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Chris Riddell to be new SLA President from June

The retiring Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, author and illustrator extraordinaire, is to become the next President of the School Library Association.  Throughout his Laureateship he has been a champion of libraries, and school libraries in particular, so it is a delight to welcome him to this role where he can continue to be active in his support of school libraries and reading for pleasure.

Chris said 'School libraries played a vital part in my life, turning me into an avid reader and inspiring me to choose a creative path in my career. I am deeply honoured to have been asked to take over from Kevin Crossley-Holland as President and am looking forward to championing the extraordinary work that our school librarians do."

From outgoing President Kevin Crossley Holland ‘Maybe you can't teach an old dog new tricks but you can certainly teach him plenty he didn't know.  During my five years as President of the School Library Association I've learned so much, and have been pleased and very proud to be able to support and speak for school libraries and librarians in every way I could.  It has been a delight to work with the Association's capable board members and officers, and now it's wonderfully heartening to pass the baton to Chris Riddell, who is just completing two quite outstanding years as Children's Laureate, and is such an energetic and powerful lobbyist for school libraries and school librarians.’

Tricia Adams, Director of the SLA, said ‘our previous President, author and poet Kevin Crossley Holland, has been such a positive and supportive President it is great that we have another champion to take over this very important role, especially in this our 80th year.’

The official handover from Kevin to Chris will take place at the joint SLA and Youth Libraries Group Conference on June 25th in Harrogate. 

The role of President is an honorary one, usually lasting for 3 years, taking on a high profile figurehead role to -

  • Promote the aims of the SLA at home and abroad
  • Raise the profile of school libraries and librarians and the SLA’s work amongst senior educationalists and at government level
  • Contribute to Board meetings
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