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SLA Blog » December 2014RSS 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.

Request for help - information use

A request from Pam Dix - a name many of you will be familiar with - "I have been helping some contacts with a series of books about literacy. The person writing the book on Reading from 7 is looking for a ‘good example of pupils at KS3 or KS4 (preferably the latter) using demanding information material in an organised way in a subject context – perhaps most likely English or history or geography.’ Does that chime with any of you? Or do you know someone who might fit the bill?  If so please conatct Pam direct on her email - pam@colesdix.org.uk

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On Angel Wings

On Angel Wings 300On Angel Wings is a warm and magical retelling of the Christmas story with readings by Juliet Stevenson and bestselling author Michael Morpurgo, accompanied by traditional carols by acappella singing group Voices at the Door. On Angel Wings will be performed on Saturday 20th December at 6.00pm at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea London in aid of Farms for City Children The concert is kindly sponsored by Cameron House School.

Tickets for the concert are £22.50 for adults and £12.50 (under 16s) available from www.onangelwings.co.uk . There will be an animation of On Angel Wings on the BBC on Christmas eve.

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IASL 2015 - Call for papers

IASL 2015In 2015, the annual conference of the International Association for School Librarianship will be held in Maastricht from June 28 till July 2. This is an excellent opportunity for sharing your ideas, getting inspiration and discussing topics around school librarianship with your peers.

You can submit a proposal for a research paper, a professional paper, a poster or a workshop. Submission is open to all who are interested in school librarianship, who like to share an idea, a project, a concept or who wants to discuss issues.

You will find the Call for Papers on the conference website plus all other relevent information. The website will be updated regularly and to stay up to date, you can register for the conference newsletter.

If you have any questions, please send an email to iasl2015@meles.nl or submissions-iasl2015@ou.nl

The organising committee,  Lourense Das, Saskia Brand-Gruwel & Jaap Walhout, are looking forward to your contributions to and participation in the IASL 2015 conference.

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Stan Lee Excelsior Award shortlists are announced!

13 new graphic novels to wow your students with!Stan Lee.

The new shortlists for the Stan Lee Excelsior Award and Stan Lee Juniorthe spin-off Stan Lee Excelsior Award Junior are finally available on their respective websites - including four publishers who have never featured on the shortlists before!
Go and visit the websites. The breadth and variety of material chosen this year is very exciting. I hope you think so too.

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Job Vacancies: Box Hill School - library assistant

Box Hill School are looking for a Library Assistant who will:

  • Help maintain the smooth running of the Library
  • Deputise for the Librarian in her absence
  • Undertake library transactions using Library Management System
  • Be responsible for the correct shelving of resources
  • To undertake labelling, processing and mending work.
  • To undertake admin tasks such as creating & checking lists using Windows software.
  • To be aware of the resources available to library users so as to give general guidance
  • To help set up displays/promotions in the library
  • To understand opening and closing procedures for the Library
  • To be willing to learn and assist with the cataloguing and editing of resources on theLMS.
  • To complete any other reasonable tasks requested by the Librarian

LA Job Description 2014 (2)

PDF file, 224 kB (Requires Adobe Reader)


To apply please send an email to Mrs Sandy Watts hmsec[at]boxhillschool.com or phone on 07885 970 675 to receive an application pack.

Closing date: Monday 12th January 2015


More Details...

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Weekend Course 2015 news

Hoard Logo WebOur 2015 Weekend Course is well in hand – the programme is virtually all in place and will be published soon!  We have some fantastic speakers attending the weekend, and lots of really interactive and informative workshops on the Saturday.  Friday night we will have some relaxation – look out for our announcement - and Saturday night we have a treat in store, plus a quiz!  Venue - Yarnfield Park, Stone in Staffordshire

The title is Creating Future Learners: a Hoard of Knowledge, so it’s what we’re all about in school libraries, but also reflecting the recent finds of the Staffordshire Hoard (now housed in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Lichfield Cathedral and Tamworth Castle) and the fact that libraries can be hoards of knowledge too!

As we know many of you need to budget and/or apply through SLT for permission to attend here are a few highlights, and also the prices for your information.


  • Early Bird till 10th April £325 Member; £412.50 Non-member
  • Full Price 10th April till 1st May £370 Member; £457.50 Non-member
  • Non residential rates are also available - details will be released shortly.

There will be an exhibition too, and lots of opportunities for networking.  You can book in advance to reserve your place, and payments can be split across 1 or 2 invoices if this helps.  Please speak to the office if you need further information.

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Welcome to the SLA Website: Latest News!

Have you seen our new online course? If you are concerned with the amount of plagiarism and 'cut and paste' in students' work this course will help you address the issues in your school. Our Academic Honesty course has been written for us by Sarah Pavey MSc FCLIP, an independent Library Consultant - who also wrote our EPQ course.

More Details...

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Exciting art legacy competition for 16-19 year olds

BNY Mellon Design ChallengeSet your students the task of designing the programme cover for the iconic BNY Mellon Boat Races and help them enrich their art portfolios.

The Men’s Boat Race has been illustrated through many successful and sought-after posters over the years. For the first time in history, in 2015 the Women’s Boat Race and the Men’s Boat Race will receive equal billing and will take place on the same day and on the same course along the River Thames between Putney and Mortlake.

So now it’s over to your students, ages 16-19, to depict the teamwork and commitment that drives the success of these iconic teams by designing the programme cover for 2015.

Register here today for:

  • Posters to advertise the competition
  • Student brief
  • Top Tips
  • Teacher packs are exclusive to the first 250 schools that sign up so don’t delay.

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Free posters for Jasper Fforde books!

Hodder & Stoughton have some free posters up for grabs featuring Jasper Fforde’s whacky and wonderful Last Dragonslayer series – the number one bestselling author’s first series for children.

‘Packed with magic and invention: a spiky heroine called Jennifer Strange, an unruly young princess and most importantly a flying car and plenty of dragon action. Watch out, Terry Pratchett!’ Sunday Express

The posters are available in A3 or A4, while stocks last. Please email naomi.berwin[at]hodder.co.uk with the size and quantity you’d like to receive, and your full mailing address.

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KidsLitQuiz winners 2014

KLQ 14The Kids Lit Quiz - Litcham School in Norfolk, librarian Cathy Berry (Regional Organiser Gail Arnold) won the UK champions title for 2014.  The lucky winners will be flying off to Connecticut in the summer of 2015 to compete for the World Title.

The youngsters - Madeleine, Sam, Amelia & Eleanor - were so excited!  Ermysted Grammar School - who unfortunately arrived late and missed the whole of the first round - amazingly managed to come second, with three schools tying for third place, but after a “sudden death” question Comberton Village School took third place.

It was a very exciting event which was held in King’s College Wimbledon with Anthony Horowitz  presenting the prizes to all three winners.  KLQ were greatly supported by Serco, Softlink, Peters Books, Scholastic, Walker Books, MLS, and Macmillan plus many other publishers, as well as SLA!  

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Job Vacancies: GCHQ - Information Specialists

Location:   Cheltenham

Salary: GC10 £25,045, GC09 £30,065

Please note this is an Information Specialist role, not an Information Technology (IT) or software engineering discipline. 
Information Specialists help provide GCHQ with its very lifeblood – information. Working with all areas of the Department, we ensure that information is efficiently and effectively managed, protected and exploited.
Information Specialist Team Leaders run small to medium sized teams providing Knowledge and Information Management (KIM) services to enable and support GCHQ’s missions. 
Our services include: 

  • Providing open source research to support all areas of GCHQ’s intelligence, cyber security and information assurance mission

  • Enabling collaborative working on our Intranet

  • Managing and securing our electronic documents and records

  • Helping GCHQ manage its information risks

  • Leading on information legislation

  • Facilitating information sharing within the wider intelligence community.

Information Specialists posts are interchangeable and successful applicants can expect to work across all KIM areas during their career. We actively encourage this rotation to ensure that our Information Specialists are exposed to all aspects of our work.
Due to the interchangeable nature of the posts, applicants are asked to apply for a generic post at the relevant grade, covering the full range of roles and responsibilities expected at the grade. Successful applicants will then be asked to fill specific posts.
Successful candidates will be expected to stay in their initial post for 2 years and within Knowledge and Information Services for 4 years unless business needs determine otherwise. 
Support is given to those wishing to gain Chartered status in CILIP. On successful attainment of Chartership or Revalidation, employees are awarded a payment. There is also an active programme to encourage Continuous Personal Development (CPD). 
The posts are based in Cheltenham. There may be opportunities to apply for a secondment in London.

For more information please see the website: http://ad.doubleclick.net/ddm/clk/286722827;113620198;k .

(please note the 'apply' button is right at the bottom of the information)

More Details...

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Exciting Event in NW

SilverDell Bookshop and Jake Hope children's book consultant are hugely excited to announce that the official World Book Day flagship event will be held in Preston in 2015.  We are delighted to be able to offer places to School Librarians and their classes to attend free of charge.

World Book Day 2015 will see the promotion reach its 18th anniversary.  It is celebrated in over 100 different countries and we are delighted to announce not only that the official event involving some of the biggest and most exciting names in children’s literature is happening in Preston, but that your school is invited and can apply now for free places.  

The stellar line up of authors is:

  • Frank Cottrell Boyce - Carnegie winning author of 'Millions' Frank wrote the Olympic Games opening ceremony in 2012 and has written an episode for the current series of 'Doctor Who'.  In a world exclusive, Frank will be talking about is new book 'The Astounding Broccoli Boy' three weeks prior to actual publication.
  • Cathy Cassidy - a huge hit with girls, Cathy has one of the most loyal and dedicated fan followings of any author.
  • Cressida Cowell - 'How to Train a Dragon' took an innovative approach to children's storytelling, Cressida's star has been firmly on the ascent since the release of two blockbuster films based on her novels.
  • Steven Butler - shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Steven has written books based on the perennially popular 'Dennis the Menace' character.
  • Jonny Duddle - author of picture books, Jonny was recently commissioned to illustrate new jackets for the 'Harry Potter' books which has led to significant interest in his titles as a whole.

The event is being held at Preston North End stadium on Thursday 5 March, 2015.  We have carefully selected this venue so as to appeal to readers who might not ordinarily feel as engaged or excited about reading, helping to give the event an extra wow factor!

The event is suitable for pupils in years 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.  Gates will open at 09.00 and the event will close at 14.30.  Places are free of charge but must be reserved in advance.  

We want to make this the biggest and best celebration of reading World Book Day has ever seen and need your help in bringing children and spreading the word among other schools.  To register for free places please reply to info@silverdellbooks.com or call 01772 683444

All schools registering before 1 December 2014 will also be entered into a free prize draw where the winner will receive over £250 worth of books for their school.

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Welling School Music Video and Special Effects Course

Welling School will be holding a Music Video and Special Effects Course in their “iBrary” during the February half term next year. It will be held on Tuesday the 17th and Wednesday the 18th of February. This course is suitable for all 11-17 year olds and costs £40pp (£20 per day).

For £40 students can enjoy and learn about using DSLR cameras, editing, using applications like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier and using special effects such as green screening and blue screening. This great opportunity will leave students with a great starting knowledge on both subjects, firsthand experience in filming, editing and effects, teambuilding experience and as well as a disc of their work and a certificate of completion to bring home.  

Welling held a free course of a similar nature in the October half term which proved to be a real success with the students and parents from surrounding areas. If this course proves successful again, they will hold a summer school for a week in 2015 covering many topics such as; Animation, 3D model making, Comic Book Designing, Filming and Editing etc.  

For bookings please call 02083048531(extension 2861) and ask for Heather Simmons or email simmonsh[at]wellingschool-tkat.org. Please email for a consent form which must be filled out and sent back before the start date of the course. Please contact the school for any information about the course or payments.     

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Job Vacancies: Voyager Academy - Librarian


Salary:  Scale 6 points 26-28 (FTE: £22,443 to £23,945)

41 weeks per year (Term Time plus 5 training days plus an additional 2 weeks during the holidays)

The Voyager Academy is seeking to appoint an enthusiastic Librarian to manage our Learning Resource Centre and ensure the Library is a vibrant and exciting place for both students and staff of the Academy.

The role is an excellent opportunity for an experienced librarian or a well- qualified entrant into the profession. A professional qualification in Library or Information Sciences is desirable as well as a high level of IT literacy along with experience of Library Management Systems and Virtual Learning Environments. The ability to liaise with Subject Leaders and the senior management team on supporting schemes of work through resources and displays is also vital.

The successful candidate will have the ability to inspire students to read and use the Learning Resource Centre effectively.

Librarian Job Description

Word document, 2 MB (Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later)


For an informal discussion or to arrange a visit please contact Lorraine Page, Head of School, Teaching and Learning on 01733 383888.

The post is term time only however the successful applicant may be required to work up to 2 weeks during the holiday period to support revision sessions and summer school activities.

The Governing Body is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.  An Enhanced DBS check will be carried out for the successful candidate.

For further details, an application form, and to apply, please visit our website: www.thevoyager.co.uk. An application form is also available to download here:

Application Form for Support Staff

Word document, 848 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later)


Please note we do not accept CV’s

Closing date for applications is Friday, 12thth December, 2014

The Voyager Academy is part of the Comberton Academy Trust  


More Details...

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BNY Mellon Young Sports Reporter of the Year

Youngsportsreporter PhpPerfect your pupils’ literacy skills with the iconic Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race!

Engage your KS 2-3 pupils in this extra-curricular task to challenge their writing ability and let them shine.  The winning pupil will receive a unique literacy workshop for their class, a school visit from a Blue from the 2015 Boat Races and a trophy for their school.  Register now to have access to all the resources you need to deliver this competition. www.nationalschoolspartnership.com/youngsportsreporter

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Proposed cuts to scottish school libraries

The TESS (Times Educational Supplment Scotland) have written an excellent article on proposed cuts to Scottish school libraries. Provision across the country is due to be hit by cutbacks, with librarians facing job losses or having to work across a number of schools. Sean McNamara, policy and digital officer for Cilip in Scotland, said: “The handful of budget proposals released in recent weeks suggest that the next round of cuts will be severe for school libraries, with many authorities ending up with less than half of what they had.”

Read the full article here.

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Job Vacancies: Heanor Gate Science College - Learning Resources Manager

Learning Resources Manager

Salary: Pt 32-38

required from February 2015

We are seeking to appoint an energetic, enthusiastic and creative librarian, responsible for the management of the library and school website.  The successful candidate will be confident, self-motivated and organised with excellent communication skills.

This is a key role within the school, and the post holder will be responsible for the effective management of the library, including its staff and budget. They will take the lead on the development and maintenance of the whole school website and the development of information skills, as well as supporting literacy, facilitating independent learning and assisting with the provision of careers and guidance information.

Qualified Librarian status is essential, as is experience of working with young people in a formal setting. The successful candidate will also be able to demonstrate significant experience of website maintenance and content development as well as expert general ICT skills. Knowledge of careers information and experience of guidance would be an advantage.

Heanor Gate Science College is a specialist science and vocational college for students aged 11-19 years, with an innovative personalised learning programme.

The school has a proven commitment to ‘Equality of Opportunity’ and actively promotes the welfare and safeguarding of young people.  The successful applicant will be subject to an enhanced check from the Disclosure and Debarring Service (DBS).

Application packs may be downloaded from the school website www.heanorgate.org.uk

or you may contact Pam Raisin praisin2[at]heanorgate.derbyshire.sch.uk

Telephone: 01773 716396 Extension 227

CLOSING DATE: 12 noon Friday 19th December 2014

More Details...

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