For the first time, our Children literature department, Žalioji pelėda (Panevezys Elena Mezginaite public library) organized an event for children “Night with Andersen”. This is an event organized by Czech libraries since 2000. The event is designed to encourage children to read.
We all know that today’s lifestyle isn’t very conducive to children’s reading – books compete with many action attractions, from pointless sitting at a TV screen to computer games. This situation is criticized by the general public, and it seems to all of us that today’s children read little or not at all.
Czech librarians came up with the idea to show children that reading can be a fun adventure and invited them to spend the night in the library. During the event, children perform various tasks, solve puzzles, participate in competitions, write greetings according to the theme of the event. Although the event is called “Night with Andersen”, the activities are not limited to this writer.
The event usually takes place at the end of March in commemoration of H.Ch. Andersen’s birthday and International Children’s Book Day (on April 2).
We liked the idea of the Czech colleagues, contacted them, and expressed their desire to participate in the event. Colleagues were delighted, sent participants cards, and invited us to participate next year as well.
Quarantine adjusted the organization of the event. The Czechs informed us that we can organize the event in our library at a convenient time and organize it according to the pandemic situation.
We couldn’t act at night, so the event took place during the day. This year’s theme is Mystery Puzzle. So participants played puzzles, created stories with storytelling dices. One of the tasks was to recreate H. Ch. Andersen’s fairy tale “Thumbelina” reigned in their way (children changed Thumbelina’s name, her birthplace, she has kidnapped a beetle, her groom was not a mole, but a crab or a bigfoot, she went not to the land of elves, but Iceland, etc.).
Today, children use various social networks, have their profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc. So they were asked to imagine what H. Ch. Andersen’s Facebook profile would be like if he lived in those days.
One task showed that children still read books: participants had to put together fairy-tale titles, excerpts, and illustrations correctly and coped well with this task.
We were doing “Night with Andersen“ for the first time, so all the assignments are related to this writer. We look forward to attending next year.
Text by Anžela Vasiliauskienė
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