Summer Reading Challenge 2022: Gadgeteers

Children invited to become a Gadgeteer at Inspire libraries

The Summer Reading Challenge is up and running in Nottinghamshire Libraries until Sunday 4 September. For children aged 4 – 11

  – Library Lab family workshops at 12 Inspire Libraries with artist and author in residence, Pete Gray and Alice Harman

  – Library Lab exhibition at Mansfield Central Library from 9 July to 11 September, inspired by Gadgeteers featuring work from pupils at eight Mansfield Primary Schools

  – Family Theatre performances at 19 libraries

  – Mini Challenge available for our youngest readers

Inspire, who deliver library services on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council are getting ready for a summer of reading with Gadgeteers,  Summer Reading Challenge 2022 which launches on Saturday 9 July.The Summer Reading Challenge invites children aged 4-11 to borrow and read any six library books over the summer.  This annual challenge is produced by The Reading Agency and runs in libraries across the country.

This year’s challenge has been developed in partnership with the Science Museum Group, the world’s leading alliance of science museums.  Gadgeteers will be a science filled reading adventure allowing children to explore the science of the world around them.

Through taking part in the Challenge, with free packs from public libraries, children will be able to join six fictional characters – Gadgeteers – as they use creative thinking and some special skills to prepare for a summer party.

To take part in Gadgeteers, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given a collector poster to start their reading journey.  It’s completely free to join. Children choose the books they want to read on their Challenge; stories, fact books, joke books – all reading counts!

There’s a certificate and medal for every child who completes the challenge by reading six books.  Plus, a bookmark, pencil and some very smelly stickers as rewards along the way.

Library staff and volunteers are looking forward to welcoming thousands of children into the library to join in with the challenge. Over 7,400 children participated in 2021.

This popular Challenge encourages children to read for pleasure over the summer holidays, building reading skills and confidence and helping to prevent the ‘dip’ in reading skills while children are out of school. The Summer Reading Challenge is one of the ways Inspire libraries continues its mission inspire a love of reading in children across Nottinghamshire.

Gadgeteers will be a celebration of reading, science and imagination.

John Cottee, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities committee added; “I am always very proud to support the Summer Reading Challenge. It’s such a great scheme to encourage reading from an early age and to keep up the reading habit over the summer. Our libraries across Nottinghamshire are vital to help inspire and enhance a love of reading, and we hope that local young people will visit their local library, borrow and read six books over the summer holiday.”

Peter Gaw, Inspire’s Chief Executive commented; “I am delighted that we can fully welcome children and their families back into libraries to enjoy a summer of reading. It has never been more important for children to keep reading over the summer break with reported attainment gaps following the covid pandemic. Yet again the Summer Reading Challenge is inspiring reading through fun and with rewards. We hope children really enjoy this year’s science theme and join in reading and taking part in workshops and activities.”

Supporting Inspire getting the word out about the Summer Reading Challenge, are our friends at arcpartnership.  Arc have supported the production of a promotional postcard that will be distributed through libraries and in schools.

Mansfield Central Library will host a Summer Reading Challenge inspired Exhibition, Library Lab, from 9 July to 11 September.

As part of Inspire’s Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation funded work, artist Pete Gray and author Alice Harman, Inspire’s 2022 Artist and Author in residence have been working with pupils from eight Mansfield Primary schools to create an exhibition inspired by Gadgeteers.

The Library Lab exhibition is truly a clever collaboration. Pete, Alice and the local schools have worked together to explore spectacular science facts and very smart sketches.  The exhibition will feature interactive artworks and writings.

Pete and Alice are also delivering Library Lab: family workshops at 12 libraries during the summer. Pete will reveal the secrets behind his illustrations, and he will share some clever tricks that are guaranteed to make drawing super easy and great fun! Hunt for fun facts with Alice and turn scientific information into a creative and entertaining double page book spread!


How the Summer Reading Challenge works;

  • Children sign up at the library, collecting a pull-out poster, to keep a record of their reading journey.
  • Children choose the books they want to borrow and read.  Staff and volunteers will be on hand at the library to chat to children about books they have read.
  • For every book read, children will pick up stickers and other rewards.  The stickers will reveal the inventive ways the Gadgeteers are getting ready for their summer party.
  • Every child who completes the challenge by reading 6 library books will receive a medal and certificate.

It’s all free, fun and a great way to keep children reading over the summer holidays.  Gadgeteers will be running in Inspire libraries from 9 July – 4 September.


Mini- Challenge

There is also a bite sized version of the Summer Reading Challenge for our youngest readers (aged 3 and under). Children collect stickers on a special collector card for the books they borrow.

How does the mini challenge work?

  • Sign up at your local library.
  • Choose any books your child likes
  • Share the stores together.
  • Collect a sticker for each book.
  • Collect six stickers to finish and earn a special gold sticker.


Summer Events in Inspire Libraries

Library Lab: family workshops

Join Inspire’s artist in residence Pete Gray and author in residence Alice Harman this summer, for a workshop that’s packed with smart sketches and spectacular science facts.

FREE – Booking essential
For children aged 4 – 11

  • Arnold Library: Saturday 20 August, 2pm-3.30pm
  • Beeston Library: Monday 22 August, 10am-11.30am
  • Bingham Library: Saturday 20 August, 10am-11.30am
  • Hucknall Library: Friday 19 August, 10am-11.30am
  • Kirkby-in-Ashfield Library: Friday 19 August, 2pm-3.30pm
  • Mansfield Central Library: Thursday 18 August, 2pm-3.30pm
  • Newark Library: Tuesday 23 August, 10am-11.30am
  • Retford Library: Saturday 13 August, 10am-11.30am
  • Southwell Library: Tuesday 23 August, 2pm-3.30pm
  • Sutton-in-Ashfield Library: Thursday 18 August, 10am-11.30am
  • West Bridgford Library: Monday 22 August, 2pm-3.30pm
  • Worksop Library: Saturday 13 August, 2pm-3.30pm


Summer Family Theatre in Nottinghamshire libraries

Theatre-Rites presents: Recycled Rubbish
Touring Inspire Libraries Tuesday 9 August – Saturday 20 August
£3 library members | £6 Non-library members
Booking advised
For children aged 5+ and their families

Imagine a world that celebrates its rubbish

Join two excavators as they scuttle through the muck finding treasures hidden amongst a world of rubbish. A magical world where, at the touch of a puppeteer’s hand, the contents of a bin bag can transform before your eyes.

Runing time:  50 minutes

  • Beeston Library: Tuesday 9 August, 11am & 2pm
  • Mansfield Woodhouse Library: Wednesday 10 August, 10.30am
  • Edwinstowe Library: Wednesday 10 August, 3.30pm
  • Worksop Library: Thursday 11 August, 10.30am
  • Retford Library: Thursday 11 August, 3.30pm
  • Cotgrave Library: Friday 12 August, 10.30am
  • Keyworth Library: Friday 12 August, 3.30pm
  • Mansfield Central Library: Saturday 13 August, 11am
  • Arnold Library: Saturday 13 August, 4:30pm
  • West Bridgford Library: Sunday 14 August, 1pm & 3:30pm
  • Kirkby-in-Ashfield Library: Tuesday 16 August, 10:30am
  • Calverton Library: Tuesday 16 August, 3.30pm
  • Carlton Library: Wednesday 17 August, 10.30am
  • Hucknall Library: Wednesday 17 August, 3.30pm
  • Bingham Library: Thursday 18 August, 10.30am
  • Southwell Library: Thursday 18 August, 3.30pm
  • Sutton-in-Ashfield Library: Friday 19 August, 10.30am
  • Forest Town Library: Friday 19 August, 3.30pm
  • Newark Library: Saturday 20 August, 11am & 2pm


StoryBeats: a family storytelling and music workshop
FREE – booking advised
For children aged 5-9

An energetic music and storytelling workshop bursting with creativity and a chance to learn new musical skills with Dave “Stickman” Higgins. Discover how to tell stories and create whole new worlds using percussion, rhythm and voice.

  • Worksop Library: Saturday 16 July, 10am-11am
  • Newark Library: Saturday 16 July, 2pm-3pm
  • Kirkby-in-Ashfield Library: Saturday 23 July, 10.30am-11.30am
  • Arnold Library: Saturday 23 July, 2pm-3pm
  • Sutton-in-Ashfield Library: Saturday 6 August, 10.30am-11.30am
  • Mansfield Central Library: Saturday 6 August, 2pm-3pm


The Clockwork Dragon with author Jonathan Emmett
£2 per child | Accompanying adults free
Booking advised.
For children 4 – 8.

Join author Jonathan Emmett for a tale of daring deeds and an incredibly clever contraption.

  • Mansfield Central Library: Saturday 4 August, 10.30am
  • Sutton-in-Ashfield Library: Saturday 4 August, 2pm


Plus – lots of free craft activities.  Ask in your local library.

Posted on 08 July 2022

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Katrina Farrier