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SLA Blog » September 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.

Nurturing Readers from Early Years to KS3 Transition: Reading for Pleasure in Your School

This one-day conference takes place at the Bar Convent in central York on 20 November 2015.

This is a chance to hear some great speakers talk practically on topics that will help you support reading for pleasure in your school as pupils move from Primary and into Secondary school. Of use to head teachers, teachers, librarians and literacy co-ordinators in KS2 & KS3.

Book your place before 20th October to qualify for the Early Bird discount!

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The Online Librarian - early booking discount closes on 8th October!!

Technology is moving at an almost frightening pace and our students are much more up to date with it than we are in some cases. Using online media to enthuse them about reading and writing for pleasure is therefore very powerful and can be done easily and cheaply .......as long as you have a 'road map' of sites to use! This course will act as an online sat nav, guiding you to resources and sites that you can use in your library. You will learn about using exciting video media to use in encouraging young people to read for pleasure, discover uses for Pinterest in education and be given ideas for low cost projects to help you develop a whole school reading culture. For more details and an online booking form please click here.

5 November 2015, 09:30-15:00: Brecon Library, Ship Street, Brecon, Powys LD3 9AE

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Profile of Jane Spall SLYA finalist:

Jane Spall

Aith Junior High School (www.aith.shetland.sch.uk)

Shetland Library Executive Manager Karen Fraser says:  “We have an integrated school and public library service in Shetland and our rural school libraries effectively function as the public library for young people, as well as meeting all the school needs. Jane has succeeded in keeping her library right at the heart of the school and of the community, through her sheer enthusiasm for her job.”

Aith Junior High School in Shetland has 182 students from nursery to 16 years old. The library is built out of a former gym and is divided into areas to serve all years.  It is used heavily at lunch - time and throughout the day by classes.  It is open on school days from 8.30 to 15.30. Jane sees all the students and also services six primary school libraries. These small rural schools cover a wide area including a remote island on Shetland’s west side. Jane helps maintain their libraries and arranges regular deliveries of project books and resources in consultation with staff at each school.

Jane is not a professional librarian but has been in her job for over 20 years and undertaken regular training and professional development. She networks with both school and library staff and so has kept up with a great deal of change both in Scottish education and in the work of libraries.

All Shetland’s junior high school libraries are run by the integrated public/school service, which employs Jane and provides her budget. With a shrinking book budget, the school and public libraries work together, constantly supplying each other with resources. Online information services such as Britannica, Know UK, Complete Issues and Oxford Online are subscribed to for the whole organisation and Jane uses these and promotes them to staff and students. Jane issues a remarkable 200 books per week in a school of only 180 students.

All classes in the school have timetabled periods and a boy with ASN  (Additional Support Needs) did work experience under a programme designed and supervised by Jane.  He has now gone on to do a placement at the public library following the success of his experience in Aith. In the Spring Term S2 have a research project in Science. Jane provides websites and resources and teaches information literacy skills for these classes, and in all other years. In S4 there is an optional study skills course and the whole cohort enrol for it.

At the beginning of each academic year Jane receives information about lessons and topic lists from all Departments and Primary Schools and then orders what is needed throughout the year.

Jane’s work plans have clearly defined outcomes. This means she describes the result she is working towards and success is measured by the real difference made. Projects are therefore clearly evaluated by results. Jane is proud that by the end of the primary school the children are all independent learners, so that all that is required is reinforcement of the skills in the secondary school; she believes that creative and fun activities encourage learning.

Jane actively promotes reading for pleasure. She asks children for suggestions, runs book fairs and arranged a book launch for local author Marsali Taylor. She also hosted a popular visit by Martin Brown, the ‘Horrible Histories’ illustrator. A board in the library displays responses to the question: “How does reading make you feel?” Answers range from ‘relaxed’, ‘calm’ and ‘happy’ to ‘excited’ and ‘amazing!’

Jane has designed a differentiated book review sheet, to extend AR (the Accelerated Reading programme), which is used in the Primary and promoted by the Principal teacher. A ‘story sacks’ project pairs S1 (age 12) with P1 (age 5) children - this project encourages problem solving through play, independent thinking and cross curricular literacy.  Jane collects evidence of her impact on reading through AR statistics and jointly evaluating projects with teachers. She knows the children and what they read and can promote this through their class visits.

The whole community knows her and she is welcomed by all – although she does not live in Aith herself. She will be opening part of the library to the local community in October - there is already a section of stock offering materials for parents. Jane describes her drive to work as one of the many highlights of the job: “It is 15 miles of single track roads, winding up and down hills, dodging many sheep - but it’s beautiful. Stunning scenery both summer and winter.”

Jane’s vision is to have a bigger learning suite with more scanners, printers, computers and tablets, more new stock, magazines and to expand the parents’ section. She would like a craft club and that would be a start!

Michael Spence, Head Teacher says:  “Jane is at the heart of the school and has an infectious enthusiasm for books and the development of literacy. She uses her role to support and inspire all the pupils in the school and we all have our fingers crossed for her success at the awards ceremony in October.”

Pupils say:  “No one at school thinks that reading is uncool!”

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inspiration award citations

Inspiration LogoThe judges' citations for the five finalists in the SLA School Library Inspiration Award 2015 are now available to read online - take a look at these wonderful examples of design, usage and promoting reading for pleasure:

The winner will be announced at our School Libraries Celebration Day on Monday 5 October 2015.

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FREE Catalyst posters for school libraries!!

CatalystTHE CATALYST by Helena Coggan is a brilliant YA fantasy novel written by a phenomenally talented young author who is still a teenager herself – she wrote the first draft at the age of 13 and has now just turned 16. The paperback is out today (24th September) and the sequel, THE REACTION, is coming in hardback and ebook in February.

Rose Elmsworth has a secret. For eighteen years, the world has been divided into the magically Gifted and the non-magical Ashkind, but Rose's identity is far more dangerous. At fifteen, she has earned herself a place alongside her father in the Department, a brutal law-enforcement organisation run by the Gifted to control the Ashkind. But now an old enemy is threatening to start a catastrophic war, and Rose faces a challenging test of her loyalties. How much does she really know about her father's past? How far is the Department willing to go to keep the peace? And, if the time comes, will Rose choose to protect her secret, or the people she loves?

If you would like some free promotional posters please sign up here : https://hodder.wufoo.com/forms/the-catalyst-posters/

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Job Vacancies: Electronic Resources Librarian - Radley College, Oxfordshire

Have you recently graduated and are looking for the next step in your professional life?  We have a wonderful opportunity to work in the school’s excellent library.

The Library

The library is staffed by a team of two full-time qualified librarians, assisted by two part-time Assistant Librarians who are working towards ACLIP accreditation and two part-time Library Assistants. Candidates for this full-time post will be encouraged to hold, or work towards, CILIP chartership.

The Library contains resources in all formats suitable for all ages and interests. We encourage the use of any resource if it can be used to push pupils beyond the existing boundaries of their intellectual or cultural education.  In addition to the specified duties of each post, all members of the department are expected to assist with any task at any time.  There is much encouragement to learn new skills and to develop or innovate aspects of the Library.

The Person

  • Flexible, innovative, able to work harmoniously with a lively team
  • Enjoyment and understanding of working with young people, particularly boys
  •  Able to communicate with users who see themselves as part of a large family
  • Desire to deliver strong customer service provision

Salary and working hours

£22,000 per annum for c40 hours per week, c33 weeks per year.  There is a flexible timetable to cover the Library’s weekday opening hours of 8.00 am to 7.00 pm and 7.30 pm to 10.00 pm.  The post-holder will be required to work one weekday evening each week until 10.00 pm, and two Sundays per term from 1.00 to 6.00 pm.  Other evening work may be required to provide cover if necessary.  All library staff participate in this rota and it is essential that the post-holder be flexible to ensure the smooth working of the team.

Holidays include the normal school holidays for Radley (approximately 17 weeks per annum), although the post-holder will be expected to work for up to two days at the start and end of each term.  

Radley College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service.A Disclosure, at the enhanced level, will be requested from the successful applicant but a criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining this position.  He/she will also be required to produce original evidence of qualifications.

Further information, including an application form, can be found on the College’s website www.radley.org.uk

More Details...

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Chris Routh: School Librarian of the Year finalist

Chris Routh

Leighton Park School - www.leightonpark.com

“Chris facilitates lifelong learning ensuring the students have the tools they need to empower them: her impact is felt everywhere within the school.”
--- Karen Gracie-Langrick, Deputy Head, Academic Studies and IB Co-ordinator.

Leighton Park School is a Quaker independent school in Reading with 440 day and boarding students aged 11 to 18.

The library is housed in the Old School building, and is approached by a sweeping, double staircase up to an elegant oval landing lit from above by an oval skylight. The extensive accommodation in six rooms includes soft seating, low and high tables and Chris has also introduced an iPad bar. This is popular and heavily used by students. The library is well represented online with links to reading lists and online resources. It is open daily from 8.50 am to 5.30 pm – and Saturday morning for Sixth Form boarders.

Chris has worked at the school since September 2003 and during that time she has been able to ensure that the extremely well stocked library is kept up to date and relevant to the needs of staff and students. A number of newspapers and periodicals are taken along with a wide selection of magazines both for academic subjects and leisure reading and, as might be anticipated given the heritage of the school, a collection of books on Quakerism. Databases include Britannica Online, JSTOR, ODNB and The Day, which Chris reports as having had a huge increase in usage, possibly because of its availability on the iPads. Last year a Comic Club met in the library, resulting in an increase in demand for graphic novels and comics. The students involved are now participating in the Stan Lee Excelsior Award, reviewing and rating graphic novels and manga.

Years 7, 8 and 9 have a fortnightly lesson for quiet reading. There are also weekly ‘Approaches to Learning’ lessons, which give pupils grounding for independent learning, for Years 7 and 8. The library is widely used by different departments including, History and Politics, PE, Psychology, Science and Theory of Knowledge. Chris supports teachers in delivering lessons and finding resources. She teaches information and study skills and a basic course is followed by a mini-project. All year groups and new staff get library inductions.

In 2014, to commemorate one hundred years since the outbreak of World War I, Chris devised a project focusing on Quakers in the war and conscientious objection. She managed to persuade Reading Museum to lend the school some of the panels from an exhibition they curated on Reading during the war, which she supplemented with artefacts hired from the museum loan service. She tirelessly researched eight individuals, most of whom were connected with the school, to provide information for the students of Years 7-11 to work on. The project, ‘A Matter of Conscience’, culminated in an entire day in which the whole school put lessons to one side to learn and think about life during the Great War. This summer Chris created a photographic record of the project and published a book, on a limited print run. She gave a copy to the library at Friends House in London who had also helped her with research.

Chris also devised a book crossing project as part of the school’s celebration of the 125th anniversary of its opening. The money raised from sponsorship by the whole school community was donated to The Book Bus charity which was founded by Old Leightonian and publisher, Tom Maschler.

Chris runs a huge number of reading promotion projects including four different book clubs; an annual book festival; Book Buzz for Year 7; Berkshire Book Award for Year 8; Greenaway and Carnegie Medals for Years 7, 8 and 9 and has attracted Gillian Cross to become the school’s Patron of Reading. For World Book Day and Harry Potter Night she has organised book themed lunches and quizzes. In 2014 she launched the 'Writing for Teenagers Conference', which was attended by local schools. 2016 sees the third of these conferences and will involve the whole of Year 9.

Chris is a qualified librarian; line managed by a Deputy Head, and is a Head of Department. In her own time Chris is also on the Executive Committee of the Federation of Children's Book Groups and a committee member of the local Children's Book Group/branch called Getting Reading Reading.

She believes a quiet atmosphere, with plenty of small areas helps to encourage learning. However, she also likes to create a real buzz around reading and books in the library. The Head of English, at the time of the visit by the judging panel, said that Chris is a real go to person, who ensures everything she organises is completely appropriate to what is being taught.

Chris hopes to continue to support the development of teaching and learning and literacy across the curriculum; and would like to help establish a storytelling area and pop-up library in the grounds. Her vision is to facilitate more events for the local community that would cover costs and reach a wider audience.

Nigel Williams, Head commented that her dedication to all aspects of the school was huge. “She is not just a librarian, but a real ambassador for the school.”

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Trio of remarkable school librarians to be honoured

New article just out in SecEd: Trio of remarkable school librarians to be honoured in national awards. Emma Lee Potter speaks to three inspirational professionals ahead of the School Librarian of the Year Award presentation in October.

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Authors back campaign to Save Scotland’s School Libraries

A petition has been submitted to the Scottish Parliament urging the Scottish Government to set out a new national strategy for school libraries which recognises the vital role of high quality school libraries in supporting pupils’ literacy and research skills.  Supported by the campaign group Save Scotland’s School Libraries the petition highlights that young people in Scotland are now subject to a postcode lottery in regards to the level of school library service they receive and as a consequence pupils in Scotland’s schools are suffering educational inequality.

The group add that if local authorities continue to withdraw services it is very likely to lead to a drop in literacy rates and a widening of the attainment gap, which runs counter to Scottish Government policy. 

Leading Scottish novelists James Robertson, Christopher Brookmyre and Alan Bissett have voiced their support for the petition.  Two time Saltire Society Book of the Year Award Winner James Robertson commented:

‘Libraries in our communities and in our schools are vital signs of a civilised society. If we allow them to close or not to be staffed by professional librarians, we are sending out a message that we don’t care about our young people’s education or their future.

A school library is where all pupils, regardless of their performance in the classroom, can acquire knowledge and information independently or with the support and advice of trained library staff: a good library is a crucial part of any educational establishment. The school library is a place of both safety and adventure. It enables exploration and self-education. It opens doors into the world, and into the rest of a young person’s life.

The Scottish Government says that improving school attainment is the single most important objective in its current programme, and that literacy is central to this strategy. Cutting school library services runs completely counter to these aims. The Government and Local Authorities should be working together to ensure that school library services are enhanced and developed, not withdrawn.’

Christopher Brookmyre said“School libraries are where pupils learn a lesson for life that books are for pleasure, not just for homework.”

In addition Alan Bissett commented:

‘I'd hope all would agree that libraries provide an invaluable service to our communities, but perhaps many are not aware that there are specialist kinds of librarians. The users of school libraries, for example, have very different needs from those of public libraries.  School libraries have an integral function in any child's education and we should be respecting the skills which school librarians provide.’

Evidence on the benefits of school libraries was published earlier this year in the Standing Literacy Commission (SLC) final report on the Scottish Government’s Literacy Action Plan.

“…schools with school libraries and librarians achieved higher exam scores, leading to higher academic attainment; higher quality project work; successful curriculum and learning outcomes; more positive attitudes towards learning and increased motivation and self-esteem among pupils.”

This echoed research undertaken by the Robert Gordon University and published in the report Impact of School Libraries on Learning.

In 2015 cuts to school library services have been proposed in East Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire, and Falkirk Council.  Other proposals already approved include sharing librarians between schools in Glasgow, and replacing librarians in North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Fife with library assistants. Some schools, such as Dumfries Academy, have handed responsibility for libraries over to English teachers, and a number of councils have reduced librarians’ duties to term-time only.

The petition has been lodged in the same week that Jane Spall ,School Librarian at Aith Junior High School, Shetland has been announced as one of the shortlisted candidates for the prestigious School Librarian of the Year Award.

A spokesperson for the Save Scotland’s School Library group said:

‘We firmly believe that school libraries are unique in their ability to support teaching and learning and should be the central resource of every school, open every day and staffed by a professionally trained librarian. We believe that all learners should have equal access to a qualified school librarian.’

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There is a Better Way. Information Literacy - Skills to Empower: London, 4 November 2015

Our There is a Better Way. Information Literacy - Skills to Empower course, run by Lin Smith, will be held at UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL on 4 November 2015. The closing date is 21 October 2015. Bookings received by 7 October 2015 are eligible for a £15 discount making the cost of the full days training £90 for SLA members, £150 for non-members.  As the target audience for the session is secondary school librarians/library staff and teachers with responsibility for learning skills our concessionary rate of £55 (SLA members), £75 (non-members) for a second person attending from the same school is particularly relevant.  Limited places available so book early to avoid disappointment!

Prices increase slightly after 7 October - see SLA website for details.

Key Audience: Secondary school librarians / library staff / teachers with a responsibility for learning skills

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Job Vacancies: Nightingale Academy, Edmonton, London - Learning Resource Centre Manager




£26,564-£28,205 (actual salary)

36 hours, 44 weeks per year

Nightingale Academy, based in Edmonton, London, is a key member of London Academies Enterprise Trust (LAET), a multi-academy sponsor which aims to provide the opportunity for all young learners to fulfil their real potential, broaden their horizons and become active, prosperous and successful citizens in the world around them.

Nightingale Academy is a rapidly improving academy where student’s progress is at the heart of all development initiatives. Visitors to the academy are impressed with the calm and purposeful environment and in the levels of respect shown by students.

We are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic Learning Resource Manager who will manage and operate the Learning Resources Centre.  The Learning Resource centre serves the whole academy community, recently refurbished, the centre provides books and resources in an IT rich facility fit for the 21st century learner.

The successful candidate will hold a professional qualification in librarianship, information management or information science.  You will have excellent communications and interpersonal skills and ideally previous experience working in a school based information centre.

As the sponsor, AET believes that all young people deserve to become world-class learners – to learn, enjoy, succeed and thrive in a first rate educational environment with the best facilities, the best teaching and the most up-to-date resources available to them.  In each of our AET academies, you will benefit from visionary, inspirational and dynamic leadership and be empowered to develop your own skills with access to world-class CPD and Talent Management programmes.  You will also be entitled to the following benefits: a health cash plan, vehicle affinity scheme, Cycle2work, childcare vouchers and Westfield rewards.

The position is required to commence as soon as possible. 

Closing date:  Tuesday 22 September 2015

We reserve the right to close this vacancy early should we receive an overwhelming response.  All candidates are advised to refer to the job description and person specification before making an application.

For further information on this position and to make an application please visit: https://www.hirewire.co.uk/SG/1058184/MS_JobDetails.aspx?JobID=63824.

AET is committed to safeguarding and protecting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  A Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate will be required for all posts.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Further details can be found on our careers page.

AET is recruiting for School Direct placements.  Please visit our website http://aetnationalteachingschoolalliance.org/ for further details.

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Librarian profile in The Irish Times

Annie BradyJust published in The Irish Times -

"How I got into my pupils' good books, reveals librarian up for top award".

Annie Brady, shortlisted for School Librarian of the Year, on how her library became the hub of the school, a hive of activity, a room that buzzes all day long with work and fun.

Read more about the 2015 School Librarian of the Year Award.

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New Information Literacy online course!

A brand new online course is now available! It covers all aspects of Information Literacy and is designed for non-specialists who have been appointed to take, or are interested in taking, a pivotal role in this aspect of student learning.

Topics covered include:

  • Basic classroom etiquette – listening, sequencing, recording information
  • Using sources effectively
  • Simple database interrogation (online and OPACs)
  • Book navigation – using an index effectively. 
  • Scanning and skimming (in print and on screen)
  • Forming keywords
  • Website evaluation

For more information and an enrolment form please click here or contact the SLA office on 01793 530166

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Empower your young Champions!

BBC Children in Need and Lloyds Bank are excited to launch Champions of Change – a new education initiative for this year that links learning and fundraising. It’s strictly by children, for children!

You can now visit the brand new website for a host of curriculum-linked education resourcesto download. This includes teacher notes, assembly presentations, videos, activity templates, and loads of fundraising ideas.

By planning your fundraising now, your young Champions will be in a better position to raise more money to help more children just like them.Join thousands of schools across the UK and kick off your fundraising journey with a Launch Assembly or Event from 28 September.

Champions of ChangeVisit www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/championsofchange for more information and to request a limited edition Reward Kit – packed with goodies to kick-start young fundraisers in your school!

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Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award 2016

PLAAFew School Libraries function without some help from a cohort of pupil helpers.  Their duties are many and various and depend on the needs of each librarian in post.  What is certain is the value of the role these pupils play in assisting in the organisation of the library and supporting the management of the resources held there.   They act as mentors, as reading advocates, ICT trouble shooters, crowd controllers and as new title scouts. In truth most do a measure of all of these things and much more besides.  The other certainty is that the contribution these young people make to their school community is invaluable and worthy of wider recognition.  Step forward the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award!

The Award is now in its second year, and nominations are open with the deadline set for the end of October 2015.  Librarians may nominate one pupil from their school and the criteria are firm but fair.  Have a think then about who gives that extra something in your school library.  Which of your wonderful students deserves to be put forward for this?  All you need to know has been posted on the PLAA website http://libpupilaward.co.uk  and the judging panel eagerly await reading about the contributions that these special young people make to your working life, and to the lives and their fellow students.

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School Librarian of the Year finalist profile:

Annie Brady

St. Paul's CBS Secondary School, Dublin


"Annie has ensured that the library lies at the heart of our school life playing a key role in planning and implementing our literacy and numeracy strategies. She works tirelessly to ensure that our students see reading as not just a school based activity but as something really enjoyable that can enrich their lives beyond the classroom walls. I can say without reservation that she has profoundly enhanced what our school offers to the students."
Patrick McCormack, Principal, St. Paul's CBS.

Annie began work in St. Paul’s CBS - an inner city secondary school in Dublin with 250 boys on the school roll - in November 2008 as part of the JCSP Demonstration Library project. She was given the task of building and developing a new library from scratch. The library is a large, airy, light rectangular room with a selection of computers along one wall, free standing and wall shelving, some comfortable sofas and tables and chairs for class work. The students produced the shelf signs, to personalise the library.

It is open from 8am until 5pm and is in constant use throughout the day. Annie thinks a relaxed atmosphere is really important in encouraging learning to take place and wants students to feel comfortable and safe. Annie is involved in creating lessons as well as contributing to teachers’ suggestions. She believes that learning should be fun. She often works with students by practising/developing mental arithmetic or playing Articulate to strengthen vocabulary.

The library is promoted through the school website, school twitter page, the library twitter page, JCSP library website, posters around school, and is open for parents on parents’ evenings. There are posters in classrooms promoting reading and numeracy and their importance. Outside the library is a ‘Read Wall’ where front covers of books read during the year are posted up. At the start of the academic year, Annie surveys staff and students so that she can purchase appropriate resources and to ensure there are books to suit everyone’s tastes on the shelves.

Annie addresses students on their first day with a chat and discussion on the library, which includes how to search for information and internet safety. However, the main feeder primary is next door and Annie has ample opportunity to see the pupils during a weekly slot in the library so the majority of students entering the school are already familiar with the library and how it integrates into their school day.

Annie teaches information skills and her impact on teaching and learning is measured through improved student reading ages and exam scores. Attendance and behaviour has dramatically improved since the library opened and there are only a couple of non-readers in her school now. Annie is proud that students are now independent in their learning, can research by themselves and are happy in school. She ensures every student in her school has a book in their bag so reading is always available to them if they have a spare minute in the day.

Pupils told the judging panel: "The library is the epicentre of the school and Annie is like a friend."

There are always events running in the library such as Writer In Residence, Word Millionaire, book reviews, pen pals, school newspaper (Brunner Bugle), debating, chess, Flashmasters and board games to mention a few. Annie has lots of outside projects like the JAFAs (film awards), performances of raps written by the students in library workshops for World Poetry Day and Culture Night. She arranges visits and outings, for example, students recently enjoyed a trip to the National Library of Ireland and Butler’s Chocolates. Annie supports World Book Night and World Book Day, runs DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) and homework club. She annually runs a ‘One Book, One Community’ project to encourage everyone in the community to get reading.

Librarianship wasn’t Annie’s original chosen career path but it happened to find her on her life travels and so here she is in 2015 in what she calls ‘a thriving hive of activity’. Outside of library life, Annie has a great interest in all things sports related, especially in cycling and having never been a runner, has set herself the challenge of completing a number duathlons this year and completing Ireland’s infamous Wicklow 100. She weaves her way through the Dublin traffic on the way to work every morning, on what her students call the ‘smallest racing bike in the world EVER’. Given her love of cycling it goes hand in hand with enjoying the fresh air of the outdoors. She enjoys reading and watching films, and keeping up to date with current affairs. And in her spare time she works for Ireland’s Center for Talented Youth as an instructor in all things maths and strategy related, imparting her nerdish game theory knowledge to the highly gifted young people of Ireland.

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Exclusive opportunity to meet Jim Kay and the Illustrated Harry Potter

Bloomsbury Children’s Books invite librarians to a very special event.

To celebrate the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition they would like to invite you to come and meet award-winning author Jim Kay who was particularly keen to do an event for librarians because of his huge sHP Illustrated Coverupport for libraries.

Jim will be in conversation talking about what is was like to bring J.K. Rowling’s much-loved world to life. He’ll talk about his inspiration, favourite images and much more.

The event is on Thursday 8th October at 7:00pm and will be held at the Bloomsbury offices (50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP).

Spaces are limited to 50 for this event so do please rsvp to Katrina Northern – katrina.northern@bloomsbury.com – to secure your place. Spots will be taken on a first come first served basis.

Wine and nibbles will be provided and the book will be available for the special event price of £20. Jim Kay will sign copies of the book at the end of the event.

Published globally on 6th October 2015, this will be the first fully illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s original Harry Potter novel. The hardback edition will include ribbon marker, head and tail bands, illustrated endpapers and colour on every spread. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition will be published in more than twenty-one languages around the world. All co-editions will include Jim Kay’s stunning artwork and join the UK and the US in bringing this edition of the book to life. It is set to be the landmark publishing event of 2015.

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Job Vacancies: Cranford Community College, Hounslow - Study Centres Assistant

Scale 3 Points 14-17 (£15,392 - £16,362) pro rata per annum

Monday to Friday 36 hours per week – 39 weeks per year (Pupil term time plus 5 days)

Monday – Thursday: 8.00am – 3.45pm with 30 minute lunch break

Friday: 8.00am – 3.30pm with 30 minute lunch break

To start as soon as possible

Cranford Community College is seeking to recruit a friendly and caring individual to work as a Study Centres Assistant. 

You will become a key part of our Study Centres which delivers resources and services to students and staff.  Tasks include:

  • Providing an effective front desk service; dealing with circulation issues, processing and cataloguing new resources
  • Being knowledgeable about the centres collections and keeping the Learning Resource Centre in good order
  • Encouraging staff and students to make the most of our diverse resources when conducting research.
  • Providing support for whole school literacy initiatives and assist with promoting reading for pleasure
  • Creating a harmonious learning environment for students, instilling an ethos conducive of Independent Learning.

You will need to have a real enthusiasm for helping our students in their quest for knowledge.  You should possess excellent inter personal, communication and ICT skills. You must be prepared to work flexibly, independently and accurately.  The ability to demonstrate initiative and work as part of a small team is also essential.

The school has invested and continues to invest in ensuring its site and facilities are of the highest quality for learning and the high level of use by the community, providing a safe and secure environment for students, staff and all our users and providing outstanding customer service. 

You will:

  • have excellent communication skills and experience of dealing with people from a variety of backgrounds
  • have experience of working under pressure in a busy environment
  • be calm, supportive and adaptable and have a flexible approach to your work
  • be very organised and able to manage your time efficiently
  • be able to evaluate and improve your impact and effectiveness

We will also offer you:

  • Astonishing CPD with our own ‘Professional Learning Centre’ on site
  • Extremely friendly and vibrant staff & pupils from a rich range of backgrounds
  • Opportunities to work cross phase in our primary partner school
  • A chance to take part in an amazing extra-curricular programme
  • The daily experience of working in a truly outstanding and innovative school that just keeps getting better

The school is an equal opportunities employer and committed to the protection and safety of its students and therefore this post will be subject to an Enhanced Criminal Records check.

An application form can be found on our website www.cranford.hounslow.sch.uk    Interested applicants should complete the application and email it to jobs[at]cranford.hounslow.sch.uk  Only applications submitted on the school’s application form will be considered.

Closing date: 12.00 midday, Friday 25th September 2015

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School Librarian of the Year Award: Honour List for 2015

The School Library Association is delighted to announce the finalists for the 2015 School Librarian of the Year Award, the 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.

This year three excellent librarians from very different schools are on the Honour List:  Annie Brady at St. Paul's CBS Secondary School, an inner city secondary school in Dublin with 250 boys on the school roll; Chris Routh at Leighton Park School, a Quaker independent school in Reading with 440 day and boarding students aged 11 to 18 and Jane Spall at Aith Junior High School  in Shetland with 182 students from nursery to 16 years old.

Each librarian has made a huge difference to the lives of the students and people they work with, igniting a passion for reading, setting students on a learning journey, teaching them essential skills, as well as supporting staff and reaching out to the wider community.

Ginette Doyle, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection Committee, said “2015 has seen another group of excellent librarians for us to judge. All of them demonstrate best practice in their different ways. With so many school librarians under threat, it is good to see that in some areas their value is appreciated. The Honour List librarians are three remarkable women who provide the students in their school with skills that will last a lifetime.”

Full profiles of the three finalists will be posted shortly.

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Patrick Ness amazing fundraising effort for refugees

Unable to continue just tweeting outrage at the terrible pictures of dying children in the refugee crisis, Patrick Ness launched a fundraising page for Save the Children yesterday, September 3rd 2015, promising to match fund up to £10,000 if people donated. That total was smashed in under two hours and John Green stepped in with a further £10,000 of matched funds. This was swiftly followed by a further £10,000 from Derek Landy, then JoJo Moyes and then Hank Green. As each total was passed more and more authors joined in. Rainbow Rowell rallied round an amazing group of YA authors who matched £10,000.  Those fab people are Brendan Reichs, Ally Carter, Margaret Stohl, Jenny Han, Shannon Hale, Siobhan Vivian, Richelle Mead, Gayle Forman, Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi.

Not to be outdone, More YA authors from USA got in on the action, too, and matched another £10,000 They are Margaret Stohl (again!), Melissa de la Cruz, Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, Lauren DeStefano, Pseudonymous Bosch, David Levithan, Libba Bray Lauren Oliver, Jacqueline Woodson, Alexandra Bracken, IW Gregorio, Stacey Lee and an incredible effort from Maureen Johnson who gave bespoke nicknames to everyone who donated on her timeline. As I type this, the total raised is £248,403.50 from 3,934 donors.

This is an inspirational piece of news to display in the school library to show young readers that the authors they admire care very deeply about the world we live in and the sort of society that young people will inherit.It may well inspire fundraising in your own school as well as valuable copy for future citizenship, sociology,politics,history and geography study.


( Message from Patrick)

It's been an amazing day! Authors Rosamund Lupton, David Nicholls, Louisa Young and YA publisher Andersen Press have all pledged (and had matched!), so you can add £45,000 to the total on the right! ( above)

What's more, when we reach £200,000, the awesome Marian Keyes will donate £10,000.  And if we raise another £10,000 after that, Horrid Henry legend Francesca Simon will add ANOTHER £10,000.

What's more, the very good people at Virgin Giving have agreed, if we reach £250,000, to waive ALL FEES!  Let's do this!

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Sign up for the DK Advisory Panel

Are you a children's librarian? Do you work in a primary school? 

DK has provided quality content for over forty years, and we want to make it even better. So we need your help to make that happen!

To find out what you use, what you need, and what you want, DK is creating an advisory panel filled with a variety of people including teachers and, of course, librarians. This panel will shape the future of our publishing to make sure that our audience continues to receive the best books and digital content. 

To learn more about the DK Advisory Panel and to sign up, please click here.  DK welcomes anyone who works with children or young adults, or anyone who works in education to apply for a spot on the panel. So if you don't think you have the time but know someone who might, please do forward this email on. 

If you are selected as a panellist and complete all the surveys, you will receive £200 worth of DK books (titles of your choosing) for you to use at home, in the classroom, or in your library.

Thank you so much for taking the time to register your interest. If you are selected to join the advisory panel, you will hear from the DK marketing department by 30 September 2015.

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T S Eliot Prize 2015

TSESchools with Sixth Forms do look at the prize website as they have relaunched their writing competition.  This year there is a new additional category for students to write their own poem in response to their choice of one of the shortlisted poems. This Writing Competition is run in conjunction with the English and Media Centre.  There is also the opportunity to shadow the shortlist of books for the prize with reading groups - do check it out, all the details are on the website.

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