Cutting the posts of all School Librarians in Argyll and Bute

School Librarians across the UK have always looked to Scotland as an example of best practice.  In Scotland, for years, all school libraries had to be overseen by a chartered school librarian, and were well stocked.  Unlike England, where professional qualifications were less and less valued, and the cheapest option often held sway – often with libraries closing altogether.  Well, no longer.  Argyll and Bute have now decided to do away with ALL of their school librarian posts – but not to worry, they have decided to keep their hanging baskets and municipal flower beds instead.  The towns will carry on looking pretty whilst the children lose a valuable educational resource – so that’s all right then, isn’t it? Children in Argyll and Bute will now be educationally disadvantaged compared to their peers in the rest of Scotland. If like me, you think this is certainly NOT all right, please protest.  Write to the council, and please do sign this petition to Save Scotland’s School Libraries.

6 word story competition a great success!

6 word storyboard

I love this 6 word story competition noticeboard, and the idea behind it! Gloria Clarke from Gillotts School sent me this photo from a competition she ran in the library on Open Evening.  There were over 100 entries from parents and prospective students viewing the school!  The English teachers saw it, loved it, and got the pupils involved as well, so that over the 3 days the competition ran there were 130 entries.  The English Staff judged the winning entries, which were:

Year 7 (1st place): Beneath the ground, her father moved.

Year 9 : Without my Sensai, I am lost.

and a honourable mention to a Year 11 entrant: Burnt the haystack, found the needle!

What a fantastic way to promote the Library to parents and prospective students – and what a great competition to run.

Being Me – book resource pack around being different

SLG logoThe CILIP School Libraries Group have produced another excellent book pack, following on from the World War One resource pack.  This time the theme is ‘Being Me’, and it centres around difference and disability.  The books cover a wide range of subjects, with questions and exercises suitable for all reading groups.  Primary as well as secondary books are included, as well as poetry.  SLG members can download the pack for free from the CILIPSLG website here; non members (and members) can buy a beautifully produced pack at a very reasonable price. Details on the flyer here.  Please contact Sarah Masters   for more details.

Alive Poets Society

Michael Hughes, who is an English teacher has set up Alive Poets Society site for pupils to publish their own poetry.  Schools can request access for their own area of the site. It looks like a wonderful idea to me! Great for encouraging pupils to write poetry, especially leading up to National Poetry Day (October 16th). For further details please contact Michael on michael@alivepoets.com

Information Literacy and Teen Tech Award

Snip20160112_2There is some fantastic new material available if you are involved in teaching information literacy in your libraries.  Members of the CILIP Information Literacy group and the School Libraries Group have been collaborating on documents to support the  Teen Tech Awards, and they have produced some excellent sheets which are free to download which you can use in order to support teaching this subject.  You can find the sheets here  and more information about how to enter the Teen Tech Award here.

NPD Poetry Slam at Heartlands High School

Helen Swinyard, LRC Manager at Heartlands High School, wrote to tell me all about the wonderful Poetry Slam she held at her school:

‘We celebrated National Poetry Day in style with the first Poetry Slam of the year. Pupils and staff performed either their own poems, or some of their favourites, and were judged in categories by our scoring judges and an avid audience. Our wonderful host poet, Michelle Madsen, kept things running smoothly and performed her own poetry too.

Winners in each different category won prize bundles including a poetry book. 

Category 1: First Story poets

Category 2: performers reading favourite poems

Category 3: performers reading own created poetry

We discovered some great new year 7 poets as well as hearing from some seasoned performers. There was a wonderful mix of poetry too – some funny, some poignant, some clever. We also learnt some Poetry Slam jargon such as ‘score creep’ where judges get more enthusiastic as a slam goes on (that’s why you have several judges and discount the top and bottom scores).

Michelle Madsen is our current Poet in Residence, running the First Story creative writing club with pupils for the second year in a row.  You can find out more about First Story here and on Twitter @FirstStory. You can find out more about Michelle Madsen here and on Twitter @mishmadsen .

Mr Bola is our secret Poet in Residence. By day he is one of our Engage Officers; by night, a world-class poet. You can find our more about his poetry here or on Twitter @JJ_Bola ‘

Sounds like a great idea for next year!