Welcome to sch.im Isle of Man Department of Education, Sport & Culture


Summer Reading Scheme 2012

We've had a record number of young people register for our reading scheme this year and they are all going to have a summer of great fun, great things to do and great reading!

The scheme is shorter than usual as the library will be leaving the IOM Govt and DEC at the end of August, so if you're one of the few who haven't collected your packs please come along soon so that you can get started on the scheme and complete it in time. Everyone who finishes will go into a draw for a really brilliant prize and anyone who earns lots of points this summer has a chance of winning special treats too!

If you've missed out on the scheme this year don't worry, we're already planning an exciting scheme for next year...so there are only a few months to wait. ;)


Be Happy! Be Inspired!

The Illustrator's exhibition, curated by Julia Donaldson, has exceeded our expectations.

Reproductions of these of illustrations don't do justice to the fine detail and depth of colour in the original works. It's fascinating to see the differing approaches and techniques used by the artists, and breathtaking to see the imagination at play in bringing the author's words to life.

Ultimately this is an inspiring show, full of warm-hearted generosity that leaves you feeling happy - don't miss it!


The Great Manx Monster Workshops

Calling all artists!

As part of The Illustrators exhibition in May we have organised three illustration workshops at the library. Professional illustrators Juan Moore, Rachael Ansell and Tom Egan are running the sessions on Saturday 12th, 19th and 26th from 1pm to 3pm.

The workshops have taken their inspiration from Julia Donaldson's creation The Gruffalo and Juan, Rachael and Tom will be encouraging everyone to create their own Great Manx Monster.

You can book a place right now - £3 per session

See - The Illustrators exhibition


Illustrators Exhibition - Julia Donaldson

This is your chance to see original artwork by some of the best illustrators working in the UK right now.

Julia Donaldson (Children's Laureate and writer of The Gruffalo) originally curated this exhibition of work created for her books for The Park Gallery in Falkirk. It was such a great success the gallery decided to turn it into touring exhibition and it has already been to the Shetland Islands, Belfast and Co Kildare in Ireland.

The exhibition opens on 8th May and continues until 2nd June.

As well as 49 artworks to see there will be illustration workshops, story sessions and other activities for you to enjoy.

This is a one-off opportunity and we hope lots of you will come along!

See information about Illustration Workshops


Monster Open Day!

What an incredible day we had on Saturday, it really was a Monster Open Day with monster crowds of people and monster things to do.

To read all about the event on the Family Library website click HERE


Class Visits - World Book Day

We had a really busy World Book at the library. All day children enjoyed story-telling sessions, crafts, doing scrambled word and jigsaw puzzles as well as looking through our lovely collection of books.

Here are some images for you to enjoy -


Open Day

We're holding an Open Day for everyone to come along, have some fun and take a look at the Family Library and the Mobile Library vehicles.

We were planning the event to take place on World Book Day weekend but unfortunately events caused us to postpone and it is now taking place on Saturday 10th of March.

We hope lots of people will drop by - there will be crafts, activities and live music too.


Half Term

We were expecting a quiet half term at the library because a lot of members were off Island, but we had a really busy time. Here are just a few of photographs we managed to snap to show the children enjoying the StoryBox and our craft sessions.


Victoria House Nursery Visit

We're having a lovely start to Half Term holidays today at the library with a visit from the Victoria House Nursery. Children took part in our drop-in colouring activity and had stories read to them by the Victoria House Nursery.

We have drop-in craft all week - for free - and a couple of special craft sessions today and on Friday.


Pre-school Busy Bees

Every alternate week we have Busy Bee sessions at the library for pre-schoolers. These sessions include storytelling, action and song as well a craft activity.


Peel Clothworkers' Library Visit

15 pupils from Peel Clothworkers' School came to the library today. They are planning a new library at their school and wanted to see how we arranged our library. We showed them around and we discussed the differences between classifying fiction and non-fiction. They spent some time reading books too.

They liked the library so much they want to come back again - we're looking forward to seeing them soon. We're also looking forward to seeing their new library, we're sure they're going to do a great job and be brilliant librarians.


Marown Library Visit

Today 37 Year 2 pupils from Marown School came to the library to enjoy lots of Julia Donaldson stories and activities. They looked at books, coloured in special bookmarks, un-scrambled titles of Julia Donaldson books and had stories read to them - and they read to us too!


Ashley Hill Library Visit

Yesterday Year 1 pupils from Ashley Hill visited the library. They took part in a 'treasure hunt' game all about the Family Library, looked at lots of books and had stories read to them too.


Favourite Author - Vote Results

Last Saturday was National Libraries Day and we asked everyone who visited the library to vote for their book. Warhorse by Michael Morpurgo won the vote!

Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson and Lemony Snicket were all tied for the most voted for authors.


Pirate Author

Mackenzie Crook, one of the stars of Pirates of the Caribbean, has had his first book nominated for The Waterstone's Children's Book Award. You can read the article HERE

If you want to read any of the nominated books on the list you can find them all here at the Family Library.


Ballaquayle Library Visit

Ballaquayle Infants visited the library today. They enjoyed having traditional stories read to them and colouring in fairytale bookmarks

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Charles Dickens Project Books

There are a lot of events today and throughout 2012 to celebrate the birth of Charles Dickens 200 years ago.

If you would like to read, listen or watch a Charles Dickens story we have books, audiobooks and DVDs that you could borrow. Your school library and local library will be able to help you as well.

If you are a teacher and would like to inspire your class to learn more about the great writer, we have some books (abridged and illustrated) that might inspire your pupils. You can come the Family Library and borrow on a teachers ticket (free) or contact Sarah Johnson, our Schools Librarian, who can arrange to deliver them to you as an exchange.

Happy Birthday Charles!


Julia Donaldson - Library Poem

Julia Donaldson has written a great new poem especially for National Libraries Day. To help celebrate this special day - and the year campaign to support libraries - why not visit your local or school library today and borrow a book...perhaps one by Julia Donaldson!

Telegraph article by Martin Chilton -

Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson has written a poem in protest at planned library closures.

The Gruffalo author, who was awarded the MBE last year, has written the poem to mark National Libraries Day (Saturday 4 February) and the 62-year-old writer, who was born in London but lives in Glasgow, said she wanted to make a serious point in a fun way.

Donaldson has used libraries since she was a child and still visits her local branch to research and write her best-selling books. Her poem describes libraries as places to "meet your heroes, old and new, from William the Conqueror to Winnie the Pooh".

A campaign against library cuts has been running since last February's Save Our Libraries Day; and protests and legal action have helped stave off some of the plans for mass closures. In the past 12 months, 32 UK libraries have closed and 43 mobile libraries have also shut down but Public Libraries News lists 407 libraries as being at risk of closure.

Donaldson is a fervent believer that libraries must be protected. She said: "It's just more interesting to put the reasons I love libraries in the form of a poem rather than write an earnest article about it. If we lose libraries, we would lose readers and we would become a less literate country. People are kidding themselves if they think adults will downloads books to their Kindles if they haven't got the reading bug as children".

Library Poem by Julia Donaldson

Everyone is welcome to walk through the door.

It really doesn't matter if you're rich or poor.

There are books in boxes and books on shelves.

They're free for you to borrow, so help yourselves.

Come and meet your heroes, old and new,

From William the Conqueror to Winnie the Pooh.

You can look into the Mirror or read The Times,

Or bring along a toddler to chant some rhymes.

The librarian's a friend who loves to lend,

So see if there's a book that she can recommend.

Read that book, and if you're bitten

You can borrow all the other ones the author's written.

Are you into battles or biography?

Are you keen on gerbils or geography?

Gardening or ghosts? Sharks or science fiction?

There's something here for everyone, whatever your addiction.

There are students revising, deep in concentration,

And school kids doing projects, finding inspiration.

Over in the corner there's a table with seating,

So come along and join in the Book Club meeting.

Yes, come to the library! Browse and borrow,

And help make sure it'll still be here tomorrow.


Ashley Hill Library Visit

Ashley Hill Yr 1 pupils visited the library this morning. They had fun using booklets we gave them - full of puzzles, colouring in and a 'treasure hunt' game about the Family Library - and looking through our picture books.

We're really looking forward to seeing more Yr 1 children next week.


National Libraries Day - 4th February

DON'T BUY, BORROW and enjoy hundreds and thousands of books at your local library. Celebrate National Libraries Day - Saturday 4th February - and save pennies too!

We look forward to seeing you!