Tag archives: Children’s Laureate

Friday, 18 November 2016

School libraries and their importance – recent news, views and articles

research-1Many thanks to Notre Dame School in Cobham for this lovely picture.

School libraries aren’t often in the media spotlight, but this week they have been. Brilliant that they are getting the attention they deserve. Too many heads and governing bodies see library cuts as an easy route to making savings, failing to realise that for short term gain they will sacrifice vital support for literacy, learning and well-being. Closures of school library services are also having a devastating impact. Few people can have failed to see the headlines about an illustrated letter Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, with the backing of all eight former laureates, sent to Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, demanding action on school libraries and school library services.

Shirley Hughes was one of many children’s book creators to add their views: ‘It is vital that children should grow up, have the confidence to choose and share the books they like, access knowledge, scrutinise the illustrations at their own pace and become engrossed in a story, all with the help and encouragement of a school librarian. Government should be increasing funding to school libraries, not cutting it. No civilised country would do otherwise.’ This is SF Said: ‘If we care about literacy, EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL should have a library and a librarian.’

In a powerful article on the importance of libraries for children’s reading and learning for the Daily Telegraph headteacher Nigel Lashbrook says ‘Quite simply, school libraries, and their librarians, are critical to our children’s future. The level of development of the school library is a highly accurate predictor of academic success.’ Well worth reading.

Meanwhile in the Guardian school librarian Lucy Ivison has explained why cutting school libraries is a disastrous decision. School libraries change lives. They empower and educate children, and help with social mobility. With public libraries also being closed, we need their school counterparts more than ever.

Do also read the latest Talking About Books blog on the vital role school librarians play. ‘A room full of books can’t provide the accessibility to reading without a guiding hand, a guiding voice.’ I am delighted the author highlights librarians’ support for comprehension and inference.

Barbara Band wrote a useful blog at the start of term on the unique position of a school librarian. I was also interested to read an American teacher’s view on the value of school librarians.

Finally, a wonderful story about a school library in a converted tube carriage.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

New Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman

I could not be more delighted that the latest Children’s Laureate is Malorie Blackman. She is a wonderful author, and will be a fabulous ambassador for children’s books and reading. She featured prominently in the Know Your Authors course I gave yesterday. I am very pleased about her determination to promote reading in both printed and electronic form, and to increase the focus on teenage reading. It’s wonderful that she is going to be championing diversity in children’s books, and that she aims to use the laureateship to campaign for public libraries. I am sure she will have a big impact on all fronts.

This is a great Guardian article about her. It’s also worth reading this Q&A with her on the BBC website. I found Bim Adewunmi’s response to her appointment interesting too.

I feel very privileged to have been asked to review Blackman’s latest book, Noble Conflict, for The School Librarian. Can’t wait to read it.