We have updated our cookie policy to reflect recent changes in the UK/EU law concerning the use of cookies and tracking technologies. We use cookies on this website (including the page you are currently viewing) to ensure that the site functions smoothly and to help us understand how we can improve it. If you continue without changing your settings, you are agreeing to receive all cookies from the SLA website.

or view our cookie policy to find out more

Show Menu | Show Sidebar (Login/Search)

SLA Blog » October 2013RSS 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.

SoA Supports school libraries

SoAThe Government and Ofsted have called for a greater emphasis on reading for pleasure in schools.  The Society of Authors has gathered evidence from school teaching staff about the importance of author visits in promoting reading for pleasure. The findings show that it is necessary for author visits, school libraries and other literacy strategies to be recognised by Ofsted; that school libraries should be protected; and that teachers would benefit from more support and training about reading for pleasure - the executive summary makes great reading for school libraries.  Read the full report and use it for your advocacy!


0 comments · Add a comment

New Information Literacy Model

ITecInFlow (Information Flow) is a new information literacy model developed from the EC-funded iTEC project. It’s closely based on a methodology which has been used successfully, and readily accepted, by primary and secondary teachers throughout Europe. This adaptation attempts to use the same approach to teach information literacy. The model is designed to be engaging for students and to support student-centred and individualised learning. It’s also focussed on authentic learning experiences and the production of creative, tangible outputs. The model includes eight elements: ask, collaborate, explore, imagine, make, map, reflect and show which can be carried out in any order and repeated as necessary within a project or activity. You can access a copy of the model at http://issuu.com/happinessdragon/docs/inflow_model This is a draft version, so if you have any comments or suggestions for improvements, please contact Sarah McNicol (s.mcnicol@mmu.ac.uk). Please also get in touch with Sarah if you would like to test this approach with your students as she’s looking for volunteers to trial it in a practical setting.

0 comments · Add a comment

School Librarian of the Year Award 2014: Nominations for 2014

The nomination process for the 2014 School Librarian of the Year will close on 20 January 2014.

The Proposer should complete the Official Nomination Form and return it by email to the SLA office.

SLYA Official Nomination Form 2014



Our Guidance Notes will help you prepare an effective nomination:

SLYA Nomination Guidelines 2014

PDF file, 142 kB

Requires Adobe Reader


The School Librarian of the Year Award is the SLA's prestigious honour to recognize the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day, and to highlight the best practice of those whose work is outstanding.

Please consider nominating a librarian in a primary or secondary school who demonstrates outstanding professional qualities and deserves to be recognised for the work that they do. Nominees do not need to be members of the SLA, and may be from any phase of education.

To find out more about the School Librarian of the Year Award, explore these pages:

0 comments · Add a comment

New book about creating readers

Creating ReadersThe SLA has just published Creating Readers: A Reflective Guide for School Librarians and Teachers by renowned reading expert Prue Goodwin. The book aims to help librarians and teachers:
• consider the process of becoming a reader
• revisit aspects of literacy teaching
• challenge and question assumptions about teaching reading
• initiate discussion amongst colleagues.

The book has a direct relevance to all staff working in primary schools but is also invaluable to any working in a secondary school who are involved in work with transition or are struggling to help pupils gain the skills they need to access the secondary curriculum and become readers. It will give all staff an understanding of the processes involved in becoming a reader and give confidence to library staff to enable them to become more involved in literacy initiatives.

This valuable new work is available to order direct from the SLA.

0 comments · Add a comment

Online University

The Online University site features an expertly curated database of free online college courses from the top universities from around the world. You are able to search these courses by countries, subjects as well as languages. The curators have compiled a list of quality online courses from more than 35 countries, allowing you to access the world’s knowledge with the click of a mouse.

0 comments · Add a comment

Last chance to book for the E-Reading revolution course!

The closing date for bookings for the super course run by expert Bev Humphrey - the E-Reading Revolution - is fast approaching - in fact it is Wednesday 6th November. The venue is the Sir Robert Pattinson Academy in Lincoln and the date is Wednesday 20th November 2013. But if you want to make use of the early booking discount you will need to hurry because the deadline for that is the 23rd October! Take a look at the details of the day on our website and I am sure you will not want to miss this excellent training.

0 comments · Add a comment

IBBY Christmas Cards 2013

Is it too early to think about Christmas?  Yes - but these are lovely cards...

Jackie Morris Card 2013

PDF file, 169 kB

Requires Adobe Reader




Christmas Cards Order Form 2013

PDF file, 469 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

0 comments · Add a comment

Win a makeover for your library!

SLYA (1066)We have been working with the Siobhan Dowd Trust for a short while and were delighted when their Director, Kate Powling (pictured), was able to attend our School Libraries Celebration Day to announce the opening of the new competition to win one of three generous prizes for school libraries.

SDT LogoThe first prize is an amazing £6,000, with two other prizes of £3,000 each.  Full details are available on the Trust's website, with the closing date on1st May 2014.  The application process is not complicated - you need to demonstrate evidence of need, coupled with enthusiasm and a good plan for your library - and how it would make a difference to pupils.  Winners will be announced at the 2014 Weekend Course in Manchester on June 20-21st 2014.  Good Luck!

SDT A4 Flyer 1

PDF file, 305 kB

Requires Adobe Reader



0 comments · Add a comment

Autumn reflections

SLYA (1071)This autumn is proving even more exciting than previous years.  The move of the Information Book Award (IBA) announcements from November to September - and at Bath Children's Literature Festival - made for a gala event with some superb, outstanding books winning.  Stefan Gates had us all eating crunchy mealworms and ducking to avoid the flying marshmallows as he blended science and cookery in his speech - the same way he did with the winning book Incredible Edibles.  His comment that school libraries can be made fantastic by brilliant school librarians raised cheers too! Check out our announcements and do remember to take part in the Children's Choice voting for 2014.

The IBA judging panel and SLA Chair Lin Smith then shared ideas and lesson plans at the Teachers conference the following day - all based on this years shortlist.  These are now available for you to use and adapt for your own sessions - do have a look (scroll down the page).

Monday 7th October is International School  Libraries Day for the SLA and we celebrated the winners of the School Librarian of the Year and the School Library Design Award at the very plush premises of the Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury, London.  There are reports and links available on our webpages - and photos of the winners and sponsors.  Do take some time to look at some of the super blogs that have been posted too.

I hope you've had a great Children's Book Week and had time to celebrate books and reading in your community.
Tricia Adams

0 comments · Add a comment

International School Library Month 2013

IASL ISLMInternational School Library Month is celebrated around the world in October.  In the UK we tend to a day, the first Monday of the month, when we hold our School Library Celebrations Day - 7th October.  Worldwide the celebration highlights the contribution which school libraries make to the lives of students and their families in developing a passion for learning and preparing them for life.

This year's theme is "School Libraries: Doorways to Life" and an international Skype Project and Bookmark Project provide the opportunity for  students to connect around the world.  On the IASL website are many translations of this theme.  During the month many schools and countries will be posting about their activities and celebrations for ISLM.  Don't forget to contribute your celebrations to the IASL website by emailing iasl[at]mlahq.org


0 comments · Add a comment

South Ken Kids Festival's 16th edition!

SKen 2013From 18 to 24 November, the Festival is back at the Institut français, and all across London through our special events for schools, to the delight of little-ones and grown-ups alike!

This year, the line-up is more impressive than ever - Nicholas Allan, Marion Billet, Quentin Blake, Claudia Boldt, Lucille Clerc, Philippe Dumas, Roland Garrigue, Debi Gliori, Christian Heinrich, Christian Jolibois, Ben Newman, Anne Plichota & Cendrine Wolf, Chris Riddell, and Mathieu Sapin. And our events will dazzle your mind, with workshops, films, live drawing, music, unique encounters with talented artists, book signings and more!

Not to forget nationwide competition in partnership with Eurostar, with amazing prizes to win! And the theme "your journey aboard a magical train" is sure to get the kids' creative juices flowing... To find out more about the festival's programme, have a look at our website and Facebook page

0 comments · Add a comment

Announcement of SLA School Librarian of the Year 2013

This year two people have been awarded the honour of the SLA School Librarian of the Year at a celebration at the Hotel Russell in London, on 7th October. Candy Gourlay, author of the award-wining Tall Story and recently published second novel, The Shine, presented the award to:

Hilary Cantwell, librarian at St Paul’s Community College (http://www.stpaulswaterford.ie/), Waterford, Republic of Ireland.

Hilary gained expertise in New York schools and public libraries before joining an Irish government programme to create school libraries. St Paul’s has 430 students and is in a rural county with the highest unemployment in Ireland. It is affiliated to the Irish government’s inclusion programme, Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (http://goo.gl/GJ57jQ).

John Iona, librarian at Oasis Academy (http://www.oasisacademyenfield.org/), Enfield, Middlesex.

John creates award-winning resources, delivers the school’s Extended Project Qualification programme and plays a significant role in curriculum planning and support. The school has 1,100 students of which up to 70% have English as a second language. John actively promotes reading for pleasure with a number of initiatives including Reading Games.

Ginette Doyle, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection committee said: “It was an extremely strong, and international, Honour List. In the end we chose two librarians both working in different ways to bring their libraries into the heart of the school and learning. They are not joint winners, but each deserves the accolade of SLA School Librarian of the Year.

SLA School Librarian of the Year Award Honour List 2013

Both librarians are committed to creating and maintaining book loving-schools and to help make learning a fascinating and rewarding journey.

Sally Cameron, early childhood and elementary school (3-11) librarian at Marymount International School, Rome, Italy, moved to the library from a teaching post at Marymount and has created a book-loving community that embraces families, many of them new to the city and from many different countries with 50% native Italian. One of the ways in which Sally entices people into the library is with food, including Rise and Read breakfast sessions.

Lyn Hopson, librarian at Don Valley Academy (http://www.donvalleyacademy.org.uk/), Doncaster, South Yorkshire, has put her students’ love of reading on the map with the Doncaster Book Award. Don Valley specialises in the performing arts and has more than 1,200 students from a variety of backgrounds. Lyn has worked at Don Valley for 11 years and is also a Curriculum Leader and part of the Support Staff Leadership Team.

0 comments · Add a comment

10 Great Library Marketing Videos

Thanks to Stephen Abram for drawing our attention to these innovative library marketing videos - the Research Games is particularly inspiring and would be wonderful to adapt to a school library environment!


0 comments · Add a comment

New study finds reading for pleasure puts children ahead in the classroom

Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers, according to new research from the Institute of Education (IOE).

The IOE study, which is believed to be the first to examine the effect of reading for pleasure on cognitive development over time, found that children who read for pleasure made more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of 10 and 16 than those who rarely read.

The research was conducted by Dr Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown, who analysed the reading behaviour of approximately 6,000 young people being followed by the 1970 British Cohort Study, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. They looked at how often the teenagers read during childhood and their test results in maths, vocabulary and spelling at ages 5, 10 and 16.

0 comments · Add a comment