Tuesday, September 09, 2014

SLA School Librarian of the Year Award

Announcement of the Honour List


SLA School Librarian of the Year Award is the School Library Association’s

prestigious honour to recognize the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every

day and highlights the best practice of those whose work is outstanding.

“Each year the exceptional standard of nominations we receive makes our job as judges more

and more difficult. Once again we received high quality nominations and visited a variety of

schools including a primary school, a special school, academies and independents. Our honour

list librarians this year are truly impressive, each of their schools is unique, and they tailor

their library service to their clients exactly, ensuring that they give the young people they

deal with the best that they can.”

— Ginette Doyle, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection Committee

SLA School Librarian of the Year Honour List 2014

Helen Cleave – Kingston Grammar School, Kingston Upon Thames


Kingston Grammar School is an independent co-educational selective school for pupils aged

11 to 18 with about 820 on the school roll. Helen Cleaves moved to the school two years ago

and has transformed the traditional school library into an active and integral part of the

school. To Helen Cleaves, the library can be all in the mind, or wherever you need it to be. “I

am inspired by the idea of the virtual library and how it can exist anywhere.”

Helen works full time but is currently on maternity leave after having her second child. She

says: “I was sad not to be in school when Kevin Brooks won the Carnegie – my maternity

leave started in May, but I really wanted to know what the kids thought of

The Bunker Diary.”

Liz Millet –Weatherfield Academy, Dunstable, Bedfordshire


Weatherfield Academy is a special school for students aged 7 to 19 with Moderate Learning

Difficulties and additional needs. There are 112 pupils in the school with 60% from deprived

SLA School Librarian of the Year Award 2014

backgrounds and 32% in social care. Much of the curriculum is aimed at giving students

lifelong skills. In 2009 a new room was found for the Library and Liz Millet took on the job of

creating it.

It is hard to pin point progress from year to year because of the pupils’ range of special

needs. Liz says: “My aim is to increase their pleasure from reading whatever level they are

at to make sure they are not frightened by books or put off them, so that they will come to

see reading as something they will always have for


Tracey Needham – Sacred Heart RC Primary School, Barrow–in-Furness


Tracey is a higher level teaching assistant with management responsibility for the library and

reading promotion, and for monitoring and evaluating reading throughout the school. The

Sacred Heart RC Primary School has 35 per cent of pupils receiving free school meals and

many do not have easy access to books at home.

In the two and a half years since the school library has had a designated space, Tracey’s

promotional work has resulted in an increase in loans of 75 per cent in the last school year,

2013-14, and 111 per cent in 2012-13. Last term (July 2014), OFSTED inspectors praised

“the well-stocked and exciting library” and the pupils’ enthusiasm for reading and quoted one

pupil who said, “

Reading a good book is like dreaming. It takes you into new and fantastic


.” Ofsted also noted that the emphasis on reading has helped pupils’ writing.

Three exceptional school librarians. Each committed to create book-loving schools and to

help make learning a fascinating and rewarding journey. All would be worthy winners of the

SLA School Librarian of the Year Award.

To read their profiles visit the SLA website at

www.sla.org.uk. In alphabetical order, the first

will go live on 8 September.

Their work will be celebrated at a ceremony held on Monday 6 October 2014 at

Hotel Russell, London. Award winning author and artist Chris Riddell (Macmillan

Children’s Books), will announce the SLA School Librarian of the Year 2014. The

celebrations will also include the announcement of the winner of the School

Library Association Inspiration Award.

For more information about the SLA School Librarian of the Year contact:

Nicky Potter 0208 889 9735 or email nicpot@dircon.co.uk

For more details about the School Library Association Inspiration Award contact:

Selina Dawkins 01992 454500 or email s.dawkins@demcoeurope.eu.

















An Evening with Jon Scieszka, Jim Smith, Louise Rennison

An Evening with

Jon Scieszka, Jim Smith, Louise Rennison

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor - Frank Einstein 1

Tuesday, 7 October 2014, 6:30PM
Tickets £5/£3 Waterstones Cardholders including a glass of wine or soft drink available in the shop, 0207 851 2400 or at piccadilly@waterstones.com

Join us at this event with IBBY UK . Waterstones is hosting a panel debate with three bestselling children’s authors; former US National Ambassadaor for Children's Books, Jon Scieszka, best-known for ‘The Stinky Cheese Man’ discusses the first in his new series ‘Frank Einstein’.
Two winners of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize will join him. Jim Smith will talk about the latest in the Barry Loser series, ‘Barry Loser & the Holiday of Doom.’The panel is completed by queen of comedy Louise Rennison discussing her latest Tallulah Casey novel ‘The Taming of the Tights'.
Emily Drabble, acting children's books editor at The Guardian, will chair the debate, which will include a wider conversation about humour in books for young people and how it varies on opposite sides of the Atlantic.




·         Diverse shortlist: from a tapir who is lost for words, to giant robot chickens and a young boy tending an olive grove in a warzone


·         Recurring themes include robots, wild animals and friendship


·         All Primary 1 pupils to receive a free copy of the three shortlisted picture books during Book Week Scotland 2014



The Scottish Children’s Book Awards shortlist has been announced today, Thursday 28 August, celebrating the most popular children’s and young adult books by Scottish authors or illustrators.


The shortlist, featuring nine books which will be read and voted on by tens of thousands of Scottish children, includes one internationally renowned Scottish author, two former SCBA winners, the youngest published author in Scotland and three books by one Scottish independent publisher. The shortlist is split into three age categories: Bookbug Readers (3-7 yrs), Younger Readers (8-11 yrs) and Older Readers (12-16 yrs).


Popular subjects which recur in the six books from the younger categories include robots, wild animals and adventure, while the theme of friendship dominates the storylines of the three Older Readers books.


Run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Creative Scotland, and voted for entirely by children, these are Scotland’s largest book awards, with a total prize fund of £12,000. Shortlisted authors and illustrators receive £500 per book, and the three winning books receive £3,000 each.




Bookbug Readers (3-7 years)


-          Princess Penelope and the Runaway Kitten by Alison Murray (Nosy Crow)

-          Robot Rumpus by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Ross Collins (Andersen Press)

-          Lost for Words by Natalie Russell (Macmillan)


Younger Readers (8-11 years)


-          Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion by Alexander McCall Smith (Birlinn)

-          Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens by Alex McCall (Kelpies)

-          Pyrate's Boy by E.B. Collin (Kelpies)


Older Readers (12-16 years)


-          Dark Spell by Gill Arbuthnott (Kelpies)

-          The Wall by William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury)

-          Mosi’s War by Cathy MacPhail (Bloomsbury)


Scottish Book Trust will give a free copy of the three Bookbug category books to every Primary 1 child during Book Week Scotland. The books will be gifted in the Bookbug Primary 1 Family Pack, funded by the Scottish Government and Education Scotland, and are intended to encourage P1 children, who are just beginning their learning journey, to discover the joy of reading. The pack will also serve as a link between schools, homes and libraries and will help support children in reading for pleasure.    


Over the next five months, children the length and breadth of Scotland will be reading the three shortlisted books in their age category and voting for their favourite. The three winning books will be announced at a special award ceremony on 4 March 2014.


This is the eighth year that Scottish Book Trust has been running the awards. Voting numbers have increased dramatically year on year, with over 38,000 children voting last year. With five months to read the books and vote, this year’s awards are likely to be the biggest ever in terms of children participating.


Jasmine Fassl, Head of Schools at Scottish Book Trust said:


“The Scottish Children’s Book Awards are much more than a celebration of Scottish literature – they are about expanding children’s horizons far beyond their physical boundaries and barriers. By simply reading just one of the shortlisted novels in their category, a 5 year old can imagine what it’s like to have rampaging robots as babysitters, a 10 year old can hop aboard a pirate ship, and a 15 year old can be transported into the mind of a teenager in a war zone. We hope that children, teachers, parents and librarians across Scotland will take this journey with us and get lost in these 9 wonderful stories.”

Jenny Niven, Portfolio Manager for Literature at Creative Scotland, commented:


“Literacy, and access to books for Scotland’s children and families is absolutely critical for our capacity to learn, to develop and to imagine. The work of Scottish Book Trust is fundamental in this. The next step beyond access is to provide the means for children and young people to develop an independent love of books and reading, and the Scottish Children’s Book Awards play an enormous role in making this possible.


“By voting for their own reading choices they are taking steps in their journeys as independent readers – steps which will have an impact on their education, their wellbeing and their imaginations far into the future. Creative Scotland is delighted to support this work, and is encouraged to see such a strong shortlist of Scottish books for our voters to choose from.”


The Scottish Children’s Book Awards also encourage budding authors or journalists to put pen to paper: the popular Book Review Competition offers pupils the chance to win book tokens for themselves and an author visit for their school.


Budding film makers can enter the book trailer competition to entice their peers to read the books too and win book tokens for their school. Scottish Book Trust provides extensive learning resources for teachers on how to create book trailers.


The Bookbug Primary 1 Family Pack is part of Bookbug, Scotland’s national book gifting programme, funded by the Scottish Government and run by Scottish Book Trust.


CALL Scotland has again worked with Scottish Book Trust and the authors and publishers to create accessible digital versions of the nine shortlisted books for children and young people with physical, visual and reading or dyslexic difficulties, who can’t read the paper books. The accessible digital versions of the shortlisted books are available free of charge from CALL Scotland. You can request books by going to http://www.callscotland.org.uk/Home/.