In 2010, for the first time, two people were awarded the honour of the SLA School Librarian of the Year. At a celebration at the Mermaid Conference Centre in London on 4 October 2010, M G Harris, author of children's book series The Joshua Files, presented the awards to:
Ginette Doyle, Chair of the Selection committee and Chair of the School Library Association, said:
"Kevin and Duncan come from two completely different schools. Kevin’s school has a higher than average learning support register and more pupils eligible for free school meals than normal. He makes his library fun; he goes beyond the book to entice pupils in and demands that they respect the space so that it has become highly valued. Duncan’s school is more academic and he has ensured that the information literacy ladder he helped to devise is at the heart of lessons, but he, too, makes the Library a fun place to be and engages disaffected readers with his enthusiasm for other things than just the Library. Two exceptional librarians, working in different ways to bring their libraries into the heart of the school and learning: we could not decide between them. They are not joint winners, but each deserves the accolade of SLA School Librarian of the Year.
The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award celebrates the essential work that school librarians are doing at a time when school libraries are being closed at an alarming rate. We were impressed by the passion and dedication of the librarians we visited and the innovative and inspirational ways in which they bring books and an enthusiasm for learning into the heart of the school and into the lives of children. We had a hard job selecting a short list and feel that everyone on the Honour list should be celebrated."
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Speech given at the Award Ceremony by Alan Hurcombe, Group MD, Scholastic UK (PDF file, 26 kB)
Remarks made at the Award Ceremony by Iain Dunbar, Director of Product and Partner Development, Softlink (PDF file, 18 kB)
Myles Rose, Director of Softlink, commented:
"Softlink is extremely proud to be associated with supporting the School Librarian of the Year Award for the third successive year. We recognise the important contribution Librarians make to schools throughout the UK, inspiring the development of student literacy whilst keeping their libraries at the heart of learning."
Alan Hurcombe, Group MD Scholastic UK, said:
"We are delighted to be sponsoring the School Librarian of the Year Award 2011. Helping schools to support their librarians and promote the love of reading is a key part of what we do and this award gives us the opportunity to celebrate and recognise the best work that happens in our schools on a daily basis. Very many congratulations to the librarians who have made it to this year’s Honour list."
The School Library Association created this Award in 2004 in response to the need for recognition of the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day, and to highlight best practice through celebrating those whose work is outstanding. Nominees do not need to be members of the SLA, and may be from any phase of education.
Nominations for School Librarian of the Year 2011 opened in early September 2010. Nomination forms were included in the Autumn 2010 issue of The School Librarian and are available to download in PDF format here on the website.
Sponsors for the Award in 2010 are Softlink, Scholastic and Hachette Children's Books. The SLA is very grateful to all of these sponsors, without whom the Award could not continue in its current format.