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SLA Blog » March 2017RSS 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.

Job Vacancies: Wellington College, Berkshire - Librarian

Position: Librarian

Department: Mallinson Library

Location: Crowthorne, Berkshire

Reports to: Head Librarian

Salary: Competitive

Type of Contract:  Permanent

Hours per week: 37.5 - Mon – Fri with Saturday working on a rota during term-time

Weeks per year: 38 (33 term time plus 5 during school holidays)

Closing Date: 19th April 2017 at 5pm

Wellington College, one of the world’s leading coeducational day and boarding schools, are seeking to appoint an experienced and flexible librarian to join our small and friendly library team. Excellent professional skills are required alongside a rapport with teenagers and confidence to deliver information literacy skills’ sessions.

The ideal candidate will have a keen interest in reading and familiarity with children’s literature together with strong IT skills and knowledge of online sources.

Our vibrant and busy library is the perfect setting for an enthusiastic candidate who is seeking the opportunity to gain further experience in all aspects of school librarianship.

Ideally the candidate will be available for training and induction between 5th June and 7th July 2017.

Our excellent staff benefits include free lunch whilst on duty, subsidised membership to the Wellington Health and Fitness Club, contribution to Wellington personal pension scheme and access to a BHSF health cash plan.

For full details, including how to apply, please visit the non-teaching vacancies page of the Wellington College website: www.wellingtoncollege.org.uk

Please note that CVs without an accompanying application form will not be accepted.

The College is committed to equality and diversity and the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Applicants for any of the positions available at the College must be willing to undergo a number of safeguarding checks including an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check, reference checks with previous employers and, where applicable, a Barred List, Prohibition and EEA check.

More Details...

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Information Book Award: 2017 Information Book Award Short List announced

The School Library Association announces the shortlist for the seventh annual SLA Information Book Award.

Chair of the Judges Chris Brown said; “This is the 7th year of the Awards and it is an absolute delight to have received more brilliant, attractive and amazing books than ever. Inevitably that wonderful abundance has made judging and choices more difficult and this shortlist reflects the incredibly high standards publishers are achieving in producing information books for our young readers.”

From our sponsor, Hilary Murray Hill, CEO, Hachette Children’s Group commented: “On behalf of the Hachette Children’s Group I am delighted that we will are sponsoring this important award for a further year.   School libraries are an essential part of the development of literacy for many thousands of children in this country and the SLA supports and promotes all that is best in children’s librarianship.   The quality of this year’s submissions is higher than ever before and congratulations are due to the commitment, creativity and skill of all the editors, authors and illustrators whose books have made it to the 2017 shortlist.”

The shortlisted titles in each age category are as follows:

Under 7

  • A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies Illustrated by Petr Horacek ISBN 9781406359633   Walker Books

  • Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, Illustrated by Salavatore Rubbino ISBN 9781406356205 Walker Books

  • My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by Various ISBN 9780241224939   Dorling Kindersley

  • The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer ISBN 9780500650677 Thames & Hudson


  • The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, Illustrated by James Weston Lewis ISBN 9780750298209 Wren & Rook

  • RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden by Mike Dilger, Illustrated by Sarah Horne ISBN 9781472913432 Bloomsbury Children’s

  • Hello World by Jonathan Litton Illustrated by L’atelier Cartographik ISBN 9781848575035   360 Degrees (Little Tiger)

  • Ada’s Ideas; the story of Ada Lovelace the world’s first computer programmer by Fiona Robinson ISBN 9781419718724 Abrams Books for Young Readers


  • Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt Illustrated by Gemma Correll ISBN 9781471405310 Hot Key Books

  • Who Are Refugees and Migrants? by Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young ISBN 9780750299855 Wayland

  • Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton ISBN 9781445150444 Franklin Watts

The winners will be announced at an event at Hachette Children’s Group, Carmelite House, London, on Wednesday 22nd November.

Voting for the Children’s Choice from the shortlists will be open very shortly – announcements will follow on the SLA website www.sla.org.uk and via Twitter [at]UKSLA and on our Facebook page - www.facebook.com/schoollibraryassociation/


Judges’ Comments on the Shortlist Titles

Under 7

A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horacek

Nicola Davies is a passionate advocate of the natural world and delights in introducing children to all its glories. Over fifty different animals, birds, insects and marine creatures are brought vividly to life through her words and the accompanying illustrations. Full of vibrant colour and detail, capturing movement and habitat with judicious use of colour, these enhance and extend the descriptive poems, transporting the young reader around the world.

Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

From the fluid and colourful pictures of dogs on the flyleaves, the stylish quality of illustrations is instantly recognisable. The story of a rescue dog becoming a family pet is interwoven with factual information, including training techniques.  This is the perfect book for any family considering the implications of getting a pet dog, a perfect balance of fiction and information.

My encyclopedia of very important things by various authors

A lovely bright layout, combining excellent photos and quirky illustrations offers an appealing setting for the text. There are plenty of facts on each page, laid out clearly and using simple, accessible language. There is something to interest everyone here, from dinosaurs to clouds, music to habitats. This is a lovely browser that offers something new every time it is picked up.

The big book of bugs by Yuval Zommer

This engaging large format picture book is ideal for just dipping into or reading from cover to cover. More than an information book, it challenges the reader to spot the hidden fly fifteen times, while searching for other bugs along the way. Full of scientific facts about insects from all around the world, with every page a visual delight.


The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, Illustrated by James Weston Lewis

Changing the face of the city forever, the story of the Great Fire of London is one which has resonated throughout the past 350 years. In deceptively sparing detail, Emma Adams describes how it started, the efforts to quench the flames, how it was eventually defeated and the impact on the people of London. The bold, print style illustrations, in a limited palette of blazing orange and smoky blues and greys, give a haunting vision of a city ablaze.

Hello World by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by L’Atelier Cartographik

Make friendships across the world by learning basic greetings in around 150 languages from Moroccan Arabic to Ukranian and many others too.  Lifting the language flap reveals transliterations and interesting details; captions highlight information about aspects of life and history and simple maps show basic geographical information.  ‘Hello World’ will fascinate children interested in countries and in how people communicate.

RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden by Mike Dilger, Illustrated by Sarah Horne

Gardens are home to an amazing abundance of wildlife, from birds to butterflies and small mammals. This fascinating and accessible guide, illustrated with photographs, shows the plants and creatures which might be encountered, with tips for young naturalists on how to encourage visitors and where and when to spot them.

Ada’s ideas: the story of Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer by Fiona Robinson

This is an inspirational story of female achievement which also highlights the importance of the imagination when it comes to scientific invention. Published two years after the 200th anniversary of the mathematician’s birth, this beautifully designed picture-book biography introduces the reader to Ada’s world and her pioneering work with Charles Babbage.  A truly empowering story.


Mind your head by Juno Dawson and Dr Olivia Hewitt, illustrated by Gemma Correll

Straightforward advice mixed with a healthy dose of humour make this an excellent book that all teenagers would do well to read. It approaches mental health issues and sources of help in a sensible, non-sensational way with plenty of detail. Correll’s illustrations are as always a delight, bringing a lightness to serious topics but never trivialising the subject.

Who are refugees and migrants? What makes people leave their homes? And other big questions by Michael Rosen and Annnemarie Young

Equipped with all the organisational features of a traditional information book, this also has a distinctive authorial voice which makes it highly readable. This timely book is designed to explain and inform, but also to challenge preconceptions and encourage the reader to develop their own opinions.  The topic is explored through a wide range of personal stories which combine many new voices with some of the more familiar ones.

Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton

A very moving and personal take on the Holocaust, describing children’s stories in their own words. The stark illustrations clearly convey the fear, anger and despair that they experienced and work well with the straightforward text. The timeline and ‘what happened next?’ sections tie the stories together and provide context, making this an unusual and compelling look at the subject.

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Free copies of The Week Annual for completing survey

The Week Junior magazine are giving away two copies of their 2017 Annual (RRP: £7.99 each) when you fill in a short survey on how you encourage curiosity. 
To complete the survey and receive the annuals for your library or classroom, please visit: tp://bit.ly/TWJSurvey 
01 TWJ Issue62

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Job Vacancies: Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester - Head of Learning Resources

Maternity Cover  - Term time + 4 weeks
Salary £22,720 (FTE 26,372)  Scale point 26
Hours: Monday – Friday  8.30 – 4.30pm
(1 hour unpaid meal break)
Start Date 4th June 2017
(subject to recruitment checks and any changes to Maternity start date)

Chetham’s School of Music, established in 1969, is an independent co-educational boarding school based in Manchester city centre. It is the largest specialist independent music school in the UK with around 300 students aged 8-18 who are musically gifted.   The School teaches all core curriculum subjects, with music given a high priority in the curriculum.

The School Library reflects the musical bias of the School, having fiction and non-fiction books, magazines covering all academic subjects taught in School as well as a very large music collection including books, sheet music, orchestral sets, wind, brass and jazz ensemble music, string ensemble and baroque music, choral scores, miniature scores, CDs, DVDs and vinyl records and audio-visual equipment.       

You should have a postgraduate library qualification recognised by CILIP, a music degree and experience within a school, music conservatoire or other music library.  You should have excellent organisational, computing and interpersonal skills and preferably staff management experience.

For an application pack and job description please vsit the website:

Application deadline: 9am, Monday 10 April 2017

Interviews: w/c 17th April 2017

Chetham’s is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children; applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service. Reg. Charity No: 526702

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Wicked Young Writers Award 2017

WYWA MASTER ARTWORK UpdateThe acclaimed WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS (www.wickedyoungwriterawards.com), created and sponsored by the award-winning musical WICKED in association with the National Literacy Trust (www.literacytrust.org.uk), are delighted to announce that Strictly Come Dancing star, author, award-winning journalist and former Labour MP Ed Balls has joined the judging panel, alongside ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar and the acclaimed performance poet and writer Laura Dockrill. Author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell, returns as Head Judge for the third consecutive year, together with long-standing judges Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust and Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of WICKED.

Launched in 2010, the free-to-enter annual creative writing competition for 5-25 year olds raises money for, and awareness of, the National Literacy Trust who campaign to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy.

To ensure as many people as possible are able to take part, the awards deadline has now been extended to 27 March, 2017. Entrants can submit their writing by visiting www.WickedYoungWriterAwards.com, where they will also find writing tips and resources from the Award judges.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of the Awards, set up to encourage and recognise excellence in writing, and creativity, and help develop literacy and writing talent in young people. Since launching, over 25,000 young people have entered original and thought-provoking pieces of writing that consistently reflect the interests, concerns and deepest thoughts of young people, providing a first-look at the emerging voices of a new generation.

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The Trustees of KLQ UK are looking for a NATIONAL ORGANISER to replace Jacky Atkinson who has now taken on the role of Chairman.  The job entails organising the schedule of Regional Heats, in consultation with the Quizmaster, co-ordinating and supporting the 18 Regional Organisers and recruiting new Regional Organisers as and when necessary. Dealing with enquiries from interested schools.   Liaising with publishers for book prizes.  Liaising with the National Treasurer, helping to organise the National Final together with the Board, and reporting to the Board on a regular basis.  Promoting the KLQ UK whenever possible.   Preparing an annual report for the Trustees as required by the Charity Commission.  This voluntary post carries with it a small honorarium

For further information, please contact Jacky Atkinson:

0781 2525224 or 01295  812972  e-mail klquktrustee1@gmail, com



How would you like to join the happy team of Regional Organisers who bring the joy of reading to our young

People by organising local Heats of this exciting and unique literary International Competition.

We are looking for volunteers in the following areas”


For further information, please contact Jacky Atkinson

0781 2525224 or 01295 812972  e-mail klquktrustee1@gmail,com

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Help, I'm in Charge of the School Library!: Sheffield, 28 March 2017


Places are still available on our Help, I'm in Charge of the School Library! course for secondary school library staff which is taking place at Longley Park Sixth Form College, Horninglow Road, Sheffield S5 6SG on 28 March 2017. The closing date is 14 March 2017.

An essential course for anyone new to running or managing a secondary school library, topics covered will include creating an inspiring library environment, library organisation and maintenance (including an introduction to Dewey and the benefits of a range of Library Management systems), selecting and buying books, library promotion, budgeting and writing a library policy/development plan. Delegates will leave with the confidence to move the library forward and ensure it is used to maximum effect within their schools.

The cost is just £105 (SLA members), £165 (non-members) and a second person can attend from the same school (accompanying a full-paying individual) for as little as £70 (SLA members), £90 (non-members).  Payment is not required by the course date as long as an official order has been received. 

Key Audience:  A course for secondary school library staff

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Celebrate Shakespeare Week 2017

Shakespeare WeekGet ready for Shakespeare Week 20 – 26 March 2017 when primary children all around the country will be celebrating Shakespeare’s life, world and plays. Join in the celebrations at www.shakespeareweek.org.uk where you can register for activities and other fun resources.  For posters featuring artwork from Marcia Williams, please contact jo.humphreys-davies@walker.co.uk

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Inclusive Minds launch crowdfunding campaign to develop groundbreaking resource for book world

Incl MindsInclusive Minds urges everyone to help support real change and ensure authentic inclusion in children’s books.

An innovative crowdfunding project will give a voice to children and young people – the people who know most about what they want to see represented in books and how.  It will enable them to share valuable experience with those who would like help ensuring authenticity.

The unique resource

Where real inclusion in books is concerned, thorough research is vital. Inclusive Minds will develop an extensive network of Ambassadors for Inclusion.  These are young people of all ages with real experience of marginalisation who can share their unique expertise (covering all facets of diversity) with the book world. 

Authors, illustrators and publishers will be able to contact Inclusive Minds with ideas, questions or manuscripts that they wish to discuss with relevant young people.  These opportunities will be shared with the network and connections established. Ambassadors may also be available to speak at events and in response to news stories.

Opportunity for young people

This groundbreaking project will offer many benefits to those who join the network of ambassadors.  It will empower young people, giving them a powerful role and a real voice in changing the face of children's books. The opportunity will also represent valuable work experience that may lead to references and further work.

A successful pilot has proven the value of such a resource.  Robin Stevens, one of the authors who has already successfully used the pilot project, welcomed the news:

'It's important to research every aspect of your book, but sometimes research is no substitute for experience. I am so grateful to Inclusive Minds for putting me in touch with young readers from a British Hindu background, who helped me ensure that the portrayal of my detective George was not only accurate, but rang true.'

The goal

£4,000 will fund Inclusive Minds in expanding the pilot project by recruiting young people (up to the age of 30) from an extremely diverse range of backgrounds and cover the administration and promotion of the network for two years. The funding will enable the basic network service to be free of charge, but should relationships developor lead to more official consultation or sensitivity reading, the network user and ambassador would be expected to introduce and agree fees.

How and why to be a part of the project

Inclusive Minds urge everyone who believes in the need for inclusion and equality in books to support the campaign on Indiegogo.  Contributors have access to an exciting menu of ‘perks’ in return for their donations big and small. Perks range from high fives and thank you messages to character names and original book artwork.  Absolutely anyone can contribute, giving whatever they can.  Even £5 will help towards realisation of the project.  Anyone who might be willing to donate a perk, is also encouraged to contact Inclusive Minds.

By all of us coming together in this way, Inclusive Minds is confident we will create a unique resource that can truly help change the face of children’s books.

To help Inclusive Minds realise the project (or just to find out more), visit https://igg.me/at/youngambassadors.

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Get sun savvy in 2017!

2016 SM Image 1Wrap, Splat, Hat, the free sun awareness programme, is back ready to help you teach 5 to 11 year olds how they can have fun in the sun safely.

Brought to you by Garnier Ambre Solaire in association with the British Skin Foundation, the popular programme is better than ever, with new bespoke education resources for pupils aged 5-7 and 7-11.

The first 2500 schools to register will also get printed pupil passports, including entry forms for the Wrap Splat Hat Schools Competition. The competition puts pupils’ sun safety learning and creativity to the test for a chance to win up to £2000towards creating a sun safe playground for their school.

Don’t miss out, register today for free to receive full access to the programme: bit.ly/WSH2PA

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Award that recognises pupil library assistants moves to the Houses of Parliament

Bestselling author Cathy Cassidy is joining school librarians, representatives from literacy organisations and publishers to celebrate the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award; a joint venture between the School Library Association and the CILIP School Libraries Group.

A five-strong shortlist has been selected from a very strong field of nominations from school librarians across the UK. The winner will be announced by Cassidy at a special ceremony on Friday 17th March which is being held, this year, at Portcullis House, Westminster.

Recognising the valued assistance of pupils who help within their school libraries, the initiative is being sponsored by The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators; Authors Aloud UK, a company specialising in organising author visits; EES for Schools, an organisation that provides a range of specialist education services; leading children’s publishers Hachette and Macmillan; and MLS, a company that produces high specification library systems for schools. The award’s logo was specially designed by Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell.

Barbara Band, Chair of the Judging Panel and founder of the award said “Week after week many students support the libraries in their schools by giving of their time and effort. Sadly, this is too often unrecognised and unrewarded. Yet these students are not only helping to create a lively and effective library that responds to the needs of its users, they are also gaining valuable skills and experience in the process. This award was created to recognise that work and also to highlight the unique synergy that occurs when a pupil becomes a library assistant.”

Tricia Adams, Director of the School Library Association said “Pupil library assistants are a valuable element in the running of school libraries – giving service to the school but also gaining skills and confidence from the work they do in the library, which ultimately feeds back into their academic achievement and their motivation.”

Caroline Roche, Chair of the CILIP School Libraries Group said “The work that pupil librarians do is invaluable in their schools.  Many school librarians are lone workers and therefore rely heavily on assistance from pupil librarians during busy periods.  But, more than that, many of these pupils enrich their libraries: recommending books, talking to their peers, creating newsletters, contributing to blogs, helping create displays - all the extras which can make a library vibrant and interesting. All of this enriches not only the library, but adds to their personal development.  SLG thoroughly endorses this Award.”

Open to pupils who assist in school libraries across the UK, the award recognises the impact of their work on their school and its library and equally the value of the experience to the children’s lives. Entries are judged by a panel of leading figures from the children’s book world and school library community.

The five shortlisted pupils:

Rebecca Dunville – Wellington College, Belfast
William Harris – Lord Wandsworth College, Hampshire
Victoria Langford – St Hilda’s CE High School, Liverpool
Rishi Shah – Queen Elizabeth’s School, London
Harry Sindle – Ely College, Cambridgeshire

For full details visit the webpage.

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Short Story Competition for children

PrintExpress.co.uk, is running a competition which has no entry fee, and is open to those between 5 and 13 (we have two age brackets - 5 to 9, and 10 to 13).  The winner will receive £50 in book tokens, and £175 in book tokens for their school. Here are the entry details:

  • - Stories should be no more than 500 words
  • - Stories must be an original piece of fiction
  • - The deadline is midnight on March 31st, 2017
  • - Stories can only be entered by a parent, teacher or guardian on behalf of a child

The full rules and details are here: http://design.printexpress.co.uk/the-print-express-childrens-short-story-competition/

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Welcome to the SLA Website: Spectacular Spring Sale

Our special half price offer on SLA publications is now on. The offer covers all titles published before 2015 and is open for orders placed in March and April 2017. (Discount will be applied to your invoice after checkout. Standard delivery charges apply.)
View our full Publications List: www.sla.org.uk/publications

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FREE trial offer for The Week Junior

At a time when real facts about current affairs have never been more important don’t miss this opportunity to trial @weekjuniorlearn The Week Junior for TWJS Twitter Header 2FREE. Exciting, inspiring reading for 8–11 year olds, the offer (worth £24.88) will entitle you to 3 copies a week for 4 weeks.

The Week Junior brings together news, stories and events from around the world and explains them in a way that makes sense to young people. Stunning images, amazing facts, and intriguing headlines are interspersed with more thought-provoking articles, providing variety and interest for readers of all abilities.

The Week Junior is perfect for:

  • Inspiring learning and stimulating debate01 TWJ Issue62
  • Sparking interest in local and global current affairs
  • Library reading sessions, activities and literacy challenges
  • Engagement in citizenship and international culture
  • For encouraging reading for pleasure

Visit: theweekjunior.co.uk/schooltrial or call: 01795 414 826 quoting offer code: YSLIBT

Terms & Conditions: Offer is valid for one library per school.

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FREE posters for school libraries!!

Caraval - a bestselling debut that the YA world is buzzing about!

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems…
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend. 
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.


PDF file, 4 MB

Requires Adobe Reader


For a free printed poster please contact naomi.berwin[at]hodder.co.uk. 

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Stewart FosterOn Tuesday 7 March, in the packed Great Hall of Dulwich College, the third annual Trinity Schools Book Award (TSBA) was presented to author Stewart Foster for his warm and touching story The Bubble Boy (Simon and Schuster Children’s Books).  Joe’s rare condition means that he is confined to a sterile hospital room, with only his sister’s visits and Skype chats with fellow sufferer Henry to relieve the monotony of his days, until the arrival of a new member of medical staff changes his life forever.  Shortlisted for its portrayal of sensory deprivation and experience, which reflected this year’s TSBA theme of Sense-sational Reads, the book struck a chord with pupils at the seventeen participating schools, who voted overwhelmingly for it to win the Award.  Stewart made a gracious acceptance speech to the audience of 160 students and 40 staff; referring to the pressure put on authors to engage with readers via social media, he said that winning the Award was worth more than ten thousand tweets!

The shortlisted books for the 2017 Award were:

  • The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster (Simon and Schuster Children’s Books)
  • The Seeing by Diana Hendry (Corgi Books)
  • The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber & Faber)
  • There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake (Bloomsbury)
  • Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
  • She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick (Indigo)

The TSBA ceremony was the culmination of six months of reading and discussing the shortlisted books in schools, and included the presentation of prizes to the students who had written the best reviews and produced the best creative responses to the shortlisted books.  Many of these were on display at the venue, showcasing the talent and imagination to be found amongst the young people who took part.  The readers also submitted some piercing questions, which were expertly and honestly answered by Stewart and his fellow VIP guest Diana Hendry (shortlisted for The Seeing).

The Award ceremony would not have been the same without sponsorship from Faber & Faber, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Penguin Random House, Quercus Children’s Books, Simon and Schuster, Walker Books and Browns Books for Students; their generosity ensured that each student who attended left with a goody bag of new books to enjoy.  The TSBA committee thanks them all, and also the Master of Dulwich College and his staff for kindly hosting the event.

The TSBA was founded by and is run by a team of school librarians.  The responses from participating students, and their engagement with the judging and voting process, is a testimony to the power of real, deep, engagement with books, and the importance of school libraries and librarians in providing opportunities for this to take place.  For further information about the TSBA, please visit the website http://tsba.edublogs.org and the Twitter feed [at]TSBA_UK.

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There is a Better Way. Information Literacy - Skills to Empower: Bristol, 18 May 2017

Our course There is a Better Way. Information Literacy - Skills to Empower, run by Lin Smith, will be held at Gordano School, St Mary's Road, Portishead, Bristol BS20 7QR on 18 May 2017.

A day for librarians (or teachers) working in secondary schools to reflect on the ways that librarian-directed learning can impact on student progress by improving research skills and digital literacy across all Key Stages.

The closing date is 4 May 2017. Bookings received by 20 April 2017 are eligible for a discount.

Key Audience:

Secondary school librarians / library staff / teachers with a responsibility for learning skills

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Job Vacancies: Stowe School, Buckingham - Assistant Librarian

Required as soon as possible, a professionally qualified Librarian. The role will be to assist in the operation of the learning environment used by the whole School community. The post holder is responsible for assisting in the organisation of the main library and department libraries as well as supervision and assistance to users.

The post holder will actively promote information literacy, create displays for events and assist on the upkeep of the Library VLE and social media.

Closing date:  24 March 2017

An application form and job description can be downloaded from our website


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  •  For the first time illustrated books in all three age categories
  • Past winner Philip Reeve shortlisted in two categories with Brian Selznick, Gill Lewis and Benji Davies each with potential second award
  •  Debut authors challenge medal winning heavyweights in each category

@The_UKLA  #UKLA17   #teachersbookawards

For the first time ever the awards that come with the teachers’ guarantee that these are the books which get their classes reading, have an author shortlisted simultaneously  in two age categories. Philip Reeve’s creative partnership with Sarah McIntyre will be looking to repeat their2015 triumph in the 7-11 category. But they face stiff competition from another previous winner Gill Lewis who won with her debut novel, Sky Hawk in 2012. Debut authors Ross Welford and S.E.Durrant will see that as a very good omen. Completing the 7-11 list is the 2014 shortlisted author Katherine Rundell and the Kate Greenaway longlisted title The Journey by Francesca Sanna: a powerful picturebook which teacher judges described as “taking children to new experiences outside their own”.

Philip Reeve’s science fiction Railhead secured his second shortlisting in the 12-16 category but once again he is up against stiff competition with the previously Highly Commended Brian Selznick. They both face competition from a cosmopolitan list which features Selznick’s American compatriot Gary.D.Schmidt, Canadian Susin Nielsen and Alaskan Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s Carnegie longlisted debut title. Joining Philip in representing home grown talent is previously shortlisted award winner Jenny Valentine .

The 3-6 category sees Benji Davies repeating his 2016 shortlisting and hoping to improve upon his Highly Commended award. He will be up against Greenaway winner Emily Gravett, the inaugural Amnesty CILIP Honour winner, Ross Collins, Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning Jim Field in a new partnership with Rachel Bright and impressive debuts from Lucy Ruth Cummings and David Litchfield.

All three age categories once again show the fresh perspective that class teachers can bring to the judging process in their search for books which can “enhance all aspects of literacy learning”,  as required by the criteria. This makes them particularly useful as co-sponsor Peter Crawshaw, Director and Co-founder of Lovereading4kids said:

“Lovereading4schools and its sister site Lovereading4kids are delighted to support the UKLA Book Awards. The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives the award huge credibility and trust that schools use to know the books will be loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents. We can't wait to see the eventual winners as the shortlisted books are all simply excellent”

The enthusiastic judging discussions revealed how much teachers welcomed the opportunity to widen their knowledge of recent children’s titles and enjoyed talking together in order to decide which books would best match the criteria for the award:

There have been so many great spin-offs from that initial decision to get involved: seeing teachers who had never been big readers catching the reading bug, avid readers who found a whole new treasure trove of books to keep them up reading till the small hours, colleagues queuing up to borrow the books and so many children inspired to share this reading journey with them. Jess Anderson, Group leader

For UKLA, giving classroom practitioners the opportunity to read a number of new quality children’s books is as important as finding an overall winner. Research carried out by members of UKLA (Cremin et al 2008) clearly demonstrated the links between teachers’ knowledge of children’s books and the likelihood of pupils becoming successful readers. Despite this evidence, teachers are seldom given time to read new books or funding to purchase them when they do. As Awards Chair Lynda Graham said:

Teacher judges in education authorities across Scotland clearly delighted in opportunities to discuss the best of newly- published, quality books with teacher colleagues and to share these books with children and young people in their classrooms. 

12 teachers nominated from the 55 involved in the shortlisting, who came from Aberdeen City, North Ayrshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Falkirk and Renfrewshire, will now form the final judging panel and have the challenging task of reading all the shortlisted books in all three age categories, which will mean nursery teachers reading fiction for teenagers and secondary teachers reading picturebooks!

The winners will be announced on June 30th at the UKLA International Conference, University of Strathclyde

For further information and to request an interview with the shortlisted authors and illustrators, or for images, please contact fao Lynda Graham awards@ukla.org

The Shortlists in full

  • 3-6

The Lion Inside written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field (Orchard Books)

There's a Bear on MY Chair written and illustrated by RossCollins            (Nosy Crow)

A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon & Schuster)

Grandad's Island written and illustrated by BenjiDavies(Simon & Schuster)

Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)

The Bear and the Piano written and illustrated by David Litchfield (Frances Lincoln)

  • 7-11

Little Bits of Sky written byS.EDurrant and illustrated by Katie Harnett (Nosy Crow)

Gorilla Dawn written by Gill Lewis(Oxford University Press)

Pugs of the Frozen North written and illustrated by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press)

The Wolf Wilder written by KatherineRundell and illustrated by Gelrev Ongbico (Bloomsbury)

The Journey written and illustrated by FrancescaSanna (Flying Eye Books)

Time Travelling with a Hamster written by RossWelford (HarperCollins)

  • 12-16

The Smell of Other People's Houses  written by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (Faber &Faber)

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen written by SusinNielsen (Andersen Press)

Orbiting Jupiter written by Gary. D. Schmidt(Andersen Press)

Railhead written by PhilipReeve (Oxford University Press)

The Marvels written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)

Fire Colour One written byJennyValentine (HarperCollins)

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Job Vacancies: The Grammar School at Leeds - Assistant Librarian

£22,434 - £26,556

Contract: Full time, all year round - Temporary for 2 years

An exciting opportunity exists for a professional Assistant Librarian to join The Grammar School at Leeds. We are seeking someone qualified, enthusiastic and energetic who is willing to play their role within the Library and Information Services team to the full.

The school houses 3 Libraries, one of which is the oldest in Leeds, and creates a learning environment with over 65,000 resources for 2,000 pupils of all ages across the three sections of school – Senior School, Junior School and Rose Court Nursery (based in Headingley). The successful candidate could be required to work at any of the school’s three libraries.

This is a temporary post which is to start as soon as convenient. The role is for 35 hours per week and staff work flexibly on a rota basis to cover the hours between 07:45 – 17:45, agreed by the line manager.

Full details of the post are shown in the job description and person specification on the school’s website. Application is by completion of the GSAL application form.

Closing date: to arrive no later than 9.00 am on Tuesday 21 March 2017

Interviews will be held on: Friday 31 March 2017

Applications should be returned to elaine.green[at]gsal.org.uk

For more information contact Elaine Green at the Grammar School at Leeds on 0113 2291552. Please visit our website www.gsal.org.uk. and to apply for the post.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and an enhanced DBS disclosure will be required.

We are an equal opportunities employer, selecting employees solely on merit irrespective of gender, ethnic origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation or age.

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Information Book Award: Information Book Award 2017 longlist


The SLA Information Book Award received a wide range of submissions for consideration for the 2017 award. Chris Brown, the Chair of the judges commented ‘The submissions for the award this year include more really impressive very well created and presented books than ever before. Whilst this made the task of us judges somewhat arduous it has also been an exhilarating experience. Ultimately we had to make decisions recognising that we couldn’t include a number of books of a quality which meant they might well have made it onto our longlists if published and submitted in another year. 

Then there are books for the youngest which, whilst outstanding in themselves, when judged alongside others the amount of actual information cannot compare. For example the DK Braille book ‘Counting’ (978 0 2412 2834 0) is wonderful with amazingly varied tactile fingertip feeling to the objects to count (great for any child) as well as having numbers and phrases in both braille and print.’ 

(NB – Publishers submit books in age groups they define: judges reserve the right to move any titles to an alternative educationally appropriate age group.) 

The School Library Association Information Book Award longlist for 2017 is - 


A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies Illustrated by Petr Horacek ISBN 9781406359633   Walker Books

Where do Babies Come From? by Kate Daynes, Illustrated by Christine Pym ISBN 9781409598824 Usborne

You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey, Illustrated by Soyeon Kim ISBN 9780750296571            Wayland

Our Very Own Dog by Amanda McCardie, Illustrated by Salavatore Rubbino ISBN 9781406356205 Walker Books

Atchoo! How we catch a cold by Leon Read, Illustrated by Sean Sims ISBN 9781445146256            Franklin Watts

The Seashore (The curiosity box) by Peter Riley, Illustrated by Krina Patel  ISBN 9781445146300 Franklin Watts

Refugees and Migrants (Children in our world) by Ceri Roberts, Illustrated by Hanane Kai ISBN 9781526300201 Wayland

Charles Darwin’s Round the World Adventure by Jennifer Thermes ISBN 9781419721205 Abrams Books for Young Readers

My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by Various ISBN 9780241224939   Dorling Kindersley

The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer ISBN 9780500650677 Thames & Hudson

7 – 12

The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams, Illustrated by James Weston Lewis ISBN 9780750298209 Wren & Rook

The Kew Gardens Children’s Cookbook by Joe Archer and Catherine Craig ISBN 9780750298193 Wayland

Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown ISBN 9781910200537 David Fickling Books

RSPB Wildlife in Your Garden by Mike Dilger, Illustrated by Sarah Horne ISBN 9781472913432 Bloomsbury Children’s

Hello World by Jonathan Litton Illustrated by L’atelier Cartographik ISBN 9781848575035   360 Degrees (Little Tiger)

The Brontës by Mick Manning and Brita Granström ISBN 9781445147314 Franklin Watts

London on Fire by John C Miles ISBN 9781445146911 Franklin Watts  

Ada’s Ideas; the story of Ada Lovelace the world’s first computer programmer by Fiona Robinson ISBN 9781419718724 Abrams Books for Young Readers

Fantastically Great Women – Who changed the world by Kate Pankhurst ISBN 9781408876985 Bloomsbury Children’s

The Book of Bees by Piotr Socha, text: Wojciech Grajkowski, translated by Agnes Monod-Gayraud ISBN 9780500650950 Thames & Hudson

Staying Safe Online by Louie Stowell Illustrated by Nancy Leschnikoff ISBN 9781409597810 Usborne

Knowledge Encyclopedia – Animals by Various ISBN 9780241228418 Dorling Kindersley


Timelines of World History by Jane Chisholm et al ISBN 9781474903936 Usborne

Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson with advice from Dr Olivia Hewitt Illustrated by Gemma Correll ISBN 9781471405310 Hot Key Books

The Wolves of Currumpaw by William Grill ISBN 9781909263833 Flying Eye Books

Why is Art Full of Naked People? by Susie Hodge Illustrated by Claire Goble ISBN 9780500650806 Thames & Hudson

Survivors by David Long Illustrated by Kerry Hyndman ISBN 9780571316014 Faber Children’s

What is Poetry? by Michael Rosen  Illustrated by Jill Calder ISBN 9781844287635     Walker Books

Who Are Refugees and Migrants? by Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young ISBN 9780750299855 Wayland

The Dementia Diaries by Matthew Snyman and Social Innovation Lab, Kent ISBN 9781785920325 Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Survivors of the Holocaust by Kath Shackleton ISBN 9781445150444 Franklin Watts

Voices from the Second World War by Various (First News) ISBN 9781406370430 Walker Books

The shortlists will be announced in approximately 1 month. 

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Welcome to the SLA Website: Vote for your choice for new members of SLA Board!

Vote now for your choice for 2 new members of the SLA Board. The Board. The Board decide the strategic direction of the SLA so your vote is important. Voting is open from 9 a.m. on Thursday 2nd March 2017 until 12 noon on Friday 31st March 2017. Visit http://www.sla.org.uk/vote.php to register your choice.

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SLARead80 competition winners!

The School Library Association is delighted to announce the winners of their anniversary competition to photograph people enjoying reading – SLA Read80. The competition was open to all, and the winning photos were judged by author Matt Whyman.

The Junior section was won by Zuri, age 9 of James Allen's Preparatory School. Matt says ‘We have a clear winner here. Not just in the ‘Portraits of Readers Floating on Inflatable Pizzas in a Pool’ category (number of entries: 1) but for the overall 2017 Junior SLA Photography Prize. Zuris’ photograph is great fun, and I want to know how I can get my hands on this cool inflatable. Zuri faced stiff competition, notably from Sia Pathak’s capture at a bus stop in which reader and graffiti work as one.

Junior section winner

Well done to one and all.’ Zuri wins a large Book token for her efforts and her school will also receive  Micro Librarian Systems Reading Cloud for their library.

Junior Section Runners up – Sia, age 9 James Allen Preparatory School, Olivia, age 9 of James Allen's Preparatory School; Alisha age 10 of James Allen's Preparatory School and Shivi ,age 6 of James Allen’s Preparatory School. These budding photographers will all receive prizes of books.

The Senior Section had many more entries and, as Matt says ‘This year’s judging process involved staring hard at every single entry, finding plenty to enjoy each time, and the wondering how on earth to pick the definitive shot. It’s a subjective decision, after all, and with such a gloriously wide interpretation of the brief I would like to announce that you’re all winners in my heart – and that includes the cats that squeezed into so many shots submitted here. At the same time, as a prize for everyone would mean facing a librarian-in-charge with a face like I’ve failed to return an overdue book for ten years, I have made a selection based simply on what worked for me.’

The Senior section, for a photograph taken by a photographer of secondary school age or older, was won by - Notre Dame School Library, Cobham. Matt comments ‘So, to this year’s winner... [at]notredamecobham for a beautifully observed portrait of five tots sharing four books.

Senior section winner

 What could possibly go wrong? Well, nothing in this sweepingly poetic portrait that makes subtle use of natural light and captures what this competition set out to celebrate: the simple joy of reading.’

The photographer will receive a large book token and the school will also get MicroLibrarian Systems Reading Cloud for their library.

Senior runners up are :

Second - Bristol Brunel Academy Secondary School Library

Third - Rye St Anthony Library, Oxford

Fourth - Luckley House School Library
All will receive prizes of books for their libraries.

Huge congratulations to everyone who submitted photographs, Matt has enjoyed judging them. The SLA will be sharing them on the [at]uksla Instagram feed, Twitter feed and website throughout World Book Day – Thursday 2nd March. 

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Free Caraval posters for school libraries

Caraval - a bestselling debut that the YA world is buzzing about!

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems…
Scarlett has never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.
Caraval is Magic. Mystery. Adventure. And for Scarlett and her beloved sister Tella it represents freedom and an escape from their ruthless, abusive father.
When the sisters' long-awaited invitations to Caraval finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show's mastermind organiser, Legend. 
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But nonetheless she quickly becomes enmeshed in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak. And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.


PDF file, 4 MB

Requires Adobe Reader


For a free printed poster please contact naomi.berwin[at]hodder.co.uk. 

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