A fantastic school library website

One of the privileges of writing this blog, is the fantastic emails with information that I get sent.  This is an example of one such email.  Frances Tout, the librarian at Broadoak School wrote to me to show me the fantastic comment wall that her school library made in response to National Library Day.  Students and staff were invited to make comments on post-it notes and to attach them to this wall – and just look at the number of great responses she received!    Then Frances went on to mention her school library website, and would I like to take a look.  The website is amazing, and one of the best examples of a school library website that I personally have come across. The website has everything students need – author websites, latest news, subject links, information links, student and staff top books – it is jammed full of great information, but with a readable, unfussy style.  Frances reports that the Year 7 students have really taken to the blog, as have staff, and there is a staff only area which has the latest reports on reading and literacy.  I hope you agree that this is an example of exactly why we need professionals in our schools – librarians are so much more than just ‘book stampers’ and Frances is a great example of this.

Henrietta Branford award for young writers

The Henrietta Branford writing competition for young authors is now open.  Click here for more details.  The competition is open to all young writers under the age of 19, and would be great to promote in schools.  Closing date is Friday 27th April.  To enter, visit the website and download the story starter written by author Jason Wallace who wrote Out of Shadows, last year’s winner of the Branford Boase Award.  Good luck to everyone who enters, hope you are a lucky winner!

What did your school do on National Libraries Day?

How did you celebrate National Libraries Day this year?  I know some school librarians printed off facts and figures about how reading affects performance, and about public libraries.  I put this great free poster from Carel Press on my school blog and urged students to visit their local libraries and to join in the celebrations going on that day.  However, John Port School in Etwall, Derbyshire, went one step further, and the librarian and her student helpers produced a fantastic video to celebrate National Libraries Day.  Have a look at this really inventive video – permissions have been given to show this.


National Libraries Day from JPSICT Admin on Vimeo.

Michael Gove answers tweets about School Libraries

Recently, Michael Gove was asked questions by a Parliamentary committee about a whole host of subjects submitted by the Twitter community under the hashtag AskGove. Lots of us school librarians got involved, and asked why libraries were statutory in prisons and not in schools.  So many of us asked the question, that it was actually put to Michael Gove.  He had a very short answer, but I think it does start in the right direction.  Now it is up to CILIP and the SLA to follow up with Michael Gove and see that all school libraries are fully resourced, fully staffed and inspected by Ofsted.

Valentine’s Writing Competition

Movellas is offering a young person’s writing competition on the theme of ‘Love’ especially for Valentine’s Day.  Entries can be submitted as a short story or as a poem.

Prizes are available for the winning writer and also the winner’s school:

Overall winner:

  • School – SMARTBoard IWB 800i
  • Writer – £200 Selfridges vouochers

1st runner up:

  • School – SMART Document Camera
  • Writer – £100 ASOS vouchers

2nd runner up:

  • Writer – a selection of teenage books from Random House

3rd runner up:

  • writer – cinema tickets for 2 people

Closing date for entries is 20th February.

Free Trial Subscription: Newsademic

Newsademic is an international newspaper written and edited for KS3 and 4 students to support PSHE, History, Geography, Science, English and RE curricula.  Subscribers receive a fornightly email with a PDF file which can be read on screen but has been designed to be printed out and read as a paper copy.  An intranet licence allows students to access an HTML searchable version of Newsademic via their school network.  Each issue is also accompanied by two levels of activities.

Annual subscription rates start at £20 (excluding VAT).  Newsademic is offering 2 months free subscription: www.newsademic.com/promo/h0112

Library Day in the Life Project Round 8

This week is the Library Day in the Life Project Round 8.  Coordinated by Bobbie Newman of Librarian by Day, this is a great opportunity for librarians to talk about and publicise what it is they do all day.  Librarians can take part by through blogging, Twitter, photos and videos.  This is open to all librarians around the world and from all sectors.  It is always a great way to get a glimpse into other jobs that librarians are imvolved in.

More instructions on how to take part and for adding your details can be found on the Library Day in the Life wiki.