School Librarians lobby Parliament!

 

The day finally came – the day that school librarians in the UK lobbied Parliament about making school libraries statutory, and inspected by Ofsted (thus ensuring that schools had libraries and librarians). School Librarians in Scotland lobbied their Parliament on Saturday 27th, as they were not on half term this week, and School Librarians in the rest of the UK lobbied Parliament on 29th October.  It was a momentous day, with authors joining the lobby, and even Guardian books tweeting about the day.  Those who couldn’t go tweeted about the day, and showed their support.  To read a Storify of these tweets, go to this link:http://storify.com/CarolineRoche/school-librarians-lobby-parliament#publicize  Not every tweet from the day was there, as many of them were asking for support, but the story of the day in tweets and pictures is there.  As you can see from the tweets, some good stuff was done with MP’s, and some promises made.  It is not too late to contact your MP and ask to meet him in surgery, or just put your point over in a letter.  As many MP’s around the country should be contacted – we need to ride this wave.  The lobby doesn’t end today – lets keep up the pressure.  One of the greatest blogs of the day came from Jeff Norton, who completely ‘gets’ what school libraries are about.  With especial thanks to Barbara Band, newly appointed CILIP Vice President, for her enthusiasm and initiative, and Elizabeth Bentley for ensuring that everyone was kitted out in the fabulous T shirts.  If you want to add comments or congratulations the the Facebook page, here it is.  Enjoy the tweeted story of the day, and keep up the good work!

The cartoon was drawn for the day by Sarah McIntyre, and was used by kind permission.  It depicts Sarah and Philip Ardargh on the campaign trail.  Sarah’s great blog post about the day with some wonderful photos is here.

T S Eliot Prize Shadowing Scheme

The shortlist has been announced for the 2012 T S Eliot Prize.  The 10 shortlisted poets and their works are:

  • Simon Armitage The Death of King Arthur
  • Sean Borodale Bee Journal
  • Gillian Clarke ICE
  • Julia Copus The World’s Two Smallest Humans
  • Paul Farley The Dark Film
  • Jorie Graham P L A C E
  • Kathleen Jamie The Overhaul
  • Sharon Olds Stag’s Leap
  • Jacob Polley The Havocs
  • Deryn Rees-Jones Bringing the Wren

The Poetry Book Society in partnership with the English and Media Centre are also running a shadowing scheme.  Open to GCSE and A level students, students are encouraged to read the poems and to take part in a poll vote for their choice of winner.  A level (or equivalent) students can also enter an essay competition to write the best 500 word rationale for their choice of poet.

This would be a perfect opportunity for a reading group to participate in the shadowing scheme as along with two poems from each of the 10 shortlisted collections discussion ideas and biographies are also available.  All downloads are available at www.poetrybooks.co.uk/projects/15.  A teachers guide is also available on the emagazine website at www.emagazine.org.uk.

The emagazine also includes 6 suggestions for schools and colleges on how to organise the reading and discussion of the poems at www.englishandmedia.co.uk/eliot/6suggestions.html.

The deadline for rational entries and student poll closes on 18th December 2012.  The Award Ceremony with the announcement of the T S Eliot winner along with the student poll and winning student rationale is on 14th January 2013 at the Wallace Collection, London.