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SLA Blog » October 2009RSS 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.

Refurbishments - help wanted...

Alec Williams is hoping SLA members may be able to help with photographs and stories that have arisen from school library refurbishments that he can use as examples in a library design course he is planning. 

Alec asks "Has anyone any successful library designs or refurbishments to report?  (This could include new builds, but also full or partial refurbishments - or just little additions that have given a new lease of life to the library - a new spinner, notice board, or fancy seating, etc.)  Has anyone got photographs of new or refurbished libraries (after completion)?  Decent quality images would be good (say 100-200K minimum - preferably more), so that they could fill a screen.  Has anyone any ‘horror stories' (with constructive lessons learnt, if possible), or anything they'd like to warn others about (e.g. they bought cheap shelving and it bowed, or their architect got carried away)?" 

If you'd like to share your experience with Alec please contact him direct via email - alec[at]alecwilliams.co.uk

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Christmas is coming...

Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas?  No, I'm sure lots of planning and preparation is well underway in many schools - you might not have bought all your library Christmas cards yet.  So why not help support the work of IBBY UK by purchasing a special Christmas card? The cards feature one of Michael Foreman's superb illustrations from "Michael Foreman's Christmas Treasury" (Pavilion), which he has kindly donated.  Look at the IBBY website for more details. 

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Writing competition

The Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children's Book Award is for a manuscript that celebrates cultural diversity in the widest possible sense, either in terms of its story or in terms of the ethnic and cultural origins of its author.  The prize of £1,500, plus the option for Frances Lincoln Children's Books to publish the novel, will be awarded to the best work of unpublished fiction for 8-to-12-year-olds by a writer, aged 16 years or over, who has not previously published a novel for children.   The work must be written in English and it must be a minimum of 15,000 words and a maximum of 35,000 words. The closing date for all entries is 26th February 2010.  The winner will be announced at an award ceremony at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books, at the beginning of June 2010.  For full details of how to enter visit the award website.

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Autumn musings...

What a busy time it has been just recently!  The days have flown in discussions around new Carnegie and Greenaway nominations - referring back to my times as Chair of the judging panel in 2008 - taking place at a very new Academy Library. 

The Members Day at Peters Bookselling Services in Birmingham was well attended.  A busy schedule was packed with a lively chat from Maggie Stiefvater talking about her latest novel Shiver and writing contemporary fantasies for young adults.  If you haven't read Shiver yet do try it - it's an interesting take on werewolves in a teen romance!

Alec Williams gave us food for thought on how to exploit the opportunities around reading promotions, especially Everyone's Reading and I shared my thoughts on the libraries I had visited whilst at two international conferences in Italy this summer.

We then had our autumn Management team and Board meetings in London - a busy and stimulating two days when we had the opportunity to get to know our new board members. 

This week I have had the opportunity to visit the Royal National Institute for the Blind at Stockport - I had never seen music printed in Braille before!  A fascinating and absolutely vital service is provided by the RNIB National Library.  Then, between all this, the day job needs doing too - this job is always challenging and stimulating!

Tricia Adams

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Teachers TV Opportunity...

Jackie Andrews, a TV Producer, is making a series for Teachers TV called Resource Review.  The programme format involves a member of school staff recommending a resource, which is then reviewed by staff in other schools.  The choice of resource is left to the reviewer so it could be a book, CD-Rom, DVD, website, etc.   They would then visit the schools to record the interviews with the recommending staff and the reviewers. It is anticipated that filming will be after half-term.   Each programme reviews three resources in the 13 minutes 45 second available so you can see that thay are looking for short but perceptive recommendations and reviews. 

Previous Resource Review series have only featured teachers and resources for National Curriculum subjects but this time they have been asked by Teachers TV to make a programme entitled Libraries.  They are therefore looking for Secondary School Librarians and library staff in England who would like to contribute to the programme.  If anyone is interested in taking part please contact Jackie direct on 020 7428 4730 or email JAndrews[at]brooklapping.com

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SLYA on Teachers TV

SLYA finalistsTeachers TV has a short news item about the SLA School Librarian of the Year 2009 - "School Librarians Roar with Success at London Zoo" - featuring a report of the Award ceremony and interviews.

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Announcement of SLYA winner!

Lucy BakewellYesterday saw the announcement of the winner of the School Librarian of the Year Award 2009. After a great day at London Zoo - shame about the rain - Lucy Bakewell of Hill West Primary School became the fifth recipient of the honour which celebrates the excellent practice shown by all kinds of librarians in all kinds of schools.

All four finalists on the Honour List - Lucy Bakewell, Barbara Band, Lynne Varley and Joy Wassell Timms - were chosen for their outstanding work and commitment to their libraries.  The SLA is committed to supporting all who work in school libraries

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Robert Dunbar receives honorary doctorate

On 10 July 2009 Trinity College Dublin awarded Robert Dunbar an honorary doctorate for 'services to children's literature'. Robert has been a guiding light in the field of books for children in Ireland for many, many years. He almost single-handedly established a high media profile of coverage of matters to do with children's books whilst not in any way compromising his own standards of literary appraisal and assessment. As a reviewer, and in amongst a multitude of activities he has been a faithful reviewer for The School Librarian for a long time, his qualities are best summed up by the number of authors who are thrilled to receive a review from Robert Dunbar. 'Dr Robert' sounds good, even the Beatles thought so.  

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New posters for School Library Day

Three Rs posterNew Worlds posterInternational School Library Day is coming up on Monday 5 October. The SLA is pleased to offer two new downloadable posters.

These are new additions to the earlier posters which are still available to download and use to help you promote International School Library Day in your school.

These posters are also available in Welsh. Thanks to Intexta Web Services and Adran y Gymraeg, Ysgol Penfro for providing the Welsh versions.

Other resources can be found on our International School Library Day page and the International Association of School Librarianship also has free resources available as part of its International School Library Month initiative.

The posters are intended for printing out at good quality resolution at A4 size with margins to fit most printers, though the result may depend on the quality of your printer or paper. The posters can also be easily enlarged to make an A3 poster or reduced to make an A6 postcard.

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