National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is an annual event held by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.
The NSS book for 2021 was ‘Give Me Some Space’, written and illustrated by Philip Bunting. In a very special intergalactic experience, ALIA along with Scholastic, the Australian Space Agency and the Office of the Chief Scientist organised for the book to be read by astronaut Dr Shannon Walker from the International Space Station!
While we didn’t have a real-life astronaut in any of our West Gippsland Libraries branches, we did have lots of special guest readers, terrific space-themed craft, happy faces and laughter. Let’s take a look at what we got up to!
- Wonthaggi Primary School and staff came to Wonthaggi Library to hear Brett Tessari, Mayor of Bass Coast Shire read the story with composure – reading facts about Uranus being a gaseous smelly planet amid stifled giggles. Branch Manager Jon and volunteer Nola hosted the session.
In Inverloch Library Sergeant Adrian Condron from Victoria Police shared the main character Una’s adventures through space reading with local families and Branch Manager Jo.
Library officer Rebecca and Councillor David Rooks visited the Phillip Island Early Learning Centre at Cowes and read Give Me Some Space to two groups of kinder children, rewarded with cries of “Read it again!”
- At Drouin Library, programs officer Michelle dressed up as an astronaut to host the NSS session with Victoria Police leading senior constable Paula Fowler. The children also created special spaced-themed artwork using lots and lots of glitter!
- Students from Warragul Primary School walked down the hill to the conveniently located Warragul Library to listen to Baw Baw Shire councillor Annemarie McCabe and programs officer Shannyn read the book. The students listened carefully and asked lots of questions about the book.
- In Foster, Kerry Senior, paramedic and Fish Creek Fire Brigade Captain and library officer Lisa visited Prom Coast Children’s Centre and had a mixed fire-fighter, astronaut, space NSS session. Kerry showed the children firefighting safety clothing and equipment, and everyone pretended to be astronauts with paper space helmets prepared by Lisa.
- In Korumburra Library children from Karmai Community Children’s Centre listened intently to astronaut Dr Shannon Walker read the story from the International Space Station broadcast from the internet. David Welch, Manager of Community Services South Gippsland Shire visited to talk about what he loved in the book, and his desire to visit Mars and be an astronaut. This session was supported by programs officer Julie-Anne and Library Manager Michelle.
- On May 25th, programs officer Julie-Anne held a special session for more children from Karmai Community Children’s Centre. They enjoyed reading ‘Give me some space!’ and dramatising together a space adventure to the moon complete with moonwalking, collecting moon rocks and a safe return to earth!
We had a fantastic time at our NSS 2021 events! The ALIA NSS website reports that there were over 1,980,280 readers at 33,418 locations – let’s hope we can surpass 2 million next year! A special thank you goes to all of our special guest readers who helped make our events such a big success!
Place Give Me Some Space on hold.