The winner of the School Librarian of the Year Award 2006 was announced to a packed theatre full of school librarians and special guests at the Library and Information Show on 27th April 2006. The Awards were introduced by Aidan Chambers, award winning author for young people who is currently President of the SLA and was instrumental in the setting up of the Award in 2004.
In presenting the award, Jacqueline Wilson, the Children's Laureate, said:
"I think school librarians do a sterling job. It's their enthusiasm and hard work that encourage so many children to become hooked on books and develop a love of reading for life."
The winner was announced as Anne-Marie Tarter, librarian of Ripon Grammar School, North Yorkshire.
Ripon Grammar School is a high-achieving establishment with entry based on selection, and in her fifteen years there Anne-Marie has transformed its library from oak-panelled, unused inertia to the dynamic heart of the school.
Anne-Marie is also well known for her work in promoting and developing school libraries generally and for her numerous training sessions delivered and articles written. Her links with the wider world of school librarianship bring further benefit to the students at Ripon, by enhancing her ability to offer them a deep well of expertise and knowledge.
Accepting the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award, Anne-Marie said:
"If the government is really serious about developing life-long learners, and about enabling schools to reach the highest possible standards of teaching and learning, then an effective step would be to guarantee that every school has the kind of library described by the recent OFSTED report, Good School Libraries. OFSTED recognised that a library with full management support, with qualified library staff, with effective monitoring and evaluation, and with information literacy programmes embedded into the curriculum can really make a difference to learners' abilities to learn... and, I would add, can literally have the power to change lives."
The SLA Lifetime Achievement Award, a new award, was presented for the first time to Lynn Barrett.
Read citation for Lynn Barrett
In her long and distinguished career as a School Librarian, Lynn Barrett has worked most recently at Dixons City Technology College (now City Academy) in Bradford where she developed a library from scratch. Her work there, with Mal Danks, the Co-ordinator of Individual Learning Development, developed a focus on information literacy and resulted in the CTC receiving a National Training Award for an exemplary programme that made a difference to teachers and students in 2003.
Lynn has trained for SLA and other groups and education authorities, reaching about 1000 school librarians and teachers over the last five years. In 2003 CILIP (the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals) awarded her an honorary Fellowship for her work for school libraries in the UK. Since editing the new Guidelines for Secondary School Libraries in 2003, Lynn has served as chair and past chair of the CILIP School Libraries Group, during which time she has seen the profile of school libraries being raised nationally and recognised by the education establishment as an important factor in student achievement.
Accepting the SLA Lifetime Achievement Award, Lynn said:
"School librarians are specialists, just as much as medical and law librarians are. Our specialism is education and, because collectively we see all the young people that go through the doors of our country's schools, we have a unique opportunity to impact on their learning. By collaborating with teachers across the curriculum we are able to help students develop the skills they need to become effective independent learners. For me, this has been exciting and rewarding work and a great deal of fun. Although retirement brings new directions, I will never lose my interest in and commitment to the wonderful synergy that occurs when young people, books, information and learning come together."
The 2006 Honour List was announced at the London Book Fair on Monday 6th March. Alec Williams, Chair of the SLA for 2004-2006, announced the Honour List of librarians who were considered by the judging panel to be outstanding examples of best practice and innovation in their particular phases of education. The Honour List librarians, and their Head Teachers, received certificates from SLA President Aidan Chambers. They also received books for their libraries from a number of publishers.
The librarians honoured (citations for the Honour List librarians can be read by clicking the relevant name below):