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SLA Blog » February 2012RSS 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.

SLA Online Board Voting

Shout AboutThis year the SLA Board has agreed to a new procedure of electronic voting by Members for the ballot for the SLA Board vacancies.

Five nominations have been received for the three SLA Board vacancies for 2012–2015 and full information on the candidates and how to vote is posted on the SLA website: www.sla.org.uk/vote

Full details of the candidates also appear in your upcoming info-at-SLA newsletter.

Voting is now open and your electronic votes must be cast by 12 noon on 30 April 2012. It is your Association – so please consider using your vote as a Member!

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Make your booking for the Weekend Course

BookingDo consider booking early for the SLA's 2012 Weekend Training Course: 8–10 June 2012 at Beaumont House, Old Windsor.

This year the course has returned to its full three-day format and it has already attracted a lot of interest, so do get your online booking form completed or contact us with any queries! 

For full details of the programme and to make your booking at the reduced early-bird rate, see the dedicated website www.lightingthefuture.org.uk .

Early-bird booking is open until Friday 2 March 2012.

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Red House Children's Book Award 2012

Red HouseThe winners of the Red House Children's Book Award were announced at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on Saturday.  Winners were -

Books for Younger Children

Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice by Chris Wormell (Jonathan Cape)

 Books for Younger Readers

The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon (Scholastic)

Books for Older Readers and Overall Winner

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Walker)

Pictured is winner Patrick Ness with A Monster Calls illustrator Jim Kay and Michael Morpurgo

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Kingston University students book themselves a spot on Channel 4

Still from Ex LibrisAt midnight in a deserted library, strange creatures begin to emerge from the books. One by one these colourful, papery creatures appear to dart and play amongst the shelves, giving us a magical insight to an unseen (and threatened) world.

This is the scenario of a short film made by two students from Kingston University to highlight the plight of public libraries. The film has been shown on Channel 4.

Illustration and animation students Joe Sparrow and Grethe Bentsen made the film ‘Ex Libris’ (Latin for ‘out of books’) as their final year project at the university in south west London. It has been shown as part of the Random Acts – a nightly series of short films which precede the channel’s documentary and music programmes between 11pm and midnight.

“Libraries are something I feel really strongly about and I’m very concerned to see that they’re under threat – and that people of my generation don’t make as much use of them as they could,” Joe, 24, said.

Ex Libris was shot in two of the university’s libraries – on the Penrhyn Road and Knights Park campuses – and in the main public library in Kingston-upon-Thames. It shows a variety of mythical creatures coming out of a book that has fallen on the floor. The monsters were made by Grethe out of cardboard and then brought to life through animation by Joe.

“The aim of the film was to capture a sense of the enchantment that you can discover in a library,” Joe continued. “It’s all about the weird and wonderful stuff you can stumble upon when you aren’t expecting it.”

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has estimated that 600 of England's libraries are under threat of closure due to pressure on local authority budgets.

Joe and Grethe’s film was spotted by Chris Shepherd, who commissions animations for the Random Acts and who now also lectures at Kingston.

“When I arrived at Kingston University, I had a look at some of the films that students had made over the past few years and I was overwhelmed,” he said. “Some of them were amazing – really strong on design and style.”

As well as Joe and Grethe’s film, Chris selected two other animations by recent Kingston graduates ‘I Fall Down’ by Jesse Collett and ‘What Makes Your Day?’ by Napatsawan Chirayukool to show on Channel 4.

Joe is currently working on a new animation for Cartoon Network.

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SLA Office Closed February 13th- 17th

Due to our premises move the office will be closed from Monday 13th until Friday 17th February.  Emails will be answered as soon as possible the following week.  Meanwhile you can reach Tricia on her mobile at 07532 231946 for emergencies or urgent items.

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Nick Gibb announces new national reading competition

Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, announced the launch of a new national reading competition at Stockwell Park High School yesterday. The competition, which will be launched in the Autumn, will be open to all 7 - 11 year old pupils in English schools. Further details will be revealed later in the year as the DfE are currently considering bids from interested partners who will design and co-deliver the competition.

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SLA Office Move

2012 may be important for all sorts of reasons - the Olympics, it’s a leap year; we have an IBBY Congress in London, and it’s a year since the movement to save libraries was formalised into the first National Libraries Day – which we celebrate tomorrow (4th February).  For the SLA these are all important, and we’re celebrating and promoting all of them.  But 2012 is also a milestone for the SLA in several other ways – we are 75 this year, and will be celebrating through various activities including a day conference in Gateshead in November (16th – put the date in your diaries!), a celebratory logo, a birthday cake at our joint conference, and some participatory activity for you, our members, so watch the website as the year progresses.

Pine Court673Meanwhile, we also need to be constantly aware of our financial commitments as an association, so the Board took the decision to investigate a premises move to more economic facilities.  To this end, and after several months of searching, the SLA has found and purchased a small office complex on Kembrey Park in Swindon – and the office is due to move, in its entirety, from its present offices in half term week – 13th-17th February.  We plan to be closed all that week, and will get back to normal as soon as we can during the following week of 20th - 24th February. 

From Thursday 16th February our new address will be:

School Library Association

1 Pine Court

Kembrey Park



Telephone: 01793 530166

Email addresses will remain the same.  ‘Emergency’ contact numbers will be posted on the SLA website during the move so that you can reach us if necessary as new phones are connected etc.

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Booking Arrangements for Weekend Course 2012

BookingThis year we have the tremendously exciting prospect of the joint conference with our colleagues in YLG and SLG – Lighting the Future, to be held at Beaumont House Old Windsor on 8th to 10th June.  The programme is already full with a few announcements still to come, watch the website for further details. 

Following the practice of our partners we have all the information and the booking forms available on the web – for full details of how to join the conference and make your booking see the dedicated website www.lightingthefuture.org.ukEarly-bird booking is open until Friday 24th February.

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2012 Weekend Course

Lighting The FutureKeep watching the website - new programme confirmations and additions coming in thick and fast.  Booking is now open for the joint YLG, SLG & SLA conference Lighting the Future. 

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