Friends of the Library at Chagford Carnival!



We took part in the Chagford Carnival Parade yesterday, and had a jolly good time! Here’s our Carnival group in the picture above: made up of local Library Friends both young and old…plus librarian Erica Loram (the Queen of Hearts). We were also joined by two visiting writers in support of our library campaign: Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman. (Click on the links if you’d like to know more about their work.) We wore costumes from our two big summer events: The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Hollow Meadow.

Many thanks to all who participated — especially our young Alice and Mad Hatter — and to everyone in Chagford who cheered us along the way!

photo 2

Thanks also to the Chagford Pantomime group, Jenny Gayton, and Todd & Carol for costume and mask loans; to all who helped with signs and photographs; and to the Chagford Carnival Committee for their hard work.




Carnival 10

The photographs here were kindly provided by Neil Tappenden and Lin Copeland. The art in the “Save Our Library” poster is by Winslow Homer (1836-1910).

Why we need libraries


World War II

The remorseless destruction of our national public library system continues. Librarians are sacked, books sold or thrown away, and buildings closed. Unison estimates that nearly 500 of the country’s 3,100 libraries are being cut. No one expects things to get better, or even to stop getting worse. But it did not need to happen like this. The collapse marks a failure of will and imagination not an inevitability….

“[The] vision of public libraries as an essential part of a functioning literate nation was lost here before we realised it was gone. In the great general turning from the state we failed to understand that one of the things that taxes ought to fund is a general, unglamorous and reliable access to culture for everyone.”

The Guardian View on the Loss of Public Libraries

You can read the full article here.

(The photograph above is from the London Blitz, 1940s.)

Why we still need libraries, and printed books



Click here for one of many recent studies indicating that reading comprehension decreases when reading ebooks rather than printed books —  possibly because the entire kinetic experience of reading a printed book aids in the retention process.

So the next time you hear a politician say that we should abolish rural libraries and give rural children Kindles instead, bear this in mind…


On Saturday, August 30th:


  The Town Crier and his two assistants

It’s Carnival Time in Chagford, and the Friends of Chagford Library will be marching in the Carnival Parade, dressed as characters from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Would you like to show support for Chagford Library? Please come and join us! We have plenty of costumes, and everyone, young and old, is welcome. Pets too!

If you’d like to wear one of our costumes, contact Susan Harley via the Friends mailbox. Or if you’ve already got a costume of your own, join us pre-procession in the Chagford Primary School field, 6 to 6:15 pm. The parade starts at 6:30.

More information about Chagford Carnival can be found on the Visit Chagford website.


The ‘Extreme Reading’ Contest


Extreme Reading

Last month, we joined forces with the fabulous folks at The Mess to put this challenge to the youth of Chagford: “Send us pictures,” we said, “of some of the stranger places where you might be found reading.”

Here are the winning entries…with many thanks to Wez Culter at The Mess, and to everyone who participated!!!

First place winner: Archie!

Archie - trampoline

Second place winner: Holly!


Third place winner: Daisy!


A few more of the judges’ favourites….

late summer 12 058

late summer 12 060

Archie - car


And to all the kids in the Chagford area who love to read: You are the best!!!


Return to Aesop


Come support the youth of Chagford in this summer’s Starling Arts Production: ‘Return to Aesop’, written and directed by Anna Shields and Emily Cook.

Featuring some of Aesop’s classic fables, the play is funny, poignant and has strong morals throughout. It is also lively and hugely entertaining – a real treat for all the family.

Almost 50 young people are involved – all of whom are working incredibly hard to produce the high standard we have become used to. You can see how important the show is to them in the video above.

Please show them your support at the performances at Chagford Jubilee Hall:

Wednesday August 27th 7.30 pm

Thursday August 28th 7.30 pm

Friday August 29th 2.30 pm & 7.30 pm

Tickets are available from Fowlers, Chagford: adults £7.50, under 16’s £6.50

On August 28th (weather permitting):


story walk deer


Meet at 2.30 pm at Whiddon Deer Park. (Parking will be available.) Bring a picnic and something to sit on, and wear good walking shoes. There will be wonders!

Please speak to Erica at the library for further details about participating in this event. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

The photograph of Peter Randall-Page’s sculptures in Whiddon Deer Park (above) is by Adrian Colston, General Manager for the National Trust on Dartmoor. You can read his Dartmoor blog here. The deer art is by Juliana Swaney. You can see more of her art here.


Why we need libraries



 A day in the life of New York City’s public libraries:

In an informative and moving video, Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks reveal just how important the modern library is for millions of people. You can watch it here, on the Atlantic Magazine site.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party


Mad Hatter photos by Rachel

We’ve got more Mad Hatter’s Tea Party photos for you, this time from Friends of Chagford Library member Rachel Basham (a.k.a. The Cheshire Cat), who designed and co-organised the event.

If you’ve got some good photos to share, please send them to us. For all the photos so far, go here.



Mad hats…



Mad Hatters