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Support for librarians at Information Book Award

Wednesday evening was an important day for Information Books - the winners of the SLA Information Book Award were celebrated and awarded at a very well attended event held in Carmelite House, at the roof terrace cafe.  The spectacular backdrop of the London skyline illuminated by the many offices and landmarks created a wonderful setting for the event.  Huge thanks to our sponsors, Hachette Children's Group, for hosting the event.  

The shortlisted authors and illustrators with Hilary Murray Hill
The shortlisted authors and illustrators with Hilary Murray Hill

Hilary Murray Hill, Managing Director of Hachette Children's Group, used her welcoming speech to emphasize the importance of libraries and librarians by saying "We are delighted to sponsor these special awards which we hope bring attention not only to the infinite variety of contemporary information books, but also the incomparable value of information professionals.  We are doing all we can to promote the expertise of librarians and the central role they play in encouraging children to pursue a lifetime of reading.

There has been a lot of discussion recently in the industry about the revival of interest in non-fiction – well for some of us it never went away!  Librarians know that the route to reading is not always fiction.  There are many, many children who first connect with reading as pleasurable by finding a book containing new facts they find fascinating or describing in great detail a subject which already intrigues them."  

She went on to emphasize "I would particularly like to mention the very topical inclusion of titles covering teenage stress and the experience of refugees.  This shows beyond doubt the continuing importance of high-quality non-fiction publishing in explaining and describing the world, and stimulating the minds of young readers.  These awards could not be more important given the times."

It was particularly encouraging that virtually all the authors, illustrators and publishers were abe to attend, as well as a number of school librarians and other guests.  The Chatterbooks Reading Group from Wolverhampton Grammar School had made a delightful video that was shown on the night, with some very perceptive comments from the young people involved. You may like to read their blog about the experience of joining in with the award. The WGS teachers comments from the award experience are "As part of the Information Book Award we created a PowerPoint advertising the books to the entire school. This was used in lessons linked to the subjects.  We also held a book review competition and WGS Book Club read the younger age category books to our Junior School students. Both our Junior and Senior Book Clubs read and voted for the book they wanted to see win the award. We also used book trailers and made the books we loved "Book of the Week" to encourage the whole school to read/vote for them."  We are delighted it was obviously such a fun and useful experience!

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