Shrewsbury School

Celebrating World Book Day

Friday 9 March 2018

Books and readers are celebrated every day in the Moser Library, but World Book Day (1st March) – with its international focus – gave the Library staff the chance to do so on a bigger scale.

Head Librarian Jo Elliot writes:

One of our aims this year was to reach out to those pupils and staff who might not be regular library users. With that in mind, we distributed free books to various sites across campus. Each book was hand-picked by staff as a great read and branded with the message “Read this and pass it on”. 

This was the biggest giveaway we have ever done and, as in previous years, it was very well received. Comments, like this one from Heather May, really made our day!

“What a treat … beautifully wrapped books left in nooks and crannies around school. Loved seeing one on each table at lunch. My tutees went back to house with an armful, buzzing about which to read first.”

World Book Day also saw the culmination of our very first School Book Award. In the Summer Term of 2017, library staff shortlisted six of our favourite recent Young Adult titles. Our current Third Form were offered their choice from the shortlist as a welcome present over the summer holidays.


We had quizzes, sumptuous displays, some talented staff members were recorded reading extracts from the books and we rewarded our readers with a chocolate version of the books – which were very hard to resist!

In the week leading up to World Book Day, staff and students were invited to vote for their favourite book from our shortlist. We received over 100 votes, with Blame by Simon Mayo emerging as a clear winner. There has been a buzz all year about this thrilling dystopian novel set in a world where children are imprisoned for the unpunished “heritage crimes” of their parents. Buoyed by the positive response to this year’s Award, we are well into the planning of the Shrewsbury School Book Award 2019. The longlist will be announced after Easter.

 The icing on our World Book Day cake was our World Book Day Literary Quiz. Library Assistants Sue Iliffe and Kathy Berry took the lead on this. They worked with our wonderful team of library volunteers to create a fun inter-House quiz with four rounds – memory, sound, picture and traditional question and answer – all with a bookish twist.


The team from Moser’s Hall were worthy winners in a tightly fought contest. This was such a success that we plan to make it an annual event.

Sue Iliffe captures the tense, competitive atmosphere:

“The room was hushed and as our quiz master Mr Farmer began the first round, the team Duke of Edinburgh's Award volunteer helpers got into place ready to present their memory round objects and the quiz had begun, several jokers being played. After the last object was described we swiftly moved onto the literary round where students eagerly awaited the questions. Teams were deep in discussion conferring with each other each time Mr Farmer read out a question. At the end of round one, when the papers were collected and answers verified by library staff and the Duke of Edinburgh students, there were two teams taking the lead.

Round two, the picture round, other jokers in play; a flurry of excitement as students wracked their brains trying to remember faces and places. Again collected by and verified by library staff and Duke of Edinburgh students, the results proved close. The music and sound clip round was next. The last flutter of jokers were played, double points needed, and students eagerly awaited the sounds. As the first bars of the Jaws theme blasted out, a buzz filled the room. As the final clip,‘Consider yourself’ from Oliver, soared around the Churchill’s Room, students hummed along.

The scores were close, and the only thing left was the memory round. Answer sheets were distributed and students quickly wrote down as many of the 20 objects as they could remember. As Mr Farmer read out the objects again, answer sheets were frantically being marked and scores finalised.

At last the results were in, and Mr Farmer had the pleasure of announcing the worthy winners – Moser’s Hall.

All in all, a fun and tightly fought battle, a great finale to end the World Book Day celebrations.”


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