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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.

Work Smarter and Shine: Penrith, Cumbria, 18 October 2016

Our course Work Smarter and Shine, run by Sarah Pavey MSc FCLIP, will be held at Newton Rigg Conference Centre, Newton Rigg College, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 0AH on 18 October 2016.

This new SLA course will help you to -

Streamline development plans for your library, taking into account both operational and strategic approaches

Structure a job description that is achievable and realistic

Manage your personal time

Understand teenage behaviour and how to deal with it in a library setting

Develop assertive responses for effective communication with all in the school community


The closing date is 3 October 2016. Bookings received by 23 September 2016 are eligible for a £15 discount.


Key Audience: Anyone woking in a secondary school library who wants to see how they can work more effectively in their role in order to achieve more productive outcomes.

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School Librarian of the Year Award 2016: Fve exceptional librarians

It is testament to the especially high quality of nominations received this year that the Honour List for the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award 2016 is longer than usual. This year five exceptional librarians from a wide variety of schools are included:

  • Sophie Chalmers (Southbrook School, Devon)
  • Rachel Knight (Sherborne Girls, Dorset)
  • Amy McKay (Corby Business Academy, Northamptonshire)
  • Alison Tarrant (Cambourne Village College, Cambridgeshire)
  • Lauren Thow (Portobello High School, Edinburgh)

These are five exceptional school librarians, each of which has made a huge difference to the lives of the students and people they work with, igniting a passion for reading, setting students on a learning journey, teaching them essential skills, as well as supporting staff and reaching out to the wider community. Any one of these five would be a worthy winner of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award.

Their full profiles will start to go live on the SLA website on 30 August, with each further profile being published once a week.

Ginette Doyle, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection Committee, said:

"Every year I speak about the amazing, high-level librarians who have reached the honour list and think that they cannot be bettered. This year we have five honour list librarians with less than five marks separating them. Each one is doing incredible work in their school libraries. Each one is a very worthy Honour list member."

Download the full SLA Press Release about the 2016 Honour List:

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BBC Children in Need and Lloyds Bank invite you to be a part of the Big Spotacular!

BBc SpotacularFrom spotty fancy dress and spotty cakes to sponsored spot challenges, get ready to show your spots and raise as much as you can to help change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

Designed especially for early years, primary and secondary schools, the Big Spotacular builds on last year’s campaign, which proved to have a positive impact on student skill development, including teamwork, communication and confidence.

Register for your FREE Spotacular Fundraising Kit, packed full of goodies including posters and stickers, before 16 September and you will be in with the chance of a visit from Pudsey Bear himself during his Schools Roadshow!

Spotacular fundraising tools and education resources will be going live in September so don’t forget to check back at the start of term.

To find out more and request your fundraising kit, visit

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UK team win second place in Kids Lit final!!

Many congratulations for gaining second place to Eva, Hannah, Olivia, Sophia and Librarian Rhona Clark, from Hamilton College who represented the UK in the World Final of the Kids Lit Quiz. This exciting literary competition took place in Auckland New Zealand on the 19 August. It was a very close result with Wellesley College NZ winning by only one point. Third place was won by Kinross Wolaroi School in Australia.

Congratulations must go to all the teams who took part from countries across the globe.

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Significant Contribution to Scottish Children’s Literature Award announced

The Bookseller announced, on August 10, that the Scottish Book Trust has launched a new award that recognises outstanding contributions to Scottish children’s literature:

"The Significant Contribution to Scottish Children’s Literature Award, sponsored by Browns Books for Students, will be given annually to one author or illustrator and one librarian or teacher who have had an inspiring impact on young readers in Scotland.

Marc Lambert, c.e.o. of Scottish Book Trust, said: “It is a simple statement of fact that the projects Scottish Book Trust runs for children would simply not exist without the passion of the teachers and librarians who consistently exceed their remit by embracing each and every reading campaign, award, tour, event and challenge.

“And, of course, there would be nothing to get the children excited about were it not for the outrageously talented and hardworking bunch of authors and illustrators that Scotland is lucky enough to lay claim to. This award is intended to celebrate and recognise these people – the ones who bring the magic of books to children and set them on a path to being booklovers for life.”

Nominations will open on 31st August 2016 and the winners will be chosen by an independent panel of experts and announced at an evening reception in June 2017."

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Job Vacancies: St Paul’s School - LIBRARIAN

Salary: c £20,000 - £22,500pa term time only (plus 2 weeks)

We are looking for an enthusiastic and committed Librarian to manage, develop and promote our well used and well-resourced Library.  This is an opportunity to join a school that enjoys a reputation for academic and all-round excellence.

The ideal candidate will be a qualified librarian with very good experience and knowledge of working in a library. The candidate should possess excellent interpersonal skills and be able to communicate with boys, parents and staff.

Further details and an application form can be obtained from the school’s website,, or by email from humanresources[at];

The closing date for receipt of applications is noon on Friday 19 August 2016. Interviews will be held on Thursday 25 August 2016.

St Paul’s School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  Applicants will be required to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post including checks with past employer and the Disclosure and Barring Service. St Paul’s School is an equal opportunities employer.

St Paul’s School is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England at Lonsdale Road, London SW13 9JT. Registered Company Number 6141973. Registered Charity Number 1119619.

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Job Vacancies: Bradford Grammar School - Temporary Part-time Assistant Librarian

(fixed term contract to provide maternity cover)

22 hours per week during term time only

Bradford Grammar School believes in providing every opportunity for its Junior and Senior pupils to embrace academic, sporting and creative excellence within an aspirational, caring environment, in which happiness is the key to an individual’s success.

Applications are invited from well qualified and enthusiastic candidates who ideally possess a recognised qualification in Librarianship at degree level, excellent customer service skills, and ICT competency at intermediate level.

We are an equal opportunities employer, committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. Successful applicants are subject to an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service check and satisfactory employment references.

For further details and to apply online please visit our website (CVs cannot be accepted).

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 19 August 2016 at 12pm. Interviews are likely to be held week commencing 29 August 2016.

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Odd and the Frost GiantsWednesday 31st August – 7pm for a 7:30pm start. Bloomsbury publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP

Join Chris Riddell, Children’s Laureate and three times Carnegie Medal winner, as he talks about  his work with bestselling author Neil Gaiman. As well as giving an insight to his creative process, Chris will reveal his inspiration behind some of Neil Gaiman’s key characters.

Chris Riddell has now worked his magic on six Neil Gaiman books for Bloomsbury including Coraline, Fortunately, the Milk and The Sleeper and the Spindle (for which Chris won his third Greenaway Medal). Their latest endeavour is a beautiful illustrated edition of Odd and the Frost Giants.

This is a fantastic chance to hear from one of the UK’s most talented and in demand illustrators. Pre-publication copies of Odd and the Frost Giants will be available for the special price of £10.

Spaces for this event are limited so make sure you reserve your spot!

To book your space please RSVP to Ian Lamb on

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