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SLA Blog » November 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.

CPD @ OUP: Oxford, 9 April 2014

Our course CPD @ OUP will be held at Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP on 9 April 2014.

We are very grateful to Oxford University Press for opening their doors for this exciting event.  A mixture of presentations and panel discussions, the day will focus on reading around the world, how reading can be used to develop thinking skills and the important role librarians carry out in schools, colleges and public libraries.

Speakers include Tim Bowler, Geraldine McCaughrean, Anne-Marie Hanson, Sue Dixon, Joy Court, Ferelith Hordon and Bev Humphrey.

The closing date is 20 March 2014.

Key Audience: Librarians in schools, colleges and public libraries

More Details...

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12 Words of Winter Competition

SnowmanThe idea is to write a story in just 12 words; students should try and come up with a story rather than just a statement.  Last year’s winner was “Mr Snowman needed a cuddle, the sun agreed ... now he’s a puddle.”

Schools will run their own competition in-house and decide on winners (whether they want one per year or a first, second, third, etc.). The overall winner (one per school) can then be entered into the national competition.  David Bevington david.bevington@gmail.com is collating the entries and Alan Gibbons, award winning author, is judging it!  The closing date for this is December 6th so it is up to each school to decide how long to run this for.

Microlibrarian Systems Ltd (MLS) are donating an iPod Touch for the winner and a Book Hamper for their school from Peters. Writer, Dave Cryer, has donated a “Dave Day” for the winning school whereby they will receive a day of drama, fiction or creative writing workshops from him including travelling expenses up to £150.

Last year we had some fantastic entries and I know this generated a lot of interest in school so a wonderful opportunity, not only to win some great prizes, but also to showcase the library!


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National Non Fiction Day 2013 - Competition

NNFD 2013The 2013 campaign will work to encourage primary and secondary schools as well as home education groups and children’s book groups to enter a science timeline competition to win a truly unique prize. There are two categories for entry; one for individuals, and one for school / book group teams (up to 5 children per team).
The individual winner will receive a cash prize of £500
The winners of the team / group category will receive the following:

  • A signed copy of the What on Earth Wallbook of Science and Engineering for each child in the winning team
  • An author visit by Christopher Lloyd to the school / home education / book group associated with the winning team
  • A GIANT 5m long edition of the Wallbook of Science & Engineering worth £299 for display indoors or outdoors.

The competition coincides with the release of What on Earth Publishing’s brand new title this Autumn: The What on Earth? Wallbook of Science and Engineering, which has been produced in conjunction with some of the UK’s top scientific institutions. Together with The London Science Museum, The Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and The Association of Science Educators, they have created a visually appealing point of entry into the curriculum which is integral to what the organisers and founders of National Non-Fiction Day are working towards.

Press Release National Non Fiction Day

PDF file, 305 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

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Smaug Competition

SmaugJ.R.R. Tolkien described and illustrated the dragon with awe-inspiring words and artworks. Now it’s over to The Hobbit fans to create their own versions of Smaug. Encourage your library visitors to use their best artwork and then visit the Facebook page to submit their entries.
Please note: If under 13, they will need to ask an adult to submit the artwork for them.  The closing date for entries is 13 December 2013.  You can also find further The Hobbit resources here, including writing activities and worksheets.

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A week with partners

This past week has been one of working with a variety of new and existing partners.  Partnership working is a skill librarians have to master, as we need to be making connections and working with others to the benefit of our clients.  Similarly for us as the SLA – we could not undertake quite a few of our functions without the support (both in actual financial terms, and in other less concrete ways) of partners around the country.   

NewsfeedOn Tuesday we had a fascinating day exploring introducing eBook collections into school libraries.  This was hosted by Peters Books and Furniture at their wonderful showroom in Birmingham (a bit like being Aladdin in the cave of jewels for all book lovers!) The plenary session was led by Rachael from Peters (Information Book Award partners) and Daniel from MLS (our Weekend Course sponsors, 2013-15) and provoked lively questions from the floor as well as extended conversations in the lunch and tea breaks.  Adam Lancaster (School Librarian of the Year 2012) then provided everyone with a fascinating look at reading interventions and investigating how to make interventions appropriate to the reader, based on his extensive work at Monks Walk School, Hertfordshire.

It was at this event we also launched a new partnership with Betterworld Books.  They operate a programme that captures books withdrawn from school (and other libraries) and then resells them through various sustainable platforms to deliver some revenue back to the originating libraries, as well as supporting literacy partners too.  Do look at the documents attached to this blog post and see if this will work for your school – free boxes and free collection are all included.   If you opt to use Betterworld Books please make sure you quote your SLA membership number on your sign up form, as this enables SLA to have a small benefit from any activity you undertake with Betterworld Books.  

The following day Ginette Doyle (Immediate Past Chair of SLA) and I were at the Softlink Roadshow in London – again, a real opportunity to talk to members and non-members about what we do, the information on our website, our publications etc. Softlink are sponsors of the School Librarian of the Year Award and in her presentation Ginette addressed the issue that without sponsors such as all these mentioned here, and others, we would not be able to offer the various awards that we do.
The rest of the week has been about being based in the office, catching up on admin and making sure we are up to date on our various processes.  The obvious iteration of this is the new look Newsfeed on our website – I do hope you like the fresher, cleaner image this gives our home page.

Tricia Adams

Betterworld Books

Word document, 298 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later)

Sign Up School Library Association

Word document, 132 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later)


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Getting to Grips with the Primary School Library: Cobham, 11 February 2014

Our course Getting to Grips with the Primary School Library, run by Annike Dase, will be held at Notre Dame School, Cobham, KT11 1HA on 11 February 2014. The closing date is 28 January 2014. Bookings received by 17 January 2014 are eligible for a discount.

Key Audience:

Primary school staff with responsibility for the school library

More Details...

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South Ken Kids Festival 2014

From 18 to 24 November, the best and brightest children’s authors and illustrators from France and the UK (including Quentin Blake, Nicholas Allan, Chris Riddell and more) will descend on the Institut français in London for a flurry of events including workshops, drawing duos and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

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Job Vacancies: Bacon's College, Southwark - librarian

Bacon's College in Southwark are seeking to appoint a librarian to lead the delivery and operation of the College's Library service during the maternity leave of the current post hiolder. The successful candidate will be a graduate and hold relevant specific qualifications, relevant experience and be able to demonstrate good communication skills and the ability to support students in reaching their full potential.

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Information Book Award: Information Book Award 2014

Publishers are now invited to submit entries for the SLA Information Book Award 2014.  The deadline for submitting entries to the 2014 competition is: 7 January 2014.


The award is split into three categories:

  • Under 7
  • 7 – 12
  • 12 – 16

The shortlist will be announced in April 2014. Children will then be invited to vote for their favourite from the shortlist. Each category will have a Winner (voted by the judges) and a Children’s Choice Winner. There will also be an Overall Winner.


The judges are looking for information books that will stimulate interest, have an innovative approach and/or format, have child appeal, be up to date in approach as well as have value (for education and enjoyment) going forward.

  • The books must show use of appropriate pictures, language and topic for the age group and the synergies between text, layout and illustration must create a stimulating whole
  • The books must be published in 2013
  • Hardback and paperback formats are eligible
  • New editions or reprints are not eligible
  • The books may be part of a series, but need to be able to be read as standalone works
  • There must be 200+ stock of each title in June 2014, for school supply
  • To enable the children's vote to take place we will send out promotional material to all schools. There will a cost of approx. £300 for each book on the shortlist to finance printing and distribution of this material.


Please download and fill in a 2014 entry submission form (http://www.sla.org.uk/information-book-award-submissions.php ) and return along with six copies (non-returnable) per title to: Tricia Adams, Director, School Library Association, 1 Pine Court, Kembrey Park, Swindon, SN2 8AD.

The deadline for entries is 7 January 2014.

IBA Submission Form 2014

Word document, 274 kB

Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later



N.B. The SLA office is closed from 24 December 2013 to 2 January 2014.

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Registration for the 2014 Stan Lee Excelsior Award is now open

It's the time of year again! Registration for the 2014 Stan Lee Excelsior Award is now... OPEN!
To register your school for what is still the only nationwide book award for graphic novels and manga where teenagers choose the winner, all you have to do is e-mail me at paulregister[at]yahoo.co.uk with the following information:

  • your name
  • school's name
  • school's full postal address (including postcode)
  • e-mail address

I will then add you to the list and keep you up-to-date with all Excelsior Award news - including the announcement of the 2014 shortlist in approximately a month's time!

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

First time schools are welcomed with open arms and we'll give you all the support you need. Being unfamiliar or nervous with comics is not a problem. The award has grown in popularity every year and I am hoping this year will be no different. 

Get in touch if you have any questions.

Many thanks.

Paul Register
Librarian and Stan Lee Excelsior Award Organiser
Ecclesfield School

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