The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award is the School Library Association’s prestigious honour to recognise the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day and highlight the best practice of those whose work is outstanding.
Their work will be celebrated at a ceremony held on Monday 3 October 2016 at the The Judge’s Court, The Rooms at Browns in Covent Garden. Multi-award-winning author Kim Slater, author of Smart and Seven Letter Word (Macmillan Children’s Books) will announce the SLA School Librarian of the Year 2016.
The librarians on the SLA SCHOOL LIBRARIAN OF THE YEAR HONOUR LIST 2016 are:
- Sophie Chalmers
Southbrook School (www.southbrook.devon.sch.uk)
A double-decker bus is home to Sophie Chalmers’ library at Southbrook School, a special school in Devon for 120 children aged 11 to 16 with complex difficulties. As well as working passionately on one-to-one basis within the school, Sophie has developed strong connections with the wider community, including through a reading buddy scheme between her school and the local mainstream secondary school.
- Rachel Knight
Sherborne Girls (www.sherborne.com)
During her time at Sherborne Girls, an independent day and boarding school for 430 girls aged 11 to 18 Rachel Knight hosted a dinner party with Mr Darcy, donned white coat and stethescope as the Book Doctor, and virtually visited Everest all in the name of bringing books to life for her students. As well as being a dab hand at study skills lessons, she can strip down an SA80 rifle in 15 seconds.
- Amy McKay
Corby Business Academy (www.corbybusinessacademy.org
Home-made reward scratch cards, staff/student battles of the books, BBQs, sleepovers, Comic-con events and even zombie apocalypses have all taken place in the library at Corby Business Academy, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of Amy McKay. Amy is a member of the national YLG committee and has recently taken on the role of Carnegie Kate Greenaway Coordinator.
- Alison Tarrant
Cambourne Village College (www.cambournevc.org)
At Cambourne Village College (www.cambournevc.org), Alison Tarrant was involved with the library from its very inception; the first time she visited her library-to-be she needed a high visibility jacket and hard hat! She insists her best inspiration comes from her pupils (such as setting up a library Amnesty International Youth Group) but her theatrical background also stands her in good stead for the more unusual activities she runs.
- Lauren Thow
Portobello High School, Edinburgh (portobellohighschool.org.uk)
Lauren Thow has both physically and emotionally transformed the library environment at Portobello High School (portobellohighschool.org.uk), Edinburgh. In addition to teaching research lessons across all school departments (sometimes dressed up as Alan Sugar), she has established a school Literature Festival and enabled students to work with local BBC staff on a community wide history project.
The selection panel for the School Librarian of the Year 2016 includes four top school librarians. All have donated their time:
Ginette Doyle (Chair) is past chair of the SLA and was previously College Librarian at Cheltenham College.
Carl Cross is Vice Chair of the SLA and Learning Resources Manager at Heanor Gate Science College, Derbyshire.
Lucy Bakewell, SLA School Librarian of the Year 2009 and a governor of Hill West Primary School, Sutton Coldfield.
John Iona, SLA School Librarian of the Year 2013 and and during the judging process Librarian at Oasis Academy, Enfield.