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SLA Blog » June 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.

Siobhan Dowd wins Branford Boase Book Award

Siobhan DowdA Swift, Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd, edited by David Fickling and Bella Pearson and published by David Fickling Books, has won the Branford Boase Award.  Set during the 1980's in rural Ireland, it is an extraordinary story of one girl's courage and faith in the face of prejudice and hardship with a small community.

The Award Ceremony took place at Walker Books, Vauxhall Walk, SE11, at 6.30pm on Thursday 28th June.  The Children's Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson, who is a major sponsor of this prestigious award, attended, along with many of the previous winners.  The glittering line up of past winners include Meg Rosoff, who has just been awarded the Carnegie Medal, as well as last year's Carnegie winner, Mal Peet.

Siobhan Dowd was thrilled to hear of her success, commenting:

"I'm moved beyond words at winning the Branford Boase Award.  Henrietta Branford had a razor-sharp intellect and compelling honesty in her writing.  Fire, Bed and Bone, which I've just finished, leaves me mourning the books-that-might-have-been had breast cancer not so cruelly taken her from us.  This is an award that taps you on the shoulder and whispers 'Hurry up and earn me.'  I promise to do my level best."

Julia Eccleshare chaired the judging panel, which also included Frances Hardinge, last year's winner for Fly By Night, Annie Everall of Derbyshire Libraries, Claudia Mody of Waterstone's and Nicolette Jones, writer and critic,  who had this to say on behalf of the judges:

"I am confident that every author shortlisted for this year's Branford Boase has an impressive career as a children's writer ahead.  All six books were, in their various ways, remarkable. Siobhan Dowd's winning young adult novel stood out for its entertaining and expertly crafted style: a fluent, lyrical sprightliness which leavens tragic events with humanity and even, in places, humour."

A Swift Pure Cry won against stiff competition which reflected the continued enthusiasm on the part of children's publishers for nurturing new talent. The full shortlist was:

  • Gideon the Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer
    edited by Venetia Gosling and published by Simon & Schuster
  • Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher
    edited by Anne McNeil and published by Hodder
  • Beast by Ally Kennen
    edited by Marion Lloyd and published by Marion Lloyd/Scholastic
  • The Awful Tale of Agatha Bilke by Sian Pattenden
    edited by Aurea Carpenter and published by Short Books
  • You're a bad man, Mr Gum by Andy Stanton
    edited by Leah Thaxton and published by Egmont
  • Note of Madness by Tabitha Suzuma
    edited by Charlie Sheppard and published by Random House

More information at http://www.branfordboaseaward.org.uk/.

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SLA publishes two new titles

Titles published this month in our popular Guidelines series include Visionary Spaces: Designing and Planning a Secondary School Library and Blogs and Bytes: ICT and the Secondary School Library.

Cover of Blogs and BytesBlogs and Bytes: ICT and the Secondary School Library
by Marianne Bradnock
ISBN 9781903446416
£12.00 (SLA Members £9.00)

ICT is assuming an increasingly important role in the work of the school librarian, totally changing our working lives in the last decade. It is essential then that the place of the library in a school's ICT strategy is well defined and that the librarian has the vision and knowledge to maintain a high profile in this rapidly developing area of work. This comprehensive new guideline provides detailed information and inspiration to practitioners new and experienced, covering issues such as supporting professional practice, using ICT to find information, supporting learners, ICT for reader development, Healthy & Safety issues and ICT and the law.

Cover of Visionary SpacesVisionary Spaces: Designing and Planning a Secondary School Library
by Geoff Dubber and Kathy Lemaire
ISBN 9781903446386
£12.00 (SLA Members £9.00)

Since the spring of 2003 and for the next dozen or so years, secondary schools in England will be transformed as our national vision for education for the early 21st century is translated into innovative, exciting and flexible learning spaces and practices. As part of this fundamental rethink about schools, their design and buildings, and the way education, its management and learning may be delivered now and in coming decades, the library needs to take centre stage in the school's thinking. It must be integral to the earliest stage of planning and design. This Guideline will provide inspiration and information to school librarians, indeed everyone in and beyond school, who is considering or directly involved with a new build or refurbished library development programme.

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SLA Chair and SLYA librarians meet the Blairs

Meeting Tony BlairYesterday evening at an exclusive event in London the Chair of the School Library Association, Eileen Armstrong, librarian at Cramlington Community High School, and the SLA School Librarian of the Year 2007, Ingrid Hopson from George Abbot School Guildford, met Tony and Cherie Blair and were thanked for the service that they give in their respective schools.

Also with them were three of this year's Honour List for the Award, Fay Dowding from Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale, Helen Pallett, formerly of Djanogly City Academy in Nottingham and Helen Roberts of Lea Valley High School and Sports College.

All five were delighted to be invited to attend the special event which celebrated those who work in the public sector, and the SLA was very pleased to have five school librarians at such a special occasion.  Well done to all of them!

This Youtube video contains snippets from the event, including a brief interview with Ingrid Hopson:

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Booked Up - free books for yr 7s

On Monday 11 June 2007 the Department for Education and Skills is launching an exciting new national programme for England aimed at encouraging Year 7 children to read for pleasure. The scheme will be administered on behalf of the DfES by Booktrust, the independent national charity that encourages people of all ages to discover and enjoy reading.

Every 11 year old in your school will be able to choose a free book from a list of 12 specially selected titles. Funded by the DfES, the project is inspired by, and will build on the success of, the national Bookstart programme, which aims to provide free packs of books to every baby in England.

The Booked Up programme will give schools: a free book for every Year 7 pupil; supporting magazines, bookmarks and stickers; additional activities and promotional materials; and a website with further ideas and resources for you and your pupils.

Register by Friday 29 June 2007 to receive a free set of Booked Up books for your school.

All schools need to do now is elect a coordinator and register online, by telephoning 0845 606 4262 or by faxing 0845 606 4242.

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New Booktrust research

Booktrust are currently updating their data on school spending on library books. The research was last carried out in 2002. In addition to collecting information about the provision and availability of books, the project will also chart the occurrence of various models of library provision in schools. The survey was devised in consultation with the SLA and we encourage members to contribute to this research in order to give us evidence that can be used in advocacy on your behalf. Booktrust and SLA are particularly keen to have more results from primary schools so if you can help in this area by promoting this to any partner schools we'd be most grateful.

Public sector market research specialists IF are conducting interviews with a random sample of primary school head teachers and secondary school librarians on behalf of Booktrust. The interviews are being supplemented by an online survey of school librarians. The questionnaire should take no more than 10 minutes to fill in. Please help to support this important research by completing the survey

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Bookings close soon for SLA Weekend Course

If you've always intended to come to the SLA weekend but never got around to doing anything about it, it's not too late!  Bookings close at the end of the week, but there are still about 15 places available, so get your skates on!

Just visit the Weekend Course homepage to see what a host of exciting talks, seminars and events are taking place in Nottingham to celebrate the future of school libraries and the 70th birthday of the SLA.  Great speakers, lots of authors too, the opportunity to meet and network with plenty of old and new friends and we promise you PLENTY of Birthday cake!

Delegates always come away bursting with new ideas and enthusiasm for what they have heard and the people they have met, so don't miss your last chance to get this annual ‘high'.

We're looking forward to seeing you there!

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