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SLA Blog » October 2011RSS 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.

Membership Survey

As the SLA has been in existence 75 years in 2012 we thought it an appropriate time to look at all the activities we undertake, and see what you, our members, really value.  To that end we have devised a really simple survey – shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to complete, on SurveyMonkey.  I really hope you will take the time to fill this in and to let us know what you like and what you use most.  We’ll keep the link open for a month to allow lots of time in which to express your opinions.  Closing Date: 28th November 2011. 
Follow the links here to start the survey - https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9TJTHPK

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Over 50 authors contributed to the new free e-book School Libraries:
What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come
, which is now available for free download at: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/96705

Please feel free to share this link with your colleagues, SMT, professional and union organizations. Help us spread the word and build the conversation about the possibilities of school libraries!

The book is available for free download in three formats:

  •  PDF for those who want to read it on a desktop/laptop
  •  .mobi for those who want to read it on Kindle software or a Kindle device
  •  .epub for those who would like to read it on Adobe Digital Editions
    software, - iBooks, Sony Reader, the Bluefire Reader app, Nook, and most other eReaders

While you can find the eBook on Smashwords now, in about 2-6 weeks,
Smashwords will send it out to the major eBookstores (including
Apple?s iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Sony Bookstore, and others,
although Amazon is in negotations) for free distribution.

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Another new autumn poster

Check out the latest in the SLA's new series of library posters for you to download and use to help promote your library and its resources.

They are a free download, but only available to logged-in SLA members.

Watch out for more posters coming soon!

"A terror thrilling and repulsive"

PDF file, 400 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

SLA Members Only

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Information Book Award voting closes tonight

Don't miss the very last chance to vote - the SLA  Information Book Award Children's Choice voting closes tonight!  The winners will be announced on November 2nd at a celebration event at the Free Word Centre, London.

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Shout About School Libraries

Shout AboutPlease note this campaign is no longer active.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL), the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) as we want everyone to start SHOUTING ABOUT School Libraries and Schools Library Services.

While recent media focus has been on the closure of public libraries, ASCEL, CILIP and the SLA are asking people to lend their voices to a major new campaign to lead the fight to ensure children and young people across the country have access to proper library resources whether on-site, as part of a cluster of schools or through local authorities’ Schools Library Services.

School librarians and Schools Library Services expertise are essential in helping children navigate the digital world and improve information literacy skills. What use is a classroom of PCs connected to the Internet if children don’t know how to use them effectively? 

CILIP Chief Executive Annie Mauger, who represents librarians working in both the public and private sector explains, "A library is more than a room full of books. It should be run by trained professionals who encourage reading, advise on using information and help children develop essential literacy and research skills. All children and young people should have access to the benefits they bring. Currently this is not the case. We are launching this campaign to SHOUT ABOUT the great job librarians in school libraries and school library services do and the threats they are facing."

A recent study for the Times Education Supplement (TES) found that some 600,000 children no longer had access to a Schools Library Service.

Gillian Harris, Chair of ASCEL said, “Teachers need a wide range of stimulating, up-to-date and relevant learning resources to deliver an exciting and vibrant curriculum.  I want to SHOUT ABOUT Schools Library Services because they are an amazing cost-effective way for schools to make sure children of all abilities have the best quality materials in the classroom to inspire their learning.  Add to this the professional support, advice and books Schools Library Services can provide to those wanting to build a reading culture and an excellent library, then they should be at the top of every school’s list to buy in.“

SLA Director Tricia Adams adds, “School librarians are often the lone practitioner in their school; the importance of a campaign like this is in its ability to bring together all the messages that need to reach a wide constituency of government and local decision makers, including head teachers, governors and parents.  We all need to join together to SHOUT ABOUT school libraries and Schools Library Services.”

The campaign will run until late 2012 and aims to raise awareness of the value of school libraries and Schools Library Services to their communities (at both primary and secondary school level) amongst key stakeholders including government, head teachers, governors and parents.

To get involved in the campaign visit the SHOUT ABOUT webpage. From now until the end of the year campaigning resources will be developed and added to the website for anyone want to help SHOUT ABOUT their own school library or Schools Library Service.

For those of you who tweet use the Twitter hash tag #SHOUTABOUT.

Watch out for lots of activity over the next year!

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Win a Roald Dahl Story Chair

Dahl Chair Flyer

PDF file, 2 MB

Requires Adobe Reader


Win a super Roald Dahl Storytelling chair for your library.  To enter you must send a photo of a library display on Dahl, and explain in no more than 100 words how your library has promoted Dahl and why you deserve to win!  Entries must be received by Friday 30th December at roalddahlcomp[at]readingagency.org.uk .  For more details download the flyer PDF.

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Reading Groups for Everyone

Reading Groups for Everyone the new website from the Reading Agency is open for business! Reading Agency would like to see as many groups as possible join, including school based groups; the more groups on the site the stronger the messages will be about all the good things reading groups and book clubs are doing for people and communities.  There will also be various publisher offers displayed on the website, as well as useful tips for starting and running groups - so do take a look and sign up.

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Faber Cover Design Competition

Faber are looking for budding designers to create a new cover for Lord of the Flies - the winning entry will be used as a cover for the new educational edition of the title.  For more information see the Reading Groups website

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Information Book Award - Deadline Approaching

Don't forget - you only have another week to get your votes registered on the Children's Choice section of the SLA Information Book Award!  Make sure your vote counts!

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Truth, Lies and the Internet

There has been some interesting discussion on the latest DEMOS report ‘Truth, Lies and the Internet’ by Jamie Bartlett.  If you haven’t had chance to read it may I suggest you have a look – but be warned the contribution of school librarians to the whole question of digital literacy is ignored in the original report.  DEMOS have responded quickly to the various criticisms from many school librarians – and have now asked for comment showing the range and vitality of the work being undertaken in schools. 

Carl Miller at DEMOS has said “So to move forward, then, I'd like to invite the librarians to have their say now:

1. What are the things you're currently doing to help young people develop the skills to critically and sceptically engage with info online? Is this set up into overarching programmes of study, or are you doing this on an ad hoc basis?

2. Are the things you're currently doing sufficient, in your view?

3. If not, what are the things you need to better promote digital fluency in schools?   Looking forward to your POV on this.” 

So please take this opportunity and tell Carl what is happening in your school - carl.miller@demos.co.uk

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Library Design Award winner

The School Library Association is delighted to announce the winner of the SLA Library Design Award for 2011:

Rosendale Primary School, London

SLDA 2011 Winners Group The Award for the school's innovative Rosendale Library Bus was presented by Andy Parker (Director, Sales and Marketing, of SLDA sponsor Demco Interiors) and accepted by the Rosendale team of Kate Gorely (Design and Project Co-ordinator), James Smith (Architect), Rachel Bannermann (Garden Designer) and Neil Hopkin (Executive Headteacher).

Congratulations to the other two exceptional school libraries in the final:

St John's School, Marlborough

The Elms Junior School, Trent College, Long Eaton.

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Insight into SLYA winners

SLYA LogoFollowing the announcement of the new School Librarian of the Year read this fascinating Q & A session for insight into all the previous winners and what the award has meant for them, their schools and the profession.

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School Librarian of the Year 2011 winner

Carol WebbThe winner of the 2011 School Librarian of the Year Award has just been announced - Carol Webb, Librarian at Forest Hill School in London.

Dawn Woods, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection Committee, said: "Carol was the first school librarian we visited on our quest this year and she certainly raised the bar at Olympic standard heights. The library is immediately visible from outside the school and beckons to all who pass. Within the school it is a bright focal point. Carol's information literacy approach would put some Higher Education establishments to shame. Then to top it all, we were very impressed with Carol's links to publishers. Admittedly the school has an advantage being so close to London publishing offices, but so are another few hundred schools. Carol saw the opportunities and seized them and this has resulted in an all boys' school of avid readers defying all stereotypes."

Congratulations to Carol and to the other exceptional school librarians in the final: Helen Emery, LRC Manager at King Edward VI School in Lichfield, Staffs and Wendy Roberts, Senior School Librarian at Ardingly College in West Sussex.

Nominations are now open for the School Librarian of the Year 2012.

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