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Cilip SLG/SLA Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award

PLA Logo MonoThe Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award is to recognise the contribution made by pupils who work in their school libraries, to acknowledge the skills gained and to give them the recognition they deserve, both within and outside their school community.

The Award was inaugurated in 2015 and is a joint venture between the CILIP School Libraries Group (SLG) and the School Library Association.

The official dedicated website for the Award is at at

2017 Award

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

To read the full Press Release download the PDF

PLAA Press Release 2017

PDF file, 494 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

2016 Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year 2016 - Dielleza Brava of Sydenham School, London.

Read the full report of the 2016 Award.

2015 Winner

Congratulations to Abbie Craske of Aylsham High School in Norfolk, winner of the inaugural Cilip SLG/SLA Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award.

Read the full report of the 2015 Award.

Background to the Award

An article by Barbara Band and Susan Staniforth about the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award was published in the The School Librarian and is available to download here (pdf):

The School Librarian OFFPRINT

PDF file, 330 kB

Requires Adobe Reader


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