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SLA Blog » February 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.

Voting Open!

SLA Coloured LogoWe are delighted to have four candidates for the Board elections - for three places.  Please do take the time to read the candidates statements and vote.  To vote you need to be logged in under your usual details and election details are all on the website.  If you need to have a paper voting form please do contact the office and we can supply one.  Voting closes at noon on 30th April - don't leave it to the last minute!  Members elected now will take office from June 2014 until June 2017. 

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The E-Reading Revolution: Gateshead, 27 March 2014

Our course The E-Reading Revolution will be held at Central Library, Gateshead on 27 March 2014. Run by Bev Humphrey, this course has received excellent feedback in the past and will be invaluable for primary and secondary school library staff. All bookings received by 27 February are eligible for a £10 discount. The closing date is 13 March 2014.

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Information Book Award: 2014 Information Book Award Long List Announced

The Long List for the 2014 Information Book Award is announced today.  24 titles have been selected for judging as follows:

Under 7

  • First Animal Encyclopaedia by Anita Ganeri. Bloomsbury 9781408842522

  • Lift the Flap, Questions and Answers about Your Body by Katie Daynes, illustrated by Marie-Eve Tremblay. Usborne Publishing 9781409562108

  • Look Inside Things That Go by Rob Lloyd Jones, illustrated by Stephano Tognetti. 

  • My Big Worldby Okido, illustrated by Rachel Ortas Thames and Hudson 9780500650165Usborne Publishing 9781409550259

  • My Very First Art, Famous Paintings by Rosie Dickins, illustrated by Carles Ballesteros. Usborne Publishing 9781409549918

  • Really and Truly – A Story about Dementia by Emilie Rivard, illustrated by Anne-Claire Delisle.  Franklin Watts 9781445119403

  • The Story of Stars by Neal Layton. Hodder 9781444901122

  • What’s it Like to be a Bee by Jinny Johnson.  Franklin Watts 9781445121888

7 – 12

  • Animal Diaries: Frog by Steve Parker.  QED 9781848358744

  • Body Works: Brilliant Brain by Anna Claybourne, illustrated by Bill Greenhead & Peter Bull.  QED 9781781711194

  • Book of Languages by Mick Webb, illustrated by Glen McBeth.  Franklin Watts 9781445116266

  • Bugs by George McGAvin, illustrated by Jim Kay. Walker Books 9781406328738

  • Explore! The most dangerous Journeys of All Time by Deborah Kespert. Thames & Hudson 9780500650134         

  • Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber, illustrated by Brian Lovelock.  Walker Books 9781406348477

  • Get into Art: Animals by Susie Brooks. Kingfisher 9780753435762

  • Romans by Marcia Williams.  Walker Books 9781406339185

  • Secrets of Stonehenge by Mick Manning and Brita Granstr?m. Frances Lincoln 9781847803467

  • Space Academy: How to fly a spacecraft step by step by Deborah Kespert & David Baker.  Thames & Hudson 9780500650141

  • Think Again! by Clive Gifford. Kingfisher 9780753436226

  • We’ve got your Number by Mukul Patel. Kingfisher 9780753436400

12 – 16

  • Beyond Courage: the Untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport.  Walker Books 9780763629762

  • How to Draw Like a Fashion Designer by Dennis Norhdruft & Celia Joicey. Thames & Hudson 9780500650189

  • Starving the Anxiety Gremlin by Kate Collins-Donnelly, illustrated by Rosy Salaman.  Jessica Kingsley publishers 9781849053419

  • Who’s Who of World War I by Clive Gifford. Wayland 9780750279505

  • Weird Sea Creatures by Erich Hoyt. Firefly Books 9781770851917

The shortlists will be announced in approximately 1 month.

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School Library Camps - June 14th 2014

Library Camps are a user-generated unconference for people who work in, use, study or are just interested in libraries. As an unconference, there is no set agenda – instead attendees are invited to ‘pitch’ the sessions they want to be a part of, there is no keynote speakers or formal presentations – instead sessions can take the form of simple discussions, debate, conversations or interactive activities.

The School Library Camps have been organised to allow school library workers, users, academics, commentators a chance to discuss the issues, changes, challenges and opportunities taking place in the sector. They’re all running on the same day, June 14th. The camps have been arranged on a (roughly) regional basis so potential attendees won’t have to travel the length of the country to attend an event. A further ambition is to be innovative with technology to link up camps and attendees before, during and after the event to create the biggest School Library Conversation in the UK.

Tickets are available, for free, now for School Library Camps in;

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Uplifting days!

PORSome days really lift the spirits don’t they?  Yesterday was one such.  I had the pleasure of attending the first ever Patron of Reading conference – a real opportunity for those patrons that were in the forefront of this growing movement to share their ideas and practice.  As you can imagine with a whole room full of writers and librarians there was a real buzz about reading (and writing).  There were some great stories about how the scheme had changed some pupil’s lives – by making them readers!  As librarians we have known this for a long time – but it’s how to get the message across in a new way, to a new audience – and this scheme is having some very positive results – and the Patron works very closely with the librarian in their school. 

We all know the impact having an author in makes on pupils – well imagine the excitement of a school having its own author, committed to the school for a period of a year or more.  If you haven’t heard about the Patrons then check out their website – there are lots of authors waiting for schools to find them, and each school works with their author in a way that is mutually beneficial.  Delegates at our weekend course will have the option to hear about this scheme at the Weekend Course in Manchester – June 20th & 21st – watch out for the programme in the next School Librarian.

Then I attended the launch of the Schools Funding Network – an initiative that started in London and has now gone nationwide.  This is a way for schools to be put in touch with philanthropists or businesses willing to fund challenges in school, or offer other opportunities.  Check it out and mention it to SLT – it may be a way forward for your school.

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Job Vacancies: Leventhorpe - Learning Resource Centre Manager

Fulltime, term time only

£30,000 pa FTE

We are looking for an enthusiastic individual to oversee our newly developed Learning Resource Centre (LRC). The LRC is at the heart of our school incorporating the school’s library as well as a computer based study area for the lower school and a quiet, self-study area for the sixth form. After school this facility becomes the hub for extra-curricular study support.

The successful candidate will be a highly committed team player with the drive, energy and passion to maximise this new student facility. Ideally they will have had experience of running a successful library department, as well as having a good knowledge and enjoyment of children's literature.

Leventhorpe is a Business and Enterprise Academy that in 2012 was judged by Ofsted as Outstanding in all categories.

Overview Feb 14

Word document, 175 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later)


The successful candidate will:

  • instil a love of books and a passion for reading in the pupils

  • be committed to encouraging every student to develop their research skills

  • possess excellent organisational and communication skills

  • be an effective team player and value every aspect of the life of the school

  • oversee the after school activities

In return Leventhorpe can provide:

  • a positive working environment in a heavily oversubscribed school with an excellent academic record and high standards which places strong emphasis on student learning and achievement

  • a large Sixth Form of 330 students

  • exceptionally dedicated colleagues and enthusiastic students

  • first rate personal career development with high local and regional profile through our training school status and National Support School and Teaching School work

  • outstanding facilities including a £6 million new Leisure Centre (sports hall, fitness suite, dance studio, all weather pitch and floodlit tennis courts), £1.2 million Learning Resources Centre, re-modelled Design & Technology facilities and Science labs, annual £100k investment in ICT provision.

  • annual Nuffield Health gym membership and free health care through Benenden

Leventhorpe is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. A DBS disclosure is required for all successful applicants.

Please apply by letter and application form (which can be found on our website) to Wendy Shannon, HR Manager. Closing date noon Monday 3rd March.  Interviews will take place on Tuesday 18th March.

Cambridge Road
CM21 9BY

Telephone (01279) 836633
Fax (01279) 600339
Email education[at]leventhorpe.net

More Details...

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CILIP Carnegie & Greenaway Resources

Shadowing 2014 V2 1 CoverIf you’re looking to encourage children and young people to read and explore fantastic novels and illustrated books through your library then register for the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals shadowing scheme.

Shadowing is simple, adaptable and free to register.   Now in its 20th year, the scheme has over 4,700 registered reading groups across the UK engaging up to 90,000 children and young people in reading activity.

Shadowing takes place in school libraries, public libraries and classrooms. After the shortlists are announced on 18 March groups write reviews, write blogs, upload videos, create polls and personalise their homepages. Shadowers can watch videos of the shortlisted authors and illustrators talking about their work and what inspires them. Free educational resources and ideas for activities for group leaders will be available on the website.  Shadowing ends when the winners are announced on 23 June 2014.

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School Librarian of the Year Award 2014: The Search Begins!

The search for the most outstanding School Librarian of the Year has begun!

The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award selection panel of four top school librarians will spend the next four months evaluating the contenders for the 2014 award, which will be presented in October.

Adam Lancaster, SLA School Librarian of the Year in 2012, is on the selection panel for 2014 and is excited by the high standard and variety of this year’s nominations:

"There is a great range in terms of the settings and circumstances that nominees work in, including special schools, and in terms of the level of formal qualifications they hold. The award really is a celebration of everyone who works in school libraries."

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Jeremy StrongChildren would rather read books that make them laugh than stories featuring TV characters, research has revealed.

The research report, issued by Pearson to mark the launch of its Read for My School national reading competition (www.readformyschool.co.uk), found that one in five of the books chosen by 100,000 children in more than 3,000 schools were in the “Laugh out Loud” category.

The Read for My School annual competition, which kicks off this term, challenges pupils in England to read as many books as they can in two months – either online from a free digital library, or offline.

For more information dowload the press release here:


Word document, 22 kB

Requires Microsoft Word 2007 or later


To give you a hand in finding something fantastic to read, we asked publishers to put forward some of their best books and an independent panel of experts including teachers, librarians, booksellers and children’s book reviewers to read through them and select their favourites. The result is a list of 48 Recommended Reads:

Recommended Reads

PDF file, 149 kB

Requires Adobe Reader

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Job Vacancies: Downsend School - Librarian

Start Date: March 2014
An IAPS, co-educational, day preparatory school educating children aged 2 to 13, Downsend is a thriving and vibrant school which provides a refreshingly different education through a broad based curriculum leading to outstanding academic success. We are looking to appoint an enthusiastic and experienced Librarian to manage the School Libraries. Working closely with the teaching staff, you will be responsible for developing and promoting the role of the library in support of the curriculum. Candidates should have strong organisational and communication skills. A love of books and reading is essential. Experience of working within an education environment would be an advantage.
Closing date: Tuesday 11 February 2014

If you would like to apply for the above post, further details and an application pack are available from:
Emma Mitchell,
Downsend School, 1 Leatherhead Road
Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 8TJ
Tel: 01372 385430
Email: emma.mitchell[at]downsend.co.uk

Or you can download them here:

Non Teaching Application Form

Word document, 316 kB (Requires Microsoft Word 97 or later)

Downsend School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
All offers of employment are subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

More Details...

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