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School Librarian of the Year Award 2017


The School Librarian of the Year Award is the SLA's prestigious honour to recognise the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day, and to highlight the best practice of those whose work is outstanding.

Let's give our best school librarians the recognition they deserve!

2017 Winner

Lucas MaxwellThe School Library Association is delighted to announce that Lucas Maxwell of Glenthorne High School, London Borough of Sutton, has been awarded the honour of School Librarian of the Year 2017.

Multi-award-winning illustrator and author Chris Riddell presented him with the award at a special ceremony at The Hive, Worcester, on 9 October.

Tricia Adams, Director of the SLA, said: ‘‘Lucas is a worthy winner and shows that school libraries are successful champions of both books and technology.  His library is obviously fun to be in and his ‘Poem in my Pocket’ initiative and ‘Open Mic’ nights make the library a much loved centre in his school.”

The two other school librarians honoured for their work are:

  • Mairead Duggan of Mount Carmel School in Dublin
  • Shelagh Toonen of Elgin Academy in Moray, Scotland.

From bringing books to life in highly imaginative and engaging ways, to generous and bold outreach work with their respective communities, via substantial and meaningful support for staff as well as pupils, Lucas Maxwell and each librarian on the Honour list have made a huge difference to the lives of all they work with, igniting a passion for reading.

Read the full profiles of all the finalists:

View the finalists' video presentations below.

The complete Press Release can be downloaded here -

The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award 2017 PR

PDF file, 381 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

Video Presentations

Mairead Duggan, Mount Carmel Secondary School, Dublin

Lucas Maxwell, Glenthorne High School, Sutton, London

Shelagh Toonen, Elgin Academy, Moray


Macmillan Children LogoThe SLA School Librarian of the Year 2017 is sponsored by Macmillan Children’s Books - www.panmacmillan.com

Sponsors of Prizes

The SLA is grateful to the following supporters who generously donated prizes for the finalists' schools:

  • Andersen Press
  • Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Education Umbrella
  • Macmillan Children’s Books
  • Nobrow/Flying Eye Books
  • Oxford University Press
  • Walker Books