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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.

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Job Vacancies: Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester - Head of Learning Resources

Maternity Cover  - Term time + 4 weeks
Salary £22,720 (FTE 26,372)  Scale point 26
Hours: Monday – Friday  8.30 – 4.30pm
(1 hour unpaid meal break)
Start Date 4th June 2017
(subject to recruitment checks and any changes to Maternity start date)

Chetham’s School of Music, established in 1969, is an independent co-educational boarding school based in Manchester city centre. It is the largest specialist independent music school in the UK with around 300 students aged 8-18 who are musically gifted.   The School teaches all core curriculum subjects, with music given a high priority in the curriculum.

The School Library reflects the musical bias of the School, having fiction and non-fiction books, magazines covering all academic subjects taught in School as well as a very large music collection including books, sheet music, orchestral sets, wind, brass and jazz ensemble music, string ensemble and baroque music, choral scores, miniature scores, CDs, DVDs and vinyl records and audio-visual equipment.       

You should have a postgraduate library qualification recognised by CILIP, a music degree and experience within a school, music conservatoire or other music library.  You should have excellent organisational, computing and interpersonal skills and preferably staff management experience.

For an application pack and job description please vsit the website:
Application deadline: 9am, Monday 10 April 2017

Interviews: w/c 17th April 2017

Chetham’s is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children; applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service. Reg. Charity No: 526702

More Details...

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Wicked Young Writers Award 2017

WYWA MASTER ARTWORK UpdateThe acclaimed WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS (, created and sponsored by the award-winning musical WICKED in association with the National Literacy Trust (, are delighted to announce that Strictly Come Dancing star, author, award-winning journalist and former Labour MP Ed Balls has joined the judging panel, alongside ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar and the acclaimed performance poet and writer Laura Dockrill. Author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell, returns as Head Judge for the third consecutive year, together with long-standing judges Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust and Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of WICKED.

Launched in 2010, the free-to-enter annual creative writing competition for 5-25 year olds raises money for, and awareness of, the National Literacy Trust who campaign to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy.

To ensure as many people as possible are able to take part, the awards deadline has now been extended to 27 March, 2017. Entrants can submit their writing by visiting, where they will also find writing tips and resources from the Award judges.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of the Awards, set up to encourage and recognise excellence in writing, and creativity, and help develop literacy and writing talent in young people. Since launching, over 25,000 young people have entered original and thought-provoking pieces of writing that consistently reflect the interests, concerns and deepest thoughts of young people, providing a first-look at the emerging voices of a new generation.

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The Trustees of KLQ UK are looking for a NATIONAL ORGANISER to replace Jacky Atkinson who has now taken on the role of Chairman.  The job entails organising the schedule of Regional Heats, in consultation with the Quizmaster, co-ordinating and supporting the 18 Regional Organisers and recruiting new Regional Organisers as and when necessary. Dealing with enquiries from interested schools.   Liaising with publishers for book prizes.  Liaising with the National Treasurer, helping to organise the National Final together with the Board, and reporting to the Board on a regular basis.  Promoting the KLQ UK whenever possible.   Preparing an annual report for the Trustees as required by the Charity Commission.  This voluntary post carries with it a small honorarium

For further information, please contact Jacky Atkinson:

0781 2525224 or 01295  812972  e-mail klquktrustee1@gmail, com



How would you like to join the happy team of Regional Organisers who bring the joy of reading to our young

People by organising local Heats of this exciting and unique literary International Competition.

We are looking for volunteers in the following areas”


For further information, please contact Jacky Atkinson

0781 2525224 or 01295 812972  e-mail klquktrustee1@gmail,com

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Help, I'm in Charge of the School Library!: Sheffield, 28 March 2017


Places are still available on our Help, I'm in Charge of the School Library! course for secondary school library staff which is taking place at Longley Park Sixth Form College, Horninglow Road, Sheffield S5 6SG on 28 March 2017. The closing date is 14 March 2017.

An essential course for anyone new to running or managing a secondary school library, topics covered will include creating an inspiring library environment, library organisation and maintenance (including an introduction to Dewey and the benefits of a range of Library Management systems), selecting and buying books, library promotion, budgeting and writing a library policy/development plan. Delegates will leave with the confidence to move the library forward and ensure it is used to maximum effect within their schools.

The cost is just £105 (SLA members), £165 (non-members) and a second person can attend from the same school (accompanying a full-paying individual) for as little as £70 (SLA members), £90 (non-members).  Payment is not required by the course date as long as an official order has been received. 

Key Audience:  A course for secondary school library staff

More Details...

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Celebrate Shakespeare Week 2017

Shakespeare WeekGet ready for Shakespeare Week 20 – 26 March 2017 when primary children all around the country will be celebrating Shakespeare’s life, world and plays. Join in the celebrations at where you can register for activities and other fun resources.  For posters featuring artwork from Marcia Williams, please contact

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Inclusive Minds launch crowdfunding campaign to develop groundbreaking resource for book world

Incl MindsInclusive Minds urges everyone to help support real change and ensure authentic inclusion in children’s books.

An innovative crowdfunding project will give a voice to children and young people – the people who know most about what they want to see represented in books and how.  It will enable them to share valuable experience with those who would like help ensuring authenticity.

The unique resource

Where real inclusion in books is concerned, thorough research is vital. Inclusive Minds will develop an extensive network of Ambassadors for Inclusion.  These are young people of all ages with real experience of marginalisation who can share their unique expertise (covering all facets of diversity) with the book world. 

Authors, illustrators and publishers will be able to contact Inclusive Minds with ideas, questions or manuscripts that they wish to discuss with relevant young people.  These opportunities will be shared with the network and connections established. Ambassadors may also be available to speak at events and in response to news stories.

Opportunity for young people

This groundbreaking project will offer many benefits to those who join the network of ambassadors.  It will empower young people, giving them a powerful role and a real voice in changing the face of children's books. The opportunity will also represent valuable work experience that may lead to references and further work.

A successful pilot has proven the value of such a resource.  Robin Stevens, one of the authors who has already successfully used the pilot project, welcomed the news:

'It's important to research every aspect of your book, but sometimes research is no substitute for experience. I am so grateful to Inclusive Minds for putting me in touch with young readers from a British Hindu background, who helped me ensure that the portrayal of my detective George was not only accurate, but rang true.'

The goal

£4,000 will fund Inclusive Minds in expanding the pilot project by recruiting young people (up to the age of 30) from an extremely diverse range of backgrounds and cover the administration and promotion of the network for two years. The funding will enable the basic network service to be free of charge, but should relationships developor lead to more official consultation or sensitivity reading, the network user and ambassador would be expected to introduce and agree fees.

How and why to be a part of the project

Inclusive Minds urge everyone who believes in the need for inclusion and equality in books to support the campaign on Indiegogo.  Contributors have access to an exciting menu of ‘perks’ in return for their donations big and small. Perks range from high fives and thank you messages to character names and original book artwork.  Absolutely anyone can contribute, giving whatever they can.  Even £5 will help towards realisation of the project.  Anyone who might be willing to donate a perk, is also encouraged to contact Inclusive Minds.

By all of us coming together in this way, Inclusive Minds is confident we will create a unique resource that can truly help change the face of children’s books.

To help Inclusive Minds realise the project (or just to find out more), visit

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Get sun savvy in 2017!

2016 SM Image 1Wrap, Splat, Hat, the free sun awareness programme, is back ready to help you teach 5 to 11 year olds how they can have fun in the sun safely.

Brought to you by Garnier Ambre Solaire in association with the British Skin Foundation, the popular programme is better than ever, with new bespoke education resources for pupils aged 5-7 and 7-11.

The first 2500 schools to register will also get printed pupil passports, including entry forms for the Wrap Splat Hat Schools Competition. The competition puts pupils’ sun safety learning and creativity to the test for a chance to win up to £2000towards creating a sun safe playground for their school.

Don’t miss out, register today for free to receive full access to the programme:

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Award that recognises pupil library assistants moves to the Houses of Parliament

Bestselling author Cathy Cassidy is joining school librarians, representatives from literacy organisations and publishers to celebrate the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award; a joint venture between the School Library Association and the CILIP School Libraries Group.

A five-strong shortlist has been selected from a very strong field of nominations from school librarians across the UK. The winner will be announced by Cassidy at a special ceremony on Friday 17th March which is being held, this year, at Portcullis House, Westminster.

Recognising the valued assistance of pupils who help within their school libraries, the initiative is being sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators; Authors Aloud UK, a company specialising in organising author visits; EES for Schools, an organisation that provides a range of specialist education services; leading children’s publishers Hachette and Macmillan; and MLS, a company that produces high specification library systems for schools. The award’s logo was specially designed by Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell.

Barbara Band, Chair of the Judging Panel and founder of the award said “Week after week many students support the libraries in their schools by giving of their time and effort. Sadly, this is too often unrecognised and unrewarded. Yet these students are not only helping to create a lively and effective library that responds to the needs of its users, they are also gaining valuable skills and experience in the process. This award was created to recognise that work and also to highlight the unique synergy that occurs when a pupil becomes a library assistant.”

Tricia Adams, Director of the School Library Association said “Pupil library assistants are a valuable element in the running of school libraries – giving service to the school but also gaining skills and confidence from the work they do in the library, which ultimately feeds back into their academic achievement and their motivation.”

Caroline Roche, Chair of the CILIP School Libraries Group said “The work that pupil librarians do is invaluable in their schools.  Many school librarians are lone workers and therefore rely heavily on assistance from pupil librarians during busy periods.  But, more than that, many of these pupils enrich their libraries: recommending books, talking to their peers, creating newsletters, contributing to blogs, helping create displays - all the extras which can make a library vibrant and interesting. All of this enriches not only the library, but adds to their personal development.  SLG thoroughly endorses this Award.”

Open to pupils who assist in school libraries across the UK, the award recognises the impact of their work on their school and its library and equally the value of the experience to the children’s lives. Entries are judged by a panel of leading figures from the children’s book world and school library community.

The five shortlisted pupils:

Rebecca Dunville – Wellington College, Belfast
William Harris – Lord Wandsworth College, Hampshire
Victoria Langford – St Hilda’s CE High School, Liverpool
Rishi Shah – Queen Elizabeth’s School, London
Harry Sindle – Ely College, Cambridgeshire

For full details visit the webpage.

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Winner of the Pupil Library Assistant Award, Victoria Langford, St Hilda's CE High School with her #schoollibrarian #schoollibrary #plaa17 #lovebooks #librariansofinstagram #libraries #kidsread #congratulations #teensread See More...

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