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SLA Blog » May 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.

New IBBY Notelet Card by Anthony Browne

Anthony Browne notecard for IBBYFollowing on from the success of IBBY's Christmas card (featuring illustrations by Jan Pienkowski, Michael Foreman, Jane Ray and Shirley Hughes) and in response to requests for a notelet card they are pleased to announce a new card by Anthony Browne.

The illustration is specially designed and donated to support the international IBBY Congress which takes place in London from August 23-26. Anthony Browne will be taking part in the Congress along with Patsy Aldana, Aidan Chambers, Julia Donaldson, Bart Moeyaert, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen, and Shaun Tan. More details are available on the website www.ibbycongress2012.org.uk

The illustration on the front of the card features his well-known Willy character flying over the world surrounded by open books. The inside of the card is blank to write your own message.

Cards are available in packs of 10 at £6 (including postage and packing). Full details are available on the order form below.

Anthony Browne IBBY Card Order Form May 2012

Word document, 201 kB

Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later



IBBY A6 Greetings Card (low-res sample)

PDF file, 92 kB

Requires Adobe Reader


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Children's Bookshow 2012

Childrens BookshowThis year The Children’s Bookshow is 10 with a lot to celebrate!  The  Children's Bookshow  now reaches over 6000 children every year, bringing them the very best writers and illustrators from all over the world.

2012 sees is a thrilling line up of artists -  11 authors and illustrators performing in 12 venues across the country and a programme of free workshops in schools – starting in Bexhill on 28  September and finishing in Coventry on 8th November.

From internationally acclaimed artists such as Ulf Stark (Sweden) and Carll Cneut (Belgium), to household favourites Michael Rosen and Alexis Deacon, The Children’s Bookshow is set to inspire and delight children with great poems, beautiful illustrations and fabulous stories.

For details see www.thechildrensbookshow.com


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British Library Training

BLLook at the latest offer from the British Library including GCSE and A Level lectures for English students, as well as a Reading for Pleasure conference on July 6th.  See their website for details and to sign up for their newsletter

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ReadingzoneReadingzone would like to thank all the schools, libraries and individual children and young people who took part in the 2012 ReadingZone Picture Book Competition. We were hugely impressed by the quality of the entries and the obvious thought, effort and planning that has gone into each and every entry.
They are delighted that we can announced the four very special winners of the 2012 ReadingZone Picture Book Competition, and the highly commended picture books in each category, and would like to thank author and illustrator Nick Sharratt for selecting the winners for us.
However, we are also sorry that we can't award all the entries we receive. We know that creating a picture book, as well as being fun, is hard work and requires many special talents and dedication.  We are, therefore, giving a link to a certificate thanking all those who took part in this competition. We hope that you will be able to download the certificate and add the names of those who created such wonderful entries for this year's competition.
We would also like to thank all those teachers, librarians and parents and carers who facilitated the creation of this year's picture book entries.

The winners of the 2012 ReadingZone Picture Book Competition, chosen by Nick Sharratt, can be seen here.


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School Librarians for Mastermind

MastermindLegendary BBC quiz show Mastermind is looking for contenders for the new series. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a general knowledge expert why not apply? Mastermind is widely regarded as the most rigorous and intellectually challenging of British quiz shows and has become one of television's most enduring successes. It would be fantastic if somebody from the world of school librarianship made it to the televised stages!

Contrary to popular opinion, the Mastermind team is not looking for experts. It wants people who are prepared to become experts in the subjects that they love. So whether your passion is Leonardo da Vinci or Leonardo diCaprio, maybe you should think about applying - the list really is as long and as varied as the interests of the British public.

For more information and to apply online go to bbc.co.uk/mastermind. Auditions take place nationwide over the next few months.

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School Library Survey: Thank you

Slda the Elms 02A huge thank you to everyone who filled in our recent surveymonkey hosted questionnaire. We reached our total of just over 1000 responses much more quickly than we had anticipated. We will undertake a detailed analysis of the data as soon as possible, but here are a few of the headlines that jump out of the data on a first look.

  • 60% of respondents were state schools
  • 25% were academies
  • 71% of respondents were from secondadry schools
  • 72% of respondents had librarians in charge of their libraries.

The major variation came in the variety of budgets that school libraries have (taken from all repsondents) 11% had up to £500 pa; with both the £1-3,000 pa and £3-5,000 pa categories having 17% each. More light is thrown on school budgets when one considers that 34% of schools had less budget this year than last, with 48% having the same as last year (which, in effect, is a cut to the value of the rate of inflation), but only 18% had any increase on their budget year on year. Comparing budget figures with three years ago 38% had less money, 32% more and 30% the same as in 2009. Some of the free text comments show the real hardship these bald statistics hide -

  • Budget was cut by over a half after librarian was made redundant
  • Due to reduction in school budget, amount the school is able to identify for the school library has reduced
  • In 8 years the budget has gone from £3,500 to £750. Last year I was allocated £500 but argued that it just could not be done and I had already spent more than that in the first month! I eventually received £800 but have had to be very creative about where and on what the money is spent. I'm holding it together but it is a struggle.
  • Head very supportive but money tight.
  • Budget had stayed stable for 12 years, no increase or decrease, but 10% reduction this last year.

The text comments also give a sense of a depressed picture in some school libraries -

  • I am leaving after 26 years. I doubt if I shall be replaced by a qualified librarian in the Main School Library .
  • I have too little paid time, to do too much work, with too little resources, especially money.
  • Our small village library is under threat of closure so even the small library we can offer the children is going to be very important in the future
  • Post is being made redundant this June

With others obviously being valued as a major contributor to the success in their school -

  • The LRC acts as the hub of the school for learning activities. It is a valuable and valued space both by students and teaching colleagues alike.
  • Our school library is an important part of our school and all our students and staff are encouraged to use it.

SLA will undertake a detailed analysis of these results and will publish the results as soon as they can be made available. But this survey was intended as a snapshot, and this snap seems at first glance to be suggesting that all is not well across the whole of the school library world.

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Author Touring - Ruth Warburton

Ruth WAvailable for school and library events in England, 2nd  -6th July 2012.  A WITCH IN LOVE publishes in July 2012 and is the second of three books following the critically acclaimed A WITCH IN WINTER suitable for age 12+, Ruth will talk about how she became an author, her inspirations for the Winter Trilogy and her research into witchcraft legend and old English.  She can speak to groups of any size (up to 150 children). An event would need to be supported by book sales, access to a computer and projector and an experience of holding author visits is essential. 
For more information on Ruth and her books visit www.ruthwarburton.com

To book a place on the tour please contact Mia Churcher on 020 7053 6697 or mia.churcher[at]hachettechildrens.co.uk

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Twitter hashtag for Lighting the Future

Lighting the Future via TwitterOnly three weeks to go until Lighting the Future, our joint SLA/YLG/SLG weekend course, which is taking place this year from 8th-10th June in Old Windsor. If you are coming to the course and would like to tweet about it, or if you can't attend but are interested in following tweets about it, we suggest using the hashtag #LTF12.

We look forward to seeing you there and/or reading your tweets!

For more information please visit the Lighting the Future website at http://www.lightingthefuture.org.uk/.

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Live Streamed Event

GregoryInternational bestselling author Philippa Gregory will be taking part in a live-streamed event at 1pm on Wednesday 30th May.  The event will be streamed from a venue in north London, where Philippa will be talking to a live school audience of 13-14 year olds from South Hampstead High School about the first book – Changeling – in her new series for teenagers, Order of Darkness.

Other schools, book groups and individuals across the globe will be invited to register to watch the live online event and submit their own questions by visiting www.philippagregorylive.com.  The event will also be made available to watch on demand for one month.

This is the first in a series of live-streamed author events from Simon & Schuster’s children’s and YA list.  Others to follow include Sophie McKenzie and Darren Shan.  For more information please contact Elisa Offord on 0207 316 1939 or 07966 326939.  To register to take part and submit a question please visit www.philippagregorylive.com

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Tell The Siobhan Dowd Trust how you spread the Joy of Reading and win £1000 worth of books for your school!

The Siobhan Dowd Trust is proud to announce that Michael Rosen, Poet and ex-Childrens’ Laureate will be on the judging panel of a schools campaign, which is asking teachers and librarians for their ideas about how they encourage a love of books in their schools. The Trust will use the entries to build up a database of ideas which can be shared and swapped… and the ten best or most innovative ideas will receive £1000 worth of books selected by experts as some of the titles which every school should have one (or more) copies of. All schools in the UK are welcome to take part: nurseries through to sixth form, fee-paying schools are not eligible for a prize although they are welcome to share good ideas.

SDTrustFor details of how to enter (and the start of the database), please see the section for Teachers and Librarians - http://www.siobhandowdtrust.com/teachers-and-librarians

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Dickens and Childhood Conference and Symposium Monday 18 June

It is not too late to book  in for the one-day conference, which  will include walks, lectures, readings, and parallel sessions on topics that will appeal to students, teachers, Dickens experts, and the ‘interested reader’. The event will include an evening symposium of contemporary children’s authors speaking on how reading Dickens has influenced their work. The venue is V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London.  For more information or to book, visit: www.le.ac.uk/engassoc/conferences/D2012.html

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TUESDAYS 22ND AND 29TH MAY 16.00 - 16.30

Presented by Michael Morpurgo

Produced by Beaty Rubens

Featuring Philip Pullman, Michael Rosen, Julia Donaldson, Margaret Meek, Nick Gibb MP,  and many others…

Episode one: Easy as ABC?

Episode two: Beyond the Reading Wars

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International Short Story Award for young people aged 11 - 19

Enter the Litro and IGGY International short story competition for 11 – 19 year olds

Are your pupils enthusiastic about writing? Why not share their tales with us for a chance to win £2,500 and see their words published in Litro short story and poetry magazine and displayed on a poster on the London Underground.

To enter the competition, go to www.warwick.ac.uk/litro

Good Luck!

Closing date: 24th July 2012, Entrants must be aged between 11- 19 on the date of the entry


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New SLA Guide to Web 2.0

Twitterspace and FacecloudTwitterspace and Facecloud: Web 2.0 and Beyond for School Librarians is a brand new title in our Case Studies series.

Sure to be an important guide to what librarians can achieve in this rapidly expanding area, this Case Study is a must for your professional development. Topics covered include virtual author visits, storytelling with technology, using QR codes, Noodletools, Voicethread, Skype and personal learning networks.

As the rise of social media changes the way we think about and work in school libraries, this eclectic selection of case studies shows how school librarians are meeting the challenge of Web 2.0 and beyond.

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Comenius In-Service Training Grants 2012

Don't miss your opportunity to get free in-service training in another European country.  A Comenius In-Service Training grant gives you the chance to travel abroad to attend a conference, take part in a training course or even job shadow a colleague at a school or college.

 The grants, worth up to €3000, enable you to learn new skills, meet colleagues from across Europe and bring fresh ideas back to the classroom and library.

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