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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.

Job Vacancies: Kingswood School - Librarian

Kingswood School is seeking to appoint a Librarian at the Senior School due to the retirement of the current post holder.  Based within our flagship Library 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 service whilst inspiring pupils in the use of a progressive library facility.  This is a term time only position, plus an additional 4 weeks.

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.

This post is for 38 weeks per year, working 40 hours per week, 8.30-5.30 Monday to Friday.Salary will be in the region of £28,000 - £32,000 per annum, pro rata, depending on qualifications and experience.

Further details and an application pack are available from the Job Vacancies section of our website: or from the HR Department, hr[at] Closing date for applications is Wednesday 11 February 2015 at 12pm. It is anticipated that the interviews will take place on w/c 23 February 2015.

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

More Details...

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Rallying call from John Lydon ahead of National Libraries Day

NLDrgb"Saturday 7 February is National Libraries Day. Be there.
Libraries are the most important essential part of our culture and civilisation...”

In a specially recorded message singer, songwriter and musician John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, implores the UK to value its libraries and urges everyone to show their support on National Libraries Day, Saturday 7 February 2015.

Crediting libraries and librarians for his recovery from memory loss after contracting meningitis as an eight year old, the audio message was recorded to mark the annual national celebration of libraries and library staff and follows the recent publication of Lydon’s autobiography, Anger is an Energy.

The recording will be available to listen to on Saturday 7 February via the National Libraries Day website.

7 February rounds off a week’s worth of celebrations hosted by libraries of all kinds around the UK for their communities, including a J.R.R. Tolkien trail walk, a school’s Guinness World Record attempt, stargazing and Warhammer and special appearances by local authors, historians and others.

Details of nationwide events are posted to the National Libraries Day online event map and people can show their support in person by joining a local event or by simply visiting their library during National Libraries Day week. Supporters can also share stories, messages and library ‘shelfies’ online and on social media.

First introduced in 2012, National Libraries Day is designed to say a collective thank-you to librarians and library staff everywhere and to raise awareness of the valued services they offer.Last year thousands of people took part in over 600 events and many public figures including well-known authors, illustrators, MPs and musicians sent messages of support.

Find out what’s happening via the National Libraries Day website, by following [at]NatLibrariesDay on twitter #NLD15 or at any library.

For more ideas on how to celebrate the day and for downloads of posters please visit the SLA webpages devoted to National Libraries Day

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Putting the L(ibrarian) into Reading: Penrith, Cumbria, 18 March 2015

New SLA course - Putting the L(ibrarian) into Reading

Our course Putting the L(ibrarian) into Reading, run by Lin Smith, will be held at Newton Rigg College, Newton Rigg, Penrith, Cumbria on 18 March 2015. The closing date is 4 March 2015. Bookings received by 20 February 2015 are eligible for a £10 discount making the attendance fee £95 (SLA members), £125 (delegates who are not SLA members but are from schools that subscribe to Cumbria SLS) and £155 (non-members).

Key Audience:

Secondary school librarians and library staff

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E is for Excellent: E-Literacy in your Library: Cobham, Surrey, 24 February 2015

Early booking discount deadline - 30th January!

Our course E is for Excellent: E-Literacy in your Library, run by Annike Dase, will be held at Notre Dame School, Cobham, Surrey on 24 February 2015. The closing date is 10 February 2015. Bookings received by 30 January 2015 are eligible for a £10 discount making the attendance fee £95.00 (SLA members), £155.00 (non-members).

Key Audience:

secondary school library staff

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SEN Book from the SLA


Access for Everyone: Supporting Special Needs Through the School Library is a brand new SLA publication about Special Educational Needs. This new and timely publication has been put together for us by national SEN expert and author Dr Rona Tutt OBE.

Sympathetic to the work of school library staff in both the primary and secondary sectors, Dr Tutt outlines the recent changes to SEN legislation, provision and terminology and suggests strategies for working with this target group in this excellent and straightforward guide. It also includes two useful case studies – one of a mainstream secondary school where excellent work with Special Needs students is highlighted and another describes the work of the school library in a Special Needs Academy in Letchworth Garden City.

Access for Everyone (ISBN 9781903446843) has direct relevance to anyone who works in a school library and who offers a service to this important group of pupils - available now direct from the SLA.

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New SLA book - speak clearly

Speakers CornerSpeakers' Corner at Simon Balle School is the latest in our "Voices" series of shorter publications from a personal perspective.

Following the demands of the National Curriculum ("Spoken Language - pupils should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently"), here is a way to put the library centre stage in this essential process.

Every Friday lunchtime Simon Balle School library hosts invited an invited guest speaker, perhaps ex-student, member of school staff or more often now a volunteer student who, using a variety of formats, talks on a topic of their interest followed by a short question and answer session. The initial small trial of Speakers' Corner has gone from strength to strength, raising the profile of the library and its staff and developing the interests, self-confidence and knowledge of speakers and listeners alike.

Speakers' Corner by Janet Syme (ISBN 9781903446881) is an excellent case study of getting the library involved in this important aspect of literacy - available now.

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The ReadingZone WBD Picture Book Competition

ReadingZonePictureBookComp Logo SmlChildren and young people aged four to 18 years are being challenged to make their own picture book on and around World Book Day with the launch of the ReadingZone WBD Picture Book Competition 2015.  The competition is running in schools and libraries until Friday 24th April 2015. Winners will be announced in June.

Author and illustrator David Melling (creator of Hugless Douglas and The Kiss that Missed) will select the winning entries across three Categories. These include: Young Creators (ages four to six years); Primary (ages seven years plus) and Secondary (ages 11 years plus).  There is an additional Achievement Award for the most enthusiastic ‘behind the scenes’ activities that have gone into making picture book entries, such as the whole school getting involved.

Picture books entered for the award can be made by individuals, groups or whole classes and any media can be used. Each picture book can be up to 24 A4 pages. Each winning school or library will receive 50 printed copies of their picture book; a selection of picture books or fiction titles, and a free author / illustrator visit for the overall winner.

Readingzone will be sharing images of the picture book projects and information about publishers’ new books, blogs, competitions etc on Facebook ( and Twitter (#readingzone).
Visit the Readingzone (Schools) website for further tips, guidelines and entry details.

Supporters of the picture book competition include Hachette Children's Books, Templar Publishing, Macmillan Children's Books, Walker Books, Frances Lincoln, QED, Wide Eyed Editions and Flying Eye Books, as well as authors and illustrators.

Last year’s picture book competition attracted 1,300 picture book entries and we have estimated that some 12,000 children took part in creating a picture book (including whole school activities where a limited number of picture books were entered into the competition).  For more details, please contact: 

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Information Literacy Awards 15 open for nominations

IL 40 Years LogoLILAC HQ and CILIP ILG have launched the 2015 Information Literacy Awards – guaranteed to bring New Year excitement and get little fingers pounding away on keyboards to get those nominations ready for scrutiny!

Nominations are invited from all sectors for the 3 awards which will be presented at LILAC 2015 in Newcastle on April 9th.  Shortlisted nominees will be listed on the website in early March.  Head to the website for details of the application process. For comments from past winners, and the new flyer just in from the LILAC art department -

The Information Literacy Award recognises an outstanding contribution from an information literacy practitioner or researcher.  Closing date: February 27th 2015.  The Credo Reference Digital Award for Information Literacy recognises a digital resource, programme or service which has made a significant impact.  Closing date: February 27th 2015.  The Student Award consists of conference registration, travel and accommodation expenses for two students registered on a UK study programme. Closing date: February 13th 2013.


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