CILIP in the South East's Thames Valley sub-branch: information here for my future ref.
I attended the branch meeting last night in the Great Expectations pub in Reading (nice beer) where Anne Marley (Outreach & Schools Library Service Manager of Hampshire Library & Information Service) gave a talk about her work with children as a librarian. She has worked in schools and in children's public libraries. I found it fascinating that Anne said that she has only learned how to tell a story and read a poem to children... by reading aloud stories and poems to children. She was a brilliant speaker. She sat on a table, read from her notes, and used old racist and sexist books as props for a discussion about the need to constantly weed children's libraries appropriately. Children are the readers of the future, they will be future users of libraries, so get them young!
Anne didn't mind what you read, as long as you read something. As long as it wasn't too racist or sexist, e.g. material from the 1950s and 1960s about future career options for boys and girls, and a book found in an education department which compares San Bushmen with gorillas. Oh, for heaven's sakes, why hadn't that been weeded out years ago?!
I enjoyed myself. It was good to meet colleagues from Reading university, from other healthcare and HE libraries and a few from school libraries. The food wasn't amazing but at least it was provided free, courtesy of CILIP. I am planning to attend the next session in October...