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Now read on: The National Year of Reading update;Noticeboard


"Reading without print" is the NYR theme for May. On May 12 a two-week national celebration of touch is launched by the National Library for the Blind and the Royal National Institute for the Blind to raise awareness of the importance of touch reading techniques such as Braille and Moon.

Among more than 100 creative events to be held throughout the UK are an installation at Hull College in three dark rooms; a Braille guided walk through the Forest of Dean Arboretum with trees labelled in Moon and large print, organised by Gloucestershire County Libraries, and a Medway project involving several local primary schools working with professional sculptors to create sculpture related to C S Lewis's Narnia Chronicles. Further details are on the NLB website: www.nlbuk.orgtouching-experience

Information about Braille and Moon can be found on the RNIB website: Copies of the programme in Braille or on tape are available from the NLB: tel : 0161 355 2000.

SP This is the title of an NYR-funded magazine for young men with serious sight problems, launched this month by the RNIB. It contains articles from magazines including Loaded and Maxim, along with original articles relating to eye health and sight problems. It will be available monthly in Braille or on disk for 30p an issue or pound;33.60 for a year's subscription. SP stands for "special price". To order ring 0345 023153.


Clearvision, a national postal lending library of children's books in print and Braille has produced 100 copies of two tactile book for pre-Braille reading children. They are designed to encourage reading skills through a simple story illustrated with thermoform objects such a keys, spoons and biscuits. For more information contact Marion Ripley on 0181 789 9575.

APRIL 24 THE ART OF READING A six-week exhibition opens at the Mercer Gallery and Harrogate Library, including original work by more than 20 contemporary children's illustrators together with historical illustrations. Related activities include a storytelling session; a make-a-book workshop and a competition asking children to write astory about a picture. Further details: Kathryn Harrison, senior librarian, Harrogate Library. Tel: 502744 504726.


This year's festival offers a huge range of traditional and high-tech workshops for children aged between six and 12, including sessions with authors Roger McGough, Colin and Jacqui Hawkins and Kaye Umansky; and workshops for children on computer animation, videos, cookery and dance. Festival booking office: 1 St John's Place, Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford HR3 5BN. Telfax: 01497 820221.

JUNE 7 Frame-Up! ComicCuts to Literacy

A day conference organised by the Centre for the Children's Book, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to explore the potential of comics and graphic novels with speakers including novelist Philip Pullman and comics specialist Mel Gibson. Venue: Pendower Hall Education Development Centre, West Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Cost pound;55. Fax 0191 274 7595 to request booking forms. Places limited.


The Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are Britain's oldest and most respected awards for children's books. The shortlist is to be announced on May 4 and the winners on July 14.

The Library Association is organising a shadowing project for those including schools who want to get involved in the awards. How you then run your project is up to you but suggestions include: setting up a group to read and swap and discuss the books; classroom discussions on the books; first chapter assessments - which titles would students most like to go on to read?; and using the titles to kick off discussions about books with special needs groups. For an information pack, tel: 0171 636 7543; fax: 0171 436 7218; e-mail:

There is just time for children to join in the final round of judging for the Children's Book Award organised by the Federation of Children's Book Groups. Send an sae with the name and age of the child as soon as possible to Marianne Adey, The Old Malt House, Albourne, Marlborough, Wilts, SN8 2DW. Children will be asked to read the shortlisted books in one of three categories (picture book, short novel and long novel) and rank them in order. Reports from 50,000 children have already been used to compile the shortlists.


Guide to organisations concerned with children's books; specialist clubs, societies and magazines; children's book publishers, children's book prizes and much more. The new edition includes sections on literary and arts agents, publishers and suppliers of dual-language books and dealers of second-hand and antiquarian children's books. It costs pound;6.50. Orders to: the Publications Department, Book Trust, Book House, 45 East Hill, London SW18 2QZ or e-mail:

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