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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.

IB Survey of "Ideal" School Libraries - Opportunity to Share Our Voices

International Baccalaureate is interested in creating materials to support librarians in our schools. They have devised a simple form with a few questions which is meant to help them better understand the aspirations of practicing librarians and media specialists. With this information, they hope to create a snapshot of the 21st century library, and give schools ideas on how librarians and libraries should be designed and made part of teaching and learning. The survey can be completed in between 5 - 10 minutes.
Please fill out the survey at
Your ideas are appreciated. If you are interested in joining the IB Libraries and Librarians project, please contact Pilar Quezzaire, the investigator for this project, at"

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Job Vacancies: Schools Library Advisor - Based at Willand, Devon to cover the north of the county.

£22,481 (Term Time Only = 41 Weeks)
(Business Mileage paid)

Babcock Education is the largest integrated education support service provider in the UK.
Awarded ‘Education Business of the Year’ in 2012, we employ over 600 education experts providing consultancy, training and management services to over 700 schools and academies in 50 local authorities.

Babcock Education combines the best commercial practice with the values and principles of the public sector, working with schools, extended services, local authorities, colleges, settings, government departments and agencies to improve the life chances of children and young people.

We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Schools Library Advisor to join the Babcock School library Service team. The office is based in Willand although the role will require you to travel through the North of the region (including Barnstable/ Ilfracombe). This role is full time, working Monday - Friday and can support an element of flexibility.
The purpose of the role is to work with subscribing schools to help raise reading standards providing School Library Advisory Support as part of a package the school has purchased.

Major Tasks and Activities:

  • To deliver SLS services as part of the subscription service required by the customer. The post holder will be required to visit schools in order to deliver services and will be required to carry books and other items
  • Maintain and increase schools’ buyback of SLS services
  • Contribute to policy making and the general development of the service
  • To deliver information literacy and reading promotion activities to pupils
  • Deliver INSET to teaching staff and parent volunteers
  • Help organise and deliver conferences / training days
  • Promote the SLS and reading development through social networking site
  • Practical Stock Management including some physical work

Knowledge and Skills:


  • Experience of working in a school library service, school library or teaching environment
  • Knowledge of the business approach to SL services
  • Extensive knowledge of book stock for children and young people
  • Up to date knowledge of the national curriculum for all key stages
  • Experience in book stock and library management
  • Excellent communication and customer care skills
  • Excellent organisational and presentation  skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work on own initiative and part of a team
  • Ability to work within set policies
  • Experience in report writing
  • Ability to identify objectives and set priorities
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to be flexible, adaptable and have good problem solving skills
  • High level of literacy and  numeracy
  • Good IT skills – Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Valid driving licence


  • Educated to degree level in librarianship
  • Proven Experience of working in a school library
  • Ability to use library management systems
  • Marketing knowledge / skills and experience

The ideal candidate will have proven experience within libraries’ with a background in schools/ education sector. As the role will require you to deal with new and existing customers you will need to have a confident approach to your working practices, be skilled and able to provide expert support and sound advice in how to run a successful library.

This company is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Start Date in September 2015

To apply for this role please request an application pack quoting RAF 5836, Schools Library Advisor FAO Nicole Skippins to ETRecruitment[at]

More Details...

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Supporting Library Users with Hidden Disabilities. A Cilip - CDEG professional development day.

CDEG are the Community, Diversity and Equality Group of CILIP and they have asked us to spread the word about a training day they have organised on Wednesday 2 Sep in Portsmouth.

This professional development day will consider support for a range of hidden disabilities including

    autism, aspergers
    dyslexia, dyspraxia
    hearing impairment, visual impairment
    mental health and illness, anxiety & depression
    chronic conditions eg. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)

The day will include a tour of the University Library and its social learning spaces, refurbished in 2014.

Who should attend?

All staff who support library users including library, ILT and IT staff, from all sectors (HE, FE, school, public, special)
For full details of the programme and to book a place follow this link to their Eventbrite page




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Job Vacancies: Ripon Grammar School - Library Assistant

37 hpw, term time + one week + training days

Salary: Band 4, points 9 – 13  (£12,282 - £13,910pa)

We are seeking a library assistant to support the work of the Learning Resources Manager who oversees the library service in school to support teaching and learning.

The role would also require excellent administrative ability, well-developed ICT skills and a passion for reading and literacy. Administrative support would also be part of the role to assist the school’s administration team.

Ripon Grammar School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff to share this commitment.  The appointment is subject to enhanced DBS clearance and excellent employment references.

Closing date for applications – 12noon on 11 September
 Interviews to take place – Wednesday, 16 September

Details of the post, together with an application form, are available on our website

Please email your application to admin[at]

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Fathers Reading Every Day - crowdsourcing project

FREDThe Fatherhood Institute's FRED project (Fathers Reading Every Day) supports dads to read to their children. 

They need an initial £5,000 to kick off a programme to make this happen. Their FRED work has been independently evaluated. It works. it improves literacy in a country where literacy is in crisis. It brings families together. You can read more about it here 

The great news is that they have raised £3,645 so far, so they're almost three quarters of the way there,  but they need another £1,355 by July 15th, otherwise they won't get any of the money already pledged.

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UKLA Book Award Winners 2015


The unique UKLA Book Awards are the only awards judged entirely by teachers. Their choice of winning books which can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning” clearly demonstrates the fresh perspective that class teachers bring to the judging process.   They are able to share the books with their classes and genuinely discover what works with young readers. As well as endorsing the popular appeal of Red House winner, The Day the Crayons Quit they have selected an international author not previously recognised in the UK, a debut author not afraid of difficult topics and echoed the new Children’s Laureate in his emphasis on the importance of illustrated books in creating reading enthusiasm.

David Reedy, President of UKLA said ‘We know that literature broadens the reader’s experience of the world and sense of the possible and thus should have a central place in classrooms and educational contexts.Children need access to a rich range of high quality literature and our awards highlight some of the very best literature currently available to children and young people in the UK.  We are proud to be celebrating these truly outstanding winners at our 51st International Conference‘

The Award winners for the book categories 3 to 6, 7 to11 and 12 to16+ years will be announced and presented at a wine reception at the UKLA International Conference at the National College for Teaching and Leadership, Nottingham on July 10th 2015

The winning book in the 12 to16+ category is Every Day byDavid Levithan, published by Egmont.

Every day, A wakes up in a new body and has to live that person’s life doing no harm to the host. However, when A falls in love, lives are changed and hosts become aware of what is happening to them. This is a highly original book which is handled with real integrity. Levithan offers readers glimpses of some of the quandaries of teenage life, but never offers superficial answers. Teacher judges described Every Day as ‘a brilliant and important book’.

The winning book in the 7 to 11  category is Oliver and the Seawigsby Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, published by Oxford Univesity Press

Judges loved Oliver and the Seawigs because it truly ‘captures the joy of reading.’ When Oliver’s parents go missing, he searches for them, gradually gathering an eccentric group of new friends including a wandering isle called Cliff.  Though the combination of words and pictures make Oliver and the Seawigs a perfect book for children who have developed little stamina as readers, it has been written and illustrated with such wit and so many highly original ideas that, as one of the judges said, ‘it reaches out to everyone.’

For the first time ever the judges also presented a Highly Commended 7-11 Award to

 Us Minus Mumby Heather Butler, published by Little,Brown

Us Minus Mum is, as you’d expect from the title, a book about bereavement. The story follows George’s mum from her diagnosis to her death. What makes it a ‘brilliant, brilliant book’ is that Heather Butler creates a very happy, completely believable family who mourn mum, but honour her life through happiness as well as sorrow. There isn’t a shred of sentimentality in this ‘honest, powerful and insightful novel.’

The winning book for the 3 to 6 category is The Day the Crayons Quitwritten by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, published by HarperCollins

Fed up with the way they are misused, Duncan’s crayons each write him a letter of complaint. The Day the Crayons Quit is a very funny book which encourages children to be adventurous and creative. Like all the very best picture books, there is plenty here to delight adults as well as children. The theme of our responsibility for the happiness of others is explored in remarkable ways. As one of the judges said: ‘I don’t know how you could do more in so few words and so few pages.’ 

For further information and to request an interview with the shortlisted authors and illustrators, or for images, please contactfao Lynda Graham awards[at]

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Kids Lit Quiz Final results!

The Kids' Lit Quiz (KLQ)  World Final took place in Connecticut, USA, on 8th July. The winners were New Zealand, closely followed by  South Africa and the USA came 3rd.

Litcham School, who represented the UK, did extremely well as did the other countries competing, i.e. Australia, Singapore, & Canada. All the scores were very close.

In the evening they all be attended an International Dinner and will continue for the rest of the week to enjoy all the activities and trips that have been organised for them. Cathy Berry,their librarian, tells us that she is very proud of them.

This year the whole event was streamed on U-Tube and although the sound and vision could have been better it was wonderful to watch the UK team competing.

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SLA announces shortlist for School Library Inspiration Award 2015: 2015 Finalists

The SLA in conjunction with Gresswell and LFC are pleased to announce the shortlist for the SLA School Library Inspiration Award 2015.

The shortlisted entries are:

  • All Saint’s, Stibbard
  • Harris Junior Academy Carshalton
  • Howard Junior School, King’s Lynn
  • Little English School, Netherlands
  • Valley Park School, Maidstone

Tricia Adams, Director of the School Library Association, said “This year’s shortlisted entries have truly embraced what the Inspiration Award is about. The judges have seen some wonderful examples of design, usage and promoting reading for pleasure. I would like to congratulate the schools who made ths shortlist and thank everyone who entered this year's awards.”

The School Library Inspiration Award has been created to set future standards for the recognition of excellence in school library design. The award will be made annually to the school library space that shows inspiration, innovation, creativity and resourcefulness in its library design and in use, either through creative use of specific products or promotions.

The winning school will be announced at our School Libraries Celebration Day on Monday 5 October 2015.

More Details...

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