books and other resources being taken off the shelves, by the trolley load, and taken to the issue desk where they are scanned in to the Library Management System on the computer. This automatically checks them against the database of all library resources. In most cases the resources can be placed back on the shelves but sometimes discrepancies appear, usually barcodes that come up as ‘invalid’. These books are kept to one side to be checked against catalogue records just in case the original cataloguing process didn’t complete properly. If they are not in the catalogue, which occasionally happens they, if appropriate are later catalogued and re-shelved. Sometimes books that weren’t in the catalogue are ones which were originally missing and had made their way back onto the shelves.???????????????????????????????

It took four days (it used to take two – three weeks in the days of the card catalogue) to complete the physical work of shifting and scanning the books. Whilst the books were off the shelves the opportunity was taken to give the usually hidden parts of shelving a good hovering and dusting. Thankfully, this year no untoward items of old food were found, although the dust bunnies were a plenty.

The Result

This year 1.7% of total stock has been recorded as missing. This is not too bad a result baring in mind  it has been four years since the last check. Of this just over 50% are fiction books, from the most heavily used section. Despite being a low rate of attrition in the grand scheme of things, it is still disappointing to have missing stock, particularly when the books are some of the newer resources.


Of course, after such a comprehensive check, the library shelves are now very tidy.???????????????????????????????

Book Amnesty

To attempt to get at least some of the resources back we will be running a two week book amnesty from 14th to 25th April. Overdue reminders will be put on hold  (although reminders will be sent out to senior pupils before they go on study leave). Books that have been [accidentally] removed from the library without being stamped out, overdue books and even department text books can be returned to the library with no questions asked.

So, pupils and staff, please check under beds, personal bookshelves, school bags, departments, etc. and see if there are any library books that need returned. As an incentive there will be a small Easter egg reward for anyone (admitting to) returning books from the missing list.


AMnesty poster0001

World Book Day / Peedie Book Fair / C2C Book Club

It is World Book Day time of year again and there are a few things happening in the library this year.

Readings from favourite books will take place on Thursday 7th March at lunchtime. Snacks will be available.

Pupils will be offered free £1 book tokens to use at local bookshops, the ‘Peedie Book Fair’ or in the C2C Book club catalogue (see below)

There is a national  Bookmark Competition which pupils can enter.

There is a local writing competition Young Orkney Writers, led by the Orkney Library (see previous posts)

There will be a ‘Peedie Book Fair‘ kindly supported by Stromness Books & Prints who will kindly be supplying a small amount of books for sale. The £1 book tokens can be used at this.

The C2C Book club leaflet is being currently offered to pupils. They can purchase books through the leaflet, via the school library, or online at

Further details for all these can be obtained directly from the Librarian.

Have you got your Book Club catalogue? Great books from only £1.99 and free books for our school.

Book Club

A school book club has been set up where pupils and staff can order books from a leaflet (available in the library) or online (see link below). The Scholastic Book Club school group order online has been set up online. This means you can now order all the books in your Book Clubs leaflet and many more at and, you’ll be able to have your books delivered to school for FREE! You need to order your books by Monday 19th March 2012. After that date, orders will be confirmed in and the books will be delivered to school for Mrs Sinclair to hand out. For every £1 you spend 20p goes back to our school to spend on much-needed books for our library! Take a look at what’s on offer here – there are some great bargains with books costing as little as £1.99!

Manga & Graphic Novels

A new club looking at Manga and Graphic Novels has been set up in the library by the Librarian and an S4 pupil. The group meets every Friday lunchtime to discuss Manga and will also be looing at Anime films, and learning how to draw Manga.

We will also be shadowing the Stan Lee Excelsior Awards where we will look at and read 8 shortlisted Graphic Novela and Manga. The eight books on the shortlist are now available in the library for borrowing by any pupil whether attending the club or not.

If you read them you will be asked to fill out a simple evaluation form and give each book a rating (marks out of 5). There is also space to write a comment about the book if you wish. Forms are available from Mrs Sinclair or can be downloaded from the Resources section of the Award website.

STAR WARS: BLOOD TIES  by Tom Taylor and Chris Scalf (Dark Horse) ISBN: 978-0857681294

GATE 7 by CLAMP (Dark Horse) ISBN: 978-1595828064

WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Quick Text version) by Emily Bronte, Sean M. Wilson and John M. Burns (Classical Comics) ISBN: 978-1906332884

FF (Volume 1) by Jonathan Hickman, Steve Epting and Barry Kitson (Marvel) ISBN: 978-0785151449

MARINEMAN: A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEPTH by Ian Churchill (Image) ISBN: 978-1607063995

SITA: DAUGHTER OF THE EARTH by Saraswati Nagpal and Manikandan (Campfire)ISBN: 978-9380741253

CHIMICHANGA by Eric Powell (Dark Horse) ISBN: 978-1595827555

GREEN LANTERN: SECRET ORIGIN by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis (DC) ISBN: 978-0857682819

World Book Day

World Book Day is an annual celebration of books and reading. It is a national event with schools and libraries from across the UK running events. 2011 is the first your Stromness Academy Library has run an event as well as putting on a display. An informal book reading session was held during lunchtime which around 15 pupils attended to listen to extracts of books being read.

Mrs Sinclair kicked off the session by reading from The White Mountains by John Chrisptopher. This is a book she first read at secondary school and it is one of the first books she remembers borrowing from the school library.

Three pupils also contributed by reading short extracts from books that they particularly enjoyed. They each gave a short overview of what the book was about, then read their chosen extract.

Mrs Sinclair closed the session with a short reading from The Magic Engineer by L.E. Modesitt Jr. which is part of the Recluce saga, a sweeping series of books where Order magic and Chaos magic are set against each other.

The pupils enjoyed the event which was very relaxed.

Very sociable and fun

Very good, Beuy! Brill!

Good just to relax!

Staff also contributed by answering a short survey asking about current reading, favourite book(s) and most memorable children’s book.

Posters were put together and these were displayed in the library as well as individual posters being displayed on classroom doors. THinking about reading generated discussion in the classroom and much interest. To supplement library stock, books were borrowed from the Orkney Library & Archive so that staff selections were available for people to browse / borrow if interested.