We have updated our cookie policy to reflect recent changes in the UK/EU law concerning the use of cookies and tracking technologies. We use cookies on this website (including the page you are currently viewing) to ensure that the site functions smoothly and to help us understand how we can improve it. If you continue without changing your settings, you are agreeing to receive all cookies from the SLA website.

or view our cookie policy to find out more

Show Menu | Show Sidebar (Login/Search)

SLA Blog » January 2013RSS 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.

Government response to report on Library Closures

The Government have published their response to the Report of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on Library Closures


0 comments · Add a comment

Book Early for Weekend Course 2013

Belfast 2013 LogoBooking is now open for our Weekend Course in June 2013. We have put together a fascinating programme on the theme of "Reaching Out: New Ways To Engage" and have found a great deal on our fabulous venue at the Hilton Hotel on Belfast's bustling new waterfront development.

We look forward to meeting many of you for this highlight in our training calendar.

The discount for early booking runs until 23 April 2013 so do get your application in early.

Further information and online booking are found on our Weekend Course webpage.

0 comments · Add a comment

New NLD Poster for Parallel Lives

Parallel UniversesWe have a new free poster for "Parallel Universes", the simultaneous story writing workshop taking place on Wednesday 6 February 2013.

Check out our other downloadable resources to help you promote National Libraries Day in your school, coming up on 9 February 2013.

0 comments · Add a comment

Funded training opportunity

SlamIT6 course this year in Oporto, Portugal.  The course has been announced through the Comenius In-Service Training database -  reference number NO-2013-053-001.  I attended one of these courses last year and found it very stimulating and enjoyable - and the British Council Comenius programme will usually fund you to attend - check it out. The application deadline for funding is 30 April 2013.

SLAMIT 6 Oporto Leaflet

PDF file, 129 kB

Requires Adobe Reader


Program Slamit6

PDF file, 61 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)



0 comments · Add a comment

500 words is back!

500Words LogoThe BBC and Chris Evans have launched the successful 500 Words competition for 2013.  There are wonderful prizes - including Chris's height in books and 500 books for the winners' school library.  Children can enter original stories - of a 500 word maximum length, and these are judged in 2 categories - Under 9 and 10-13.   Entries close on February 22nd.

The BBC are also looking for librarians and teachers to become judges too.  As a judge you will receive a maximum of 30 entries to read in mid March and may be in with a chance to win some wonderful prizes too.  There are also some very useful resources that the BBC have produced to help schools plan some activity to support their students.  Do take part - I did!  I was interviewed on the Simon Mayo Drivetime show on Monday (21st Jan) talking to Simon about school libraries and their contribution to school life.  The show is available on BBC iPlayer for 7 days, or the clip is available here to listen to my 5 minutes of fame!  

The official Twitter hashtag for the 500 Words competition is #500words.

0 comments · Add a comment

Science Fiction at the Space Centre

Sci Fi Space

The National Space Centre will be celebrating the history; past, present and future of Science Fiction during February half-term with a jam-packed programme of special guests, fun activities and a special competition where you get to decide which is the ‘Best Science Fiction Book of All Time!’  To find out more and plan your visit look at their website.

0 comments · Add a comment

Young people talk about what reading means to them

The DfE has just added a video of young people from Stockwell Park High School talking about what reading means to them and about their favourite authors.

0 comments · Add a comment

Final day for SLA award entries

SLYA LogoThe extended deadline for accepting nominations for the School Librarian of the Year and the SLA Library Design Award closes today - Friday 18 January 2013.

If you think your entry form has been delayed by weather or school closures please let us know and we can make necessary allowances. The SLA office is closed on Friday afternoon due to snow but we are still accepting entries by fax or email.

0 comments · Add a comment

First Warwickshire SLS Library Award!

Warwickshire Schools Library Service has just instituted a Schools’ library award for primary and secondary schools across the county.  School library staff complete a self-assessment process across 20 criteria to show how their library or Learning Resource Centre is performing.  There is a standard award, and also a Gold award for high-performing libraries.

The first award to be made was a Gold award to Myton School in Warwick.  This was presented at the school on Tuesday 15th January 2013.

Stella Thebridge, Manager of the Schools Library Service said: “We are thrilled that Myton is the first school to win an award, and also to achieve the Gold standard.  This is no surprise to us really, as it reflects the dedication and experience of the Learning Resource Centre Manager, Elaine Dodson, who has developed library services at the school since 1995 so that they are now pivotal to the achievements of pupils at every stage of their school life in Myton.  Elaine never ceases to improve the service she offers, always looking for new ways to develop pupils’ information and research skills, opportunities for them to read widely, and to nurture their love of reading.  She and the Myton Learning Resource Centre are worthy first recipients of the Warwickshire SLS School Library Gold Award.”

Paul MacIntyre, Headteacher, Myton School said: “We are delighted to receive the first Gold Standard Award in Warwickshire recognising the dedication of Myton staff and student Librarians.  There are currently 18 student librarians from Year 8 through to Sixth Form and each year a Head Student Librarian from Year 12 is appointed to take responsibility for organising the duty rotas and managing the Team.  We are very proud of the Student Librarian Team who are an excellent example of the student leadership at Myton School.”

0 comments · Add a comment

Write on competition

CompetitionsNLTSecondary school students encouraged to tell the truth about youth
The National Literacy Trust has joined forces with the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) to provide teachers and librarians with a competition and resources to engage secondary school students in writing, and to teach them about copyright and the importance of protecting their own and others’ creativity.

Research has shown that there is a relationship between attitudes towards writing and writing attainment; 75% of young people believe that to be a good writer means you have to enjoy writing but less than 50% of young people say that they enjoy writing.

To enter the Write On competition, students must write an original poem expressing their thoughts about perceptions of and attitudes towards young people in today’s society. The National Literacy Trust and ALCS have linked up with four fantastic young poets who have penned their own poems on this topic especially for the competition. They act as a stimulus for discussion around the topic, and also provide an opportunity to introduce the importance of copyright and the boundaries around it.

Susie Musgrove of the National Literacy Trust said: “We hope that Write On will inspire pupils to be really creative and to bring a fresh perspective to poetry. There are free resources available for every school that registers that should help make the topic really exciting. This includes lesson plans, toolkits and poems written especially for the competition.”

Barbara Hayes of the Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society stated: "Developing creative ideas and learning how to protect them is central to this exciting competition.  The creative industries are Britain's great success story and we hope this competition will encourage creativity and show young people how vital it is to respect and promote copyright which enables the creator to earn a living from their endeavours."

For the school, the prize is a performance and a writing workshop from Dean Atta, a brilliant writer and poet whose work has been featured on Channel 4 and Radio 1Xtra.

For the student, prizes include signed work from the poets featured in the Write On competition, £50 worth of Amazon vouchers and a computer.

Bridget Minamore, one of the professional poets involved in the competition who will be judging the shortlisted entries, said: "Write On is a wonderful project. I know how much it means to young people to take part in things like this, and am delighted to be involved. Competition can be a really positive thing when it comes to looking at what you write. It's a brilliant way of thinking about other people in relation to your writing.”

The winners and shortlisted entrants from both categories will also be invited to perform their poems alongside the professional poets featured in the competition at a Write On celebration event in London in May 2013.

Additional activities such as a poetry slam are encouraged as a way to make the task come to life. By sending in videos of their performances to our judging panel the school can win a bonus prize of poetry slam workshop.

To find out more or register to take part please visit www.literacytrust.org.uk/competitions

0 comments · Add a comment

Puffin Virtually Live: John Green

Puffin Virtually Live  John GreenMon 4th February, 2–2.45pm – Puffin Virtually Live: John Green

Watch international bestselling author and You Tube sensation John Green LIVE online on Monday 4 February from 2 - 2.45pm. John will be talking about his books and what led him to write the phenomenal The Fault in Our Stars, his incredible online presence and what it means to be awesome! Schools and libraries can register to watch the event now at www.puffinvirtuallylive.co.uk

Questions can also be posed for John during the webcast, making this a truly interactive event.

Secondary School Librarians and Teachers this is one not to be missed!

0 comments · Add a comment

Awards entries close on Friday

SLYA LogoWe are now in the last week for accepting nominations for the School Librarian of the Year and the SLA Library Design Award.

The extended deadline closes on Friday 18 January 2013 - it is not too late to download an entry form. Do consider nominating a librarian in a primary or secondary school who demonstrates outstanding professional qualities and deserves to be recognised for the work that they do.

0 comments · Add a comment

New standard of excellence for schools announced

UKLAThe UK Literacy Association is proud to announce the first recipient of a brand new award. Frederick Bird Primary School in Coventry is the 2012 Literacy School of the Year: A school where literacy thrives

UKLA is a registered charity, which has as its sole object the advancement of education in literacy and is committed to promoting good practice nationally and internationally. UKLA President Alayne Öztürk said “We hope that this award will soon become an aspirational and recognised kite mark of excellence for schools”

Criteria have been formulated which reflect the wealth of international research into and experience of good literacy practices. Any UKLA member can nominate a school which they believe to be worthy of the award and independent assessors will visit the school in question to see their practice in action.

Frederick Bird is a large inner city primary school, rated by Ofsted as “Outstanding” and a designated national teaching school despite what might be described as “challenging” circumstances.  Eighty two per cent of pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds, well above the national average. Forty four different languages are spoken at the school. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is above average and the proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is over twice the national average.  The assessors were most impressed by the way that “from Early Years to Year 6 and including the three libraries, there was clear evidence of the way literacy pervades the whole curriculum and ethos of the school”  Every child they spoke to was enthusiastic about reading and able to talk about favourite books and authors.  “Wherever we went there were high quality books, both classics and books by new authors.”

UKLA has invited Headteacher, Chris Lockwood, and her team to present a seminar to share their good practice at the UKLA International Conference in 2013, when they will also receive their Award.  For further information please contact Brenda Eastwood: UKLA General Manager on admin@ukla.org / 0116 2231664

The school’s literacy curriculum:

  • is imaginative and creative, aimed at engaging all pupils in literacy;
  • links with parents and carers, and the wider community enhancing pupil engagement and achievement in literacy;
  • pervades the whole school curriculum;
  • takes place both in and outside the classroom;
  • takes place both in and outside the school.


  • All the staff are enthusiastic and ‘signed up to’ the school’s creative approach to literacy teaching. They demonstrate to pupils that they themselves are readers and writers.
  • There is tangible evidence throughout the school that literacy thrives and in particular that the school has a well-developed and well used school library
  • Pupils are enthusiastic and engage with literacy both in and outside the classroom. They are confident communicators and can demonstrate breadth in their reading and writing, including reading for pleasure.
  • There is access to and creative use of 21st Century digital texts as well as more traditional texts.
  • Pupils feel that the literacy curriculum is meeting their needs and challenging them to make progress.
  • There is evidence of future plans and developments for ensuring literacy continues to thrive in the school and its community.

0 comments · Add a comment

One week left - deadline looms!

SLYAJust one week left to put the finishing touches to your nominations for the School Librarian of the Year and the SLA Library Design Award.  The extended deadline closes on Friday 18th January - don't miss out!

0 comments · Add a comment

Unusual Job Opportunity - Reviews Editor for School Librarian

TSL 60 1 COVER WebChris Brown, our Reviews Editor for the past number of years, is looking to retire at the end of 2013.  So, the SLA is looking for a successor.  You will need to have several years’ experience of any or all of the following –

  • school libraries
  • children’s publishing
  • children and young people’s librarianship
  • unending enthusiasm for children’s literature
  • space for storing and distributing review copies

We would like to have some period of handover from Chris to his successor – so you would need to be able to start in the spring/early summer this year.  A small honorarium is paid for this position and all expenses are covered. 

For a job description, list of activity and any further details please contact LinSmithSLA[at]gmail.com or tricia.adams[at]sla.org.uk

0 comments · Add a comment

SLA Awards Deadline

SLYAOnly eight more working days to get your entries in for the School Librarian of the Year and SLA Library Design Award - don't miss out!

Deadline  - Friday 18th January 2013

0 comments · Add a comment

Copyright licence deal to save schools time and money

Schools are set to benefit after the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and the Department for Education sign a three-year deal on the copyright licensing for schools.

From April 2013, the Department will manage a national CLA Schools Licence for all state maintained schools in England. Schools need this licence in order to copy materials from books, magazines and websites legally. In addition, the deal will also include a new licence from the Music Publishers Association to cover copying of items such as printed sheet music.

The move could save schools up to £6 million in total that can instead be spent on frontline school services.

Schools can find out more about the new agreement on the CLA Schools website.

0 comments · Add a comment

Awards Deadline Extended

SLA Coloured LogoWe are pleased to be able to announce an extension of the deadline for both of our prestigious awards - School Librarian of the Year and SLA Library Design Award. The extended deadline is Friday 18th January 2013. 

Details and nomination forms are available to download for School Librarian and Library Design awards. 

0 comments · Add a comment

School Library Petition

ChangeElizabeth Bentley has started a Change.org petition - aimed at influencing the Department for Education.   She says, "One in 5 children have no books at home. Many more have limited access to public libraries, or to the expertise of a professional librarian. By ensuring that all schools have libraries, and that they are properly run with professional library support, either full-time in the case of scondary schools, or part-time in the case of primary schools, the government can ensure that all children have good access not only to books and information but also the support necessary to use these effectively. Making this provision statutory would stop the current uneven provision and give all children and young people access, regardless of family income or easy access to a public library. Far too many schools have either no school library, or no professional library support, with consequent lack of access for their students."

Sign the petition on the Change.org website.

0 comments · Add a comment