A positive mention for School Libraries by Ofsted

Ofsted logoOfsted have made a really positive mention of school libraries, and the effect they have on literacy, in their latest report entitled: ‘Removing barriers to literacy’.  This is the extract, from paragraph 100. ‘The primary and secondary schools visited emphasised the school library as contributing markedly to improving literacy skills.  All the schools visited had well-resourced libraries, often with computerised loan systems and facilities for accessing learning resources on an intranet.  Libraries in the secondary schools were often open for much longer than the school day.  This enabled students to complete their homework on the school’s computers before and after school.  The enthusiasm and responsiveness of the librarian generally had a direct impact on the attitudes of the students towards the library and reading.’  

 If Ofsted feel that the library is so important for literacy – and this is a pretty strong endorsement – isn’t it about time that school libraries were inspected by Ofsted, and the lack of a library made a point of failure for a school? 


Stan Lee Excelsior Book Award launched!

Stan LeeA new book award has been launched by Sheffield Librarian Paul Register, with the blessing of the great comic book writer Stan Lee.  This award is for the best graphic novels, and Paul says that  ‘I have no doubt that these books will lead to discussions, debates and enjoyment across Sheffield’s schools – and across gender, race, reading ability and social class.’  If you would like to read more about the award, including how to enter, and which books are shortlisted, please go to this page.  This is another excellent example of how school librarians are constantly trying to instil excitement into  reading for young people, using many different media.  I hope that this inaugural award will be an amazing success!

Loss of two high-profile children’s authors

The world of children’s literature has seen the recent death of two well-known figures: Dick King-Smith and Elisabeth Beresford. You will find obituaries at the following links:

Dick King-Smith obituary in the Guardian

Dick King-Smith obituary in the Telegraph

Dick King-Smith obituary in the Independent

Elisabeth Beresford obituary in the Guardian

Elisabeth Beresford obituary in the Telegraph

Vote for the new Children’s Laureate!

Childrens Laureate logo

Did you know that you can vote for the new Children’s Laureate?  Anthony Browne’s time of office is up, and nominations are now open for the new Laureate.  If you visit their website: http://www.childrenslaureate.org.uk/show/feature/Home/CL-Comp-2011  you can vote for who you think should be the next Laureate.  There is also a great competiton for under 14’s to enter, where they can win the amazing prize of being at the Gala announcement of the winner in June 2011.  Think carefully – who would best represent children’s books and libraries in the next 18 months, and cast your vote!