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Lancashire Branch


  • Contact
  • News
  • Past Events
  • Committee
  • Resources


  • For enquiries about courses and events, please contact the person listed as organiser of the specific event.
  • For all general enquiries about the Branch, please contact the Honorary Secretary (Emma Suffield - esuffield[at]saintwilfrids.com) in the first instance.
  • You can apply to join the SLA online: full details are on the Membership Page on the main SLA website. This gives you some excellent membership benefits, including discounts on training and publications, plus a wealth of advice and support.

Past Events


    September 2018

I have some fabulous news to pass on regarding our Secretary Emma Suffield, and her journey in the School Librarian of the Year Award. I am delighted to pass on the news that she is an Honorary Finalist and will be going to London on 9th October!


My heart felt congratulations Emma, you are a fabulous librarian, a great ambassador for Lancashire school librarians and an inspiration to us all! I hope to see you all soon and in the meantime, keep up the good work folks.

Best wishes, Kathy Edge

 March 2018

  • We welcome Kathy Edge as our new Chair, with Emma Suffield now Vice Chair and Secretary.
  • Ruth Donald has received branch funding to attend this year's SLA weekend course in Glasgow. Congratulations Ruth!
  • 'We Are Reading' has been launched as a year long pledge by Lancs County Council School Improvement Service in collaboration with Lancashire Libraries. Schools have been invited to 'take the reading pledge' and collaborate with a cluster of nearby schools to achieve their aims. Colleagues who have not already done so are invited to register their interest through the School's Portal, or by contacting Paul Duckworth at Lancashire School Improvement Service.

Summer social, 2018

For our Summer Social, members took a tour of the libraries and museum at Stoneyhurst on July 11th with a guided tour by the curator who gave an extremely interesting account of the history of the many rare and beautiful artefacts in Stonyhurst's possession.

The tour was followed by a meal. Thanks to Jo Harwood for organising the event.


Pupil Librarian Conference

Our Library volunteers enjoyed their Pupil Librarian Conferenceon June 25th at St Wilfrid's, Blackburn. Hosted by our new Vice-chair and secretary Emma Suffield, students worked together to solve a Murder by the Book mystery; The Fishing Game; A Book Quiz and took away fantastic goody-bags at the end of the day. The event celebrates the support we receive from our Pupil Librarians throughout the year.


AGM 2018

Our AGM took place on Thursday 22 March and was hosted by outgoing chairperson Rosalind Buckland. The event was well attended and saw the start of a transition where we agreed to amend our constitution and refresh our committee structure.


Farewell and much appreciation to outgoing Chair & Secretary Rosalind and Valerie

Sadly, we wished a very fond farewell, best wishes and a very big thank you to our secretary Valerie Laycock. Emma Suffield was welcomed to the role.


The excellent afternoon workshop was delivered by author and teacher Kenny Pieper : Reading for pleasure, a passport to everywhere (Independent Thinking Press, 2016).



Kathy EdgeKathy Edge
Resource Centre Manager,
Lancaster Girls' Grammar School

I work at LGGS as the Librarian/Resource Centre Manager since October 2004, also managing the Reprographics Department.

Other roles in school include managing the Chinese Homestay Programme together with its annual Cultural Immersion trip to China and leading the Snow Sports Trip each year. I'm involved with the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and the bi-annual Music Department Tour to Europe. Prior to this appointment, I worked as the Librarian at Our Lady’s’ Catholic College in Lancaster for four years. Before becoming a librarian, I lived and worked in South Africa for twelve years running a successful business and raising three children together with husband Tony. I hold a first class honours degree in Information and Library Studies gained at Aberystwyth, University of Wales.


Emma SuffieldEmma Suffield, MCLIP.
LRC Manager, Siant Wilfrid's Church of England Academy

I have been a School Librarian for nearly five years now and wow what a journey it has been. I wouldn’t change it for the world having previously worked in an FE college for five years, the jobs just don’t compare.

I love reading (obviously) writing books (I now have a book which I am trying to get published), cats, walking, eating out and anything libraries really. I am really looking forward to embarking on a new adventure with the SLA Secretary role and I have just been long-listed for SLA School Librarian of the Year Award!


Rosalind BucklandRosalind Buckland, MCLIP.
BA (Hons) Information & Library Management
Librarian, Ripley St Thomas CE Academy, Lancaster

Rosalind worked in county and university libraries before moving to the secondary school sector and considers herself fortunate to have a career that involves working with books and young people, a winning combination! She is currently employed in one of Lancashire’s most oversubscribed and successful co-ed, non-selective, 11-18 academies that she is proud to describe as a ‘reading school’ where she manages dual site libraries and delivers timetabled library lessons. In 2016, Ripley, 1,740 pupils on roll, was awarded National Runner-up for the Pupil Premium Awards for schools with published KS4 results. Rosalind is also currently a committee member and publicity officer for Cilip’s School Libraries Group.


Beth SimmonsBeth Simmons

I was appointed the school librarian at Rossall School in April 2010 after having worked as the librarian at Cardinal Allen High School for 5 years. I took on the running of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award in 2012.

When I started at Rossall I was told by the headmaster that their library was a 'place where books go to die'. Bringing The Sumner Library back to life was quite a challenge, with a great amount of weeding and a fight for heating after 7 years we are starting to make some progress! I attended my first meeting with the SLA in November 2011 and found the group and people so helpful. I came away fizzing with ideas and feel this way after every meeting. I have recently become a member of CILIP and am hoping to work towards my Certification at the start of the new school year.


Jo HarwoodJo Harwood, BSc MA MCLIP.

I am a qualified, chartered Librarian with nearly 20 years experience in School Libraries. Though I have recently taken early retirement I continue to support the work of colleagues through my role in the Lancashire branch of the SLA. As branch Ambassador I contact schools in the catchment area to determine how the branch can support them and how they can contribute to the branch activities.

I also arrange social events for the group to foster friendships and strengthen sharing good practice.


Val DewhurstVal Dewhurst, BA (Hons)
Head of Library QEGS Blackburn

I have worked in school libraries for 18 years, and education for over 20 (STAR certificate – specialist teaching assistant).  Graduating from LHU with a combined degree in English Literature/IT gave me the passion to follow the career I’d always admired.  As Head of Library for 11 years I am continually filled with the desire to “educate” and “share” my own love and passion for literature.  In school I am Co-ordinator of Accelerated Reader and also have the responsibility of teaching IL and  EPQ skills - empowering young people.
I took on the  role of SLA Lancashire AR Facilitator after serving as Branch Secretary for 15 years.  The role of AR Facilitator was established by the branch. 


Gerry BruenGerry Bruen 
Library Team Leader, LSA Technology & Performing Arts College, Lytham St. Annes

I update our web pages. Let me know if you want to add anything using the contact sheet.