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SLA Blog » January 2010RSS 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.

Plagiarism – new guides available

Guides for students, parents and teachers on avoiding the pitfalls of plagiarism have been produced by Ofqual (Office of the qualifications and examinations regulator) in association with PlagiarismAdvice.org who have produced a series of guides to help students, parents and teachers to avoid falling foul of plagiarism within coursework and controlled assessments. Anne-Marie Tarter, SLA Board Member, has been involved in the production of these guides.

Hard copies of the plagiarism guides will be available to order through the Ofqual publications page by the end of January; meanwhile, all three guides can be downloaded from the Ofqual site.

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Estelle Morris to chair commission on school libraries

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the National Literacy Trust are launching a commission to examine the future of school library provision in England. The joint initiative will assess the role of the school library in the 21st century school.

The commission will focus on the definition and role of a modern school library; the characteristics of effective school library provision; the agencies and partnerships which can best provide and support this model; and the articulation of a national improvement agenda.  The final report will provide an informed and proactive vision for the future of school libraries and their role in supporting learning outcomes.

The commission will be chaired by Baroness Estelle Morris, who began her career as a teacher and has held a number of positions in government including Secretary of State for Education & Skills (2001-02). Baroness Morris will be joined by commissioners including Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Fund; Jean Gross, Director of Every Child a Reader partnership; and Catherine Blanshard, Chief Officer of Libraries, Arts and Heritage for Leeds City Council.

The commission will ask schools, local authorities, education professionals and any organisation or individual who is interested in the future of school libraries to submit their views and ideas. Throughout the commission there will be ongoing dialogue with national and local government and other policy makers with an interest in the development of school libraries as well as commercial service providers. These bodies will be updated and briefed ahead of the commission's final findings in June 2010. 

Between 1997 and 2007 pupils supported by schools library service provision dropped from 82% to 66%. An evidence based examination of the role of the school library in the new education landscape is urgently required as is a fresh and imaginative approach to redefining the role of the school library.

Baroness Estelle Morris said, "Libraries provide children with fantastic educational and social opportunities and the central aim of the commission to look at ways to furnish school libraries with the very best support and advice."

Museums, Libraries and Archives Chief Executive, Roy Clare, said, "The Museums, Libraries and Archives and National Literacy Trust partnership will support the vital role that the library service plays in children's access to reading and learning.   We are committed to helping libraries deliver the best possible service to help children achieve their potential. We launched this commission to answer current inconsistencies in the school library services and to offer effective examples and support for school libraries in the future."

Director of the National Literacy Trust, Jonathan Douglas, said, "School libraries are a vital resource in supporting literacy standards. They are powerhouses of reading where children and young people discover their identities as readers and develop appetites for literacy which will equip them to be lifelong learners. As such, school libraries are crucial in enabling students to fulfill their potential. A resource as important as this needs to be rediscovered in the context of a changing educational landscape."

The SLA is pleased to have been asked to support this new commission.

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Boost for library and information education in Northern Ireland

A professionally recognised library and information degree is now available in Northern Ireland after a gap of many years. The MSc and Postgraduate Diploma programmes offered by the University of Ulster have recently been granted accreditation by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 

CILIP accreditation means students can graduate with a professionally recognised library and information degree. This will significantly enhance their career opportunities. In the longer term it will also help raise the status of library and information work in Northern Ireland.

Patricia McAdams, a student who works in the Derry Central Library explained that CILIP accreditation meant, "recognition of the work I have put in so far, and encouragement to finish the Masters."

CILIP accreditation is only awarded after an in-depth and rigorous review of all aspects of the programmes. It assures students and employers that accredited courses meet the standards of the profession they are about to enter. The programmes are already attracting students from all sectors of the library and information management workforce.

Successful completion of a programme accredited by CILIP is the first step for candidates who intend to proceed towards Chartered membership of CILIP. Chartered membership means graduates can continue to develop the highest standards of professionalism in whichever aspect of librarianship, knowledge management or information science they practice.

Dr Ian Lovecy, Chair of the CILIP Accreditation Board explained the value of accreditation, it "indicates that students who successfully complete the course have been introduced to the full range of knowledge and skills required for information work."

CILIP in Ireland is among the supporters of the accredited programmes and can provide a limited number of bursaries for CILIP members, to help with course fees.

The MSc and Postgraduate Diploma programmes could not have been developed without the support of library staff at the University of Ulster and the Library and Information Services Council (NI) Library Education Advisory Group. Students are drawn by the wide-ranging curriculum and the accessible and flexible nature of course delivery, much of which is via video-conference and brings together students at the University's Coleraine, Jordanstown and Magee campuses. 

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Deadline fast approaching for SLA Board nominations!

Don't forget - nominations for new Board Members for the SLA close on 1 February 2010.  To find out more, look at the members area of the website and download a nomination form now!

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Brian Wildsmith 80 today!

Children's illustrator Brian Wildsmith is celebrating his birthday today whilst his publisher Oxford University Press is co-ordinating a series of events this year to celebrate his huge contribution to children's book illustration over the years.  Look out for some new books and also an exhibition at Seven Stories.  Happy birthday Brian!

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Oxford Literary Festival

For those living nearby the programme for The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival is packed full of children's events. It runs from 20 to 28 March 2010 - do have a look at their website

Authors and illustrators booked for the children's programme include: Malorie Blackman, Fiona Bird, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Katie Cleminson, Steve Cole, Zizou Corder, Cressida Cowell, Harriet Goodwin, Anthony Horowitz, Andrew Lane, Christopher Lloyd, Geraldine McCaughrean, Frances Hardinge, William Nicholson, Mal Peet, Tim Pigott-Smith, Philip Pullman, Philip Reeve, Chris Riddell, Louise Rennison, Meg Rosoff, Axel Scheffler, Ali Sparkes, Kristina Stephenson and Louise Yates. There is also a session on How to Get a Children's Book Published with literary agent Julia Churchill and publisher Leah Thaxton. Read previews of the children's festival and the festival generally.

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E Learning Handbook

TACCLE (Teachers' Aids on Creating Content for Learning Environments), an EU funded Comenius multilateral project, has released a handbook on e-learning. The publication is mainly addressed to classroom teachers, but is useful for a broader audience including school librarians involved in preparing and providing e-learning classes and information literacy. It's available in 7 languages - Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, in PDF format, through a log-in area (the registrations takes only a few seconds).  Take a look...

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Write Away Conference 2010

This year's Write Away Conference is READ, PLAY, THINK, CREATE: generating delight in learning.  Save over £30 on the Earlybird booking before 28 February 2010.  More details are available on the Write Away website.

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New Name for 2010

Heinnemann Library have worked with the SLA in the past providing sponsorship and contributing to Weekend Courses etc - watch out for them in 2010 under their new name - Raintree.   Raintree's aim is to ‘capture the interest and unlock the potential' of children and young people by introducing them to the joy of reading through an expanded range of titles in fiction, non fiction, graphics and hi-lo.

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Friday, 15th January deadline for SLYA nominations

There are only 2 days left to get your nominations for the 2010 School Librarian of the Year in to the SLA office! The deadline for nominations is 15 January 2010. Nomination forms are available to download here. Make it a new year's resolution to show a colleague how much you appreciate them and their contribution to students' acheivements and send in a nomination for them.

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Literacy Forum @ the Education Show

Education Show logoThe Education Show has teamed up with the National Literacy Association to bring you The Literacy Forum, to be held on Friday 5 March 2010, NEC Birmingham.

This one day conference has been developed to get into the heart of reading, its challenges in schools today and asking the difficult question... What is the future of reading?

Attend the conference and be part of the development of a manifesto/ set of guidelines that target objectives to develop the pursuit of reading in our future learners.

To book simply register to attend the Education Show (for free) then follow the steps to book onto the Literacy conference. Places are charged at £150 + VAT per person.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Michael Rosen, Author and former Children's Laureate - 'Reading real books'.
  • Aidan Chambers, School Library Association - 'The political landscape for reading'
  • Chris Mead, Institute for the Future of the Book - 'Is there a future of reading?'
  • Sally McKeown, Consultant, Educational Technology and Special Needs - 'Reading for pleasure: Technology and the future of literacy'

The full conference programme, with full details can be found on the website.

The SLA will be exhibiting at the Education Show and attending the conference too!

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My Way! Launch

I was delighted to be able to battle through the inclement weather to get to 10 Downing Street yesterday.  It was quite an experience walking through the door that features so often on the news! 

I was attending the launch of My Way! by First News in association with Walker Books, DCSF, Pritt and the Teaching Awards.  There were welcome speeches from Sarah Brown and Nicki Cox MBE - the editor of First News - announcing a tour of schools in June. 

My Way! aims to raise awareness of the fact that one in five children have learning challenges and to dispel the myth that these children are less intelligent and show that every child can succeed.   In his speech Henry Winkler expressed a wonderful image, of travelling on a river of the arts - without which he may have fallen off and he emphasized the need for every citizen to function at the top reach of their potential.  Minister Ed Balls quoted a Y5 child from a special school he had visited recently ‘we're all different but we're all the same' emphasizing the need for different approaches.

I am sure we shall hear a lot more from Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz) as he is one of our speakers at our 2010 Weekend Course and will talk about My Way!, his Hank Zipzer books and how he coped with dyslexia when he is in conversation with Nicky Cox on Friday 25th June.

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Limited opening at SLA office again today

The SLA office will be open today between 8.30 and 1pm due to the heroic efforts of Ann and Jane who have braved the wintery weather once again and walked in to work. Please contact us by email and phone and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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Snow closes SLA Office!

Due to heavy snowfall in the Swindon area the SLA office will only be open for a limited period today (Wednesday). The SLA office is based at the end of a long drive on an organic dairy farm so the only way to get to it in the current weather conditions is on foot. Ann and Jane have valiantly struggled in but will leave about lunch time as it is still snowing heavily in our neck of the woods! Please continue to contact us by email or phone and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

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Deadline for SLYA nominations is fast approaching!

There are only 10 days left to get your nominations for the 2010 School Librarian of the Year in to the SLA office! The deadline for nominations is 15 January 2010. Nomination forms are available to download here. Make it a new year's resolution to show a colleague how much you appreciate them and their contribution to students' acheivements and send in a nomination for them.

Here's wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous 2010 from all at the SLA.

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