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.
The Summer Reading Challenge can help primary schools avoid the "summer holiday dip" in pupils' reading motivation and attainment, widen pupils' reading range and repetoire and boost their desire to read at home, research by the UK Literacy Association (UKLA) shows. So The Reading Agency is calling upon all UK head teachers to champion use of the Summer Reading Challenge in their school.
The Summer Reading Challenge is an immensely popular and successful reading initiative. Now in its twelfth year it reaches 725,000 children aged four to 12 years annually via the UK library network. It is created and run by The Reading Agency, the independent charity working to inspire more people to read more, and is supported by children's publishers.
Each year the Summer Reading Challenge to children is simple. They're encouraged to read six or more books of their choice during the summer holidays with collectable incentives and rewards, plus a certificate or medal for every child who completes the Challenge. Children can sign up at their local library and all materials are free.
The UKLA research Summer Reading Challenge 2009 impact research report looked at the impact of the 2009 Summer Reading Challenge, focusing on a range of aspects of good practice in schools and library services in five different local authorities: Brighton & Hove, Coventry, Manchester, Staffordshire and Wiltshire. As well as stemming the "summer holiday dip" in children's reading achievement, teachers questioned for the research noted the social benefits of involvement with the Challenge, and praised the materials and website resources which it made available.
Other key findings from the research included:
The UKLA research also found that head teachers place a critical role in supporting children's readiness to engage with the Summer Reading Challenge. Its recommendations to schools included:
Teachers and education professionals wanting more information about the Summer Reading Challenge can contact its director, Anne Sarrag, on anne.sarrag[at]readingagency.org.uk or they can visit the website
The 2010 Summer Reading Challenge has a space theme. Called Space Hop, it will enable children to boldly go to new worlds, where they can discover the joy of reading and nurture a life-long love affair with reading and books. Space Hop coincides with the 350th anniversary of The Royal Society's scientific endeavours, and the 2010 BBC Year of Science.
An interactive Space Hop website is due to launch in May, linking children with top authors and illustrators, and enabling them to talk about their favourite books and to share reading ideas. Space Hop also promotes their local library as a place of wonder for children, where librarians can offer them invaluable advice and guidance to help them on their mission.
Once again this year there are also large print Summer Reading Challenge materials available for visually impaired children, thanks to the support of the RNIB National Library Service. Also available in a variety of languages are special "family leaflets". These explain, for parents and carers visiting their local library, the benefits for children doing the Challenge. They also suggest ways of supporting children during the Challenge, and provide joint family reading ideas for the summer.
From today, librarians, resource managers and teachers can earn points on all the books they buy from Raintree Publishers; points that can be redeemed against future purchases. Those who sign up before mid-April, will receive 1000 bonus points straight away.
This new loyalty scheme is designed to make classroom and library budgets stretch that vital bit further. Aimed at educators and librarians to support their particular school, the programme is open to individuals, not departments or LEAs.
Each hardback bought is worth 60 points, and each paperback 20 points. Every point accrued is worth one penny towards a future purchase, redeemable in increments of £5. What's more individuals don't have to buy direct from Raintree; points can be earned on Raintree books purchased from any source.
There's a simple registration system at http://www.raintreerewards.co.uk/. Buyers just need to log on and sign up to start accruing their points. Points cannot be awarded retrospectively, and they cannot be transferred between individual member accounts. However, if an educator changes their job and moves to another school or library, they can take their points with them to their new location.
Bologna, Italy... The Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), has announced that David Almond, from the United Kingdom, is the winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award and that Jutta Bauer, from Germany, is the winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award. The announcement was made at the Bologna International Children's Book Fair, and the Andersen medals and diplomas will be presented to the winners on Saturday, 11 September 2010 at the international IBBY congress in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
The Hans Christian Andersen Award is considered the most prestigious in international children's literature, is given biennially by IBBY to a living author and illustrator whose complete works are judged to have made lasting contributions to children's literature. Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is the Patron of the Andersen Awards. The Author's Award has been given since 1956 and the Illustrator's Award since 1966. Nami Island Inc. is the sponsor of the Hans Christian Andersen Awards. Information, including a history of the awards is available at www.ibby.org.
Quality Library and information services are fundamental to the success of our society
CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has published its Manifesto, calling on the next government to commit to making information fundamental to the success of our society.
Biddy Fisher, CILIP President, said: "Quality library and information services make unique contributions to the success of our society; they underpin education, social mobility, and community development; they provide the information that assists the rebuilding of the economy, informs research and puts content into technology; they contain and preserve cultural identities. The next government must take action and adopt CILIP's six priorities within policies designed to meet the challenges of the future."
CILIP states in its Manifesto that the government must:
The CILIP Manifesto was developed to focus on making library and information provision better for users and society. If the government implements these six practical priorities our library and information services will both benefit and improve.
For full details about the Manifesto see www.cilip.org.uk/manifesto
The United Kingdom Literacy Association has announced the short lists for its book awards - check it out...
This week has flown - with no time for blogging or tweeting at all! So a quick run through.
Monday was a chance to talk to the School Library Publishers meeting of the EPC at the Publishers Association - about the Primary School Library Charter and how publishers can also promote it to schools. This was followed by a round table session at the School Library Commission, chaired by Baroness Morris. There were all the library organisations around the table at the National Literacy Trust spelling out the current situation in school libraries and also doing some crystal ball gazing on what the future might look like. Alan Gibbons and Bob McKee of CILIP have both blogged the meeting in detail. SLA also had to make sure its written submission to the commission got in on time!
Wednesday was a calmer day at the office - filled with all the usual necessities that arise on a day of admin, phone calls etc. Thursday and off to Manchester to meet a group of members who are keen to start a new branch there - a really enthusiastic meeting and hopefully the group is off to a flying start. Dinner afterwards with a group from the meeting was a very convivial affair - it is lovely to meet members and have the chance to talk through some of the issues that are exercising us all.
Thursday also saw the launch of the CILIP Manifesto which also includes a further call to the next government to make school libraries statutory - a major campaign we are supporting.
Friday - travelled back to Northants for a couple of brief local meetings with possible sponsors and partners for the future.
Off to Ireland next week - to meet members in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic before attending the LILAC conference in Limerick - hope I may see some of you there!
These are just some of the important topics that will be explored in a FREE SEMINAR (www.sla.org.uk/training-other-events.php) organised by JISC Collections for Schools in conjunction with the School Library Association.
When? 24 March 2010
Where? Headington School, Oxford
What time? 10am - 3.30pm (lunch and refreshments included free of charge)
REGISTER NOW! Simply email Liz Parkin at JISC Collections for Schools (http://www.sla.org.uk/jcs-info[at]jisc.ac.uk)
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE SEMINAR AND PROGRAMME at www.sla.org.uk/training-other-events.php
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT JISC COLLECTIONS FOR SCHOOLS at http://www.jcs.nen.gov.uk/
All members should by now have received their copy of The School Librarian 58-1. As usual, the ict[at]sla section can be read online with clickable links, a convenient way to quickly check out some new websites and resources. Our archive of the ict[at]sla section goes back to Volume 56 Number 1.
A complete index of the book reviews in this issue is available and all reviews can be searched back to Volume 54 (2006).
Bookstash is a new initiative from Channel 4 Education designed to get teens reading and discussing books. It works as a Facebook application, allowing users to show off the covers of their favourite books, share recommended reads and receive tips on what to read next.
Bookstash could be worth investigating by school librarians eager to spread the word about books to the 'Facebook generation'!
Full information about the SLA's weekend training course for 2010 is now available on the website and was sent to members with the Spring edition of The School Librarian.
The 2010 course, The Magic Threshold: Step Into New Worlds, will be held from 25-27 June at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.
Due to the popularity of the course we recommend that you book your place early - online booking is now open. You will also qualify for an extra discount on bookings up to 31 March 2010.
Members of the SLA receive a special rate for the course, but application is open to all. The course is widely seen as an essential element of professional development for many school librarians and represents great value for money.
The Lancashire Branch of the SLA are celebrating today as they have been running for 10 years. We would like to add our congratulations and our thanks to all the members and in particular to the committee for running such a lively and active branch.
It was lovely to see so many old friends and SLA members at the Education Show at the NEC in Birmingham last week. The SLA stand was incredibly busy - sorry about the queues on Saturday! - and we made lots of new contacts and answered many questions and membership enquiries.
If you wish to follow up on your visit to our stand, do browse the website to see our range of publications and training courses, for example. You can apply for membership of the SLA via our online booking form.
If you have any other questions about the School Library Association, please ask - we're here to support everyone involved with school libraries.
The SLA has a stand at the Education Show, now open and running until Saturday at the NEC in Birmingham.
You can find us at Stand J49 i in the "Reading Central" section of the exhibition, right in the middle of the main hall.
The SLA is also taking part in the Literacy Forum, an all day event on Friday 5 March.
We hope to get the chance to meet lots of our members and supporters at this fascinating educational resources exhibition.
State-funded and independent schools across the UK can now benefit from nationally negotiated agreements on a choice of over 20 specially selected, high quality online subscription resources. These include copyright-cleared image and video libraries, newspaper archives and general and subject-focused reference databases, which provide support across the curriculum from Key Stage 1 to A/AS level and the International Baccalaureate.
Discounts of up to 75% as well as generous licensing terms have been achieved by JISC Collections for Schools through direct negotiation with publishers and suppliers on behalf of UK schools at a national level. The JISC Collections for Schools initiative, funded by Becta, is an extension of the work of JISC Collections in the Further Education and Higher Education sectors, where 100% of universities and over 85% of further education colleges take advantage of the discounts and terms JISC Collections has negotiated with digital content providers through its well-established central licensing role.
Discounts are available to individual schools but the greatest savings can be achieved by schools subscribing together in a buying group. A growing number of School Library Services, as well as individual school librarians, are taking an active role in coordinating buying groups. Areas where buying groups are under development include the South West, Berkshire, North Yorkshire, Shropshire, Northumberland, Durham and London.
Contact Liz Parkin at JISC Collections for Schools ( jcs-info[at]jisc.ac.uk ) to join an existing group or to propose or coordinate one for your area.
The resources offered through the JISC Collections for Schools initiative offer a host of benefits to teachers and learners alike. These include anytime/anywhere access, suitability for use on interactive whiteboards and learning platforms, full copyright clearance and downloadable content for use in teaching materials and student projects. All the resources can be trialed free for 30 days. Find out more by clicking the link below:
Learnnewsdesk, the Guardian's online news service for schools, has got together with Amnesty International UK to launch a Young Human Rights reporter competition.
Children between 7 and 14 years old are being asked to write 200-250 words on a human rights story. It could be from personal experience (e.g. bullying or what it's like to be a refugee) or their interpretation of a human rights news story.
Primary and secondary/post primary winners will be invited on an expenses paid VIP trip to the Amnesty International UK and Guardian HQs in London (one child winner and one adult guardian for each category).
Extracts of the winning articles from each age category will be published in the Education supplement of The Guardian newspaper on 1 June 2010, in an article by award-winning journalist Ian Cobain who won the Amnesty International UK newspaper reporter of the year 2009. The full text of the winning articles will be published on the Guardian and learnnewsdesk websites.
Winning articles and the runners up will also be showcased at the prestigious Amnesty International UK main media awards on 1 June 2009.
In addition to their trip, the primary and secondary/post primary winners will also receive an Easi-speak MP3 recorder and microphone, Amnesty and learnnewsdesk goodie bags (including exclusive Amnesty International media awards 2010 T-shirt), a specially made Amnesty International media award 2010 (one for the winner and one for their school in each category) and a subscription to either the learnnewsdesk or the Guardian's newsmaker package.
Two runners up in each category will receive Amnesty and learnnewsdesk goodie bags (including exclusive Amnesty International media awards T-shirt), Amnesty International media awards 2010 certificate and an annual subscription to either the Guardian's newsmaker package or learnnewsdesk.
All entries to the competition must be sent in through the Be a reporter section of learnnewsdesk.
We've arranged a special login for non-subscribers to join in.
Simply go to www.learnnewsdesk.co.uk then use the Login Amnesty and the password Amnesty. Go to the Be a reporter page and follow the competitions link. Anyone who enters the competition must read the terms and conditions which can be accessed on this page.
Then entries can be sent using the 'Be a reporter' section by clicking on 'Send us a report'.
The deadline for entries is 1 April 2010.
If you have any questions regarding this competition or require any further information, please email: emily.drabble[at]guardian.co.uk, or telephone: 0203 353 3279.
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