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SLA Blog » December 2009RSS 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.

Happy Christmas from the SLA team

SLA xmasThe SLA sends its members and supporters all best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

The SLA office will close for the season on Christmas Eve and open for the New Year on Monday 4 January 2010.

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Index for 2009

TSL logoAn online index to all the book reviews in The School Librarian for the last four years (Volumes 54, 55, 56 and 57) is now available as a fully searchable cumulative index.

Our thanks go to our team of volunteer reviewers and to editor Chris Brown for the massive task of coordinating over 650 book reviews each year.

The full texts of all the reviews in the ict[at]sla section of The School Librarian are now available from Volume 56 onwards to logged-in SLA members.

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Exit 43 Writing Competition

Harriet Goodwin has recently written a fantasy-adventure called The Boy Who Fell Down Exit 43. The novel came out this September and has been shortlisted for the 2010 Blue Peter Book Award. An extract from the book will be dramatised on Blue Peter in March, to coincide with World Book Day.

Harriet is holding a competition for her readers. Competitors are asked to name their favourite Underworld character from the book, giving reasons for their choice, the prize being awarded to the most original and imaginative reply. One of the characters in her second book, The Extraordinary Legacy of Elvira Phoenix, which is based around the Sutton Hoo ship burial, will be named after the winner (first name only) and the winner's full name and school will appear in the book's dedication. The winner will also receive £100 worth of book tokens, to be shared equally between themselves and their school. The closing date for entries is 31 March 2010 and all details can be found on Harriet's website.

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Young Muslim Writers Award

Muslim Writers Awards are now inviting submissions from Muslim writers from the ages of 8 through to 16. Winners of both Best Short story and Best Poetry will be revealed at a televised awards ceremony scheduled for April 2010.  Regional events to highlight the aims and objectives behind the awards are currently underway around the country. 

This year, the panel of judges includes award winning Leila Aboulela (author of Minaret) and children's writers Anna Perera (author of Guantanamo Boy), Bhavit Mehta (author of Laghu the Clever Crow), Sufiya Ahmed (author of the Khadija Academy series) along with best-selling novelist Qaisra Shahraz, Moazzam Begg (author and 2008 MWA writer of the year) and Zahid Hussain (author of The Curry Mile). 

Now into its fourth year, the Muslim Writers Awards was set up to showcase and celebrate the very best of literary talent from Muslims across the UK. This ground-breaking initiative works with public and private sector partners, and the annual televised event plays host to some of the most well known and influential people from across the social, political and business arena.  

Throughout the year, MWA also works closely with schools, literary agents and publishers to provide opportunities for emerging writers. 

If you would like your school to participate, please contact Asma Khanom, Project Coordinator on 0203 246 0015 or email asma.khanom[at]  for an MWA U16s pack. 

Deadline for entries is Friday 5 February 2010. To download entry forms and to view submission criteria please visit the MWA website.

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Blogging and writing

New research shows that almost 50 per cent of schoolchildren say writing is boring.

An interesting article in the Independent - highlighting new research by the National Literacy Trust on writing and the innovative work Bev Humphrey is undertaking with her school and partners inspiring pupils to write.  You will be able to hear Bev talk about her project at the SLA Weekend Course in Nottingham in June 2010!

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National surveys of Primary and of Secondary/Middle/Special/ Independent School Libraries

Please help us to build up a full UK picture of school libraries by completing a questionnaire. This work was instigated by the School Libraries Group (SLG) of CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and supported by the School Library Association and CILIP Scotland, with funds provided by the Wendy Drewett Bequest. The survey is being managed by Information Management Associates.

If you have any questions about this survey please contact David Streatfield at streatfield[at]

The surveys can be found at:

Secondary, Special, Middle, Independent

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Background to the School Librarian of the Year Award

Only another 7 weeks to get nominations in for the 2010 School Librarian of the Year!  To help in the nomination process we have added further detailed guidance to the website to show the criteria that are used and the processes that all nominations go through before a long list is drawn up. Please look at it carefully if you or your colleagues are planning to nominate someone for this award. The deadline for nominations is 15 January 2010. Nomination forms are available to download here.

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