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SLA Blog » October 2012RSS 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.

Last Chance to Book - Conference75

Sla 75 LogoLast chance to book for the few remaining places left at Conference 75.  Online booking and details on our website.  Don't miss it!

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Mass Lobby for School Libraries

Authors WebYesterday worked out really well (though my day had a slightly dodgy start as the train I was on kept setting off the internal fire extinguishers in the engine!).  A group of school librarians were gathering at Victoria Embankment Gardens on a gentle autumn day to Lobby Parliament.  People had travelled from all over - some setting out at ridiculously early times, or even staying locally the night before.  SLA was officially represented by Lin Smith (Chair), Lesley Martin (SLA Board) and me - though it was great to see so many of our members there and willing to people the barricades!  It was fantastic too, that so many authors and illustrators took the time to come and support - many taking pictures, blogging and talking to their MPs.  Some of those attending included Mary Hoffman (Book Maven Blog),Philip Ardargh (see Facebook pages), Sarah McIntyre (Jabberwoks Blog), Chris Priestley, Dave Cryer, Candy Gourlay (fantastic photographs), Francesca Simon.

Just Before the offWe were issued with our fantastic t shirts - courtesy of MLS - with an inspiring logo, and then set off to walk the short distance to Old Palace Yard, and then into the Houses of Parliament.  It was interesting to see people's reaction as we marched - and handed out 'Support for School Libraries' flyers.  Families happily took flyers, many of the tourists were slightly bemused to see the demonstration and we were photographed many, many times!  

Arriving at Parliament, and with the rain now threatening, the Police organised it so that we could enter the precincts early - and directed us to the cafe to wait for our various appointments.  Many of those present had already arranged to meet with their MP, those who hadn't issued a green card to theirs and waited to see if their MP was free (several high profile MPs were carded in this way - Michael Gove amongst them, and David Cameron).  We had a meet with Justin Tomlinson - Swindon North MP - who is supportive and encouraging in the process of getting school libraries the recognition they deserve.  (He is Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Libraries so has a genuine interest in libraries.)  

The results from the day are positive - an APPG Libraries enquiry to collect impact evidence for school libraries, an Early Day Motion promise and lots of MPs promising support.  Watch the Lobby Facebook page to keep up to date, and keep on writing to your MPs and attending their surgeries - the more exposure we can generate the more impact the campaign will have.

And finally, huge thanks and congratulations to Barbara Band and Elizabeth Bentley and their small team for their work bringing this all together - it's not easy to get all the elements to work together but a really successful day was created.


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IASL Award

IASLWe are happy to announce that Nancy Everhart, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Library & Information Studies, Florida State University, is the 2012 winner of the IASL School Librarianship Award.  A respected author, award winner, and professor, Nancy is also the director of the School Library Media Program and the PALM Center: Partnership Advancing Library Media, devoted to the study of school libraries and librarianship. Through the center she has obtained numerous grants and has gained local, national, and international attention for the leadership role of the school librarian and the importance of school libraries.
Nancy is also co-editor of IASL’s School Libraries Worldwide and a past-president of AASL. During her AASL presidency she undertook a Vision Tour of outstanding school libraries in the United States, generating publicity for school libraries that resulting in major positive changes.  She has also been instrumental in promoting international school relationships by taking U.S. school librarians to London to study and hosting school librarians from other countries in the U.S. and serves on FSU's Council for International Education and Programs.
There will be more about Nancy and the award in an upcoming issue of the IASL Newsletter.  Recipients of the IASL School Librarianship Award are individual members of IASL who are recognized for their contribution to the national development of school libraries and services within their own country or internationally.  This award is announced annually in October during
International School Library Month and is the premier international recognition of services to school libraries.


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Information Book Award 2012 Winners

TigerCan We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White, (published by Walker Books ISBN 9781406319095) swept the board at the Information Book Award, winning its section (7-12) in both the Children’s Choice and the Judges Choice as well as continuing the clean sweep as the Overall Winner in Children’s and Judges Choices. A celebration event at the Free Word Centre was attended by many of the shortlisted authors and illustrators including Salvatore Rubbino, Ruth Thomson, Catherine House, Nick Dowson, David Goodman, Zoe Miller and Philip Steele.  A full list of section and Children's Choice winners is listed on the Information Book Award webpage.

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Kevin Crossley Holland - CWIG Speech

The SLA president, Kevin Crossley Holland, gave an impassioned rallying cry to his fellow professionals at the Society of Authors Children's Writers and Illustrators Group conference in Reading - Joined Up Reading.  We are delighted to be able to publish Kevin's full speech on our website.  With grateful thanks to the Children's Writers and Illustrators Group.

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IBBY Christnmas Cards 2012

Multipack Poster

PDF file, 883 kB

Requires Adobe Reader


IBBY UK is pleased to announce that this year’s Christmas cards are now available. This year features an image from John Burningham, the shortlisted nominee for the Hans Andersen prize in 2012, from his Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present

We also have all our previous cards available with images from Michael Foreman, Jan Pienkowski, Shirley Hughes and Jane Ray. You can buy these as packs of 8 cards of a single design or a multipack containing 2 cards of each design.

Christmas Cards Order Form 2012

Word document, 211 kB

Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later



For the first time this year, all cards, except Jan Pienkowski’s, have the message Seasons Greetings in seven languages. Jan Pienkowski’s message is Happy Christmas.

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Get ready for this year's National Short Story Week

NSSWeekGuest post from Ian Skillicorn, Director, National Short Story Week. 

November 12th will mark the start of the third annual National Short Story Week in the UK. Each year hundreds of events take place around the country, furthering the week's aims of getting more people writing, reading and listening to short stories.

When I spoke to members of the SLA at Browns Books in Preston in 2011, I was very encouraged by the enthusiasm for the idea of a Young Writer short story competition, as part of the celebrations for National Short Story Week. I also took away some very valuable insights and advice on how best to run the competition. The result was a very successful competition which engaged and involved many hundreds of year 7 and 8 pupils from around the UK and British schools overseas. Choosing the short-list proved a real challenge, as the quality of the stories we received was exceptionally high. I was also struck by the inventiveness with which the children interpreted the title they were given - The Choice.

The winning stories were chosen by children's authors Chris Priestley (Tales of Terror) and Aidan Chambers (The Kissing Game). The overall winning story will be broadcast as a podcast on the National Short Story Week (www.nationalshortstoryweek.org.uk) and Short Story Radio (www.shortstoryradio.com) websites from the beginning of this year's National Short Story Week, when we will also publish a free ebook anthology of the top 32 stories.

Registration for this year's Young Writer competition is now open and, like last year, we can only accept entries from the first 250 schools to register. We hope to be able to increase the number of schools taking part in future years. School librarians can read more details and register their school here: www.nationalshortstoryweek.org.uk/schools.htm

Our recommended reading list for children and young adults has titles to suit every age and taste, including tales of life in the world's inner cities, accounts of the paranormal, charming stories about a post-WWII childhood and even some Dr Who audio adventures. The full list can be downloaded from www.nationalshortstoryweek.org.uk/recommended-reading-list.htm

We are fortunate to have children's newspaper First News as our media partner for the second year running, which means the competition and our short story recommendations will reach over one million schoolchildren nationwide.

National Short Story Week is a great way to get schoolchildren reading, writing and listening to short stories and I hope you will want to take part in this year's celebrations.

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Love your library: Julia Donaldson kicks off The Guardian's celebration of libraries

GuardianThe children's laureate and Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson kicks off The Guardian's  Love your library celebration with the 10 things she likes best about libraries and a poem about why libraries are great.
Childern are invited to tell her  why they love their library. Students can write a list or a poem, like Julia Donaldson, draw a picture, write a story or take a photo. Send contributions to childrens.books@guardian.co.uk and they will be added to the Love your library page, celebrating libraries all over the world.


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Conference75 - Early Bird booking closes tomorrow

Conference75 at Jury's Inn, Gateshead on 16th November, don't forget the Early Bird rate closes tomorrow - 12th October.  There are a fSla 75 Logoew places remaining, book now to avoid disappointment.  Full day of workshops and presentations, as well as Sally Nicholls, Andy Briggs and Kevin Crossley Holland. 

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Only 9 days left!!

Poster Iba BackDon't forget to register your pupils votes for the Information Book Award Children's Choices.  Voting closes on 19th October.  The winners will be announced and the awards made on Monday 22nd October at a special celebratory event in London. 

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UKLA Book Award Long Lists

UKLAUKLA today announces the long lists for the 2013 UKLA Book Award, which is the only national award to be judged by classroom teachers. Shortlisting and then the final judging will be carried out by teachers from schools located in the region of the next UKLA International Conference, which will be held at Liverpool Hope University in 2013. The awards will then be presented to the worthy winners on July 5th at a gala reception during the Conference thus showcasing the best of British publishing to an international audience.

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Candy Gourlay blogs about the SLA Awards

Gourlay blogAuthor and blogger Candy Gourlay has posted a great write-up of our School Libraries Celebration Day last week, when the School Librarian of the Year and Library Design Awards were presented - read "A Library is much more than the sum of its parts".

She also commented on the Awards at her Notes from the Slushpile blog: "It was an inspiring event with many thrilling ideas about enthusing children into reading. But the awesome initiatives on display were made poignant by a constant awareness of the terrible challenges nibbling away at our libraries. When I was a kid, the library rescued me. But who's going to rescue the libraries?"

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Are you missing your Autumn journal?

TSL 60-3Unfortunately we are hearing that some members have still not received their Autumn 2012 issue of The School Librarian (Volume 60 Number 3) and we are aware of a delivery problem with a small number of journals.

If you have not received your expected Autumn mailing, please let us know with a confirmation of your address by email to production@sla.org.uk or contact the SLA office. A replacement will be sent to you as soon as possible.

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The Duston School wins SLA Library Design Award

Duston SchoolWe are delighted to report that the SLA Library Design Award winner for 2012 just announced at our School Libraries Celebration Day is The Duston School, Northampton.

Congratulations to the winning school and all who took part in the awards this year, including the other finalists in contention, Cheltenham College and Front Lawn Junior School, Havant.

Thanks to all the librarians, headteachers, colleagues and friends who helped make for a memorable award event in London.

The Library Design Awards are the SLA's prestigious annual honours to recognize school libraries that show innovation, creativity and resourcefulness in their library design and are sponsored by Demco Interiors.

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Adam Lancaster is SLA School Librarian of the Year 2012

Adam Lancaster The SLA School Librarian of the Year 2012 was announced on School Libraries Celebrations Day, 1st October 2012.

Congratulations to Adam Lancaster, SLA School Librarian of the Year 2012.

Kevin Crossley-Holland, President of the School Library Association, presented the award to Adam Lancaster, Librarian/Associate Head Teacher at Monk’s Walk School, Welwyn Garden City, at Dexter House, London, on Monday 1st October.

Adam Lancaster may well be the first school librarian to be appointed associate assistant headteacher, without being a trained teacher. He took up his additional post at Monk’s Walk in September 2012 when the former 11-18 specialist science college achieved academy status. In addition, he is a school governor and was a member of the panel appointing the new headteacher. No surprise then that library is firmly at the heart of school life and there are two applicants for every pupil librarian post, even though Adam has appointed 60 this year. For more information go to http://www.sla.org.uk/adam-lancaster.php

School Libraries Celebration Day highlights the impact of a great school librarian and a well-designed library on learning and teaching. The winner of the School Library Association Library Design Award was also announced by best-selling author Brian Selznick.

The work of all three exceptional librarians on the SLA School Librarian of the Year 2012 Honour list was celebrated.

  • Rosalind Buckland – Librarian, Ripley St Thomas CE Academy, Lancaster
  • Adam Lancaster – Librarian/Associate Assistant Headteacher, Monk’s Walk School, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
  • Gill Trueman – Library and Information Manager, Peasedown St John Primary School, near Bath

Visit the SLA website – www.sla.org.uk – to read their profiles.

Kevin Crossley-Holland, President of the School Library Association, congratulated all the librarians and said:

“Make no mistake about it! School libraries and school librarians are under real pressure – political apathy, cuts in their budgets, threats of redundancy, status within their schools. But all over the country, individual librarians are doing imaginative and valiant and, frankly, quite crucial work, inspiring a love of reading within their schools and communities. They’re not only custodians of the storyhoard, the river of poems and the building blocks of information but brokers of the relationship between books as physical artefacts and the Digital Age. Now, the very best of them have been shortlisted to be the SLA School Librarian of the Year. It’s an award that matters, and it should be recognised by each and every one of us.”

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