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SLA Blog » June 2011RSS 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.

School library budgets, staffing and literacy in Australia

Softlink have conducted a second survey into school library budgets, staffing and literacy in Australia. The report summarises the links between budgets, staffing and literacy levels in Australian schools and conducting a survey for the second year running enables Softlink to report on any significant changes. The report is available to read here.

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Dragonese Day competition

Please note that there is a correction to the entry details for the Members' Offer in the latest issue of info[at]sla. The email address to enter for the chance to win 10 copies of How to Train Your Dragon should be:

Apologies for the confusion - please try again for the offer, entries close 30 June 2011.

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Phonics tests at 6

The Cambridge Review and the UKLA have recently posted some interesting comments in a blog about the proposed phonics testing at 6 – and includes a fun video from Wroxham School about the joys of reading - http://readingshouldbefun.wordpress.com .

TACTYC (the Association for the Professional development of early years Educators) is very much for phonics teaching as part of a broader literacy curriculum but so against phonics testing at such an early age that they have set up a petition at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42347.html, which currently has 1300 signatories.  Support for this campaign is coming from many people in the literacy arena.  Many of the Board of SLA have already signed up - members may feel that they would like to join this campaign.

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New Children's Laureate 2011

Julia DonaldsonYou all probably know that the new Children's Laureate until 2013 is Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson - huge congratulations to her from us all! Julia's acceptance speech reflected on the fact she was following several of her heroes into the role, and that it was a role for action, not to bask in the honour and fame of it.  She felt it was important to reflect and consolidate what her predecessors had done, but also to introduce the element of performance of story, so a dramatic laureateship is to be expected!

Julia gained an extra round of applause when she expressed her care for libraries, and she promised to speak out about closures as they are so damaging for our children's futures. She also suggested she may be embarking on a libraries tour to encourage drama and storytelling by children in libraries - do hope so as that will add to children's enjoyment and self confidence both in reading and in other ways too! She also wants to expand on opportunities for signing of stories for those with hearing difficulties, especially in relation to signed stories on the web - a great initiative.

Other speakers included Baroness Floella Benjamin (Chair of the selection panel) who spoke passionately about creativity and how every drop of it that children are exposed to will stay with them forever. So right! Anthony Browne, the retiring laureate, spoke of his exhilarating time, all the events he had taken part in and, the highlight of his career - his recent exhibition at Seven Stories - which I had the pleasure of visiting whilst on holiday in Newcastle and found it both thorough and enjoyable.

This was a really super event and I was delighted to be able to attend. My only slight discomfort was listening to Ed Vaizey, the minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. He seemed unaware of the irony when he thanked the Booktrust for their support for literature! He then went on to state that reading books was a 'fundamental cornerstone of every child's education' and that he was determined to see libraries thrive in the future not just survive! If that is more than just rhetoric for the occasion I for one would really like to see government, of which he is a leading member, put their money where their mouth is (excuse the colloquialism) and act to save libraries and make school librarians statutory, so that books can continue to be put into children's hands and they get the opportunity to read widely and well.

Tricia Adams

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Privacy Statement now online

Our new privacy statement is now available on the SLA website at http://www.sla.org.uk/privacy-statement.php.

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University of Birmingham - Teaching Study and Information Skills - free event

Friday 8th July, 10am – 1pm (with an optional 30 minute tour of the Main Library at 2pm)

  • Exasperated that your students rely on Wikipedia for their essay research?
  • Frustrated that students copy and paste information from the web into their essays?
  • Would you like students to find good quality material from Google?
  • Would you like your students to be able to reference correctly?
  • Would you like to equip your students with some essential research skills?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions then why not go along to the Teaching Study and Information Skills event in the Muirhead Tower on the Edgbaston Campus of the University of Birmingham.  This free event run by Subject Advisors from Library Services will help teach you to teach these valuable skills to your students. 

This session is aimed at school/college staff who support year 12 and 13 students. These may be teaching staff, support staff and/or librarians.  For more information or to book a place, please contact: libraryskillstraining[at]contacts.bham.ac.uk.  Please include in your request: Name, Job title, Institution.

If you are unable to attend this event but are interested in your students visiting University of Birmingham libraries then please contact: schoollibraryvisit[at]contacts.bham.ac.uk for more information or telephone 0121 414 5863

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