Carnegie winner Landman condemns library closures

Carnegie winner Landman condemns library closures

Tanya Landman, who this morning picked up the CILIP Carnegie medal for Buffalo Soldier (Walker Books), used her acceptance speech to speak out against the closure of libraries, as well as how schools are killing the creative process.
 
Landman said reading and books both inspire creativity and encourage empathy. “A reader is more likely to look at a woman huddled in a doorway or a group of refugees and think ‘what if that was me?’ So why are the politicians shutting down libraries?”, she asked.
 
She continued: “Is it because politicians are stupid? Or arrogant? Or is it something more sinister in that a population that doesn’t read is easier to control?”
 
Landman also criticised the school system in the UK, which, she said, is over-testing children and killing creativity. “At a time when China is looking for ways to teach their children to create and innovate, we seem to be heading in the opposite direction… Schools don’t encourage creative writing because it’s something they can’t easily quantify.”
 
Will Grill, who won the CILIP Kate Greenaway award for illustration for Shackleton’s Journey (Flying Eye), used his speech to talk about dyslexia and the importance of non-fiction. “Non-fiction is often seen as unglamorous compared to fiction in picture books but it doesn't have to be that way,” he said.
 
Grill said he had always loved stories as a child but struggled with dyslexia. He said non-fiction “can also be more accessible for those who struggle with reading, as dyslexics like myself have. Picture books and graphic novels are a way into reading for us, and I was moved to create my book after reading of Shackleton’s heroism and endurance.”