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Resources Blog » Recent PostsRSS Feed RSS

The SLA Resources Blog is designed to highlight new resources which we at the SLA think may be of interest to school librarians and to others working in related fields. The blog is available at and can also be read via an RSS feed at

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.

Getting the Best Start in Life

Online careers resource provides job information at the touch of a button. A free careers software is about to change the way careers guidance is carried out in schools and at home.

Start, developed by careers guidance company U-Explore, provides access to comprehensive information for teachers, parents and students. Designed to help young people connect ideas, interests and aspirations to jobs and educational pathways, Start offers independent, impartial and innovative careers support.

At the heart of the software is a job bank which includes more than 1,600 jobs providing detailed information on the qualifications required, typical salaries and the user’s own suitability for the role. Linked to this is live market information, showing open opportunities in the student’s locality, enabling young people to get a real indication of the current labour market and job availability.

As the name suggests, Start enables a young person to begin anywhere; a favourite subject; an area of interest; a place to study; or a job aspiration. Users create a personal profile based on their qualities, skills and work preferences and the unique profiling technology matches them to jobs which correspond to their personality.
Start can be accessed in and out of schools by teachers, parents and young people. Visit for more information.  Below is a new White Paper which has been released recently that discusses the future of careers guidance and software within the sector.

Start White Paper

PDF file, 285 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

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National Young Writers' Awards

Nywa LogoNational Young Writers' Awards - a fantastic, free writing competition for children across the UK, judged by best-selling author of the Charlie & Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort books, Lauren Child and organised by tuition provider, Explore Learning.  There's a wonderful prize of a family trip to Disneyland Paris and £500 worth of books for their school up for grabs .  The theme this year is ‘The Mash-Up’ where children are encouraged to write a 500 word story that is a ‘mash-up’ of two genres.

The FREE competition is open to children all over the UK aged 14 and under and the closing date is Tuesday 7th June.  Children can enter by filling out an application form from their nearest Explore Learning centre, online at, or simply write your story and download the entrance slip and post it to NYWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW.

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The Lollies - are you taking part?

Best Laugh Out Loud Picture Book

  • Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor and Jean Jullien
  • Slug Needs a Hug by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross
  • Gracie Grabbit and the Tiger by Helen Stephens
  • I Need a Wee! by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 6-8 year olds

  • Badly Drawn Beth by Jem Packer and Duncan McCoshan
  • Wilf the Mighty Worrier: Saves the World by Georgia Pritchett and Jamie Littler
  • The Jolley-Rogers and the Cave of Doom by Jonny Duddle
  • Thorfinn the Nicest Viking and the Awful Invasion by David MacPhail and Richard Morgan

Best Laugh Out Loud Book for 9-13 year olds.

  • Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog by David O’Doherty and Chris Judge
  • Petunia Perry and the Curse of the Ugly Pigeon by Pamela Butchart and Gemma Correll
  • Emily Sparkes and the Friendship Fiasco by Ruth Fitzgerald
  • The Parent Agency by David Baddiel and Jim Field

Scholastic now invites all schools to get involved and vote. Children will decide the ultimate winners in each of the categories by submitting a class vote on the Lollies website, The winning books will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in London in June.

The Lollies were launched last October as a result of Scholastic’s Kids & Family Reading Report™ ( which revealed that nearly two thirds of children aged 6-17 say that when choosing books to read for fun, they want “books that make me laugh.”

The Lollies website will be open for voting from February 8th at Schools can register a class vote for their chosen winner in any, or all of the three categories. Voting closes on the 10th June 2016.

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Siobhan Dowd Trust Competition 2016

The Siobhan Dowd Trust was set up by the author Siobhan Dowd to use the income from her work to bring stories to the children that need them most.  The Trust have funded many small projects throughout the UK and love to get books into the hands of young readers. In 2016 the trust are funding an opportunity for schools and groups who work with disadvantaged young people to apply for a series of small grants to be spent in local independent bookshops.

The amount awarded in each UK region will total £1000.
Please see for further details & how to apply, or on Twitter follow @sdowdtrust 

The first deadline is 30th June in Scotland, NE region, NW region and Yorkshire & Humberside

2016 School Comp PDF

PDF file, 185 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

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ePlatform and eBook lending

Eplatform ScreenThe eBook lending platform that's enabling more students to discover the joy of reading

With its focus on reader engagement and features that improve literacy – ePlatform is an eBook lending platform capturing imaginations in over 1,000 schools and libraries across the UK and worldwide.

This is the most cost effective solution on the market – spend more of your budget on eBooks, not hosting. A one touch Reading App makes it easy to read eBooks anytime, anywhere – even offline. ePlatform offers more than 350,000 titles including the latest UK and international best sellers and Collection Builder compilations (lists of most borrowed titles in schools like yours) for easy collection development and Consortium features are available.

But it's the additional features that are grabbing attention. ePlatform offers customisable settings to enhance the reading experience for students with reading challenges like dyslexia. Students can vary the font, background colour, look up the meaning of unfamiliar words and use internet links to learn more.

Along with Accelerated Reader these features are opening up the world of reading to reluctant readers. Mirfield Free Grammar School says "Reluctant readers are more engaged for longer periods than they would be with a book. They are less likely to become distracted. The opportunity for students to customise their reading matter to make it more accessible to their individual needs means there is a whole new range of books available to them. Students feel empowered as they see barriers being removed. Students with SEND needs are starting to enjoy reading again!"

Of course being digital means that there is no question of damage to or loss of books. With complete control over loans, age restrictions, reporting functions and support – everything's at your fingertips.

Learn more at
Or contact: Rachel Lindsay, ePlatform Business Development Manager, UK
Tel: 07971 661782
Email: rachel[at]

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ReadingZone World Book Day Picture Book Competition 2016

ReadingZoneWBDPictureBookComp2016 Logo SmlChildren and young people aged four to 18 years are being challenged to make their own picture book on and around World Book Day with the launch of the ReadingZone WBD Picture Book Competition 2016.  The competition is running in homes, schools and libraries until Friday 22nd April and the winners will be announced in June 2016.

Author and illustrator Mick Inkpen (creator of Kipper) will select the winning entries across three Categories. These include: Young Creators (ages four to six years); Primary (ages seven years plus) and Secondary (ages 11 years plus).   One overall winner will be chosen.  There is an additional Achievement Award for the most enthusiastic ‘behind the scenes’ activities that have gone into making picture book entries, such as the whole school getting involved.

Picture books entered for the award can be made by individuals and groups and any media can be used. Each picture book can be up to 24 A4 pages.

Each winning individual, school or library will receive 50 printed copies of their picture book; a selection of picture books or fiction titles, and a free author / illustrator visit will be given to the overall winner.  The Guardian children’s books website will also feature the winning picture book.  Visit for further tips, guidelines and entry details.

Last year’s picture book competition attracted over 1,300 picture book entries and we have estimated that some 13,000 children took part in creating a picture book during the course of the competition.

For more details, please contact:  

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Roald Dahl Day 2016

Dahl PpackF 01 012016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl - the world’s number one storyteller.

Throughout 2016, there will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100, focusing on Roald Dahl's gloriumptious stories and characters and delivering a year packed with squiffling surprises and treats for everyone.

To help you celebrate the work of Roald Dahl here is the invitation to register for a Roald Dahl Party Pack.

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CILIP ILG Resource Sheets

ILG ResourcesThe CILIP Information Literacy Group is delighted to announce the launch of a range of resource sheets, in support of the TeenTech initiative. Pupils taking part in the competition can use these ten resource sheets to help them with the research process and developing their innovations.

The sheets cover research skills and data collection, provide guidance on how to protect ideas, and suggest some sources that teams could use to locate information.  The resources have been produced under a Creative Commons license, which means that they are available to all schools to download from this website and to use with their own pupils to help support the delivery of any topic or activity that requires information literacy skills.

The resources have been produced by a team of school and HE librarians led by Rebecca Jones, Schools Representative for the CILIP IL Group:

  • Rebecca Jones, Learning Enrichment & Support Co-ordinator, Malvern St James, Malvern
  • Darrly Toerien, Head of Library & Information Services, Oakham School, Rutland
  • Darren Flynn, Information Literacy Lead, Dixons Allerton Academy, Bradford
  • Sarah Pavey, Independent trainer and consultant to school libraries
  • Caroline Roche, School Librarian, Eltham College
  • Carol Webb, Forest Hill School, London
  • Chris Morrison, University of Kent, Copyright and Licensing Compliance Officer

The team are very excited about the final resources, and are hoping to get some feedback from schools so that they can continue to improve this material for both teachers and pupils.

TeenTech runs lively events with a supporting awards scheme to help young teenagers see the wide range of career possibilities in Science, Engineering and Technology.  An award-winning, industry-led initiative, TeenTech was founded in 2008 by Maggie Philbin and Chris Dodson to help the “X Factor” generation understand their true potential and the real opportunities available in the contemporary STEM workplace.

The CILIP Information Literacy Group also sponsors TeenTech's Research and Information Literacy Award, and  the team are interested to see how the resources are going to be used by participating school pupils, as evidenced in their product logs. The team also hope to be involved in some of TeenTech's innovation and festival days, at which they will continue to promote IL skills and develop the knowledge of both pupils and teachers.

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