Ingrid Hopson of George Abbot School, Guildford, has been announced the SLA’s School Librarian of the Year for 2007.
In recognising the qualities that made her the winner of this year's award the judges noted 'Ingrid manages two libraries in this large 11-18 comprehensive. The Upper School Information Centre offers a university-type library experience, while the Lower School Gallery Library incorporates many of Ingrid’s design and layout ideas. Here we witnessed what a superb teacher she is.
She has developed a long list of library skills-related curricular projects and reading development initiatives, and much of the research for a recently obtained Learning Technology degree has been applied to good effect in the library. Ingrid is an outstanding librarian, bursting with ideas, an instigator of change who asks difficult questions and stimulates teachers. Her contribution to the life of the school is massive.'
At the ceremony, held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Ingrid was presented with her award, a limited edition Raymond Briggs print specially designed for the Award, by Gervase Phinn, the President of the School Library Association.
Paying tribute to Ingrid, her Headteacher, Danny Moloney, said:
"Over a significant period of time Ingrid has made a major contribution to the development of literally thousands of young lives. She has engaged and inspired countless young people and challenged and supported teachers and their assistants. She has ensured that our libraries, our Information Centres, have been central to educational developments across the spectrum. Her work with our English Faculty on literacy and reading has been quite outstanding.
"The best librarians are not passive and solitary, but are individuals who show huge energy and enthusiasm and are passionate about what they do and who make things happen. Personality and perseverance are displayed in abundance by the best librarians. They are always looking for an opportunity, for an opening, to fit the Library into the next development in their teaching and learning. At George Abbot we are fortunate to have had Ingrid’s drive and passion for the Library, ensuring that it has remained central to so much of what we do."
Accepting the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award, Ingrid said:
"For me this award is about building a shared understanding of the impact that school libraries have on student learning with all our stakeholders. One day I hope that our vision of a well resourced library in every school will be achieved. Each library will be staffed by a team of people lead by a professionally qualified school librarian. This librarian will create a space, a cognitive space, where learning happens. A space where respect for individual differences and opinions is fostered. A space where questions are born and answers are searched for. A space that instils a passion for learning and inspires students continue learning throughout their lives."
The Honour List 2007, which was announced on 2nd May by Michael Morpurgo, comprised the following exemplary librarians (click on a name to read the relevant citation):
"The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award was the brainchild of the then SLA President Aidan Chambers. The Award, created in 2004, aims to recognise the excellent work that is carried out in our school libraries every day; helping students learn how to learn, enthusing children and young people about books and reading and raising achievement. It highlights and spreads best practice and innovation through celebrating those whose work is outstanding." - Eileen Armstrong, Chair of the School Library Association.