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SLA Blog » Recent PostsRSS Feed RSS

The SLA blog contains news about the SLA and topical information of general interest to our members. The blog has been running since 2004. An RSS 2.0 feed and information about how to subscribe to the blog are available.

Older blog posts are still available, though archived, on the website, but please check the date at the top of the post to make sure the offer or information is likely to be valid.

New resources on offer from BookTrust

Many SLA members will already be aware that BookTrust offer a range of reading programmes, resources, activities and reusable content to help librarians get children reading, but there have been some changes and BookTrust wanted to share their latest news designed to help you bring reading to life.


Beyond Booked Up

Firstly we wanted to let those of you who may have taken part in BookTrust’s Beyond Booked Up programme know that we’re now in the final term of the project, but participating schools can access the classroom materials until the end of August through the password protected website.


Although Beyond Booked Up is closing, there are other exciting reading programmes and resources that are available to you:


Bookbuzz - Get your Year 7 and 8s excited about reading

Bookbuzz is a programme for ages 11-13 that helps you support reading for pleasure in your school. Registration is now open until 20 July – find out more here.


We’ll soon be announcing this year’s selection of books. With two copies of each of the 17 books, this year’s launch packs are bigger than ever, to make students’ choice even easier. Plus, make sure to sign up by 25 May to get extra free books for your school!


School Library and Special Schools Library Packs

School Library Pack and Special School Library Pack are free reading for pleasure programmes, funded by Arts Council England and open to any school in England with a Year 7 (or equivalent) intake. Registration for next year’s pack opens in Autumn 2018.


If you’re looking for ways to excite the children participating, read this fun blog from Lucas Maxwell that highlights five ways to engage students with the School Library Pack


BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity dedicated to getting children reading. Find out more at booktrust.org.uk

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Early Bird Booking deadline extended

GCH   Stairs


The deadline to receive discount for the early bird booking for the Weekend Course has been extended to Friday 4th May. You don't need to pay when you book, and flexibile payment options are available. 


This incredible chandelier that runs down the middle of the staircase at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow gives an indication of the venue it's being held in! 

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Beyond Behaviour Management. An Introduction to Effective Engagement for Learning in the Secondary School Library: Oakham, Rutland, 17 May 2018


Our course Beyond Behaviour Management. An Introduction to Effective Engagement for Learning in the Secondary School Library, run by Jerry Hurst, will be held at Oakham School, Ashwell Road, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6QG on 17 May 2018.

The purpose of this training is to enable staff to develop or increase awareness, confidence, knowledge and skills, in order to engage positively or more positively with students in a Secondary School Library.


The closing date is 2 May 2018. Bookings received by 23 April 2018 are eligible for a £15 discount making the cost of the full days training just £90 (SLA members), £150 (non-members) and a second person attending from the same school (accompanying a full-paying delegate) can do so for as little as £55 (SLA members), £75 (non-members). Payment is not required by the discount deadline as long as an official order has been received. 

Key Audience: secondary school library staff

More Details...

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Barnes Children's Literature Festival

Barnes Children’s Literature Festival

London's largest dedicated children's literature festival returns to Barnes on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May 2018, attracting some of the UK's best authors and illustrators to the capital.

Following the success of 2017, which sold more than 7,000 tickets and £16,000 worth of books over the weekend, the Barnes Children's Literature Festival is returning for its fourth year with more than 80 fun events for young book fans and their families. As well as programming some of the best known names in children’s books, Barnes is committed to nurturing new talent, offering exceptional events that audiences are unlikely to see at any other UK festival.

The Festival opens on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th May 2018 with its new, free, expanded Education and Community Outreach Programme. The festival provides this to all primary school children, teachers and librarians in London, enabling 3,000 children to engage with some of their favourite authors and illustrators. Thursday's KS1 programme features the award-winning author-illustrator team behind The Dragonsitter who will explore imaginative writing and drawing skills with kids; Chennai-born Chitra Soundar will talk about the Indian myths and legends she grew up on, encouraging her young audience to view the wider world with empathy; and multi-award winning Czech illustrator Petr Horacek will bring some of his best-loved characters to life with a live drawing session, showing kids how illustrations are created and how to develop new ideas for storytelling. 

Friday's KS2 programme kicks off with best-selling author and former primary school teacher Caroline Lawrence who will be bringing to life her famous Roman Mysteries series; poet, performer and educator Joshua Siegal, author of I Don't Like Poetry, will offer a brilliant introduction to poetry, inspiring kids to create rhymes of their own, the more ridiculous the better; multi-award-winning author SF Said wraps up the school programme with an event that encourages imaginative thinking and creative writing. 

Firsts for Barnes this year include the London premiere of the stage adaptation of Lauren Child’s highly acclaimed Ruby Redfort detective series and the introduction of special programming for children who, for whatever reason, may require some extra care to enjoy their festival visit, including a session with sign language support for Ross Montgomery’s latest book Max and the Millions, which stars a young deaf boy.  Nick Cope will also be bringing his brilliant Family Song Book to London for the first time.

Centred around the much-loved green, which lends the festival its ‘village fete’ feel, Barnes boasts ten venues including the popular interactive stage, which will host various workshops.  Aardman Animations will return with its popular, hands-on model-making workshop open to all ages.  And the Royal Academy of Dance will hold its first event at the festival with its all-singing, all-dancing Matilda Musical Theatre workshop. Unlike other top tier festivals, Barnes is proud to be a community event, entirely organised and produced by over 100 volunteers, including founder and director Amanda Brettargh. The surplus from ticket sales, along with a percentage of book sales, will be donated to local primary school libraries. 

In recognition of its community spirit, local MP Zac Goldsmith will be the spokesperson for this year’s festival.  Commenting on his new involvement, Goldsmith says: “The Barnes Children's Literature Festival brings the whole community together for one weekend to promote the power of reading, writing and ideas to more and more children every year from all over London and the UK. The Festival has transformed Barnes into London's capital of children's literature and it is a source of huge pride that The Tiger Who Came to Tea was born here as well as so many of our favourite stories.”

The festival is presented in partnership with the Barnes Community Association (BCA), the University of Roehampton and Barnes Bookshop. Tickets are due to go on sale the week of Monday 12th March 2018. The full programme and more information can also be found at http://www.barneskidslitfest.org/.


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Congratulations are in order for YeEun Lee, Library Assistant at Dulwich College, Seoul, who has just passed her Learning about Libraries Module 5. YeEun Lee has already passed Modules 1,2,3 and 4 and has just Module 6 to undertake before receiving her SLA Certificate of Advanced Practice.

For details about our online courses please click here

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Blogs/News: Win a visit from Katie Thistleton

Hachette are celebrating the release of Dear Katie, a new book from CBBC and Radio 1 presenter Katie Thistleton that’s packed full of practical advice for real problems. Katie is a Mind ambassador and is passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues with young people.

The book launched during Children’s Mental Health Week and to link into their 2018 campaign to encourage children and young people to celebrate their uniqueness, they’ve got a great competition for your school. Follow this link to find out more: all you have to do is tell us what makes you unique!

More Details...

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Invitation to tender - website & CRM database

The School Library Association would like to invite you to tender for the design and implementation of a new Website, and an upgrade to the current CRM Database.

We are a national charity who believe that every pupil is entitled to effective school library provision. The SLA is committed to supporting everyone involved with school libraries, promoting high quality reading and learning opportunities for all.

The Website and CRM Database upgrade can be tendered for individually or together, but they will need to work seamlessly together. The anticipated timeline for this project is 6–9 months. If you would like more information, or to request the Website or CRM Database tender documents, please contact the project manager, Alison Tarrant, on alison.tarrant@sla.org.uk or 01793 530166.

All tenders should be submitted by 11am on 30 April 2018.

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Blogs/News: Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards

The inaugural Egmont Reading for Pleasure Teacher Awards  in association with the Open University and the UK Literacy Association have taken place.  The winners were announced by Michael Rosen at the Reading for Pleasure symposium at The Open University on Thursday 22 March:

Whole School Award – St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School, Birmingham

Experienced Teacher – Jon Biddle, Moorlands Primary School, Belton, Norfolk

Early Career Teacher – Emily Crumbleholme, Peover Superior Primary School, Knutsford

You can read their inspiring submissions on the OU website and watch short videos of Michael interviewing each winner.

 The awards are intended to:

  • Highlight research-based effective practice in schools
  • Encourage teachers, who are finding different and effective methods of nurturing a love of reading
  • Amplify the message about the critical importance of reading for pleasure for society and the wider economy

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