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One World, Many Stories

by Eddie Rayner

It is said if you read books you live a thousand lives. When Mary-Rose Grieve steps into her office, that is exactly what she offers. As school librarian at Hartland International School and the winner of the 2019 School Librarian of the Year Award at Emirates Literature Foundation for Private Schools, Mary-Rose gives us an exclusive insight into her life.

EDUAE: What is your favourite book?

Mary-Rose: That is a wildly unfair question to ask a librarian! My favourite book this week is Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgewick, Julian Sedgewick and Alexis Deacon. In an amazing twist of fate, I came across them doing a book signing in the Imperial War Museum in London last week while my family and I were on the trip that I won as the School Librarian of the Year prize. 

EDUAE: Why do you like reading books?

Mary-Rose: My peripatetic childhood as the daughter of a British Army officer was entirely defined by books; I was a voracious reader and adored being in libraries and bookshops around the world, and I hardly ever spoke to anyone – I much preferred to have my nose in a book. My love of books and reading continued into adulthood (although sadly my silence did not!) and I cannot imagine how much less rich and interesting my life would be without books. I more than ‘like’ reading books – I have to read, in the same way that I have to eat, drink and breathe.

EDUAE: How do you get students excited about reading books?

Mary-Rose: We do a lot, from author visits through to competitions, but I think the most effective thing we do is to model good reading habits ourselves; we take every opportunity to read aloud and to show our own excitement about reading both the books from the library and our own books from home.

Mary-Rose Grieve receiving the 2019 School Librarian of the Year Award
at Emirates Literature Foundation for Private Schools