The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award is the School Library Association’s prestigious honour to recognize the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day and highlight the best practice of those whose work is outstanding.
Four exciting and innovative librarians have made it onto to the Honour List for the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award 2018, with one from outside the British Isles for only the second time in the history of the Award.
Nicki Cleveland is School Librarian (and Higher Level Teaching Assistant) at Cannon Park Primary School on the outskirts of Coventry. Despite having only 3.5 dedicated hours in the library and no real budget, Nicki has revolutionised the way the teaching staff at Cannon Park Primary think about Reading for Pleasure; due to working in close partnership with the staff around her, it is now at the forefront of the school’s ethos. Thinking outside the box and passionate engagement with the children’s book world via Skype and Twitter have enabled Nicki to enrich her pupils engagement with books in an extremely powerful way.
Dr. Chhavi Jain
Dr. Jain manages a large, multilingual library and makerspace in Manav Rachna International School (Gurugram) outside New Delhi in India, where she supports 1100 children aged 6-17 years. Dr. Jain is breaking down barriers and raising the profiles of school librarians in India with her innovative and rigorous approach to her work. Exemplary in her promotion of reading with numerous author visits (in person and via Skype), pupil awards and international collaborative projects, her enthusiasm, professionalism and passion for reading is recognised throughout the school.
Alison Kennedy is Head Librarian at St George’s Ascot, an independent boarding and day school for girls 11-18 in Berkshire. Alison’s role reaches far beyond the bookshelves of her library, and as Head of House, Form Tutor, Extended Project Qualification Coordinator and living on site she is truly embedded in her school. Her enthusiastic and proactive approach to promoting Reading for Pleasure ensures the library is seen as a hive of energy and imagination, and creative use of social media plays a key role in engaging the entire school with the library and its resources. @SGA_Library
Although her official title is Learning Resources Centre Manager, Emma Suffield is seen more as a member of the family by many of the 1400 students at Saint Wilfrid’s C of E Academy in a diverse area of Blackburn, thanks to her personalised, thoughtful and supportive approach to engaging all readers across the school. Innovative, imaginative practice, frequently going the extra mile, has led to a whopping 450% increase in book borrowing rates since Emma became responsible for the library in 2014. emmasuffield.wordpress.com @emmasuffield
These four exceptional school librarians have each has made a huge difference to the lives of the students and people they work with, igniting a passion for reading, setting students on a learning journey, teaching them essential skills, as well as supporting staff and reaching out to the wider community. Any one of these four would be a worthy winner of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award. Full profiles will be published once a week from 6 September (in alphabetical order) on the SLA website at www.sla.org.uk.
The work of these inspirational librarians will be celebrated at a ceremony held on 9 October 2018 at the The Judge’s Court, The Rooms at Browns in Covent Garden. Blue Peter Book Award Winner Lauren St John will announce the SLA School Librarian of the Year 2018.
The School Library Association created the School Librarian of the Year Award in 2004 in response to the need for recognition of the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day, and to highlight best practice through celebrating those whose work is outstanding. Nominees do not need to be members of the SLA, and may be from any phase of education.
The selection panel, all of whom have donated their time to enable the awarding of the School Librarian of the Year 2018 comprises:
Lesley Martin, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection Committee, and Chair of SLA (School Library Association)
Sue Bastone, SLA Vice-Chair and SLA School Librarian of the Year Award – Honour List (2010)
Amy Mackay, Librarian at Corby Business Academy, SLA Board Member and past winner of SLA School Librarian of the Year Award (2016)
Margaret Pemberton, SLA Board Member and freelance School Library and Book Consultant
Previous Winners of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award
2017: Lucas Maxwell – Glenthorne High School, London Borough of Sutton
2016: Amy McKay – Corby Business Academy
2015: Annie Brady – St Paul’s CBS Secondary School, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
2014: Liz Millett – Weatherfield Academy, Dunstable
2013: Hilary Cantwell – St Paul’s Community College, Waterford, Republic of Ireland
2013: John Iona – Oasis Academy, Enfield, Middlesex
2012: Adam Lancaster – Monk’s Walk School, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
2011: Carol Webb – Forest Hill School, London
2010: Duncan Wright – Stewart’s Melville College, Edinburgh
2010: Kevin Sheehan – Offerton School, Stockport
2009: Lucy Bakewell – Hill West Primary School, Sutton Coldfield
2008: Nikki Heath – Werneth School, Stockport
2007: Ingrid Hopson – George Abbot School, Guildford
2006: Anne-Marie Tarter – Ripon Grammar School, North Yorkshire
2005: Anne Robinson – Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College, Bedworth
Nominations for School Librarian of the Year 2019 will open in early September 2018. Nomination forms will be available from the SLA website: www.sla.org.uk/slya.php