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.
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.
The 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
There 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.
Lenny Dutton (@missedutton), a school librarian in the UK for quite a few years, and a Google Certified Teacher, has now moved to the States. However, she is still creating and sharing wonderful stuff, as this slideshow, which she has allowed me to share via my Slideshare (so that I could embed it) shows.
This is a great new video from MLS. It is not about advertising their product though, it is about promoting reading for pleasure. I was one of the people who helped with the ideas. Enjoy! You have permission to show it wherever you need it. Apply to MLS for any other permissions.
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 .
Sounds like a great idea for next year!