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SLA Blog » November 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.

Siobhan Dowd Trust Winners

Ten schools have won £1000 worth of books for doing one of their favourite things … reading books.  Chair of the Siobhan Dowd Trust Tony Bradman is proud to announce the ten winners and two runner- ups of the Spread the Joy of Reading competition  on the Trust's website. The Trust is  making a database of all the best ideas with the aim that others will copy and pass on activities that work.   In January 2012, the Siobhan Dowd Trust launched a campaign to find out what was done in schools to spread a Joy of Reading… the competition ran until the end of the summer term and got hundreds of wonderful submissions.   A special Judging panel, chaired by Michael Rosen,  met recently  to decide which ten schools  had the most vibrant and lively school libraries and the most imaginative ideas to  encourage reading for pleasure.   

Judges praised the overall enthusiasm displayed by all entries and said it was clear that schools are already doing a variety of great things.  Julia Eccleshare praised the passion that was evident; Danny Hahn highlighted one winning school’s comment that their overall top tip was to “just make reading normal”. Michael Rosen said as far as he was concerned “one single initiative is not enough, the key thing is to do LOTS of different things,… and keep doing them!”


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Children's Laureate 2013 - Vote now for your favourites

The SLA is delighted to have been asked by the Booktrust to consult you, our members, to suggest names for the coveted role of Children's Laureate. Julia Donaldson’s tenure as Children’s Laureate will end during the summer of 2013, and a new appointment is sought. The Children's Laureate Steering Group seeks nominations from organisations concerned with children’s reading and books for a Children’s Laureate with the following qualities:

  • an individual of exceptional talent in writing and/or illustration for children’s books
  • an individual with a significant publishing record
  • an individual with a significant profile in the industry and amongst her/his peers
  • an individual with an active interest in raising the profile of books for children, and for their writers and illustrators

To help the process along, the SLA Board have suggested a series of names of both authors and illustrators and then voted them into a shortlist of five names in each category. We now invite you to vote for your favourite in each category, and the author and illustrator with the most votes will each be nominated as possible Laureates to the Booktrust. Please vote by Friday 14th December 2012 by making sure you are logged in to the SLA website then visiting http://www.sla.org.uk/vote

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TACCLE Course - grant funded

TaccleTACCLE are running this fifth in-service training, which will run from 5 until 12 May 2013 in Urbino, Italy (reference number: BE-2013-268-001 Comenius or BE-2013-267-001 Grundtvig).  The  aim is to help teachers to develop state of the art content for e-learning in general and for learning environments in particular.This is achieved by training delegates to create e-learning materials and raising their awareness of e-learning in general. TACCLE will help to establish a culture of innovation in the schools in which they work. The training is geared to the needs of the classroom teachers but teacher trainers, ICT support staff and library resource centre staff may find it useful too!  This course is not aimed at advanced users of ICT.  The course is organised by GO!, the state education network in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium

Participation fee and how to get a grant to pay it all - 1335 Euro (700 Euro for full board en-suite accomodation in single rooms in Hotel**** Mamiani + 635 Euro for tuition and course materials). For both participation fee and travel expenses to Italy you can request a grant from the LLP National Agency in your country, which will cover all costs. You can find the address of your LLP national agency on the website.  Only participants living in one of the 27 EU member states, a country in the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) or Croatia, FYROMacedonia, Switzerland or Turkey can register for the fifth TACCLE course and apply for a grant.

For information on the content of the course and on how to get a grant to cover all costs, please have a look at the flyer. This flyer is available on-line. Deadline for grant applications with your LLP national agency is January 16th 2013.  Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you require more information: jens.vermeersch[at]g-o.be.  Having benefitted from a Comenius course in the past I can recommend this.


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Lancashire Training Day

Lancashire CourseOn the 15th November 2012 Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Blackburn opened its doors to over 25 School Librarians who had signed up to embark on the training course with trainer Chris Powis. With such a popular course in hand, Chris delighted and entertained us, kept us on task right throughout the long day and instilled a lot of encouragement and self-confidence.

Librarians who already put 'teaching' into their daily role as a School Librarian were seen busily working together in teams, brainstorming and gathering information. We shared good practice, we developed new skills to help us to adapt to new learning environments, essential for increasing levels of information literacy amongst Library users.  At the end of the session delegates gave lots of positive feedback, including how they wanted to take away what they had learned and put into practice in their own School Library/teaching area. 

The course was much needed and I was delighted to hear when we had finally secured Chris into coming to our School. To be a host School for this regional course was an honour and although a busy time prior to the event, it was well worth the pain. I would definitely advise Librarians in other Schools to push for something they are keen to explore more of – SLA do listen!

A massive thank you to our trainer Chris Powis and thanks also to the SLA for arranging this, for listening to me and most of all, for their support in all we do as School Librarians.
Head of Library/ SLA Lancashire Branch Secretary
V. B. Dewhurst

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Andy Briggs needs your help!

Tarzan CoverAuthor of the new TARZAN books, Andy Briggs, is headed to an ape sanctuary in Cameroon jungle to create a series of video blogs, due to the success of the charitable donations his books have raised. He will be creating FREE video resources for libraries and schools - filming the rescued apes, the jungle and in a local school - but he needs your help. He is looking for suggestions of topics/resources that you can use in the school. With any ideas, and to ensure you get links to the free blogs when they are created, please email him: andybriggs[at]inbox.com


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New EPQ Resources in the Learning and Teaching section

The SLA page at http://www.sla.org.uk/learning-and-teaching.php has been updated with brand new resources for delivering the EPQ in school. Our thanks go to John Iona, librarian at the Oasis Academy in Enfield, for sharing his lesson plans and activities. Do check out these essential resources for anyone thinking of becoming involved in the delivery of the EPQ!

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New Information Books Poster

Information Books Poster A new library poster is now available as a free pdf download exclusively for SLA members - "Information books to blow your mind".

This is a standalone version of the poster first issued as part of our Information Book Award publicity. Our thanks to Hachette Children's Books for supplying the design.

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New Guide to Dual Use Libraries

Effective Partnerships Dual use libraries can be a cost effective solution in times of financial restraint. The SLA's latest publication - Effective Partnerships: Creating and Managing Dual Use Libraries for Schools and Communities - is a clear and concise guide to developing joint library services.

It covers the essential areas of management, access, safeguarding, staffing, budgets, accommodation, resources and promotional activities. There are two interesting and detailed case studies. This publication is essential reading for anyone responsible for running or for establishing a library service for both a school and a community.

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Conference75 - Impressions

Cake 2A one day conference to celebrate our 75th year, new venue in Gateshead, and new format for us.  Well - it seems it was a success!  We had a really good day with a real mix of activities.  I couldn't get to see it all - I tried to be in more than one place but it didn't work!
We covered-

  • A brief history of the SLA
  • Top tips for school librarians
  • Conservation, heroes, villains and Tarzan
  • Creativity
  • On line resources and apps
  • Reading culture
  • Transition reading
  • Going Freelance
  • The power of stories
Kevin Crossley Holland & Lin Smith cut the cake!
Kevin Crossley Holland & Lin Smith cut the cake!

 And then we rounded the whole thing off with a glass of wine and a birthday cake.  A huge thank you to our exhibitors, sponsors and delegates - we couldn't do it without you all!


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Win Jacqueline Wilson!

Chatterbooks CompReading for pleasure brings children many rewards, but now there’s an extra-special one on offer for one lucky primary school, thanks to The Reading Agency’s Chatterbooks network of children’s reading groups.
Simply tell us why your school runs a Chatterbooks reading club, or why it is planning to start one, and you could win a visit from top children’s writer Jacqueline Wilson, author of such bestselling books as The Story of Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and Lily Alone. Jacqueline will give a talk, answer children’s questions, and sign books. Full details of how to enter, plus an entry form, can be found on the website.

Chatterbooks is a reading group programme for children aged eight to eleven, and its patron is top children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Chatterbooks groups (Clonclyfrau in Wales) run in libraries, schools and wherever people want to set them up. They support children’s literacy development by encouraging them to have a really good time reading and talking about books.
The Chatterbooks programme gives a best practice framework for creating inspiring reading groups for primary school aged children, helping them work together to encourage reading for pleasure, an important factor in educational attainment, and in meeting schools’ statutory targets and standards. Chatterbooks is created by The Reading Agency, the charity working to inspire more people to read more.

Find more information about Chatterbooks, including how to set up a group, plus details of all the support, training and resources available to schools who set up a Chatterbooks club Or you can email chatterbooks@readingagency.org.uk

Lucy Bakewell is school library manager and an SLA School Librarian of the Year at Hill West Primary School in Sutton Coldfield , where a Chatterbooks group was set up in July 2012. She says: “Chatterbooks has allowed us to take reading out of the classroom, which has given the children the time and space to discover books on their terms.”
Chatterbooks sessions are designed to give children confidence in speaking, writing and reading in a group, choosing books for themselves, and talking about what they like to read. Group leaders are provided with lots of session ideas, and through The Reading Agency’s partnership with leading children’s publishers Chatterbooks groups get a stream of information, tips, promotions and goodies featuring the best in children’s books.
Jacqueline Wilson says: “I do hope as many schools as possible run Chatterbooks reading clubs - I think they're a brilliant idea. I'm looking forward to visiting the winning school.”    The closing date for this competition is 14th December 2012.

Don’t delay!  Check out the competition details. Make sure your Chatterbooks group is signed up to the Reading Groups For Everyone website.


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Society of Authors - Author Visits survey

SOCDon't forget - today is the last day to submit entries to the Society of Authors survey about the value of athor visits in schools.

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Amazon and Kindles in school libraries

It has come to our attention that Amazon have been giving unclear and conflicting advice to school librarians who may have been wanting to loan Kindles to their pupils.  Amazon does not have a school purchase or loan policy in place, thus the agreement you accept is that for individual users.

The comment from Amazon - We currently don’t have any specific program or conditions in place for schools. The same terms of use apply to any Kindle content ordered on  Amazon.co.uk 
The relevant terms can be found here:
Note that the clause entitled “Use of Kindle Content” only allows the customer’s personal, non-commercial use.  In addition the “limitations” clause does not allow to sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense, or otherwise assign any rights to the Kindle Content or any portion of it to any third party. 

If you have previously had conversations with Amazon by email to check you are within the Kindle agreement please do recheck this as there is likely to be a programme of retraining of their customer advisers to make sure these sitautions do not happen in future.  Meanwhile, thank you to the school librarians who brought this anomaly to our notice.


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New Excellence Poster from SLA

Excellence PosterWe have just issued a new poster - "A School with no Library is like a Curriculum with no Excellence". It is a pdf download exclusively for SLA members.

Thanks to our SLA in Scotland regional branch for this great idea which grew out of the "Shout About School Libraries" campaign.

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New HPQ book from SLA

Taking a Leading Role In Taking a Leading Role: HPQ Level 2 and the School Librarian, dynamic SLA member, Barbara Band, explains how she worked with Year 9 students to deliver the AQA HPQ Level 2 qualification. Barbara provided both the taught skills and supervised their personal studies and writes about her experiences. She covers the process from selecting student to the final presentations, talking about the challenges she faced and giving realistic recommendations to anyone who is planning to become involved in the process in their own schools.

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Adam Lancaster Red House blog post - Why do boys love non-fiction

Adam Lancaster, SLA Librarian of the Year 2012, has written a guest blog post for My Red House on the appeal of non-fiction books and why boys love them.

Really hope you like it!

Why do boys love non fiction books?

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Barbara Band on TES webchat

Barbara Band WebchatLibrarian and active SLA member Barbara Band took part in a TES webchat yesterday to talk about the campaign to make libraries a statutory requirement for schools and the recent lobby of Parliament.

A replay of the live webchat is available on the TES website here.

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Registration for the 2013 Stan Lee Excelsior Award is now OPEN

The Stan Lee Excelsior AwardIt's that time of year again. Registration for the 2013 Stan Lee Excelsior Award is now OPEN!

To register your school for the only nationwide graphic novel award scheme in the UK, all you have to do is contact the award and confirm your school's participation. 

Remember, there is no charge or fee for taking part - all you need is £75 to buy in a set of the shortlisted books (which you then keep!).

The 2013 shortlist is looking very interesting and the announcement of the shortlist will be in mid-December!

For more information check out the website www.excelsioraward.co.uk

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Red House Children's Book Award 2013

RHCBA 13The Red House Children’s Book Award 2013 shortlist has been announced. Among those shortlisted are funny man and bestselling children’s writer, David Walliams, previous winner and award veteran, Sophie McKenzie, Pittacus Lore, author of the popular Lorien Legacy series and 2010 nominee Suzanne La Fleur.

A dedicated website showcases all the shortlisted titles and featured authors. Any child can vote here for their favourite book until 27thJanuary 2012.  The award is organised by the Federation of Children's Book Groups.


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