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June news and events

Horrid HenryWhat a busy month June is!  The Weekend Course (last weekend) does take up quite a bit of the time making sure everything is in place, i’s dotted and t’s crossed!  But there is so much else happening around us all it is quite a problem to keep up to date! So here goes on a ‘catch up’ and ‘heads up’ for June – I do hope it proves useful!

Softlink published the 2015 UK School Library Survey – the first in an annual series, we hope.  There were some highlights included in delegate packs at the Weekend Course but for those not able to attend the main points from the Executive summary are –

  • 54% of schools feel their library is not adequately funded.
  • 36% of schools receive £5,000 or more for their library budget.
  • 52% of schools library budget has not changed from previous years.
  • 68% of school libraries have experienced no change in staffing levels from previous years.
  • One third of UK school library staff work term time only.
  • Teaching staff interaction with the library is one of the top challenges for librarians. Other highlighted challenges include reduced physical space for the library and competing with other school activities.
  • The top priority for school libraries in 2015 is to raise the profile of the school library.
  • Implementing eBooks and using online resources is a growing requirement for school libraries.

2015 UK School Library Survey Report

PDF file, 940 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)

None of which is probably a surprise to those of us in the midst of the profession, but it is really good to have a headline document that sets it all out so clearly and on an annual basis.

The Weekend Course was very well received and we shall be publishing as many of the presentations as we are able to in the coming weeks – watch the website for more details.  Meanwhile to get a flavour of the course do have a look at the illustrated Storify Bev Humphrey put together for us - thank you Bev.  I also want to record our great thanks to our Weekend Course sponsor MLS – they have been a great support to us for the last three years, plus I am delighted to announce that they are continuing their support for another three years.  This support enables us to book speakers we could not get otherwise, and also allows us to have entertainment to relax with  in the evening.  Thank you to all at MLS!

There are a plethora of live stream events with authors this month.  Hachette Children’s have the wonderful Francesca Simon talking about ‘Horrid Henry’. This will take place on Wednesday 24 June 2015, 10.30am GMT and is suitable for KS1 & KS2 pupils. The free event will be streamed live into schools and libraries across the country (and even the world!) from Children’s Authors Live and will last approximately 45 minutes to one hour.  Also, Jacqueline Wilson will ‘Celebrate the Victorians’ at 2-2.30 on 23rd June, sign up at Puffin Virtually Live website.  Also on 23rd June Lauren Child is talking about Ruby Redfort from 10.30 for 1 hour – sign up on the Ruby Redfort website.

For those wanting to know more about Information Literacy try the University of Birmingham’s Teaching Study and Research Skills on Thursday 9th July at 9.30am – 4.30pm (with an optional 30 minute tour of the Main Library at 4.30pm).  This free event is run by Subject Advisors and Learning Advisors from Library Services will teach you to teach these valuable skills to your students.  This session is aimed at school/college staff who support year 12 and 13 students. These may be teaching staff, support staff and/or librarians.  For more information or to book a FREE place and for an outline of the day go to the Eventbrite page.

Finally, back for a second year, our friends at National Book Tokens are giving away the ultimate prize for one lucky school - £5,000 of National Book Tokens. To sweeten the deal, you'll also get £100 for yourself!  Enter before 31st July on the National Book Tokens website. 

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