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New Patrons for SLA

15 October 2020 Share

Last night we announced three new Patrons; today we launch a fundraiser

The SLA is excited to announce three new Patrons. Juno Dawson, Sarah McIntyre and Smriti Halls will be joining long-standing Patrons Aidan Chambers, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Tim Bowler and recently appointed Professor Julian McDougall. 

Sadly, we lost Wendy Cooling earlier this year and her passing caused the board to think hard about how best to fill the gap she has left behind and at the same time add to the depth of experience our current Patrons already have in order to reflect our community as fully as possible. So we are delighted that Juno, Sarah and Smriti have all agreed to join us and we look forward very much to working with them. 

Their first act as Patrons of the SLA is to launch our first ever Patrons' Appeal. We aim to raise £2500 to fund research into how school libraries reacted to and supported pupils during lockdown. This has been a difficult time for all in education and during lockdown school librarians had to adjust their services comprehensively, supporting their pupils in many different ways. These educational services and the impact they had on pupils during this time need to be recorded and shared for the purpose of highlighting best practice and opportunities. At the same time, many school libraries simply weren't in a position to react in the ways mentioned above so this research will also look into the challenges faced by school library staff and highlight areas which need to be addressed to allow school libraries to offer a blended service. Using this research the SLA will then develop a toolkit to support the development of school libraries. 

Our Patrons and President, Chris Riddell, are encouraging people to donate. School libraries provide academic and pleasure reading and support pupils in a wide variety of ways including helping with their independent learning skills, creativity and wellbeing. By studying the extent to which school libraries were able to continue offering these services during lockdown, we will be able to add another piece to the puzzle when it comes to assessing the impact of lockdown on children. We aim to meet our target by the end of December and appoint a researcher early in the new year. In the happy circumstance that the target is exceeded, we will look at ways we can extend this research by, for example, creating practical resources (e.g. lesson plans) or, if there is a sufficient amount, by looking at other areas where research into school libraries would be beneficial for the sector. 

Ways to donate: 

  • Directly to the Patrons' Appeal - you can also download a free poster from Sarah McIntyre there!

• Give as you Live - donate here or sign up so that when you spend with online shopping at 4000 stores, a percentage is donated to the School Library Association. Sign up here 

• Amazon Smile – if you spend with Amazon, make sure you sign up to Amazon Smile. It's the same shop and cost but Amazon donates 0.5% of your spend to the SLA at no cost to you. Just make sure you’re on Amazon Smile or have changed your settings in the App. 

• Facebook Fundraiser – find us here on Facebook, then donate and share!