Hans Christian Andersen Award Blog

   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

Could you be an SLA Board member?

The SLA is seeking two board members to help create its strategic vision and direction for the next few years. Board members serve for 3 years, and can be re-elected. Meetings are on Saturdays, and all board members must be SLA members. 

We are particularly looking for people who may be interested in serving as Treasurer in time. 

All nominations must be received at the SLA office by 1 February 2019.

More information can be found here: https://www.sla.org.uk/board-details.php  



   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

John Burningham, children's author and illustrator

John Burningham, children's author and illustrator, dies aged 82. The illustrator of many loved classics such as Mr Gumpy's Outing, Avocado baby, and of course, Granpa died on Friday 4th January. Married to fellow illustrator Helen Oxenbury, Burningham delighted many children and their parents with his books which could be read by their pictures alone with the writing the icing on the cake. Librarians owe a lot to John Burningham who will be very much missed.



   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

Costa category winners

The Costa Book Awards were announced last night and the children's category winner is a book for readers of 10 years to 110 years. Hilary McKay's Skylarks' War is a book with everything for everyone. A well deserved winner. The overall winner will be announced on 29th January.




   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

Infographic 100 things kids will miss if they have no ...

The American Library Association has posted a wonderfully coloured and informative poster detailing (some of) the benefits having a school librarian in post brings to a school. Thank you ALA. Download directly from the ALA site.




   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

CKG judges needed!

CILIP are looking to recruit CKG judges. You need to be a CILIP member, and be able to make time to read a lot of books! 

It is a great process to experience, and although it is time consuming it is a lot of fun. You will boost your knowledge of modern children's fiction significantly, not to mention you get copies of all the nominated books to keep. If you're interested it might be worth having a chat with school to see if they would give you some time in return for the school getting the nominated titles... 

It's great for your CPD, you meet great people and some of the best authors and illustrators in the world. More information can be found here: https://informationprofessionaljobs.com/jobs/regional-judges-for-the-cilip-carnegie-and-kate-greenaway-awards-east-midlands-northern-ireland-scot/35-1/



   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

Falling out of love with reading - how to rekindle the ...

Eastern YLG is running a training day addressing some of the reasons children and teens turn away from books. Author Bali Rai and 2016 School Librarian of the Year Amy McKay offer activities that work for them to turn this attitude around. Bookings close on the 6th Feb. Bookings should go directly to YLG, not SLA.

YLG Eastern flyer 2019

PDF file, 2 MB (Requires Adobe Reader)



   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

Bringing it Alive! Storytelling to boost Literacy and ...

Early Booking Discount Extended

Our course Bringing it Alive! Storytelling to boost Literacy and Reading for Pleasure, run by Alec Williams , will be held at Library Services for Education, Clyde Crescent, Whaddon, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 5QH on 12 February 2019. The closing date is 28 January 2019. Bookings received by 18 January 2019 are eligible for a discount.

Key Audience: primary school teachers and support staff

The course will cover:

- Why storytelling is important

- Choosing stories that tell/read well

- Practice in using picture books for all ages

- Gaining some easy-to-learn stories from memory

- Adding poetry and rhymes, plus ‘tasters’ of older stories


Delegates will learn:

- How to prepare stories, and make best use of the voice

- How to make stories interactive

- Practical tips from an internationally-experienced storyteller

- Sure-fire story ideas that will work in every classroom

- How to hold children’s interest, and deal with interruptions!


Delegates will leave with:

- New stories to tell straight away

- Recommendations from both trainer and other delegates

- Several handouts packed with more ideas

- Post-course support from trainer and SLS, as applicable

- Fresh confidence and re-charged batteries!

More Details...



   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

BBC Radio programme on Roald Dahl's love for the countryside

@BBCRadio4 Open Country is all about Roald Dahl.

Discover how the countryside around the Dahl’s home in Great Missendenhad such an impact on the author and his stories:




   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

2019 Information Literacy Awards

Newlogo 2018

The IL Award honours an individual or team whose work has made a significant contribution to IL over the past 3 years. The award is open to all practitioners, researchers and academics working in the IL field within the United Kingdom. Nominations are welcome for individuals as well as for groups/teams. So get those school names entered.

These prestigious awards will be presented at the LILAC conference in Nottingham on April 25th 2019. 

The deadline is Friday March 1st 2019.



   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

Discussion and Development 2019 1: The Trouble with School ...

To celebrate the new year this month there will be a Discussion and Development post every Monday. These are posts that deliver an element of CPD and that promote discussion. This first one has been written by Liz Brown from Incube - our thanks go to her. 

The Trouble with School Libraries...

When I was at school, the library wasn’t the most inspiring place around. It was the 1980s, so everything was basically brown. Brown shelves, brown furniture, brown curtains... The most exciting thing about my secondary school library was the fact that it had a new synthetic carpet (brown, unsurprisingly), which meant that we could shuffle our feet on the floor as we walked through and give one another electric shocks.

However, the drab surroundings didn’t really matter because we enjoyed reading. It was a part of our lives and something we all just expected to do. We all grew up with Enid Blyton and then Adrian Mole before moving onto the classics. Books were our escape and our pleasure. Until, that is, Duran Duran came along and John Taylor became my mullet-haired, pixie-boot clad Mr Darcy!

However, trying to engage today’s teens with the simple pleasure of reading is far more of an uphill struggle because books have to compete with the instant gratification that technology provides so engaging young readers is no longer just a matter of selling the magic to be found in books. The reading environment also has to be right. To be frank, a brown library is never going to be somewhere that kids want to hang out, even if it does have an electrified carpet!

But it can be done with a bit of creative thinking. I firmly believe that a space which youngsters truly feel is theirs and has been designed with them in mind will make them much more likely to want to spend time there. And if you get them through the door of their own volition, it is more likely that they will want to read.

So here are my top tips for creating a fantastic library space that will lure in teens and kids, whatever your budget:

  1. Bye Bye bland

“Safe”, “neutral”, “won’t date”, “goes with anything”... this is grown-up thinking. You are not furnishing your own front room, so put aside your personal taste, think like a kid and make it fun. Ditch school colours like navy, maroon, bottle green and (of course!) brown and instead pick bright, popping colours that will breathe life into your scheme. Be brave with clashing and contrasting shades that are fresh and modern. Think zesty lime green, turquoise, hot pink, rich purple, orange. Blocks of colour against a neutral backdrop make a bold statement and bring a room right up to date.

  1. No more shushing!

Let’s face it, the days of silence in the library are long gone. The best libraries are abuzz with kids working collaboratively and discussing projects together, their laptops pinging as they access information to help them complete their homework. The layout of a library has to address this more social need as well as providing quieter, contemplative areas. Use furniture to screen off zones that can be used for different purposes. Units on castors will help to keep things flexible and enable you to reconfigure the space to suit. Zoned schemes can pose more of a challenge from a supervisory perspective, but again (controversially?) think about who the library is actually for. Don’t fixate too much on sightlines but be prepared to move around whilst keeping an eye on what’s going on.

  1. Multi-tasking spaces

With space at a premium, most school libraries nowadays don’t just have to provide book storage and relaxed seating. They often also need to cater for IT provision, intervention and teaching space, a location for meetings, somewhere for exams to take place, you name it. The furniture will have to work hard so items that can double up as something else are ideal. Stool seats that can be pulled up to work tables are always useful, as are bench seats that have storage incorporated within them. Tables that can be put together or split to accommodate smaller groups will make your space much more versatile. However, one caveat. Be realistic about what can be achieved in the space you have (unless it’s a Tardis!) If you try to make your room all things to everyone, you risk ending up with something that is nothing to anyone.

  1. Be age appropriate

Aim your library at the age group that will be using it. Older primary school children and teens need sociable grouped seating for informal discussions, study tables or carrels plus plenty of spine-on book storage. KS1 children on the other hand need cosy, inviting, safe spaces with soft furnishings and rugs for carpet time. Younger children also like to see the pictures on the covers of books so be sure to include face-out display units and kinderboxes. Features such as archways and dens will add an element of fun, making the library a place to explore, as well as somewhere to sit down and read or listen to stories.

  1. Accessorise and decorate

Use the walls. Stick-on graphics, pictures and wall displayers add a nice finishing touch and are also a cost-effective way to give your scheme a quick face-lift. If you are on a tight budget and fancy a project (and if your wooden shelving is tired but otherwise sound), paint walls and furniture in brilliant white then use match pots in vibrant colours to pick out architectural features such as window recesses and columns. Adding in colourful seating and a rug will give your room a bright and contemporary feel for a fraction of the cost of a fully fitted, brand new library.

So with a little imagination, daring and – yes – investment, your school library can become a facility that youngsters will love. Time and again, research backs up the fact that a good school library will enhance learning and nurture a love of reading, even in these fast-paced, tech-laden times. Perhaps 2019 is the year to wave goodbye to brown and say hello to a fresh new look!




   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM


The British School (BSJ) was established in 1973 under the auspices of the British embassy. 


It has developed into a truly international school with over 44 nationalities in attendance, from Foundation Stage to Year 13 (3 - 18 year olds). Primary school students follow the EYFS curriculum in Foundation Stage FS1/FS2 and then the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and National Curriculum for English and Maths in Key Stage 1 and 2 (years 1 to 6).  As of August, 2019, secondary school students will embark on the IB MYP for Years 7 – 9 and from the age of 14 to 16 (years 9 to 11 – Key Stage 4) that includes the IGCSE exams at the end of year 11.  From the age of 16 to 18 (Years 12 & 13), students follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme. 

The school is set in an eighteen hectare campus in the south of the city and is recognised as having teaching and sporting facilities of the highest quality (which includes an Olympic-sized swimming pool and contemporary theatre complex) and the warmth of our community makes BSJ a enjoyable place to work.

BSJ recruits well-qualified, experienced career professionals with relevant EYFS, International Primary Curriculum (IPC), National Curriculum, IGCSE, GCSE and IB (MYP & DP) experience. Contributions to co-curricular programmes are essential. Outstanding teachers from other backgrounds will be considered if the applicant is willing to learn and work within the BSJ system and ethos. Professional development is an integral aspect of school life at BSJ with a number of staff actively involved in courses on leadership and personal development.

The remuneration package is excellent and reflects the status and quality of this internationally renowned school and includes:

  • Annual flights for employee and dependants

  • Comprehensive medical cover

  • Substantial housing and household costs allowance

  • Tuition fee remission for two dependents up to and including Y13

  • Relocation allowance for shipping

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people, and expect all staff to share this commitment. This post will be subject to an enhanced DBS disclosure and police clearance. BSJ is an equal opportunities employer.

To apply, please complete the online application form by visiting: https://bsj.hbcareers.com/hboss-sb-api/job/33866

Application closing date: 21 January 2019.

Applications are reviewed as soon as received and we reserve the right to appoint outstanding candidates before the closing date.

2019 Head of Libraries

PDF file, 282 kB

Requires Adobe Reader





   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

Information Literacy Training

Information Literacy Group (ILG) of CILIP training at the Frenchay campus of UWE, 4th March. 

This is particularly suited to new professionals or those new to teaching Information Literacy, although everyone welcome.

This day will introduce some key Information Literacy frameworks and give an overview of key ideas associated with teaching information skills.

Lunch and refreshments included for all attendees.

Booking via the CILIP events page



   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

Bring Stories Alive! ?in National Storytelling Week

26th January to 2nd February 2019 will see the 19th National Storytelling Week(NSW), promoted by the UK’s Society for Storytelling.  It’s a great time to enjoy the power of the spoken word (whether told from memory or read aloud), so why not create some opportunities for this to happen – in your library and throughout the school?  Here are some ideas to try, from storyteller and SLA trainer Alec Williams:

Plus there are still places left on the storytelling course on 12th Feb in Cheltenham

What Story Will You Be Telling

NSW Blog Entry (SLA) (PDF file, 294 kB)




   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM

SLA - Victoria - Resources

We had a productive discussion with the Executive Officer of the School Library Association - Victoria, Susan La Marca, this morning, and it reminded me how brilliant their resources are. These two are particularly worth a look: 

This infographic is brilliant - scroll to the bottom of the store to download. 

They also do a great podcast: https://soundcloud.com/user-672487052



   23/01/2019 - 01:19 PM


EUROLIS -a group of librarians working for the cultural centres of France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Spain in London - in partnership with CILIP, is promoting the study of European languages and culture across the UK. EUROTOOLBOX is a multilingual collection of the very best books for children recently published in the respective countries.

Librarians and teachers can borrow the EUROTOOLBOX collection free of charge, only having to cover the postage to send the collection onto the next school/library wishing to borrowing it.

Eurotoolbox consists of about 90 books, for children from primary age to teenagers.

Should you be interested in booking the collection or wish to have more detailed information about it, please email Maria Riccobono at library.icilondon@esteri.it 

tel: 0207-3964425