ReadingCloud: engaging children, parents and educators in reading for enjoyment

We have updated our cookie policy to reflect recent changes in the UK/EU law concerning the use of cookies and tracking technologies. We use cookies on this website (including the page you are currently viewing) to ensure that the site functions smoothly and to help us understand how we can improve it. If you continue without changing your settings, you are agreeing to receive all cookies from the SLA website.

or view our cookie policy to find out more

Show Menu | Show Sidebar (Login/Search)

SLA Blog » Recent PostsRSS Feed RSS

The SLA blog contains news about the SLA and topical information of general interest to our members. The blog has been running since 2004. An RSS 2.0 feed and information about how to subscribe to the blog are available.

Older blog posts are still available, though archived, on the website, but please check the date at the top of the post to make sure the offer or information is likely to be valid.

Smashing Apps: Ilford, 12 May 2015


Don't miss the chance to attend our new workshop Smashing Apps, run by Bev Humphrey, on 12th May at Redbridge Central Library.

Using app smashing gives maximum creative reign to your students imaginations and gives them the chance to demonstrate their self motivated learning without barriers in an exciting way.This course is a workshop day with hands on sessions and tutorials. Delegates will use several apps from a select range to create content and at the end of the day they will have a finished resource to take away and use in their school or library.  A choice of apps to use will be demonstrated and different projects suggested to ensure the end product is useful for each delegate. Full training on the functions and tips and tricks of working with each app will be given along with practical help and problem solving every step of the way, making this course suitable for comfortable beginners as well as more confident idevice users.

The closing date is 28 April.  The cost of the full days training £105 (SLA members), £135 (for delegates working in schools which are not members of the SLA but subscribe to Barking and Dagenham or Redbridge SLSs), £165 (non-members of both groups).  A colleague attending from the same school (accompanying a full paying delegate) can do so for as little as £65 (SLA members), £75 (SLS subscribers), £85 (non-members).


Key Audience: Primary and secondary school library staff

More Details...

0 comments · Add a comment

Stan Lee Excelsior Award - further reading suggestions

As with every year, the 2015 Suggested Further Reading Sheets are now available. Just click on the various pics to be taken direct to the sheets.
These suggestions represent just a small selection of titles you might wish to consider buying as a supplement to the graphic novels you have bought in to take part in this year's Excelsior Award. They are suitable for the 11-16 age range but, as with all book buying, librarians should use their professional judgement as well. After all, no two schools are the same.
Also, don't forget that the deadline for the return of all Rating Forms (including your JABBICA form) for this year's Stan Lee Excelsior Award is almost upon us. All forms should be posted to 
Longley Park Sixth Form College, Horninglow Road, Sheffield, S5 6SG by Friday 24th April please.

0 comments · Add a comment

Job Vacancies: Gable Hall School, Essex - Qualified Librarian

(Fixed Term – 1 Year)

37 hours per week, term time, 1 training week + additional 2 weeks

(8.15 to 4.45 Monday to Thursday, 8.15 to 4.15 Friday)

School hours only, no weekend work

term time only  

Band 5 Pt 18- 26 £20,427- £25,863 (pro rata)

Gable Hall School is seeking to appoint a Qualified Librarian.  This is a high profile role within the School requiring the highest professional standards and outstanding personal qualities.  The post is wide-ranging and the successful applicant will have the ability to lead and manage the Library provision whilst inspiring students in the use of the library facility.  This is a term time only position plus training days and an additional 2 weeks.

JD Librarian January 2015

Word document, 24 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later)


Candidates must have a degree or post-graduate qualification in library or information studies and Chartered status with CILIP would be preferred.  Applicants must also have professional experience of working within a Library with experience of using a range of online databases, resources and IT applications.

Person Spec Librarian January 2015

Word document, 38 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later)


We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff to share this commitment.  An enhanced CRB will be required for this post together with at least 2 written references.

For further information, job description and an application form please contact the Personnel Office on 01375 400800 ext 166 or download a copy from the Gable Hall School website

Closing date:      Wednesday 29 April 2015 noon

Interviews:          Friday 1 May 2015

More Details...

0 comments · Add a comment

National Revision Week launched

Rev WeekResearch into exam stress has revealed that 71.3 per cent of students facing exams this May say they only get ‘some’, ‘very little’ or no support from their schools, with guiding them on revision practices. The survey has been released to launch National Revision Week on 20-26 April 2015, to raise awareness of exam stress, and to provide teachers and students with tips, tools and advice to help reduce anxiety and increase exam performance.

The survey, carried out by free exam preparation app, Gojimo, and which had more than 500 respondents, also asked students, on a scale of 1-5, how stressed they were about their exams, to which the majority (31.5 per cent) said they were at level 5 (terrified and freaking out). When asked how far in advance they thought they should start studying for exams, the majority (43.8 per cent) said more than 8 weeks in advance. However, when asked in reality how far in advance they actually start studying, the majority (32.6 per cent) said they left it until approximately five weeks before.

National Revision Week is supported by Gojimo in conjunction with YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.Gojimo founder, George Burgess, explains why the initiative is one that’s close to his heart, “Exam time is the most important part of a child’s progression in life, whether they decide to go on to further education or not, and consequently, it becomes one of the most stressful times. For many students, it will be the first time they will have ever really faced stress, worry or anxiety; it was for me. Like most students, I was a crammer, but it’s certainly not something I would encourage as it doesn’t support long-term memory and can lead to stress. One of the things we’re now trying to do is encourage students to study little and often, which is far more effective than one big push in the few days before an exam”.

For tips from students, planning tools, help getting organised, stress busters, support and advice, visit

0 comments · Add a comment

Little Rebels Shortlist 2015

A total of eight titles have been shortlisted this year for the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for radical children’s fiction. It includes two picture books which set out to explicitly challenge gender stereotypes.    

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is now in its 3rd year. The shortlisted 2014 titles include 4 chapter books/fiction and 4 picture books; these are:

  • Trouble on Cable Street by Joan Lingard (Catnip Books), set in 1936 London during the rise of Mosley’s Fascist Blackshirts.
  • Girl With a White Dog by debut novelist Anne Booth (Catnip Books), exploring prejudice and discrimination and linking the Holocaust directly through to the present.
  • Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press) which examines the care system and attitudes towards mental health; this is Gill Lewis’ 2nd appearance on the Little Rebels shortlist after Moon Bear was selected last year.
  • Nadine Dreams of Home by Bernard Ashley (Barrington Stoke), a dyslexia-friendly book about a child who has fled the Congolese civil conflict to settle in the UK.
  • Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton (Walker Books); a subtle picture book about kindness and friendship winning out over force and enmity.
  • Grandma by another debut author/illustrator, Jessica Shepherd (Child’s Play); a child- friendly exploration of dementia.
  • Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranz, illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain (Janetta Otter-Barry Books/Frances Lincoln) about a boy who feels different from the other boys at school.
  • Pearl Power by Mel Elliott, published by newcomer indie, I Love Mel (dis. Turnaround Publisher Services) about a little girl and her encounters with gender inequality.

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award recognises fiction for ages 0-12 which promotes or celebrates social justice and equality. It is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) and is administered by specialist children’s booksellers and 2015 ALMA nominee, Letterbox Library. The judges, Kim Reynolds (Professor of Children’s Lit. Newcastle University), Wendy Cooling, (Bookstart co-founder & editor) and Elizabeth Laird (children’s author) are meeting this month to discuss the shortlist.
Full details of the award, including the shortlist and prize giving ceremony for the previous year, can be found at:

Full details of the award, including the shortlist and prize giving ceremony for the previous year, can be found at:

0 comments · Add a comment

Raising Achievement: the school library's role in supporting SEN and EAL students in KS2 and 3: Poole, Dorset, 7 May 2015


Places are still available on our course Raising Achievement: the school library's role in supporting SEN and EAL students in KS2 and 3, run by Alec Williams, which is due to take place at St Aldhelm's Academy, Herbert Avenue, Poole, Dorset on 7 May 2015. The closing date is 23 April 2015.

Key Audience: School Librarians and library staff; teachers with responsibility for EAL and Special Needs teaching; support staff in libraries and classrooms.

More Details...

0 comments · Add a comment

Job Vacancies: SEK International School Qatar - School Librarian

SEK International School Qatar is a leading multilingual school committed to the best international education. The school is implementing the IBPYP and IBMYP (candidate school). The IB Diploma Programme will be offered for the Academic Year 2016-2017.

We are seeking a highly motivated School Librarian with a minimum of 3 years experience in a similar role to join our team for the next Academic Year, 2015 - 2016. As a new school, we are looking for someone flexible, energetic and passionate about his/her job.

The school´s Employment package includes:

  • Tax Free Salary

  • Annual return flight

  • International Health Insurance

  • Housing allowance

  • End of Service Bonus

  • Professional Development

  • Free tuition for two resident dependent children enrolled in our school

If you would like to apply please send your CV and a recent photograph to recruitment-q[at]

More Details...

0 comments · Add a comment

Worcestershire Book Awards results

Worcs Books 2015Say Her Name by teen author James Dawson has been voted winner of the Worcestershire Teen Book Award by young readers across the county. The announcement was made at a celebratory event in the Council Chambers on 19 March 2015.

James Dawson said:
"Winning awards voted for by young adult readers is always the best.  They are who I write for and it's wonderful to know my books are being enjoyed.  It was really good to visit Worcester and get to meet so many keen readers, which they clearly are."

For the last four months young people across Worcestershire have been encouraged to read a shortlist of six books and vote for their favourite. The shortlist was selected by pupils aged 11 to 14 years in schools around the county. The fourteen schools then battled it out in an interschool quiz all about the shortlisted books.

On 25 March 2015 the winner of the Awesomest Book Award 2015 was announced. This was The Case of the Exploding Loo by Rachel Hamilton. Two authors were in attendance; John Dougherty and Rachel Hamilton which made the day extra special for all those who attended adults and children alike. After a nailbiting final round in the quiz, a tie breaker question between two schools finally saw Powick C of E Primary School crowned the winning school. Thanks to Softlink for their sponsorship of the event. Here's to next year!

0 comments · Add a comment