Adrian Mole creator Sue Townsend to visit Mansfield Library

Sue Townsend, acclaimed writer and the creator of Adrian Mole, is visiting Mansfield Library next month – further raising the profile of how Nottinghamshire libraries support the blind and partially sighted to enjoy books.

The author, celebrating 30 years of Adrian Mole this year, is to visit the library in West Gate, Mansfield, on 6th March, from 3 to 4.30pm. She is taking part in a free, but ticketed event for visually impaired people and from Mansfield’s Visually Impaired Reading Group.

It is the latest high profile visit announced for the Nottinghamshire County Council-managed library, which re-opened this January following a £3.4m refurbishment, and also recently welcomed author Joanna Trollope.

Ursula Ackrill, Team Librarian, for Libraries, Archives and Information Service, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to announce the visit of Sue Townsend to Mansfield Library. She is a best-selling author and also someone who is coping with visual impairment, and it is great that she is able to offer an afternoon meeting for the visually impaired people who live locally.

“This visit also highlights the importance of Mansfield’s Visually Impaired Reading Group. There are audio books and large print books for each member and people find the experience worthwhile for meeting up and reading interesting books. Sue is an inspiration to many people.”

Sue Townsend’s visit will also highlight how public libraries are adopting six steps in a UK-wide effort to improve access for blind and partially sighted people – which Nottinghamshire County Council has signed up to.

Libraries that have adopted the six steps are providing collections of large print and audio books, making sure accessible technology is available, and have a library champion for the reading needs of blind and partially sighted people.

Nottinghamshire County Council libraries, through its designated Champion for the needs of blind and partially sighted people, Ursula Ackrill, have used the format of the campaign’s Reading Choices questionnaire to set up four reading groups – West Bridgford, Mansfield, Sutton and Worksop.

Each group has around 10 members and they meet at their local library monthly. Ursula has also spoken to more than 200 people about their reading, interests, joining a reading group and mobility issues.

Every library in Nottinghamshire has accessibility software called Supernova on all public PCs which magnifies books and can read text aloud, and has large collections of audio books and large print books.

And the following libraries have supported the Make a Noise in Libraries Fortnight events in Nottinghamshire – West Bridgford and Worksop in 2010 and Sutton and Worksop with their respective Visually Impaired Reading Groups last year.

Booking is advised for the free Sue Townsend event at Mansfield Library on 6th March, 3-4.30pm, call the Library on 01623 651337.

The Woman Who Went To Bed For a Year by Sue Townsend is published by Michael Joseph, £18.99”

And for more details about the Six Steps initiative visit www.goscl.com, and for more details about reading groups for the Blind and Partially Sighted in Nottinghamshire’s libraries, telephone: Ursula Ackrill on 0115 922 4986 or email: ursula.ackrill@nottscc.gov.uk