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SLA Blog » April 2007RSS 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.

First European Conference on School Libraries

The first European conference on school libraries took place this week in the Stadthalle of the city of Wels, Austria, from Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th April.  After the conference there was a meeting of ENSIL, the European Network for School Libraries and Information Literacy.

The conference, School Libraries as Places of Learning: no learning without reading, attracted delegates from 18 countries, including the UK.  It began with a very thought provoking keynote address from Gerhard Faschlehner, director of the Austrian Book Club for Young People, a reading promotion initiative, and also the Fit for Reading initiative from the Austrian Government. 

As well as other keynotes, workshops, seminars and cultural events, delegates enjoyed a reading from Christoph Ransmayr, whose most recent book, The Flying Mountain, has been translated into more than 30 languages.

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New DVD on designing school libraries for the future

Last year the Building Schools for the Future team brought together a range of people including representatives from SLA, CILIP SLG, ASCEL, RM, Information Management Associates (IMA) and Professor Stephen Heppell, to discuss ways of informing the design and building of the school library of the future in both new build and revamped schools. 

Following this meeting a small working party was formed consisting of Sue Jones (ASCEL) Kathryn Sheard (CILIP SLG) Kathy Lemaire (SLA) and Sharon Markless (IA) The outcome of the work of this group was a DVD, funded by CILIP and MLA, which is being made available to architects and schools, and a new publication from SLA, Visionary Spaces: Designing and Planning a Secondary School Library.

The DVD, Designed for Learning: School Libraries was spearheaded by Kathryn Sheard, Chair of SLG, and is now available from CILIP.  Visionary Spaces will be available shortly from SLA.

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North East Book Award Winner announced

NEBA is the new junior category of the North East Book Award, for years 7 and 8, introduced by popular demand following the success of the teenage category (NETBA) which has been running for 9 years now.  100 students aged 11-13 voted for their favourite books in April after a term of reading and debating the shortlist. 

The announcement party was at Seven Stories, Newcastle, on Friday night with 4 of the shortlisted authors attending, immediately after the Carnegie / Kate Greenaway Top 10 and shortlist announcements.

The  winner of this year's Junior North East Book Award was
Magyk by Angie Sage

Others on the list were
Divided City by Theresa Breslin
I, Coriander by Sally Gardner  
Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill  
Snatched! By Graham Marks  
Tins by Alex Shearer

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CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists announced

The shortlists for the CILIP Carnegie Award, which, like the School Library Association, celebrates its 70th birthday this year, and for the Kate Greenaway Award (50 years old this year) have been announced today.

There will be plenty of opportunities for discussion and argument as well as shadowing schemes going on in schools, before the final winners are announced in June.

Ian Dodds, Chair of the CILIP Youth Libraries Group which administers the Awards, will be joining us at the SLA Weekend Course on 24th June to celebrate the achievement of so much wonderful writing and illustrating over so many years.

Carnegie shortlist 
Greenaway shortlist

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New Library qualifications

To replace the existing NVQ standards a new set of qualifications are being written.

This is your opportunity to contribute to the development of new National Occupational Standards for the libraries, archives and information services workforce following the initial consultation events last year. Lifelong Learning UK is holding a further round of consultation events throughout the UK.

These will take place during late April - early June and will provide the opportunity for you to influence the shape and content of the new standards. The new National Occupational Standards are intended to be the benchmark for the specialist skills, knowledge and understanding required by the workforce to operate effectively in the modern information environment.  They will also provide the basis for a new generation of vocational qualifications.

The emerging new standards framework is modelled on the information lifecycle with signposting to related standards in leadership and management, customer care, ICT skills and conservation.  LLUK are looking for a wide spread of employers and stakeholders to participate in validating this approach and to ensure that they have included the specialist skills required in every area of the workforce.  It is of course important that school librarians take the opportunity to get involved in these consultations on behalf of all those who are unable to attend.

The number of places available at the events is necessarily limited and early booking is advised.  Details of the locations of the consultation events and booking forms can be downloaded  and should be returned by email to consultations[at]lluk.org  Any initial enquiries about the events can  also be sent to this email address or by phone to Claire Kelly at Lifelong Learning UK on 0207 936 5746.

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Libraries Change Lives Awards

The winner of this year's CILIP CSG's Libraries Change Lives Awards was announced yesterday at a special event at the Library and Information Show, which is also a sponsor of the award.

The three shortlisted library projects were:

  • Read Yourself Well, a bibliotherapy scheme from East Ayrshire Library, Registration and Information Services
  • LARGE (Leeds Always Reading Group for Everyone), a loan collection developed to met the needs of visually impaired children by Leeds School Library Service
  • Welcome to Your Library, a project to increase opportunities for active engagement in libraries by refugees and asylum seekers, from Camden Libraries and Leicester Libraries working with the London Libraries Development Agency.

26 library-based projects were entered for the 2007 award, which was won by Welcome to your Library, who receive a glass trophy and £5,000.  the runners up each receive £2,000.

Videos of all three projects can be seen at www.myspace.com/librarieschangelives

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SLA Mentoring Scheme

In response to suggestions from members the SLA will later in the year be launching a mentoring scheme for new solo school librarians.  Initially we are looking for existing school librarians who are willing to provide help and support to someone new in post.  We anticipate that they will not have worked in a school before and you may well remember just how overwhelming you found your first few weeks and months in post!

If you are willing to come on board for the pilot project, due to begin in the Autumn, please contact us at the SLA Office or by email to mentoring[at]sla.org.uk. We will provide support materials and advice and do our best to match mentors with mentees, but most of the work has to be done by our members.  The scheme will only work if there are enough people out there who are willing to be generous with their time and help others.

Further information about the scheme will be announced in due course, but do contact us now and let us know you are willing to help those who need you.  Thank you!

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