Children in Russia will be sharing and comparing their love of libraries as part of a live video link up with youngsters who use Walsall’s libraries.
Pupils from Bloxwich C of E JMI School are set to gather at Bookmark Bloxwich (Bloxwich Library) on Wednesday 23 November at 9am to chat to a group of counterparts from Orenburg, Russia, where it will be 3pm. During the 30 to 40 minute discussion they are expected to talk about interesting books they’ve read, hobbies and places of interest in their community.
The idea for the link up follows a visit by 14 Russian librarians to Walsall in October as part of a UK study tour to see how British libraries work with communities and children. During their visit they had a tour of Bookmark Bloxwich and met key members of the council’s libraries team to share ideas and information.
The group included Galina Kislov, Director of the National Children’s Library in Moscow and Antonida Andronova, Director of the Children’s Library of the Orenburg region. Following their return home they contacted the libraries team to request the live link up to give children the chance to share their experiences.
Councillor Anthony Harris, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “What a great way for our children to find out more not just about libraries in a different country but about life in general.
“The visit by the Russians to Bloxwich was really successful and it was a great way for us to share different ways of working and get some new ideas. I am delighted that they want to continue working alongside us and I hope this is just the first of several link ups between different groups using the library in both communities.”
Orenburg is a regional centre of education and has a number of cultural institutions and museums. It is also known for being where the first man in space, Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, did his military flight training as a jet pilot in the mid 1950s.