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School Librarian of the Year Award 2013


SLYA Gourlay Winners (1135)Congratulations to the double winners of 2013:

  • Hilary Cantwell, librarian at St Paul’s Community College, Waterford, Republic of Ireland
  • John Iona, librarian at Oasis Academy Enfield, London

Ginette Doyle, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection committee said: “It was an extremely strong, and international, Honour List. In the end we chose two librarians both working in different ways to bring their libraries into the heart of the school and learning. They are not joint winners, but each deserves the accolade of SLA School Librarian of the Year.

SLYA Finalists (1071)The awards were presented at a special celebration at the Hotel Russell in London on 7 October 2013 by Candy Gourlay, author of the award-wining Tall Story and recently published second novel, The Shine.

Read Candy Gourlay's blog of the day...

Read Michael Thorn's Achuka blog of the day


Sally Cameron Presentation

Hilary Cantwell Presentation

Lyn Hopson Presentation

John Iona Presentation

Profiles of Winners

Hilary CantwellHilary Cantwell, librarian at St Paul’s Community College, Waterford, Republic of Ireland.

Hilary gained expertise in New York schools and public libraries before joining an Irish government programme to create school libraries. St Paul’s has 430 students and is in a rural county with the highest unemployment in Ireland. It is affiliated to the Irish government’s inclusion programme, Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools.

John IonaJohn Iona, librarian at Oasis Academy Enfield, London.

John creates award-winning resources, delivers the school’s Extended Project Qualification programme and plays a significant role in curriculum planning and support. The school has 1,100 students of which up to 70% have English as a second language. John actively promotes reading for pleasure with a number of initiatives including Reading Games.

SLA School Librarian of the Year Award Honour List 2013

Both librarians are committed to creating and maintaining book loving-schools and to help make learning a fascinating and rewarding journey.

Sally Cameron (photo: Pasquale Zinzi)Sally Cameron, early childhood and elementary school (3-11) librarian at Marymount International School, Rome, Italy, moved to the library from a teaching post at Marymount and has created a book-loving community that embraces families, many of them new to the city and from many different countries with 50% native Italian. One of the ways in which Sally entices people into the library is with food, including Rise and Read breakfast sessions.

Lyn HopsonLyn Hopson, librarian at Don Valley Academy, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, has put her students’ love of reading on the map with the Doncaster Book Award. Don Valley specialises in the performing arts and has more than 1,200 students from a variety of backgrounds. Lyn has worked at Don Valley for 11 years and is also a Curriculum Leader and part of the Support Staff Leadership Team.

Honour List Librarians

Four exceptional school librarians were selected as the Honour List finalists for the SLA School Librarian of the Year 2013 in an international list reflecting excellent practice across all age groups. Read their full profiles:

  • Sally Cameron of Marymount International School in Rome, Italy
  • Hilary Cantwell of St Paul's Community College  in Waterford, Republic of Ireland
  • Lyn Hopson of Don Valley Academy in Doncaster, South Yorkshire
  • John Iona of Oasis Academy Enfield in Middlesex


Press Release

SLYA 2013 Winner Press Release

PDF file, 209 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

Downloadable Press Release with full details of the winner and honour list for the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award 2013


The Award in 2013 was sponsored by Softlink and Raintree. The SLA is very grateful for this sponsorship, without which the Award could not continue in its current format.

www.softlink.co.uk Slya Softlink Logo



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