Contact me

Want to find out more about school libraries and librarians? Have a great story to share about your work? Need to tell us about a school library closure?

 

Contact me here:  carolineroche1@gmail.com

 

‘It has been demonstrated that, when teachers and librarians work together, students achieve higher levels of literacy, reading, learning,  problem solving, and information and communication technology skills’  UNESCO/IFLA School Library Manifesto (2000)

 

The inspiration for building this site came from many sources.  One of the sources was the website to protest against the closure of public libraries – Voices for the Library.  Another was my growing dismay and anger at the number of my school librarian friends who had either lost their jobs recently, or had their libraries reduced and sidelined as part of budget cuts.  Some new Academies are even now being built without libraries as ‘it’s all on the internet now’.  But the internet requires problem solving and information skills, and ways to navigate and find out the best information quickly.  Librarians are skilled at this, and who better to teach pupils how to find the information they need quickly?   School Librarians up and down the country are innovative and exciting, drawing pupils into reading and improving their literacy, teaching them information skills and enthusing them – yet often only their school knows about their good work.  I decided to build a website to celebrate everything that school librarians do.

 

At this point I want to pay tribute to the wonderful School Librarian, Elizabeth Bentley who, more than 10 years ago founded a Yahoo group for school librarians called SLN (School Librarians Network).   That group is still active today – over 1000 strong – and is open for any school librarian to join.  Often school librarians are the only professionals in their school, and do not have a network, as teachers do, of other professionals to ask questions of.  SLN fulfills that need, and has been a great source of professional strength to many school librarians over many years.

 

When I started planning this website, it was to SLN that I turned.  At the point of launching this site, most of the contributions came from members of this list.  Pictures flooded into my inbox, and tales of best practice up and down the country.  This site is an homage to all the wonderful work that my colleagues do all over the country, and is a plea to headteachers everywhere not to even consider shutting their libraries – for look what good school  libraries do!

 

I couldn’t have built the site without the help and expertise of Anne Robinson, who was the first School Librarian of the year, and whose technical expertise in putting the bones of the site together for me to populate, has been invaluable.  Thank you Anne.  And to everyone who has contributed to the site, a massive thank you for your time and generosity in the busiest time of the school year.  Thank you all.

 

Caroline Roche.  MA, MCLIP

 

SSAT Advanced Lead Practitioner

CILIPSLG National Committee Member

 

 

7 thoughts on “Contact me

  1. Just to say congratulations on a wonderful new web resource – I know how much hard work this will have been. We’ll add it to our SLA links too.

  2. This is a great and really useful website. but….how do I register so I can join in the forums etc

  3. What a wonderful resource you have put together here – have really found it so useful to browse through – thank you for making this so accessible to all as I am in the Middle East and this is a great way to keep up to date with UK school developments.

  4. I find your web resource a very informative one..I’m interested about info tree, how do i get one???

  5. Dear Caroline,

    Do you know whether any websites or networks exist to help people who have volunteered to set up primary school libraries? I realise the growing number of volunteers replacing professionals is a sensitive issue in the profession but the reality is that in many cases this is the only way that a school will ever have a library at all. I have worked, both paid and unpaid, in primary school libraries for over 15 years and been approached several times for advice and encouragement by TAs, or even parents, overwhelmed by what they have taken on. I’m interested in finding ways of helping them, without duplicating anything that is already available. Many thanks for your time.

  6. Ruth – thank you for your comment on Heart. There are a couple of options I can think of. First of all, I know of two excellent ex school librarians turned advisors who the school can pay to come in for a day to give advice. This may be the route for some, although it looks as if you are already also fulfilling that function. They are Laura Taylor
    http://www.taylormadelibraries.co.uk/ and Barbara Band http://www.barbaraband.com/

    Next, there are a couple of active Facebook groups that I know of where librarians – and primary librarians and TA’s in charge of libraries, exchange ideas. These would be a really good route for someone in those schools to belong to. These are: Primary School Librarians https://www.facebook.com/groups/827608130644512/
    and Reading for Pleasure in schools: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1544272119166812/
    Obviously point them towards Heart as I do have stuff on there for Primary Schools too, and anyone featured on Heart would be more than happy to answer questions too.

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