Something borrowed…

You know I’ve worked with Public Libraries for 16 years, but yes… I use them too!

We use the libraries with the kids but significantly I use them myself. Both registered at Leicestershire and Leicester City (could save money there Councillor!) I frequently borrow books, saving money and shelf space, creating social activity, exercise and interaction, and keeping my #tsundoku in check.

heyraedingisgood4you1For example: The book ‘Life after Life’ by Kate Atkinson* was recently recommended to me and after the default kneejerk action of a quick Amazon/Hive check I thought again… as I try to do…
An equally easy two-click search of my local County library showed a few copies but none currently available locally (It is easy to reserve a copy). Another check of the City Library (could save money and time there Councillor!) and bingo there it was! – I was passing the city library the following day so I picked it up. It’s FREE remember!

A library book… borrowed; not owned, not consumed and captured to be shelved withyour tsundoku. Borrowed, tasted, to be shared. There’s so much more to a library book to me the touch, feel, smell etc are bigger and deeper then a hot off the warehouse virgin copy. Coincidentally, I found another friend was reading the same title – I asked: “Just curious, ebook or real book?” She replied “Real. They smell better”. They do!

Yes, I am still an eBook fan and love the medium (you can get them from the library too) but the real book and the fact that you can borrow a shared copy easily from your library is just magic. You can then give it back for someone else to read.

When you’ve visited a library…
after first 10 minutes… Sights, sounds and yes smells; an abundance of knowledge, a wealth
After 30 minutes… You’ve discovered or perhaps passed by catalogued doors to new worlds
After 60 minutes… You have or perhaps are consumed, you can’t hope for anymore. Time to flee
After days and weeks… You’ve found new worlds. You’ve found new ideas
After years… The sights, sounds and yes smells linger. Knowledge, stories, memories and projections

#LoveLibraries. Use them, don’t lose them.

*incidentally, Life after Life by Kate Atkinson – A great read!


Julian Richards and Public Libraries

For 16 years I worked for ‘Bookmark People‘ and produced hundreds of bespoke library bookmark campaigns for public libraries throughout the country.
These ranged from small projects for individuals at localised sites, to large campaigns for overarching organisations such as local authorities, Welsh Libraries, The Reading Agency, The Society of Chief Librarians and Scottish Libraries and other regional bodies.
You can read some testimonials here: testimonials


Early in 2016, due to lack of support and sponsorship, the ‘Bookmark People‘ company ‘Central Community Press Ltd.’ called it a day.

However, libraries, readers and books still love bookmarks!
People love books#LoveLibraries and love their bookmarks.

Bookmarks are gifted, taken home by readers and read in a receptive environment.

From bananas to World War One, children’s designs to puzzling puzzles… bookmarks get taken home!

You can see all  my ‘Bookmark People’ work here ‘Bookmark People
I have also featured some of the work on this blog ‘library


There’s books in them there hills!

CotswoldsJPRWhile walking with the folks in the Cotswolds this weekend I was reminded of people’s need to read, and the fact that communities use a ‘third place‘ whether as a water-cooler moment or a refuge away from home…  “escape with a good book!”

Laverton Book Exchange

As have many others, the village of Laverton, Gloucestershire, now seems to have its own “Book Exchange” I understand they have lost the once cherished GCC mobile library provision and the idea of using their old K6 phone box as a ‘book exchange’ has been realised. (kiosk number six – designed to commemorate the silver jubilee of King George V)

“Despite the growth in digital technologies, there is still a clear need and demand within communities for modern, safe, non-judgmental, flexible spaces, where citizens of all ages can mine the knowledge of the world for free, supported by the help and knowledge of the library workforce,”

So said a report from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last year.

Just another observationPeople use libraries!

“A good book dies every time we switch on bad TV…”

The Bookmark People have been supporting libraries for more than 15 years with bespoke Promotional Library Bookmarks that spread the news in their unique inimitable way.

With digital advertising becoming the norm, returning to tactile touchy-feely print can set u apart!


Memories Live On

We recently had cause to search out some material that might help some primary school children think, talk, discuss, understand… people dying and “death”.  I was directed by many friends of friends (a beauty of the internet) to what turns out to be just the tip of a wealth of material, and I’d like to thank all of those people for their suggestions.

SunsetTallIn turn, as always, the local library has been a great help! (Do you use yours? Use it or lose it I fear!?)

I have yet to delve into many of the titles but, I thought I’d share the list here – you might have need of similar.

My selection of stories that relate to death:

  • Water bugs and Dragon flies (Looking Up), by Doris Stickney
  • Badger’s Parting Gifts, by Susan Varley
  • The Heart in a Bottle, by Oliver Jeffers
  • Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, by Michael Rosen
    Also a friend of a friend also shared a great poem that starts:
  • A spider spun a silken web and swung from grass to ground… shared by Pat Bilsborrow

Here’s the full list: (in alphabetical order)

A spider spun a silken web and swung from grass to ground… (Author unknown) replicated below
All the dear little animals, by Ulf Nilsson and Eva Erikson
Always and Forever, by Alan Durant.
Badger’s Parting Gifts, by Susan Varley
Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White
Dear Grandma Bunny, by Dick Bruna
Goodbye Mog, by Judith Kerr
Grandpa, by Raymond Briggs
I Miss You, a first look at death, by Pat Thomas
Little Elephant Thunderfoot, by Sally Grindley
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, by Michael Rosen
Muddles Puddles and Sunshine, by Diana Crossley illustrated by Kate Sheppard
No matter what, by Debi Gliori
Out of the Blue, by Winston’s Wish (Teenagers)
Tapestry, by Bob Hartman
The Day the Sea Went out and Never Came Back, (Helping Children with Feelings) by Margot Sunderland
The Goodbye Boat, by Mary Joslin
The Heart in a bottle, by Oliver Jeffers
The Soldier and Death: a Russian folk tale
The tenth good thing about Barney, by Judith Viorst
Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume (teens and adults
Water bugs and Dragon flies (Looking Up), by Doris Stickney
When someone very special dies, by Marge Heegaard to be illustrated by children


A spider spun a silken web (Author unknown) shared by Pat Bilsborrow.

A spider spun a silken web and swung from grass to ground.
I must find out the news he said, thats buzzing all around.
The garden creatures great and small were quiet as a mouse,
they saw the caterpillar crawl into a tiny house.
She’s such a fool said the lady bird, whilst polishing her nails,
its the silliest thing I’ve ever heard, said a pair of solemn snails.
And all the creatures went away all thinking she was dead.
Until one bright and shiny day A little earthworm said.
I see a crack in the little shell, and something moves inside,
I see a head and wings as well, come quick and see, he cried.
The caterpillars back, they said, before their very eyes,
A butterfly stepped out and smiles at their surprise.
I left the life you thought I knew, you thought that I was dead.
I did it just to show to you, we die to grow. she said.




There are worse crimes than burning books….

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”
Ray Bradbury

I recently produced some material below for Bookmark People.

Reading takes you further…” 

I guess it follows on from my previous “reading” graphic that I produced. See here: