Competition champs: Young people use pen power to explore library futures

cobbett road library story winners pic focrlYoung writers who won a competition to explore the future of libraries were awarded prizes at an event on Wednesday (May 15), that also celebrated Cobbett library’s 85th anniversary.



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It challenged 7 – 17-year-olds to pen a piece exploring the theme of ‘Library of the Future’.

cobbett road library story winners pic focrlSome of the winners hold their certificates aloft. Photo: Friends of Cobbett Road Library

Winning entries took various forms, from a time-travel story to an imaginary diary that was a mechanism to contrast libraries of today to those of the future. There was also an inspiring poem judges said employed “excellent use of metaphor”.

The Friends of Cobbett Road Library will be posting the winners on their website.

As well as a certificate and positive feedback on their work, winners received book vouchers to replenish their reading supplies and continue their literary journeys.

One of the judges was local children’s author Yarrow Townsend, who also took part in an activity with the winners, along with creativity workshop organisers Improbable Club.

Yarrow with children photo FoCRL Yarrow Townsend and the Improbable Club run an activity with the children. Photo: Friends of Cobbett Road Library

Yarrow told she always enjoys work that children have produced outside of the constraints of the curriculum – “where they’re just allowed to have fun with words, and be adventurous, and be imaginative”.

“So they had to think about, what do I want libraries to be like, and also how do we preserve libraries so that they actually exist in the future. Because some of them had elements where, maybe libraries were at risk, or the libraries were using new and amazing technology.”

“I think kids are very smart these days, and they can always see into the future,” she said.

Yarrow Townsend 600px GP 20240515 165128 Yarrow Townsend with her latest book 'A Ship in the Dark', which she said is an adventure "with some real peril" aimed at those aged about 8 and above. Photo:

The library friends group noted that Cobbett's 85th birthday is Thursday May 16, so of course the children present celebrated with cake!

As reported, Cobbett Road Library has recently re-opened and is now operated by community radio station Awaaz FM. 

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