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.
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.
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.
Watch this brilliant video about all the great work that school librarians in Scotland do. Their jobs are under threat. So when you’ve watched, please sign the petition here. But hurry! You only have until the 16th to sign the petition. The campaign group Save Scotland’s School Libraries has organised a rally in Edinburgh this Saturday (17th). Let’s do all we can to help!
Most – though not all – of Heart’s readers know about SLN (School Librarian’s Network) and are members of this Yahoo Group. Most of the work on Heart comes from members of SLN. However, if you are a school librarian anywhere in the world, and you are not a member, you are missing out on a fantastic source of support and CPD. The group was set up by Elizabeth Bentley, who is on the SLG Committee, more than 10 years ago. The group runs as a completely free chatroom where we can exchange ideas, put those questions that only another librarian colleague can answer, and have the occasional moan! The group also has a large collection of very useful files. If you would like to join, create a Yahoo profile which includes the fact that you are a school librarian. Then send a blank email to this address and Elizabeth will join you up.
It is a closed group, but it doesn’t take too long for you to be approved. Then you can join the most lively and informative online group of school librarians I have ever come across. You will still need your Yahoo Profile to access the files. See you there!
Congratulations to Jon Klassen for winning the Greenaway Medal with ‘This is not my hat’ and Kevin Brooks for winning the Carnegie with ‘Bunker Diaries’. You can read more about the winning books on the official page. However, you can’t have missed the controversy surrounding the Bunker Diaries, with some newspapers deeming it unfit to be read by children, too disturbing and damaging, whilst others took the completely opposing view. Here are the links, judge for yourselves.
Telegraph: ‘Why wish this book on a child?’
Also Shoo Rayner, children’s novelist, believes that the Carnegie has taken the wrong turn, and that the Carnegie Medal should be for children’s, and not young adult, books. It has caused a Twitter storm from angry YA authors and librarians – read his post here.
And finally, Barbara Band, CILIP President and school librarian made an excellent speech about school libraries on announcement day, advocating for school libraries. Read her blog post which includes the speech in full here, or watch it on Vimeo here.
Let us know what you think – at least it has got people reading the book, and commenting, if nothing else!
This is an excellent and important research paper, for us all to use for advocacy. Good research showing that a good school library does impact results. It also tells us what a good school library looks like. Also good for showing headteachers why they should keep/why they should have a library. And finally the report highlights the importance of digital resources, and the place they have to play in a good school library. Essential reading for all of us!
Sarah Masters from the Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough applied to be an institutional giver for World Book Night, and was successful in her bid. This is what she did with the books:
I proposed to give books to our students who are RAF and Army cadets on the assumption that most of these are a)boys and b)boys tend to read less than girls. This was inspired by the books on the list which included Andy McNab’s “Today Everything Changes” and Muchamore’s “The Recruit”.
It was a great feeling watching all the students charging across the field after their parade to pick a book. It was also great to hear their Major stress the importance of reading and writing as these were the skills needed in the field not using phones or other tech as these wouldn’t be available. He set them all a challenge to read their book and will be expecting feedback on it. We also aim to follow up with a termly reading project based loosely on war themed books – possibly using the SLG World War 1 pack as a starting point.