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SLA 75th Birthday Celebration

Sla 75 LogoJoin us this November in Newcastle to celebrate the SLA’s 75th Birthday. We have joined up with an exciting new conference venue in the North East for a one-day special event with a broad mix of training, networking and celebrating!

Date: 16 November 2012

Venue: Jury’s Inn, Newcastle Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3AE

Twitter hashtag

We suggest the Twitter hashtag #sla75 for Tweets related to the conference.


9.00 – 9.20 Registration and coffee
9.20 – 9.30 Welcome - Ginette Doyle, Past Chair of SLA
9.30 – 10.30 Duncan Wright, Librarian at Stewart's Melville College, Edinburgh, and School Librarian of the Year 2010
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee - with Andy Briggs, author of the Tarzan, and series
11.00 – 12.30 Break Out Sessions (details further below):
  • Choice A: Geoff Dubber, Independent Trainer and Publications Co-ordinator of SLA: "Let's Get Creative!: Creativity and the School Library"
  • Choice B: Joyce Martin, Director, JCS Online Resources: "A New Era for School Libraries"
  • Choice C: Bev Humphrey, Literacy and Technology Consultant: "Around the Digital Campfire"
12.30 – 1.30 Lunch
1.30 – 2.00 Meet the Author - Sally Nicholls, author of Ways to Live Forever, Season of Secrets and All Fall Down.   Kindly sposored by Scholastic Children's Books
2.00 – 3.30 Break Out Sessions:
  • Choice A: Lin Smith, Librarian, Ecclesbourne School, Derbyshire, and Chair of the SLA: "Regenerating your reading culture: one librarian's response when things start to slip"
  • Choice B: Sue Walters, Learning and Participation Coordinator, Seven Stories: "Reading for Pleasure at the Heart of the Transition Process"
  • Choice C: Laura Taylor of Taylormade Libraries: "Going Freelance: personal experience of a change in working"
3.30 – 4.00 Tea - with Andy Briggs
4.00 – 5.00 Kevin Crossley-Holland, Carnegie Medal award winning author and President of SLA
5.00 – 6.00 Celebratory wine and birthday cake, hosted by Kevin Crossley-Holland and the SLA

Please note that the organisers retain the right to change the programme.

About the Sessions

Let's Get Creative!: Creativity and the School Library
Geoff Dubber

According to the IBM 2010 Global CEO study many senior Chief Execs world wide believe that ‘more than rigour, management discipline, integrity and even vision, successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require creativity’.

How do we, who care about and work in school libraries, encourage & help our young people to learn flexibly and collaboratively, to use their imaginations and to think empathetically? Soon they too will be grappling with the world beyond school & its future

This workshop will consider the challenges, offer & hopefully share some ideas from you about ways in which you can make your LRC a real thinking/creativity zone – its environment, its ethos and activities can all play a part. Come along, join the debate & let’s think creatively!

A New Era for School Libraries
Joyce Martin

Research confirms that students automatically turn to the Internet for their information and use whatever they find regardless of its authenticity and quality? So what is the future for school libraries in this fast changing world? Why will students come to a library in the future when everything they think they need can be found at the click of a button? In this session Joyce will explore the challenges facing school libraries in this fast-moving technology-focussed world and describe why she believes school libraries are more important than ever and the open web isn’t the answer to everything.


Joyce Martin, a teacher by profession, has been working in the area of e-learning for over 20 years and directed several government funded initiatives in Higher and Further Education as well as the schools sector to help support the appropriate use of technology for teaching and learning.

In 2008 Joyce left Becta to help establish ‘JISC Collections for Schools’ and took it on as her own business when the government funding was pulled. It is now called ‘JCS Online Resources’ and provides a central place for high quality educational online subscription resources.

Around the Digital Campfire
Bev Humphrey

New technologies such as social networking, web 2.0 sites and tablets make storytelling easy and engaging for young people. Tapping into their enthusiasm for anything new, shiny and on a screen can help enthuse your students about creative writing and there are a great many collaborative sites and fantastic apps that can be used for this purpose. This session will give you a bank of ideas and resources you can use to encourage your students to write, not just to enhance their literacy skills, but for the sheer joy of it.

Regenerating your reading culture: one librarian's response when things start to slip
Lin Smith

Sometimes it pays to take an objective view of what we usually do in school and how we enthuse the students and encourage them to read more. This might entail something new or could just be a repackaging of a tried and tested activity. It might mean seeking out new colleagues and subjects to support, or even re-establishing working relationships that have dwindled. This session will showcase ideas gleaned from practising librarians and will also be your chance to put forward ideas you have found successful in your own schools. Come prepared to share (if you can) but also to reflect and plan a way forward that works for you.

Reading for Pleasure at the Heart of the Transition Process
Sue Walters

Seven Stories is the National Centre for Children's Books. Join us to explore how you can play a key role in KS2/3 transition.

Going Freelance: personal experience of a change in working
Laura Taylor

Laura Taylor worked fulltime in a number of school libraries and schools' library services over a period of 35 years until March 2012 when she took the plunge and decided to test the waters of freelance working and consultancy. Several colleagues have expressed an interest in pursuing a similar path. Laura will share her experiences, some of the practicalities and the pitfalls, sources of advice and support, issues such as taxation, national insurance, pensions, marketing and networking, and help colleagues consider possible options available.


  SLA Members Non-Members
Early Bird* £95.00 £155.00
Full Price £105.00 £165.00

20% VAT will be charged for this conference.

*Early Bird bookings must be received by Friday 12th October 2012


Booking is now closed - to enquire after late places please contact the SLA Office on 01793 530166


Accommodation is available at the hotel if required and should be booked direct with the hotel - please go to and select Gateshead from the drop down list.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Here is your opportunity to come on board and have your logo and links included in the booking and programme on the SLA website and other promotional literature. We are inviting expressions of interest for sponsorship. For full details please see the PDF document below.

SLA Conference 75 Sponsorship Opportunities

PDF file, 91 kB

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