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SLA Blog » January 2015RSS 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.

Job Vacancies: Kingswood School - Librarian

Kingswood School is seeking to appoint a Librarian at the Senior School due to the retirement of the current post holder.  Based within our flagship Library this is a high profile role within the School requiring the highest professional standards and outstanding personal qualities.  The post is wide-ranging and the successful applicant will have the ability to lead and manage the Library service whilst inspiring pupils in the use of a progressive library facility.  This is a term time only position, plus an additional 4 weeks.

Candidates must have a degree or post-graduate qualification in library or information studies and Chartered status with CILIP would be preferred.  Applicants must also have professional experience of working within a Library with experience of using a range of online databases, resources and IT applications.

This post is for 38 weeks per year, working 40 hours per week, 8.30-5.30 Monday to Friday.Salary will be in the region of £28,000 - £32,000 per annum, pro rata, depending on qualifications and experience.

Further details and an application pack are available from the Job Vacancies section of our website: www.kingswood.bath.sch.uk or from the HR Department, hr[at]kingswood.bath.sch.uk. Closing date for applications is Wednesday 11 February 2015 at 12pm. It is anticipated that the interviews will take place on w/c 23 February 2015.

Kingswood is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

More Details...

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Rallying call from John Lydon ahead of National Libraries Day

NLDrgb"Saturday 7 February is National Libraries Day. Be there.
Libraries are the most important essential part of our culture and civilisation...”

In a specially recorded message singer, songwriter and musician John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, implores the UK to value its libraries and urges everyone to show their support on National Libraries Day, Saturday 7 February 2015.

Crediting libraries and librarians for his recovery from memory loss after contracting meningitis as an eight year old, the audio message was recorded to mark the annual national celebration of libraries and library staff and follows the recent publication of Lydon’s autobiography, Anger is an Energy.

The recording will be available to listen to on Saturday 7 February via the National Libraries Day website.

7 February rounds off a week’s worth of celebrations hosted by libraries of all kinds around the UK for their communities, including a J.R.R. Tolkien trail walk, a school’s Guinness World Record attempt, stargazing and Warhammer and special appearances by local authors, historians and others.

Details of nationwide events are posted to the National Libraries Day online event map and people can show their support in person by joining a local event or by simply visiting their library during National Libraries Day week. Supporters can also share stories, messages and library ‘shelfies’ online and on social media.

First introduced in 2012, National Libraries Day is designed to say a collective thank-you to librarians and library staff everywhere and to raise awareness of the valued services they offer.Last year thousands of people took part in over 600 events and many public figures including well-known authors, illustrators, MPs and musicians sent messages of support.

Find out what’s happening via the National Libraries Day website, by following [at]NatLibrariesDay on twitter #NLD15 or at any library.

For more ideas on how to celebrate the day and for downloads of posters please visit the SLA webpages devoted to National Libraries Day

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Putting the L(ibrarian) into Reading: Penrith, Cumbria, 18 March 2015

New SLA course - Putting the L(ibrarian) into Reading

Our course Putting the L(ibrarian) into Reading, run by Lin Smith, will be held at Newton Rigg College, Newton Rigg, Penrith, Cumbria on 18 March 2015. The closing date is 4 March 2015. Bookings received by 20 February 2015 are eligible for a £10 discount making the attendance fee £95 (SLA members), £125 (delegates who are not SLA members but are from schools that subscribe to Cumbria SLS) and £155 (non-members).

Key Audience:

Secondary school librarians and library staff

More Details...

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E is for Excellent: E-Literacy in your Library: Cobham, Surrey, 24 February 2015

Early booking discount deadline - 30th January!

Our course E is for Excellent: E-Literacy in your Library, run by Annike Dase, will be held at Notre Dame School, Cobham, Surrey on 24 February 2015. The closing date is 10 February 2015. Bookings received by 30 January 2015 are eligible for a £10 discount making the attendance fee £95.00 (SLA members), £155.00 (non-members).

Key Audience:

secondary school library staff

More Details...

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SEN Book from the SLA


Access for Everyone: Supporting Special Needs Through the School Library is a brand new SLA publication about Special Educational Needs. This new and timely publication has been put together for us by national SEN expert and author Dr Rona Tutt OBE.

Sympathetic to the work of school library staff in both the primary and secondary sectors, Dr Tutt outlines the recent changes to SEN legislation, provision and terminology and suggests strategies for working with this target group in this excellent and straightforward guide. It also includes two useful case studies – one of a mainstream secondary school where excellent work with Special Needs students is highlighted and another describes the work of the school library in a Special Needs Academy in Letchworth Garden City.

Access for Everyone (ISBN 9781903446843) has direct relevance to anyone who works in a school library and who offers a service to this important group of pupils - available now direct from the SLA.

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New SLA book - speak clearly

Speakers CornerSpeakers' Corner at Simon Balle School is the latest in our "Voices" series of shorter publications from a personal perspective.

Following the demands of the National Curriculum ("Spoken Language - pupils should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently"), here is a way to put the library centre stage in this essential process.

Every Friday lunchtime Simon Balle School library hosts invited an invited guest speaker, perhaps ex-student, member of school staff or more often now a volunteer student who, using a variety of formats, talks on a topic of their interest followed by a short question and answer session. The initial small trial of Speakers' Corner has gone from strength to strength, raising the profile of the library and its staff and developing the interests, self-confidence and knowledge of speakers and listeners alike.

Speakers' Corner by Janet Syme (ISBN 9781903446881) is an excellent case study of getting the library involved in this important aspect of literacy - available now.

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The ReadingZone WBD Picture Book Competition

ReadingZonePictureBookComp Logo SmlChildren and young people aged four to 18 years are being challenged to make their own picture book on and around World Book Day with the launch of the ReadingZone WBD Picture Book Competition 2015.  The competition is running in schools and libraries until Friday 24th April 2015. Winners will be announced in June.

Author and illustrator David Melling (creator of Hugless Douglas and The Kiss that Missed) will select the winning entries across three Categories. These include: Young Creators (ages four to six years); Primary (ages seven years plus) and Secondary (ages 11 years plus).  There is an additional Achievement Award for the most enthusiastic ‘behind the scenes’ activities that have gone into making picture book entries, such as the whole school getting involved.

Picture books entered for the award can be made by individuals, groups or whole classes and any media can be used. Each picture book can be up to 24 A4 pages. Each winning school or library will receive 50 printed copies of their picture book; a selection of picture books or fiction titles, and a free author / illustrator visit for the overall winner.

Readingzone will be sharing images of the picture book projects and information about publishers’ new books, blogs, competitions etc on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ReadingZonePictureBooks) and Twitter (#readingzone).
Visit the Readingzone (Schools) website for further tips, guidelines and entry details.

Supporters of the picture book competition include Hachette Children's Books, Templar Publishing, Macmillan Children's Books, Walker Books, Frances Lincoln, QED, Wide Eyed Editions and Flying Eye Books, as well as authors and illustrators.

Last year’s picture book competition attracted 1,300 picture book entries and we have estimated that some 12,000 children took part in creating a picture book (including whole school activities where a limited number of picture books were entered into the competition).  For more details, please contact: info@ReadingZone.com 

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Information Literacy Awards 15 open for nominations

IL 40 Years LogoLILAC HQ and CILIP ILG have launched the 2015 Information Literacy Awards – guaranteed to bring New Year excitement and get little fingers pounding away on keyboards to get those nominations ready for scrutiny!

Nominations are invited from all sectors for the 3 awards which will be presented at LILAC 2015 in Newcastle on April 9th.  Shortlisted nominees will be listed on the website in early March.  Head to the website for details of the application process. For comments from past winners, and the new flyer just in from the LILAC art department - http://www.lilacconference.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/ILA_AwardFlyer_digital-final.pdf

The Information Literacy Award recognises an outstanding contribution from an information literacy practitioner or researcher.  Closing date: February 27th 2015.  The Credo Reference Digital Award for Information Literacy recognises a digital resource, programme or service which has made a significant impact.  Closing date: February 27th 2015.  The Student Award consists of conference registration, travel and accommodation expenses for two students registered on a UK study programme. Closing date: February 13th 2013.


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January blues

Winter Trees (2)January is often thought of as a depressing month – awful weather, short days and long nights.  An anti-climax after the fun and celebrations of Christmas and the winter festivals; it’s hard to get out of bed, it’s tough getting to work on icy roads.  Trying to be a glass half full type of person (rather than half empty) I thought I’d share with you some of the more positive things we have noticed here at SLA.

There’s a lot of excitement building around the new Pupil Library Assistant Award.  This new joint venture with CILIP SLG has attracted nearly 60 nominations and has a hugely strong shortlist of students committed to their libraries.  The support from publishers and especially from Charlie Higson (for the event) and Chris Riddell (designing a logo) is especially heartening.  Watch out for winners announcements on March 12th!

LibraryOpening2015 91 1024x681I had the pleasure to attend the opening of a new school library – at the Hemel Hempstead School – earlier this month.  It is such a pleasure to meet a whole school – Head, governors and students – who see the value of their library, and are willing to invest in a new room, furniture etc. for the future.   Congratulations especially to Ellen Krajewski for all her hard work!  The library was officially opened by Anthony Horowitz, who was inspiring the students both to read and write whilst in the school. 

The situation for libraries, both public and school, does seem depressing – we hear more about the negatives than the positives.  But, there is a wonderful groundswell of very public support from several sectors – today I noticed two blogs (and there are regularly others) that are both passionate about the necessity of school libraries and librarians – Barbara Band and Nicola Morgan – well worth a read!  With the election coming up the CILIP Election Watch site is worth keeping an eye on – and they are planning a doorstep card for everyone to use so that libraries (public and schools) all feature in our (the voters) interactions with our candidates.  Keep one by your door!!  Also watch out for the very positive advocacy messages that are coming from the Save Scotland’s School Libraries – born of necessity but galvanising more action and support generally.

From our own office viewpoint – we are busy supporting, training and communicating with all of you – our members.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re here to help.

Tricia Adams

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Big names in children’s literature back pupils who assist in school library

SLA LogoSLGCilip LogoBestselling children’s author Charlie Higson and multi award-winning illustrator Chris Riddell join school librarians and publishers to back the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award; a joint venture between the CILIP School Libraries Group and the School Library Association.  

A seven-strong shortlist has been selected following a total of almost sixty nominations received for the inaugural award. The young winner will be announced by Higson at a special ceremony in London on Thursday 12 March, whilst Riddell is producing a dedicated artwork for the award logo.

The seven shortlisted pupils are:

Morgan Boswell - Wilsthorpe Community School, Nottingham
Olivia Bowes - Antrim Grammar School, Antrim, NI
Abbie Craske -  Aylsham High School, Norfolk
Megan Gardner -  King James’s School, Huddersfield, W Yorks
Francesca Hannay - Derby High School, Derby
Jessica Ince-  Heritage High School, Clowne, Derbyshire
James Kearney- The King’s School, Grantham, Lincolnshire

For full details please download the press release below:

Press Release Pupil Library Assistant of The Year

Word document, 29 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later)







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Angels Welly Beat Schools Challenge

Welly Beat ChallengeInternational Children’s Charity, Angels, has teamed up with children’s TV presenter Andy Day to launch the ‘Angels Welly Beat Schools Challenge’; a unique opportunity with two amazing prizes.  One school will win the chance to star in the music video of a specially written song called ‘Angels Welly Beat’ which will go on general release and another will win a visit from Andy for an ‘assembly takeover’!

In addition, the Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to deliver national curriculum goals in a ‘once in a lifetime’ way and impress Ofsted into the bargain!
The Aim:Launched in 2006 to enfranchise the world’s poorest children through the power of music Wokingham based Angels has created a ‘Pop Up’ school within an informal settlement in South Africa where the children, all of whom are vulnerable, spend the majority of their time on the streets. Angels has created a three step programme to return the children to mainstream school.  First the children are fed and then they are taught according to a musical phonics based programme to re-engage them with learning. The third and final step is the provision of ‘Angels bags’ incorporating tiered educational resources, clothing and toiletries; essential kit for a return to school.  This campaign aims to return 1,000 children to school.        £10 = 1 bag = 1 child back to school

The Challenge:Open to all UK pre and primary age schools and fronted by children’s idol, Andy Day, the ‘Angels Welly Beat Schools Challenge’ is designed to unite UK children with those in South Africa for an incredible journey through creative music and raise money to fund Angels  Bags  and the essential feeding and education programme.

Along with Andy TV music producers Rob and Dan, from Bunkersonix, have written the ‘Angels Welly Beat’, a song based on the old South African gumboot tradition which was historically used in the mines as a form of communication during Apartheid. Schools will be challenged to perform the chorus in their welly boots and in the most inspiring way possible, using their bodies, musical instruments or even recycled materials.  Andy will pick the most creative video posted to a secure section of the Angels website and that school will win the opportunity to feature in the music video of the song.  The school that raises the most money will receive a visit from Andy who will lead assembly that day – watch out teachers!

Campaign Timings:The campaign will run through the Summer term  (approx. 20th April – 22nd July)  to allow flexible incorporation; the whole school can participate or just a single class or year group.   Fundraising ideas are just a guide, we are very happy for you to employ your own tried and tested formats or devise new ones to specifically suit your lesson plan.

Join the Challenge:  thehead teacher or allocated school’s person must register before 2nd April 2015 at:  www.angels-charity.org

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SLYA - don't forget!!!

Don't forget to get your nomination for your outstanding school librarian in to our office by tomorrow. For full details, including hints and tips on how to nominate, please visit our SLYA pages.

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Inspiration Award: Applying for the Inspiration Award

Entries are now open for the 2015 Inspiration Award.

Nominations for the Inspiration Award should be submitted online at the websites below (guidance notes are also available there on how to prepare an effective nomination):

Entries will close on 16 March 2015.

The award is open to any school library space whatever; there is no requirement to belong to the School Library Association or to have used DEMCO/Gresswell or LFC products. Nominated schools will be judged initially from the submitted nomination online form and supporting photographs/video to create a shortlist of possible winners. There may be a call for more detailed information for those libraries likely to be shortlisted. Members of the independent judging panel, who will make the final decisions as to the winning entry, may then visit the school library spaces on the short list.

The winning entries will have the opportunity to spend a substantial sum on products for their library from Gresswell and LFC. Prizes will be awarded in both Primary (LFC sponsored) and Secondary (Gresswell sponsored) sectors.

The winners will be announced at a high profile School Libraries Celebration Day ceremony in Autumn 2015.

More Details...

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National Libraries Day : Ideas for NLD 2015

Why not have a library themed debate?  In the library, an assembly or in the staff room - here are a few ideas that might help...

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Job Vacancies: Aylward Academy - School Learning Resource Centre Manager

Reference: THW/15/058643/001

Salary Details: £25,217 - £26,774

Contract Type: Permanent

Contract Term: Term time

36 hours per week, 42 weeks per year
Aylward Academy is part of London Academies Enterprise Trust (LAET) sponsored by Academies Enterprise Trust (AET). Our objective is to provide all students with a first class education. Why? Because we believe that a solid education is vital in today’s world. We recognise that every student has different needs and that it’s our job to meet them. We not only educate students about life, we prepare them for life. Whatever a student’s ambition, we will give them the best possible start.

The Learning Resources Centre and ‘The Book Loft’ department consists of two main centres for student learning, benefiting from both traditional and electronic resources. It has a staff of two resource assistants who support the day to day running of the centres. The LRC centre has been created as part of the academy’s new build works and is designed for both 14-19 provisions alongside the use by the community.

We are seeking to appoint a creative and enthusiastic School Learning Resource Centre Manager who will be responsible for managing the learning environment used by the whole school community in the LRC and the Academy library, “The Book Loft”. You will be responsible for the acquisition, organisation, dissemination and exploitation of resources appropriate to the learning needs of the full age and ability range within that community.

Closing date: 14 February 2015.

For full details please use this direct link:


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Job Vacancies: Kingsbury Green Primary School, London NW9 - SCHOOL LIBRARIAN

Required as soon as possible

Scale 4, Point 18-21 Salary: £17,714 - £19,742

Plus London Weighting of £1,815 (Pro-Rata)

Term time only – 20 hours per week  

The post holder will promote a love of reading by managing and maintaining the school library in this busy 3 form entry primary school. You will work with the Assistant Head teacher and all leaders in the school as of an aspirational and committed team to establish efficient systems which ensure access for all our learners.

The ideal candidate should:

  • Be enthusiastic about children’s literature and reading

  • Be highly organised and fast working

  • Have some working experience of the primary school curriculum

  • Be able to show great initiative and drive

Please contact Susy Patel on 0208 204 6423 if you would like to visit the school and for an application pack. Or dowlaod more information below:


Word document, 39 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later)

Recruitment Information June 14

Word document, 941 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later)



Closing dates for applications:  6th February 2015

Shortlisting: 9th February 2015

Skills Test & Interviews:  12th February 2015

Kingsbury Green is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and requires all staff to share in this commitment.  We follow safe recruitment procedures. The successful applicant will be required to obtain an enhanced CRB disclosure and provide good references.

More Details...

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Social Media - make it work for you!: Ilford, 25 February 2015

Our course Social Media - make it work for you!, run by Bev Humphrey, will be held at Redbridge SLS, Central Library, Ilford IG1 1EA on 25 February 2015. The closing date is 11 February 2015. Bookings received by 28 January 2015 are eligible for a £10 discount
reducing the attendance fee to £95 for SLA members, £155 for non-members.  A discounted rate is available for delegates who are non-members of the SLA but who subscribe to Barking and Dagenham or Redbridge SLSs.

Key Audience:

Primary and secondary school staff

More Details...

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Job Vacancies: Sheldon School, Wilts - Librarian (Maternity Cover)

LIBRARIAN – To cover Maternity Leave
Required March 2015
 A rewarding post to work in a school with an excellent reputation.
35 hours per week, term time only
Scale G, Points 22-25 (£20,253-£22,212) pro rata
The successful candidate will work as part of a team in the busy Learning Resources Department.  Previous experience of library work is essential as is the understanding of Library Electronic Management Systems, ideally “Eclipse”.
Closing Date for applications:  27th January 2015 (Midday)
Further details are available below or can be obtained on the school website at www.sheldonschool.co.uk, by calling Human Resources on 01249766802 or by emailing kedwards[at]sheldonschool.co.uk.


Word document, 87 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later)

Equal Opportunities Form

Word document, 67 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later)



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Still time to nominate your favourite librarian

Liz Millett Winner 2014 Don't forget that the nomination process for the 2015 School Librarian of the Year will close on 20 January 2015.

It is not too late to send in your nomination for 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. Guidance Notes are available to help you prepare an effective nomination.

Let's give our best school librarians the recognition they deserve!

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Tracking and Mapping: Proving the Impact of a School Library: Kidderminster, Worcestershire, 11 February 2015


Our course Tracking and Mapping: Proving the Impact of a School Library, run by Adam Lancaster, will be held at Kidderminster Public Library, Worcestershire on 11 February 2015. The closing date is 28 January 2015. Bookings received by 14 January 2015 are eligible for a £10 discount.

Key Audience: Secondary school library staff

Testimonials from previous sessions include:

'Refreshing, different and inspiring'

'One of the best training sessions I've attended in terms of detail and giving me the tools to move forward'

More Details...

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Totally Serialized

Totally SerializedWatch out for the British and French TV festival, Totally Serialized (29-31 January 2015) at Ciné Lumière. One particular highlight is the screening of the 13 animated short films gathered in the 'Fresh Out of School' collection, a series of 3 minute animated films matching the talent and graphic creativity of fresh young directors with 13 poems of much celebrated French poet Jacques Prevert. A delight for the kids!  If you would like to find out more about the programme, you can go to  www.totallyserialized.co.uk

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National Libraries Day 2015

NLD 157th February will soon be here - are you ready for NLD? CILIP have set up a Thunderclap account - so if you use social media you you can show your support - do sign up.  Check out the website for the activities being plannned and also add your events!

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Social Media Use Research- Help requested

The aim is to investigate young people's use of social media, specifically for information-seeking activities. There are two reasons why they've (MMU) chosen to focus on this 1) much of the existing research focuses on social media as a communication tool and doesn't consider it's potential use for information-seeking and 2) in many schools/colleges social media isn't really considered as an appropriate educational/information resource although students are likely to make use of it.

Anyone who is able to help with this research can find a copy of the survey to distribute to their students here: http://goo.gl/69ZBOf. It should take students 5-10 minutes to complete.

They're running the survey across a number of countries to get an international perspective and plan to write up the findings as an article and also produce a short summary of the key findings which we'll make available online.  Any queries email Sarah McNicol

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