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.
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!
What are you planning to do for World Book Day – March 5th 2015? This great idea from last year was sent in Shirley Greenough, Librarian at The Lancaster School in Leicester. Shirley explains:
“Each boy (I am librarian at an all-boys state school) wrote the title of their favourite book or books on a leaf. I then added these to a Book Tree Display. The staff did the same on coloured flags which formed the border of the display.
I was amazed at the amount of boys who completed the task and my tree grew and grew. Not as many staff completed their flags, but it made a wonderful display and I would recommend it for any school librarian on World Book Day.”
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!
What are you doing in your school today? Do you have anything exciting to share with other Heart users – please send photos and stories to me, I would love to feature them here. I love the World Book Day site, there is so much on there! Or did you take part in the Robert Muchamore live webcast? How did that go? Share all of your World Book Day news with other users of the site – hope you have a wonderful day!
On Heart we are really pleased to announce that Lyn Hopson from a school in Doncaster is one of the top 10 Literacy Heroes named by the National Literacy Trust. Also Teaching Assistant Velda Jackson from Leeds was nominated by her school librarian, and made the list. They share the honour of being in the top ten with luminaries such as JK Rowling and Henry Winkler. Read the report on the BBC website here or on the National Literacy Trust website here. Congratulations to Lyn and Velda – and everyone else on the list who is working to show that reading – and libraries – DO make a difference!
The Catalyst Book Awards 2014 was launched on Thursday 7th November at the Chryston Cultural Centre in North Lanarkshire. In the audience were pupils from Chryston and Caldervale high schools along with visiting librarians, all excited to find out which books had made it onto the longlist. The pupils were treated to an entertaining talk from Catalyst 2013 Award winner, Elizabeth Wein. She kept the pupils enthralled talking about her book ‘Code Name Verity’ and tales of women pilots throughout history. Elizabeth then had the honour of announcing the 16 books that had made it through the committee’s criteria to be in with a chance of being voted the best read for teenagers in 2014.
Catalyst is all about discovering and promoting the most exciting and thought provoking reading for teenagers in North Lanarkshire. This year we have a larger number of books in the longlist which hopefully means we are able to cater for all tastes.
Young people from all 24 North Lanarkshire High schools are encouraged to get involved in the Catalyst experience in a number of ways; from book groups within school or public libraries, to author visits and book reviews on the blog. Young people will then vote on which books in the longlist should make it onto the Catalyst shortlist and go forward to win the Catalyst Book Award 2014. For more information visit the blog at: http://catalystnic.wordpress.com
The School Library Group of CILIP has produced a great leaflet promoting the difference a school library run by a professional librarian, makes. This leaflet is suitable to distribute to parents, teachers, students and governors. It provides a simple set of questions for parents to ask whilst going round a school library – if there is one- and questions to ask if there isn’t. This is a fantastic resource which should be widely downloaded and distributed. If you belong to any networks, please distribute it there. The link to download the leaflet from CILIP’s website is here: http://www.cilip.org.uk/school-libraries-group/professional-librarians-leaflet
School Librarian Elspeth Scott, who works at the Menzieshill High School in Dundee, is part of a Go Africa! team which is going out to Kenya this holiday. She was delighted when the school chose to help fund a new school library. Through fundraising, the team has managed to raise 76% of the target so far. It would be fantastic if everyone on Heart could help to raise the last bit towards building this library. 8 bricks cost £10 – every little helps! Elspeth has set up a JustGiving page, lets see what we can all do to help her reach her goal. Elspeth is building a model library from Lego, each set of bricks donated will have a lego brick, and she will share her picture with us before she goes. So let’s get giving! More details of how to donate on the JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/GoAfrica
CityRead London is promoting Sebastian Faulk’s book “A Week in December’. All through April there will be special events to link to the various themes in the book. From displays to comic workshops, all of London is taking part. Are you?