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SLA Blog » August 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.

Puffin Post Card Competition

To celebrate Puffin Post turning an impressive 45-years-old they want to invite children to help them get in the party spirit by designing a truly pufftastic birthday card!
The winner will be announced at the Puffin Post Family Day being held at The Electric Theatre, Guildford as part of Guildford Book Festival on Saturday 27 October. The winning design will then be produced as a greetings card for people to buy on the day and at www.puffinpost.co.uk with a percentage of the money earned going to the RSPB!

Guildford Book Festival runs from 18 – 27 October 2012 and is sure to be a  fantastic literary celebration the whole family will enjoy over the half-term break.
All the important stuff is on the attached flier:

A3 Birthday Card Comp Poster

PDF file, 2 MB

Requires Adobe Reader



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Great Writers Inspire

Great WritersGreat Writers Inspire - High quality literature resources for everyone, for free

The Great Writers Inspire website from the University of Oxford provides thousands of literature resources, freely available to the public and the education community worldwide. This significant collection, aimed at teachers and learners within HE, FE and schools (Years 12 and 13), contains inspirational lectures, talks, ebooks, essays and contextual materials for themes such as the Renaissance and the Reformation, Victorian Poetry and Fiction, and Post/Colonial Writing. With writers that vary from Chaucer and Shakespeare through to Dickens, Joyce and J.M. Coetzee this invaluable resource enables educators and students to download, reuse and share high quality materials.Visit http://writersinspire.org/ to see how great writers can inspire you.

Posters can be downloaded and printed from the website for notice boards and displays http://writersinspire.org/about.

Win a £25 Amazon voucher!

Once you have explored http://writersinspire.org/, tell us what you think by completing a short survey and you could be in with a chance of winning one of four £25 Amazon vouchers. Click here to take part http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GreatWriters.

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Fantastic Mr Dahl

A new biography of Roald Dahl by Michael Rosen is being released by  Puffin Books to coincide with Roald Dahl Day. Fantastic Mr Dahl delves into the inner workings of Dahl’s writing, posing questions and offering fascinating observations to create a vivid portrait of one of the most famous writers of all time.

More about "Fantastic Mr Dahl"

PDF file, 683 kB

Requires Adobe Reader


The Roald Dahl Day website has more information about special events and activities for 13 September.

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Short Story Week 2012

NSSWNational Short Story Week 2012 will run from 12th to 18th November. There are lots of opportunities to get involved.  If you want to get ahead and take part you can request a Recommended Reading List of titles suggested for their content by an expert panel - for details email admin[at]shortstoryweek.org.uk

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British Council / HSBC Link2learn 2012 competition - get involved!

The British Council and HSBC are very pleased to announce the 2012 Link2Learn competition which is open to any school (primary, secondary, SEN), international co-ordinator and local authority in the UK which is involved in the International School Award (www.britishcouncil.org/isa)

There are valuable cash prizes on offer to win up to £5000 to embed, celebrate and further develop and impact of the creative and innovative dimensions of teaching and learning. Winners and runners up will receive their cheques at a presentation ceremony at HSBC Canary Wharf on Friday 16 November.

It’s very easy to enter (up to 900 words describing the impact of your international work) with the chance to win some significant funds so good luck with your entry!

Link2Learn Flyer 2012

PDF file, 546 kB

Requires Adobe Reader


The deadline for applications is Friday 19 October.     

Further details and an application from can be found at http://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/International-School-Award/Link2Learn

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World Library Congress 2012

Having just returned from the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Helsinki I find my mind buzzing, and a ‘to do’ list that seems longer than can possibly sorted quickly!  IFLA is an amazing organisation bringing together people from libraries all over the world – there were over 4000 delegates at this congress and the programme covers every sort of library and possible library activity you can think of.  To get a flavour of the choices browse the programme.   

Standing Committee Meeting
Standing Committee Meeting

As the UK representative on the School Libraries and Resource Centers Section I had business meetings to attend – planning the activity at Helsinki that our section was supporting, and also to start to plan for future conferences in Singapore in 2013 and Lyon in 2014.  Such a large organisation has many layers of administration and it takes some time to acclimatize to the layers and which meetings are ‘must attend’ and which have more flexibility in them. 

Helena Ranta
Helena Ranta

The programme had lots I wanted to attend, but due to its nature one has to make choices – but I was well rewarded in those areas I chose, specifically school libraries, children’s and young adults and information literacy.  The conference starts with Standing Committee meetings so a great chance to say hello again to international friends and colleagues, whilst completing work for the section.   There is usually a selection of plenary sessions too – the Opening address by Helena Ranta, a Finnish forensic dentist and Professor at the University of Helsinki, was incredibly thought provoking, exploring the role of reading and culture in helping maintain world peace – and this from a woman who has witnessed some of the world’s worst instances of genocide. To get a sense of this talk and also lots of background on all the proceedings have a look at the newsletter produced daily at the congress.

One of our sections sessions was offsite at Sello Library (Espoo), a short train ride from Helsinki. This was a fantastic morning allowing us to hear some truly inspirational papers as well as tour the library – a building opened about 3 years ago and used in innovative ways.  The library, as well as offering wonderful spaces for patrons of all ages also has a resident reading dog – BÓ§rge, and has music practice rooms as well as a recording studio – all available free of charge.  The Finnish system truly encourages the idea that the library is the community’s sitting room, to be used at all times. The library is illustrated here on the library design site and also has its own YouTube channel

I also attended the report back session on the Sister Libraries for Children’s and Young Adult’s Reading.  This is a programme for libraries to build a partnership, exchange views and experiences, collaborate and develop joint programmes for children’s and YA reading.  These varied from complex and intensive partnerships to really very simple reading and picture exchanges – have a look it may be something your school might like to be involved with.

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Voting Now Open for SLA Information Book Award 2012

SLA Information Book AwardVoting has now opened to select the Children's Choice for the 2012 SLA Information Book Award. This exciting opportunity for schools to take part and have their say in the final outcome is open from 20th August until 19th October 2012.

The SLA Information Book Award is an annual event celebrating information books, and is designed to support school libraries and to reinforce the importance of non-fiction whilst highlighting the high standard of resources available.

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GiggleIT Project 2012 needs your children to write and share their world

Giggle IT 2012.htmThings are starting to get rolling with the 2012 GiggleIT project.

They need to hear from your children. Try the new competition and win some beautiful books for your school. Go to: http://www.iasl-online.org/sla/giggleIT/projects-2012.htm

There are all sorts of competitions for all ages.

African schools are busy writing TRICKSTER TALES. What about you?

They would love to hear from you.

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vintage classics launches world of stories website for young bookworms

Vintage Classics unveils the World of Stories - a free, fun, safe interactive website for children - to accompany the launch of the new Vintage Children's Classics series and inspire and nurture a life-long love of reading.

For more details see the press release below:

Vintage Classics Launches Website for Children

PDF file, 507 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

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FREE E-book for school libraries

Hattori Hachi.htmlFor a limited period, to promote the launch of book 3, Curse of the Diamond Daggers, Hattori Hachi  are  giving a free download of book 1, The Revenge of Praying Mantis, via the website -
The books feature a female lead and appeal equally to boys and girls from about age 10 upwards.  The offer will run until they've reached at least one person in every country in the world.
You can see how they're doing at -
There are various prizes for downloading - every 100th person gets a signed copy of book 2, Stalking the Enemy, and the thousandth person to download will have a character in a future story named after them.  The county with the most downloads in the UK will have Hattori Hachi visit, as will the country with the most downloads.
Author, Jane Prowse , chose to write about ninjutsu because it was created to keep the peace not start wars. Jane loves action adventure, but hates mindless violence.  Ninjutsu has a great Zen philosophy running under every element of it and requires smart thinking as well as world class hand to hand combat, fighting with tools and weapons and all kinds of disguise, invisibility and other great skills.  Early ninjutsu warriors were the precursors to James Bond and other more recent spies, assassins and mercenaries.
Jane also does school and library visits and is happy to give writing classes, including reference to her writing and directing work in theatre and television.

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