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SLA Blog » February 2011RSS 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.

SLA Course programme details

Weekend Course 2011 LogoThe full programme for the SLA's Weekend Course is now available on our website. "Libraries Give Us Power" runs in a new two-day format on 24-25 June 2011 at Wyboston Lakes Conference Centre, Bedfordshire.

If you book before 30 April 2011 you can take advantage of earlybird discount prices and guarantee your place.

Our weekend course offers thought provoking speakers, practical workshops and seminars, approachable authors and a comprehensive bookshop, a resources exhibition, and the opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues.

The full programme and booking form will also be sent to all members with the upcoming issue of The School Librarian.

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Junior Certificate Schools Programme Demonstration Library Project

This exciting project, started in 2002 with direct government support and funding, has put professionally trained and managed librarians into some of the most disadvantaged secondary schools in all parts of Ireland. Currently the project supports over 30 schools. Their aim is to work with teachers to raise reading and literacy levels with lower secondary age students. They are doing an excellent job. There has been political interest in this project, especially in the light of Ireland's impending General Election and economic woes and the Labour Party of Ireland has specially mentioned the project in its Reading as a Right leaflet (see p13)   

Here is an example of a national library project, supported and funded for nearly a decade by central government that has been successful and also merits political mention. We hope that its important work will continue into the future. Some of the group are SLA members.

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Improving Students' Web Use and Information Literacy

The web is now an integral part of students' lives in school and in society, and they need to be ever more web alert in order to gain the most from their education. What teachers and teacher librarians badly need to help them achieve this is a professional tool that combines knowledge and use of the web, Web 2.0 tools and information literacy for schools.

This new book by James Herring fulfils that need by providing a practical guide to using the web effectively in order to enhance learning and teaching in schools. It does this by focusing on the knowledge and skills needed by teachers and teacher librarians to be information literate web users and to develop these abilities in their students. It then focuses on using Web 2.0 tools to create learning resources for students which will develop them as reflective web learners as well as web users.

SLA members can obtain a discount of 20% off the purchase price by quoting the following code: 2046.

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Booktrust Competition: Win some Bookstart picture books

Win the very best new books for your child! Booktrust have an extra-special book giveaway this month as they celebrate the launch of the brand new Bookstart website. We're giving one lucky winner the chance to win a selection of the very best new books for children - we have the a pick of seven titles from 2010's Early Years Award shortlist up for grabs!

Click here to enter the competition

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Orange Inheritance - Reading Group call

10th - 31st March 2011

Six Orange Prize winners (Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain, Anne Michaels, Ann Patchett, Helen Dunmore and Linda Grant) have selected the classic novel that they would like to pass on to the next generation. Vintage Classics will publish these selected novels with an introduction from the Orange Prize winners in April and would like you, the 'next generation', to review the books and give your feedback for a major press and online campaign.

If you work with reading groups/young readers aged 16 to 21 who would like to receive a free copy of one of the six books* to review for us, please email Indira - ibirnie@randomhouse.co.uk - who can tell you the choices (*subject to availability).  Look at the website for more detail.

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Richard Dimbleby Lecture

Michael MorpurgoIt’s not often that I watch a vast amount of TV – though I do have regular favourites, as most people would.  But on Monday night I was fascinated to see Jo Brand investigating crying – and to some extent I side with her – it’s a private activity and not for public consumption, often the result of reading something particularly moving, and done in the privacy of a home.  So it was with some surprise I found myself moved to tears when listening to Michael Morpurgo in the BBC Richard Dimbleby Lecture.  (I had to catch it on iPlayer as I couldn’t see it when it was broadcast.)

Michael is a consummate story teller – and his reflections on Yarl’s Wood detention centre and the children previously incarcerated there was gut wrenching in its immediacy.  This was developed in his comments on his work for Save the Children – if you haven’t had chance to catch his speech it will be available for 5 more days…

I was also particularly enrapt by his description of the Russian school librarian who was deemed a hero in his own country as he had saved his school library books from a fire – but on the whole our role is ‘unfamous’ and ‘unglamorous’ because we are ‘only inspiring children to read’.  Michael urges educators to go back to the child, and ‘allow the spark of a child’s genius to shine’.  He urged us to break free of the shackles of a narrow curriculum and make all the cultural and life experience activities ‘a right for every child not just an added extra’.  ‘Children are our seed corn and we must give them our help’, and a part of that was putting aside a part of the day for reading aloud, just for the pleasure of it, no tests, no questions, just for the experience.  Because it is these experiences that will prepare children for the decisions they take in everyday life – whether to throw a stone, whether to carry a knife to school, whether to bully another child – by reading we may reduce ‘the collateral damage to young  lives’.  By the end of the lecture I was cheering!  Thank you Michael for such an impassioned speech, and for championing the librarian, this helps reinvigorate our own efforts – on a less public but no less important stage.

Tricia Adams.

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Reading4Pleasure

It was great to be a part of the National Union of Teachers Conference last week on the theme of Reading for Pleasure. Michael Rosen started off the day on a high note of enthusiasm and passion, which was reflected throughout the day and the sessions that followed. There was a series of workshops on a myriad of topics, school libraries and school library services being the one I was involved in! The NUT has produced some really useful resources to support and continue the work started last Friday – check them out at the NUT's Reading For Pleasure – Online Resource Guide.

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New London Festival

Pop Up is a brand new festival for London. Launching in the King's Cross area in summer 2011, Pop Up will involve over 3000 children, young people and families reading books, meeting authors, and collaborating with story-makers, through a far-reaching schools and community programme.

Then from Friday 8th to Saturday 10th July, Pop Up will present a free, three-day Festival of Stories in and around Coram's Fields in Bloomsbury for everyone to enjoy. The Pop Up Festival will present stories and their creators in accessible, innovative and extraordinary ways, in a programme packed with some of the very best children's writers, illustrators, poets and storytellers. Join our mailing list by entering your details below, and we'll keep you posted in 2011.

Pop Up is being developed by Pop Up Projects CIC, an ambitious social enterprise, which aims to build a thriving, diverse audience for children's literature. If you'd like to find out more or get involved, email info@pop-up.org.uk

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Salford Winner Announced

Paul Adam has won the Salford Children's Book Award 2010 for Escape from Shadow Island. Look at their website for details and pictures of the ceremony.

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BBC Year of Books

The BBC has announced that 2011 will be a "Year of Books" with programming linking into World Book Day, World Book Night and the upcoming Charles Dickens anniversary. More information can be found on the BBC website.

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Research from NLT on public library use and children's reading

The National Literacy Trust has published research which finds that children who use the library are twice as likely to be above average readers. Read the full report here.

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News of another great event for your diaries

Pop Up is a brand new festival for London. Launching in the King's Cross area in summer 2011, Pop Up will involve over 3000 children, young people and families reading books, meeting authors, and collaborating with story-makers, through a far-reaching schools and community programme.

Then from Friday 8th to Saturday 10th July, Pop Up will present a free, three-day Festival of Stories in and around Coram's Fields in Bloomsbury for everyone to enjoy. The Pop Up Festival will present stories and their creators in accessible, innovative and extraordinary ways, in a programme packed with some of the very best children's writers, illustrators, poets and storytellers. Join our mailing list by entering your details below, and we'll keep you posted in 2011.

Pop Up is being developed by Pop Up Projects CIC, an ambitious social enterprise, which aims to build a thriving, diverse audience for children's literature. If you'd like to find out more or get involved, email info@pop-up.org.uk.

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School Libraries - A Right

'School Libraries - A Right' is a statement from CILIP, issued February 2011, on the role and value of school libraries. It sets out the core entitlements that every child, school's teaching team and wider school community should expect to receive. It provides the case for a properly resourced, professionally staffed school library.

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More Dickens

To celebrate the bi-centenary of Charles Dickens’ birth in 1812, the Dickens Fellowship and the English Association announces the More Dickens Competition.

A first prize of £500 will be awarded for an extended class project based on one of Dickens’ works. The runner up will receive £250. The competition is open to classes of all ages in primary schools in the UKand can be completed at any time during 2011 — the closing date for entries is 1 January 2012.

Notes for Guidance and Registration Forms are available from the English Association.

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Primary 'Advice and Support' section for SLA members expands!

The new Advice and Support section for members working in primary schools and schools catering for pupils aged 5-18 is expanding fast. We would especially like to thank Annike Dase (SLA Board member) and Alec Williams (freelance trainer and former SLA Chair) for their excellent contributions. Do have a look at the information available and let us know what you think of it.

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Tackling Knife Crime Together: A review of local anti-knife crime projects

This report by former Eastenders actor Brooke Kinsella makes a number of recommendations, including anti-knife crime presentations for school children, more data-sharing between police, schools and other agencies on local issues, a best practice website for local organisations, and more work with young children to stop them getting involved in knife crime.

See also this press release from the Home Office

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What do the public want from libraries?

The new practical guide from the Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) What do the public want from libraries? includes tips on stock, library promotions, improving "customer focus" and also some tips on motivating people to read. It is fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in libraries and heartening to know that books and reading are at the heart of what people want and expect from their libraries. There are many things in the guide that school libraries could adapt to their own particular circumstances and the section on focussing on motivativation rather than on barriers is particularly good.

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'You and Yours' programme on School Library Services - Thursday 3rd Feb

Tune in to 'You and Yours' on BBC Radio 4 tomorrow at midday for a feature on School Library Services and the pressures they are facing in the current climate. There will be an interview with Alan Gibbons, author and founder of the Campaign for the Book, and the SLA has been heavily involved in supplying background information to support the programme.

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Safer Internet Day

Did you know it's Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 8 February 2011? See the Safer Internet Day website for details.

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Scottish Protest at Library Cuts

Text of Statement to be handed in at the Scottish Parliament during a protest organised by Scottish authors and illustrators, to take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday 5th February 2011 - a day of UK-wide protest about library cuts.

To: The First Minister and all Members of the Scottish Parliament

We would like to protest at the widespread cuts to the library service taking place throughout Scotland.

In addition to the promotion of knowledge, literacy, and information retrieval skills, a professionally delivered library service embeds the joy of reading in our young people, building self awareness, articulate self expression, confidence, validating their life and culture, and leads to social and emotional literacy.

In a society experiencing a widening gap in household incomes, our libraries, in the great tradition on which they were first inaugurated and enshrined in the law of the land, provide access for all.

The cuts to book budgets, library opening hours, mobile services, branches, and the drastic and unnecessary deletion of professional posts strike at those most in need of a library service and those least able to protest against the cuts in that service - the less affluent, the elderly, the frail, people who are challenged mentally and physically and their carers, those who look after babies and toddlers and, crucially, our children -who are our future.

Among those PRESENT ON THE DAY and available for interview:

  • Julia Donaldson (writer)
  • Theresa Breslin (writer)
  • Lari Don (writer)
  • Nicola Morgan (writer)
  • Liz Holt (writer)
  • Keith Gray (writer)
  • and others

Also intending to be present:

  • Gill Arbuthnott (writer)
  • Vivian French (writer)
  • Julie Bertagna (writer)
  • Alan Temperley (writer)
  • Alison Adams
  • Sally J. Collins (illustrator)

PROTESTERS (among others) include:

Theresa Breslin, Julia Donaldson, Emma Barnes, Lari Don, Catriona Wilson, Nicola Morgan, Gillian Philip, Joan Lingard, Margaret Ryan, Catherine MacPhail, Sara Sheridan, Catherine Forde, Frank Rodgers, Barry Hutchison, Liz Holt, Alison Prince, Joan Lennon, Julie Bertagna, Gill Arbuthnott, Vivian French, Alan Temperley, Ann Giles, Stephanie McGregor, Anne Fine, Keith Gray, Cathy Cassidy, Liz Laird, Julia Jarman, Tessa Ransford, Jamie Jauncey, Alison Adams, Rosemary Reeves, Anne de’Ath, Hugh C. Rae, Dave Sutton, Sally J. Collins, Kirsty McEachern, Ken Simpson, Dorothy McMillan and others

More Information from Theresa Breslin Email: breslinweb[at]ntlworld.com

Download PDF of this statement

PDF file, 157 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

 

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Just over four weeks to go until World Book Day

World Book Day 2011 is just over four weeks away - it takes place on 3rd March. The website is well worth visiting for loads of activities, ideas and resources. There is a  new site for teens and secondary school pupils with details of creative writing, reviewing, photo-captioning and blogging competitions for pupils and students over 11 years. Videos, relevant links, reading recommendations and random trivia are also part of the package.

There is also a new Professionals' Portal which has been filled with content appropriate to classroom and library activities and is easily accessible via a simple registration process.

Films of authors and actors including Bernard Cribbins, Ramona Marquez, Devon Anderson and Kris Marshall reading extracts of the special £1 Books will be available to view from the site from Monday 28th February.

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Phil Bradley Library Posters

Phil Bradley Save Libraries PostersHave a look at Phil Bradley's wonderful gallery of 'Save our Libraries' posters on Flickr - may be useful in school too!

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