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June 2014

Weekend Course 2014 - Wendy Cooling and Malorie Blackman
Weekend Course 2014 - Wendy Cooling and Malorie Blackman

It seems an age since I have had chance to talk about what we have been doing at SLA – and some of the things we/I get involved in!  So here goes…

Malorie signing books for delegates
Malorie signing books for delegates


The Weekend Course in Manchester passed in a blur of activity.  Having only a 2 day course this year we had a packed agenda, and I am sure all the delegates felt much like me, that it passed in a whirl, and there was so much to take in. There were so many highlights, but Malorie Blackman as our opening plenary was great! I am sure people will be assessing what they learned, heard and saw over the coming months, ready for applying in school next year.  As we can we will add presentations and other documents to the website so that everyone can use materials from sessions they saw (or catch up on sessions they could not attend).  Do keep checking back on the website.  Librarianwithattitude created a great storify from the event.

Next year we have a 3 day course – at Yarnfield Park, Stone in Staffordshire – from June 12-14th, so we start to plan now, to make it equally as buzzy and informative.

Prior to the Weekend Course I was talking to a group of school librarians at a lovely venue in Dorset – I do so enjoy talking face to face with members (and non-members) about the practicalities of life in school libraries.  This is what makes our association so valuable to librarians – the opportunities events give for informal networking and local support.

Coming straight after the course it was off to London for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway award ceremony.  Having been a chair of judges some years ago I know how much hard work, heart searching and re-reading goes into the decision to award the prizes.  The discussion caused by this year’s choices has been invigorating, and it’s fascinating how many schools and students had agreed with the judges this year!  You can also see the award ceremony online – a first for the awards.

Then on Wednesday I was invited to an unusual event – the EFDSS Full English showcase. So what do the English Folk Dance and Song Society have to do with school libraries – well, not a lot at first glance, but just think of the creative and storytelling opportunities that can be stimulated by the use of the text of an old folk song.  The EFDSS has recently put their huge archive on line so it is freely available to all; plus they have just completed a huge project with lots of schools based on the archive – and this event was a showcase for all of these.  What a rich seam of drama, dance and music came out of this!  There are several upcoming events to show teachers and librarians the resources – check them out.

Next I’m looking forward to the Reading Matters Conference in July, in Brighouse.  Talking about books and reading for pleasure I shall be looking forward to another stimulating discussion!  If you’re in the area do have a look at the programme.

Now – back to planning for autumn events and next year’s course!

Tricia Adams.

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