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Lucas Maxwell

Honour List Profile

School Librarian of the Year Award 2017: Honour List Profile

Lucas Maxwell
Glenthorne High School, London Borough of Sutton

Lucas Maxwell Web

Glenthorne is a non-selective mixed secondary academy in the London Borough of Sutton.

The library in Glenthorne moved to the Hub in May 2016 and now boasts a growing collection of over 7,000 books and access to 30 PCs. The library is a light, bright space at the centre of the school. It is large enough to accommodate several zones, with space for browsing, a teaching area with a bank of computers and projector and a soft-seating area. There are attractive displays, making good use of the space including windows.

Lucas is evangelical about the role of technology in libraries. The library has a strong following on social media and he is especially proud that many of his followers are students. He organises virtual author and careers sessions through Twitter and Skype and he is interested in providing a Makerspace in the library in the future.

There is a sense of fun in Lucas’s library. From timed Lego competitions to interactive and engaging library lessons. Lucas adds a playfulness and light touch to the library that the students overwhelmingly respond to.

The contribution that the library makes to the school is felt well outside of its walls. Staff speak glowingly of how Lucas has enriched their teaching and enthused the whole school about reading for pleasure. Several staff mentioned his "Poem in My Pocket" initiative and Open Mic nights (well, days) as an example of his creative thinking and desire to reach out to the whole school community.

Community is very strong in the school and Lucas is careful to include not just the whole school community but also the surrounding area.  Lucas will timetable events like his wildly popular Comic Con on a Saturday to enable all the young people in the area to attend. He also runs events with local primary schools as part of the school’s transition process. He runs topical and imaginative inductions, last year he themed his sessions around the Pokémon Go craze.

In the words of his colleagues Lucas is a “wave of energy,” “a brilliant storyteller” and that the pupils “love the library, and they love Lucas.”