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SLA Blog » March 2007RSS Feed RSS

The SLA blog contains news about the SLA and topical information of general interest to our members. The blog has been running since 2004. An RSS 2.0 feed and information about how to subscribe to the blog are available.

Older blog posts are still available, though archived, on the website, but please check the date at the top of the post to make sure the offer or information is likely to be valid.

Alison Slaven leaves SLA

The SLA´s Advisory Librarian, Alison Slaven, leaves today to resume her career as a school librarian.  During her three years with the SLA she has helped to create advisory materials and policy statements, written newsletters and supported SLA projects, and with her calm telephone manner has helped many school librarians with queries on anything from job descriptions to appropriate resourcing levels.

We will miss Alison´s cheery good nature in the SLA office and wish her well in her new career.

A new Advisory Librarian has been appointed and will begin work in a few weeks.  In the meantime members can contact the Chief Executive, Kathy Lemaire, at the SLA office for advice and support.

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Henrietta Branford writing competition for young people 2007

Do you have some budding authors in your school?  Now's their chance to be recognised!  The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition is held annually for young people in conjunction with the prestigious Branford Boase Award for debut children's fiction. 

The competition is open to any young writer under the age of 19. Six winners are invited to the celebration party in London at which the Branford Boase Award is given. There they can meet authors, editors, publishers, agents, and other professionals in this field. Entrants must complete a story begun by last year's winner, Frances Hardinge, author of Fly by Night, and submit it by Friday 25th May. Full details, along with the starter paragraph from Frances Hardinge, can be found on the Branford Boase Award website.

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Secretary of State backs exciting reads for boys

Alan Johnson, the Secretary of State for Education in England, yesterday called for schools to ensure that young male readers had plenty of enjoyable reading material.  Every secondary school should provide a bookshelf packed with spy novels and action stories to help boys catch up with girls he said.

They should choose books 'containing positive, modern, relevant role models for working class boys.  Boys like books which depict them in a powerful role, often as sporting, spying or fighting heroes,' he told a meeting of the Fabian Society in London.

To encourage reading boys needed 'not just Jane Austen, but a necessary dose of Anthony Horowitz as well', he said.

He gave examples of books that would appeal including Raven's Gate, about a boy with supernatural powers by Horowitz, The Fall, a spy novel by Robert Muchamore, and Bloodtide, the futuristic novel based on a Viking saga by Melvin Burgess.

The School Library Association will be working with the Department for Education and Skills on a project to get KS 3 boys reading.  Watch this space for more announcements.

Read the Guardian article

Read the Telegraph article

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Wanted – new Advisory Librarian for SLA

SLA LogoAs our current Advisory Librarian is moving on to become a school librarian again, the SLA is looking for a suitably qualified and experienced Chartered librarian to provide the advisory service to School Library Association members.  Other responsibilities will include managing a small team of administrative staff and supporting the Chief Executive in other professional activities.  The post is full time and involves working with a small, friendly team of staff at the SLA office near Swindon.  

The post holder will need to have considerable experience of best practice in school libraries in both primary and secondary schools, have excellent interpersonal skills and be computer literate.  He/she will have excellent written skills, including the production of materials for the web, be clear thinking and have good organisational skills. Attention to detail is a crucial aspect of the post. A self-starter and highly motivated, the successful candidate will relish challenges.   A sense of humour, ability to work to tight deadlines and a good telephone manner will also be essential. 

Closing date for applications is 16th March.

For more information about the post and an application form please contact the SLA office on 01793 791787 or email info[[at]]sla.org.uk

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Send my friend to school

In 2000 world leaders made a promise of primary education for all children by 2015.  Campaigns such as My Friend Needs a Teacher in 2006 in over 100 countries highlighted the problem of global teacher shortages.  So far an additional 20 million children are now in school, but there are still another 80 million out of school. 

The Global Campaign for Education is launching a new campaign, Send My Friend to School, which amongst other things encourages children to send paperchains of figures to Dr Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, by June 6th 2007.

As Nelson Mandela said in 2006 "If you children join together you can be more powerful that any government."

More information about the campaign, including resources for teachers, are available at http://www.sendmyfriend.org/ .

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2007 Weekend Course now booking

Booking is now open for this year's Weekend Course, the training and networking event of the year for school librarians.

This year we are celebrating the 70th birthday of the School Library Association, and there are lots of celebratory events in store for our delegates including a special Libs Lit Quiz on Saturday night.  We will also be joined by other birthday girls and boys, our age or even older!  Our newly crowned School Librarian of the Year (watch this space) will be special guest at our birthday dinner, and we also have what promises to be an entertaining and thought provoking debate on Sunday morning.

Titled The Future is Now, our programme is designed to look at all aspects of the school library and how it is adapting for the future.  With an exciting set of keynote speeches, as well as our usual large number of optional sessions to choose from, we know that you'll find plenty to engage your mind and enhance your in-service training. 

We are limited to 200 places this year, so don't delay, get your booking in now.  Book before the end of March to obtain the earlybird discount! 

More information, programme and booking form

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Happy World Book Day

WBD logoThe United Kingdom today, 1st March, celebrates World Book Day.  All around the country school and public libraries are finding ingenious ways of celebrating books and reading.

World Book Day has now been celebrated in the UK for 10 years, and grows in support every year.  £1.00 book tokens are provided for children through their schools, and a range of £1.00 books by top children's authors are published to allow children a choice.  This year, to celebrate the 10 years, there will be 10 of these.

Adults too can join in the fun by nominating the 10 books they couldn't live without.  More information about the celebrations on the WBD website.

We wish all our members a Happy World Book Day, and hope that their readers will be enthused and inspired by the work they put in.

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