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This last few days have been a whirlwind of celebration! 

Leeds City Museum Copyright Leeds City Council
Leeds City Museum Copyright Leeds City Council

At the end of last week, I was attending the CILIP AGM in Leeds, at the City Museum – a city I spent some of my childhood in, and went to school there until I was 12.  Seemed quite odd to be back there (I have had little reason to go and visit in the intervening years!) The AGM was interesting – and it is always a pleasure to meet with colleagues and get chance to network in a slightly different milieu.  It was at the AGM that I was presented with my Honorary Fellowship – which I was delighted to accept.  A huge honour I was not expecting at all (though I had been warned it would happen and sworn to secrecy!)  I thought SLA members who were not able to attend may like to see my speech (if not just skip to the end!)

Little did I think when I started work as a Saturday assistant at Pontefract Public Library in the West Riding of Yorkshire - at the grand age of 13¾ - that I would be standing here, nearly half a century later, accepting this huge Honour.

I do need to say thank you to many people - not least all the managers I had over the time I've been working - who allowed me the space to develop, who challenged me to try new things and who were constructive when things went awry! (Which they did – often!)

I also need to thank all the past chairs and members of YLG who inspired me, befriended me and encouraged me to get involved - I've loved it! Thank you.

I'm incredibly lucky to have had a career I love, and to be able to still work at it. So thank you CILIP - this means/is a huge deal to me. I hope I continue to live up to this honour and the kind words you have said!

Now will you join me, CILIP, SLA, SLG and YLG in continuing to push for the right of all young people to be able to access good school libraries and good public libraries – so that they at least have the chance to experience the pleasure, and the learning, that comes from a plentiful supply of good reading materials.

Thank you.

This was followed by Monday and a trip to London - for the School Libraries Celebration Day – and the chance to share the sheer positivity and joy of the awarding of the School Librarian of the Year Award.  The display from each school of the myriad of activities in their libraries and the illustration of the huge respect the librarians are held in by their schools makes the heart swell; plus the buzz in the room is a great boost to all of us working to keep good school libraries and librarians.  Details of all the five fantastic librarians are available on the website – as well as information about the winner - Amy McKay.

Tricia Adams

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