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The School Library Association’s new President brings a new vision for the future of school libraries

09 December 2020 Share

Chris Riddell stays on as Patron, and Richard Gerver takes on the role.

This evening we've announced our new president, award-winning speaker, bestselling author and world-renowned thinker, Richard Gerver. 

Described as one of the most inspirational leaders of his generation, Gerver was the respected headteacher of the failing Grange Primary School in Long Eaton which he famously turned into one of the most acclaimed learning environments in the world, in just two years. Since this time, he has shared his inspirational perspective on education equity and the increasing importance of libraries in schools. 

 Gerver said, “One of the first things I did to turn around Grange Primary from a failing school to one of the most successful, was to build a state of the art purpose-built library with staff receiving full school library CPD training; the result proved my belief in the  transformative power of libraries. Great libraries make an impact. “I believe that the current perspective on school libraries is too narrow. As we focus on the ‘levelling up agenda’ I will be spending my time at the SLA bringing school libraries back to the heart of the debate around education. Teaching all children, from all socio-economic backgrounds, how to access valid, trusted information from books and online and to interrogate what they are being told, has never been more important. Democracy only works if you have informed citizens to make informed decisions.”  

 SLA chief executive Alison Tarrant added, “There were a number of factors that led to us seeing Richard as the ideal president for the SLA. His passion for education equity and his belief in the vital evolving role of school librarians made him ideal to work with us to transform the position of libraries in schools. I know his passion, experience and vision will be so vital for our members and all librarians across the country.”