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SLYA Citation for Jane O'Loughlin

JANE O' LOUGHLIN

  • Colaiste Chathail Naofa, Dungarvan, County Waterford
    Nominated by student Jamie Mills
Jane O Loughlin being presented with her Honour Certificate by SLA President Aidan Chambers
Jane O'Loughlin being presented with her
Honour Certificate by SLA President Aidan Chambers

There are as many reasons as students (115) for nominating Jane as she has a special relationship with each one. She’s great at explaining everything students need to know about books and the library. She’s always thinking of different initiatives to encourage students and develop library skills. Students associate the library with learning and pleasure. “The library’s a nice place to be in” students say. “It’s just like home. It’s the best room in the school. Jane helps us to read and do more than just play games there and the beanbags are great. She’s always able to show you a book you might like”. Parents in despair over their child’s reading ability and interest comment on Jane’s natural ability to find just the book that will fire their child and she actively encourages parents to come into school and help with reading. “She’s cool, sound, a godsend. She’s helped our children so much. She’s open to anything, innovative, supportive and totally child-oriented. She helps students come out of themselves and develops their confidence in themselves, their reading ability and in what they can achieve.” Jane has made the library a great place to be, a place to have fun in. It’s a focal point of the school and there’s always something going on there. She organises visitors to the library, authors, poets, musicians and dancers, and brings students to meet authors in her own time. She makes an effort to get to know the students, asks students what they like and buys great books and magazines to further their interests. She helps students with their reading, encourages them to read a lot more, involves them in the reading challenge and makes books on tape for them of their favourites so they can read at home on their own or with their family too. She runs a camera club for students and helps in the homework club.

Jane also plays a full part in the wider life of the school, “she’s the life and soul of the place”, goes on school trips, takes part in all the whole-school celebrations of student work and helped students plant trees in honour of the library in the school grounds. She takes photos of what students achieve and puts them on display in the library, displays student work and is always ready to celebrate their achievements, large or small. Jane is not a teacher but she commands as much respect as a teacher. The Headteacher recognises that she’s made all departments see the benefit of using the library and realise the impact that improving students’ reading has on achievement in their own subject. Teachers comment that the library is a relaxed place to work and not at all stressful, that “every school should have a library like this one. It’s a brilliant facility and Jane has a very different approach that really makes a difference even with the most challenging students. She’s extremely good at what she does. It’s not just a job to her, she loves the job and is a natural at it. The school just couldn’t work without Jane”.