Category Archives: Networking

CILIP Conference 2022 Bursary Offer

CILIP SLG are delighted to be able to offer one full delegate place at this year’s CILIP Conference + Expo 2022, with one night’s free accommodation as a bursary place.

CILIP Conference + Expo

The CILIP Conference + Expo 2022 is taking place at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th July and is one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated events in the library and information sector. For the first time in three years, the event will be in person, and we will be taking advantage of all the benefits of meeting face-to-face. The sessions will encourage free-flowing conversations, collaborations with like-minded professionals, the sharing of ideas and experiences, as well as being packed with practical tips and inspiring presentations.

CILIP Conference + Expo brings together around 500 professionals from across the sector to share experiences, knowledge and expertise. The keynote speakers include Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Sayf Al Ashqar, and Vanessa Kisuule. The programme is being finalised but you can see an outline of the session content here. Keep up to date by following @CILIPConf22

CILIP SLG will have a stand in the Exhibition Hall, so please come and say hello, find out about our event schedule and see you can get involved with our projects.

CILIP SLG Bursary Offer

Our sponsored bursary offer is for:

  • 1 x complimentary full conference delegate place* with 1 nights’ accommodation at the Jury’s Inn for a member of CILIP Schools Libraries Group.

    * a full conference delegate place includes attendance at both days of the conference (Thursday and Friday), access to all sessions, refreshment breaks and lunches and ticket to drinks reception on July 7.  Travel to and from the Conference will not be included.

How to apply

To submit your application for the bursary place, the criteria is as follows:

  • We expect you to write a piece for our magazine, School Libraries in View (SLiV) about your conference experience of approximately 800-1000 words. SLiV will be published in October 2022, deadline for your copy will be August 31, 2022.
  • We expect you be active on social media, and you will be tweeting from the Conference, including @CILIPSLG in your tweets.  Please include your twitter name in your application.
  • Please send your application to Chair.slg@cilip.org.uk containing the following information:  Your name, name of your school, Your CILIP number, and why you feel that attending Conference will benefit you and your school. 

Applications to be received by Friday, April 22 2022.

We are particularly interested to receive applications from members who have never been to the CILIP Conference + Expo before, and who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to go.  This will be an excellent chance for Chartership candidates to enhance their applications.

Alternatively, Early Bird discounts are available until May 27, and you can book these directly on the cilipconference.org.uk website. Remember to log in to the CILIP website before booking so that it recognises your membership status and offers you the correct delegate rate.

Reading Rocks event, October 2016

From time to time, SLG is asked to send representatives to different events around the country to speak or to set up a stand.  This involved us getting involved with a stand in the ATL Conference earlier in the year, being represented and giving a talk to a Headteachers’ Teachmeet in the summer, and the Reading Rocks event this autumn.  Lucy Chambers from the committee attended this event, and wrote her report for us.  Every meeting we attend is a chance for us to interact with people we wouldn’t normally reach, and to spread the word about the great things school libraries are doing.

Lucy writes: ‘I attended the first one day Reading Rocks 2016 conference, established to ‘discuss ways to make reading rock for every pupil.’  near Warrington, to deliver a workshop on behalf of SLG.  This was an opportunity to speak at an event aimed at teachers rather than just librarians and is something the committee has been discussing for some time: how to cross the invisible barrier and promote the impact librarians can have on a school to educationalists.

The District CE Primary School in Newton-le-Willows has won awards for its approach to reading and has many inspirational reading areas, from several small libraries within the school to a Story Shack, a book-themed playground and a Little Library of books for parents.   They promote reading with stylish and interactive displays and regular reading events throughout the year.

My role was to advocate the value of school librarians, in this case in primary schools, and to promote SLG.  I also spoke about how I use regular Reading Year events to get children reading in my four schools in Tower Hamlets.  The day was devoted to literacy sessions of interest to primary school teachers, with several authors and promoters of reading schemes. Keynote speakers included James Clements, the founder of Shakespeare and More, who works with schools to develop the teaching of reading, and Mat Tobin, Senior Lecturer in English and Children’s Literature at Oxford Brookes’ School of Education, talking about the hidden messages in picture books , including a thought-provoking interpretation of ‘Not Now Bernard’, elicited with discussion from Year 1 to Year 6 pupils.

Workshops ranged from sessions promoting First News, Phoenix and other magazines to a project using rhythm and music to improve reading comprehension in low ability children. Other workshops included storyteller Dan Worsely, Into Film, Mat Tobin, Jonny Duddle and Nikki Heath.

Altogether, it was a very impressive event with some excellent speakers, a great range of exhibitors and an ambitious programme.  If you are a primary school librarian or teacher, look out for Reading Rocks 2017 and sign up!’

See the school’s website www.district.st-helens.sch.uk/ for further information

 

SLG Regional Event in Kent/SE London

CILIPSLG held one of its very successful Regional Training Days at Eltham College in South East London on October 24th.  The day was heavily over-subscribed, and there are plans to rerun the day next March for all those who were disappointed this time.  Like all of the training days, there was an eclectic mix of subjects, and everyone found something to interest them in the day.

The first speaker was Caroline Roche, who also hosted us in her Library at Eltham College.  Caroline also runs Heart of the School website. She talked about using technology to help the learners in your school, and EPQ students in particular.  She showcased Diigo, MySimpleShow and Animoto, and gave out practical How To worksheets after her talk.

Next came Matt Imrie from Farrington’s School.  Matt runs the very successful Teen Librarian newsletter and website.  Matt talked to us about Freenocomics – how to get stuff for your library for free, and how to encourage your students to blog about books.

Last speaker before lunch was Maggie Thomas from Bacon’s College.  Maggie told us about a radical refurbishment of her library which involved her in strategic thinking and planning, including a review of how she should be line managed.  She had amazing support from her Line Manager throughout the successful process.

During lunch there was a great opportunity to network, and also to play the newly published Murder in the Library from BoxClever Education.  Alex Gillespie, an English teacher who devised the game, set it out in Eltham College Library, and we were all encouraged to find out who had murdered the Library Assistant!  This was an excellent game involving deductive thinking and reasoning skills.  There are many levels to the game, and is suitable for all abilities.  Everyone enjoyed it and quite a few people bought copies for their libraries.

In the afternoon Rowena Seabrook from Amnesty International spoke to us about Human Rights issues in Teen Fiction.  Her talk was thought provoking, both in how to promote and how to protect human rights of the students in the school.  There was a lot of productive discussion around LGBTQ rights and fiction, and also representation of teenagers of all races and colours in your library stock.  We all had a lot to think about after her talk.

CILIPSLG tweeted throughout the day, and a Storify of the tweets can be found here.

CILIPSLG Regional events are held throughout the year in different parts of the country.  If you are interested in attending one of our low cost events then keep an eye on this page.  If you are interested in hosting a meeting in your school, please contact SLG through their pages on the CILIP website.

 

 

How do you make a good case for your library?

We all have been there and experienced it: the utter frustration at seen a proposal for change or development turned down by your line-manager or the Headteacher. I have been at the receiving end of many refusals before I realised that something had to change in the way I was preparing my presentation. So the big question was: how can I be more persuasive next time? How can I sway the key stakeholders on my side?

This is how my personal campaign began…

In my research for a better way to change management, I have come across a number of useful resources that have made me see my problems from a different point of view or given me practical tips that I could apply in my workplace.

The first resource that has opened my eyes to other alternatives is definitely the book “The Library Marketing Toolkit” by Ned Potter (Facet Publishing). There is a fantastic website which acts as a companion to this book and which I urge to visit and explore: http://www.librarymarketingtoolkit.com/ .

Proactive vs reactive.

The chapter that has absolutely revolutionised the way I think about tackling any obstacles in my way is the “Marketing and People” one: full of tips and case studies, it really made me realise how the ability to influence people had to become my constant priority, use the the power of Word of Mouth as well as regularly reaching and outreaching. Our colleagues as well as other stakeholders in our service, big or small, can become our champions in our campaign for change. They can assist you in establishing your professional reputation and they will probably be your biggest supporters in pushing your agenda. What I really learnt in applying these priorities is that you need to constantly nourish your support network and not seek to create one just when you most need it: this will probably not come organically and support may arrive too late!

Battle Plan.

When preparing to make a change or submit a proposal for a major re-development, one model is highly recommended to ensure that you are successful: the 5 case model. The five elements of this model ensure that you are really prepared for your upcoming battle: I find it easier to see every element as an extra arrow to my bow. This model includes: The Strategic Case, The Economic case, The Financial Case, The Commercial Case, The Management Case.

If all these elements are carefully considered, investigated and analysed, you not only considerably increase your confidence in delivering your proposal but you also prepare solid grounds for your proposal to be accepted more easily.

The Strategic Case

What is the strategic context of you proposal, namely why do you want to make this change? How does this change fit within the existing structure of your organisation, including goals & strategies, existing practices and resources? Does the change that you are proposing allow the organisation to exploit new opportunities or respond to new threats?

Essential elements to be included:

  1. A clear description of what is proposed and its fit with the business strategy
  2. The key objectives to be met and benefits to be realised
  3. Key performance indicators for those objectives
  4. A resource overview

 The Economic Case

How does your proposal deliver value for money? How does your recommendation/proposal clearly provide a return on investment? How does the option that you are proposing deliver better that the other options considered?

Essential elements to be included:

  1. Critical assessment of the options considered, including cost-benefit analysis of each option: for example, a risk impact assessment of each option.
  2. A final recommendation based on a balance of cost, benefit and risk

 The Financial Case

How affordable is your proposal? How will it be funded and to what extent can your business/organisation afford it?

Essential elements to be included:

  1. Total cost of your proposal
  2. Impact upon cash flow
  3. Source of funding
  4. Possible considerations regarding the business affordability gap. If this is the case, considerations about borrowing additional finances and at what rate.
  5. Analysis of the split between revenue and capital expenditure

 The Commercial Case

What is the commercial viability of your proposal? How will you source and ensure a steady and secure supply of the commercial elements of your proposal?

Essential elements to be included:

  1. Identification and sources of the required internal and external resources
  2. How continuity of supply of those resources is to be maintained

 The Management Case

How will the proposal be project-managed to successful completion?

Essential elements to be included:

  1. Clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities
  2. Delivery plan, including contingency plan, progress reporting and evaluation procedures

 

 

What better way for a sociable bookworm to spend an afternoon?

CFAE LITTERAIRE MEDLEY

The welcoming surroundings of the Grafton’s upper room were the perfect setting for the second SLG Café Littéraire. Authors, Librarians and Publishers shared enthusiasms and information over tea, coffee and some excellent cake.

The event was attended by 16 authors and a handful of publishers from Pea Green Boat Books and Usborne: Michele Simonsen – Sarah Sky –  Keren David –  Hilary Freeman  – Chitra Soundar – Larisa Villar Hauser –  Annette Smith –  Faye Bird  – Margaret Bateson-Hill  – Peter Bunzl  – Sally Kindberg  – Bridget Marzo –  Bybreen Samuels  – Jo Franklin 

From picture novel illustrators to YA writers, from well-established and loved names to first-time novelists, conversations quickly turned to the challenges of Children’s and YA literature that we are all facing.

Amongst all these discussions, some topics stood out for relevance and scope of interest across all reading ages: for example, illustration and visual literacy – how important it is to avoid the misconception that comics are a genre and not a separate medium of telling stories; a complex reading process is necessary to decipher them, such as inferring meaning, and linking text and picture. We spoke of the kind of stories we loved as children, and whether the same stories and styles of telling are still popular. Can books help our children to face the challenges of ubiquitous social media, or relieve the pressures that our very sexualised society can create? If writers want to engage with young people, is swearing necessary? One author found that putting ‘blast’ in a book for teenagers to avoid censure from their parents, just made her look out-of-touch and irrelevant.

Here are some interesting articles on these subjects:

Why teens in books can’t swear by James/Juno Dawson:

YA Books That Will Make You Swear Off Social Media Forever

“Clean Reads” List –  interesting booklist for the guidance given regarding “inappropriate” content. Food for thought.

Visual literacy: to comics or not to comics? Promoting literacy using comics

Learning To Read From Comics: Comics As Gateways To Literacy 

It was enormous fun – with serious intent – we were there to share and learn, and everyone had experience, insight or information to contribute.

In fact, our pleasant afternoon at the Grafton was almost exactly like the definition of ‘un Café Littéraire’ found in Wikipedia: a place to meet in order to talk about literature, exchange ideas, listen to book excerpts and take part in intellectual plays, all whilst enjoying coffee or another drink.* Although we did not include readings, I think that would be an excellent addition to the event, and if anyone is up for acting in an intellectual play – please let us know!

*Not that I use Wikipedia as a matter of course, but in some cases it is really rather good!

* [Un café littéraire est un lieu de réunion où l’on parle de littérature, échange des idées, écoute des extraits de livres lus par des comédiens, assiste à des spectacles érudits tout en dégustant un café, ou autre boisson.]

Penny Swan

[Librarian – The Grey Coat Hospital School ; Hon. Secretary CILIP SLG London & SE]

Café Littéraire – Saturday 23rd January 2016 – The Grafton Arms NW5

Café Littéraire

Tea and conversation flowed freely on Saturday afternoon as we enjoyed  Tea & Tattle ‘s pleasant surroundings, scrummy food and an opportunity to chat with authors and other lovers of children’s books.

Author Sufiya Ahmed with trainer Anne Harding and CILIP SLG's Barbara Ferramosca.
Author Sufiya Ahmed with trainer Anne Harding and CILIP SLG’s Barbara Ferramosca.

Inclusivity was a major topic of the day, as ‘diversity superhero’ Anna McQuinn, Sufiya Ahmed (Secrets of the Henna Girl) and trainer Anne Harding got together to put the world of children’s book publishing to rights!  Don’t miss Anna’s seminal blog on how recognition of this vital issue led her to found independent inclusive publisher Alanna Books and Anne’s recent post with links to copious book recommendations.

What are you playing at A copy of What Are You Playing At? by  Marie-Sabine Roger, published by Alanna Books will make the perfect centrepiece for a Diversity Week display.

Ancestors

Highlights from the eleven years Paul Crooks spent researching his Afro-Caribbean roots were fascinating, particularly the mixture of dedication and sheer luck that led to his eventual success.  A copy of  Ancestors, his fictionalised version of the personal history he uncovered will be a great addition to the shelves.   Extremely knowledgeable on Britain’s transatlantic slave trade he will also address KS3 students and 6th Form.

Tamsyn Murray shared highlights from her recently published Completely Cassidy 2  - Star ReporterCompletely Cassidy: Star Reporter.  A second episode in the hectic, Year 7 life of Cassidy Bond, subject of Tamsyn’s popular and very funny series for pre-teens.

Devil in the Corner by Patricia Elliot

Patricia Elliott talked to us about teaching children’s literature, her current plans and the breadth of her work to date.  Promoting her brand new Connie Carew mystery The House of Eyes published just this month,  The Devil in the Corner a Victorian, gothic, murder mystery from last year and not forgetting, of course, her popular, romantic Pimpernelles series set during the French Revolution.

Mark of Cain

Lindsey Barraclough treated us to a glimpse of the creative process behind her atmospheric tale of witchcraft from last year, Mark of Cain.  Hugely popular with KS4, it is her second story set the village of Bryers Guerdon and begins a few years after Carnegie Award nominated Long Lankin.    

Finally, it was also a pleasure to meet Amanda Lillywhite and learn more about the life of an illustrator, her styles, work in magazines, brochures, posters and educational books and particularly her online webcomics.

All in all, a very pleasant and informative afternoon, and a format that we hope to repeat very soon!

Authors Tamsyn Murray, Anna McQuinn, Sufiya Ahmed and Paul Crooks at Tea & Tattle on Saturday

Authors Tamsyn Murray, Anna McQuinn, Sufiya Ahmed and Paul Crooks at Tea & Tattle on Saturday

LIBMEET – Saturday 25th April 2015

On Saturday 25th April we held our third annual one day Libmeet. Hosted once again by Barbara Ferramosca, Librarian at Lilian Baylis Technology School in Vauxhall, and subtitled Embracing Change, we are pleased to report that it was our best ‘unconference’ yet with more than 90 delegates attending, including 11 authors 7 library resources exhibitors and 73 librarians from all over London, the South-East and the Midlands.

A great day for making new contacts and catching up with old friends, it was packed with information and ideas to inspire us.

Dzifa Benson at Libmeet 2015

Dzifa Benson at Libmeet 2015

Still smiling from a lively performance of The Signifyin’ Monkey by our Artist in residence Dzifa Benson of Authors Abroad, we separated into groups to get to grips with our choice of workshops…

Running Project Qualifications from the Library

Project qualifications are great for students, giving them experience of independent learning so valuable for university and for life. They are also good for the library, raising our profile across the subject departments and offering us an opportunity to impart information skills at point of need in the context of a recognised qualification. Projects are offered by various exam boards – AQA  OCR and Edexcel at Level 1 Foundation, Level 2 Higher which is equivalent to half a GCSE, and Level 3 or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which is equivalent to half an A’ Level.  Universities particularly value the EPQ and some will reduce the grades they require from a candidate who has done well.

Projects can be run within or beside the curriculum. Form time or lunchtime clubs are an opportunity for the able or gifted & talented learner in Key Stage 3, 4 or 5 to broaden and extend their knowledge in an area of their own choice. They will also cultivate skills in communication both written and verbal, project management, research, product development and self-evaluation. Run in lesson time, project qualifications can offer the same benefits and sense of individual achievement to those who are less able and / or less engaged with formal classroom learning.

Nancy Cheeseman began our session by explaining in detail how Year 13 students at Parmiter’s School in Hertfordshire undertake the Edexcel EPQ, tackling the work in their own time over just 4 months but supported by teaching staff and librarians. See the slides from her talk Running Project Qualifications from the Library

Barbara Band  then described how experience with different groups of students has led her to develop her delivery of the AQA Level 2 Higher Project at The Emmbrook School in Berkshire. Barbara currently offers her course to able students in Year 9, running her sessions extra-curricularly, largely during Form Time, and acting as supervisor to each student. Lively discussion followed around the different ways of delivering these qualifications, potential groups of students who might benefit and consequent challenges. 

The potential of Augmented Reality (AR) for the school library

Barbara Ferramosca led a workshop on the growing phenomenon of Augmented Reality (AR) and its applications in the school library. The workshop kicked off with a few short introductory videos to one of the leading platforms Aurasma

Barbara has been experimenting with Aurasma, at Lilian Baylis School, using just a couple of Galaxy Tab 3 tablets. Barbara says “The Augmented Reality app adds an exciting new dimension to student book browsing, every cover and display come alive with trailers, videos, pictures, book reviews and so much more! The library turns into a veritable treasure hunt, and all the students need is a device that can run the app.” Any Apple or Android device will work, including mobile phones.

Then we had a chance to try out Aurasma for ourselves by scanning a few book covers from Barbara’s library.  The benefits were immediately clear, and lively discussion ensued:

  • It means we can archive all types of library generated content – written book reviews, video book talks, student podcasts, reading lists, information booklets etc. in one place, particularly as Aurasma currently include a huge storage space with their platform.
  • It will allow us to display all this content, at the drop of a hat, to impress line manager, parents, or Ofsted Inspector!
  • We can support the curriculum by creating short tutorials for teachers focussing, for example, on developing student research skills, or exploiting an online resource that the library has purchased. Once created, the AR experience could be re-used or modified year on year.

Naturally there were a few questions:

Q. How much time, effort, and support are needed?

Barbara Creating a quality AR experience is a long-term commitment, so plan strategically from the beginning. Target specific stakeholders, perhaps parents, special needs or reluctant readers? Remember too that showing off an exciting, cutting edge library is good for recruitment – a Senior Management Team priority in every school.  

As a solo librarian myself I have enlisted work-experience students from a local college who run our Aurasma project under my supervision.

Q. What types of content can be displayed with AR? 

Barbara MP4, JPEG and PNG. Anything that can be converted into these formats can be displayed, maximum size100 MB.

Although very new, see some examples of its application in education at http://www.innovatemyschool.com/industry-expert-articles/item/1085-augmented-learning-using-augmented-reality-in-schools.htm

Q. Could this be a project for students themselves? 

Barbara – Yes, creating AR experiences could be an engaging way for students to study a topic in depth or enjoy literature afresh.

The options are virtually limitless!

Wheeler’s e-book Platform and MLS Reading Cloud

Our third choice of workshop comprised practical demonstrations of two recently-launched online e-book platforms: Wheelers’ and Micro-Librarian’s Reading Cloud

Having recently linked with Peters’ Bookselling Services, Wheelers now offer a range of titles not found on other platforms. We were impressed by both the children’s books, e.g. the wide range by Michael Morpurgo, and the young adult titles which included work by authors attending the Libmeet!

On the other hand, MLS Reading Cloud is attempting something new… a unified platform, compatible with their Library Management System and allowing students to respond to their reading via a safe social media-style environment. If the reading cloud delivers as promised at the demonstration, it will allow us to watch students’ reading levels, deliver aptitude tests and more all within just one platform. Definitely worth keeping an eye on!

Workshop Materials for Children’s Literature

Our fourth and final workshop was led by a group of authors, poets and a storyteller from CWISL (Children’s Writers and Illustrators from South London) who explored the impact on pupils’ attainment of access to good literature and author visits. There was discussion around how to build a good case for such expenditure especially when budgets are limited.

See presentation by  Chitra Soundar

Chitra Soundar and Ivan Todorov at Libmeet 2015

Chitra Soundar and Ivan Todorov at Libmeet 2015

Other authors joining us the  workshop and , indeed for the whole day were:

and non fiction author  Bybreen Samuels promoting Non-Profit Booster, her practical guide to setting up a charitable organisation.

Our exhibition area was available throughout the day offering a lunchtime opportunity to get to grips with school library resource suppliers including:

After lunch we grouped into a Library Surgery to share good practice and thoughts on some thorny topics suggested by delegates.

  1. Ideas for clubs competitions and how to run a club successfully
  2. How do we effectlively manage the diverse people who support us in the library
  3. Effective reporting for school librarians

The day finished, as it began, with Dzifa Benson, who performed ‘Bottom Power’ her poem about the exploitation of Saartjie Baartman, and last opportunities to visit Lilian Baylis School library or catch up with our library resource exhibitors.

Many thanks to Barbara Ferramosca for hosting the day and for all her work in organisation and looking forward to meeting even more of you at our events in the future.

Nancy

SLG London and SE – January Social!

Don’t miss our visit to the British Library’s exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imaginationhttp://www.bl.uk/events/terror-and-wonder–the-gothic-imagination
followed by our Winter Social in the function room at the nearby Central Station pub.

On Saturday 17th January – ALL WELCOME!

See the exhibition (which ends 20th January) at a special discounted price and then join us for a drink and networking.

Meet in the British Library foyer at 3.15pm for entry to the exhibition at 3.30pm
Exhibition closes at 5.00pm
when we will adjourn to the pub 5.30-9.00pm

Exhibition £9 per person
Social £5 per person including one FREE drink and ticket for prize draw!

Food and more drinks available to purchase.

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL!

 To book contact Amanda Ball

email: amanda.ball@portland-place.co.uk
or phone 0207 307 8700

See you there!

A Year In The Life Of A Committee Member.

Post written by Barbara Ferramosca

“What don’t we do?” This is the answer that I have recently given to a person enquiring about the work that we do at the CILIP School Libraries Group committee for London and the South East.

Writing this blog piece has been a very interesting exercise as it gave me the opportunity to take myself out of the usual flow of work and really take a look at what we have done, frankly, in awe and pride.

I am a solo librarian at an inner-London secondary school and, as many of you already know, this is a job that keeps you busy, busy, busy! I absolutely love my job and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything in the world: however, there was a moment a couple of years ago when I realised that I wanted a little bit more of a challenge. I felt that I reached a good point with my service, I had developed the skills to make it move forward but I also identified some big gaps that I could not fill within the remit of my school. Although I could confidently say that the importance of my work was recognised in my school, I was and still not officially considered a head of department: this was quite an important consideration in order to keep open future career prospects in higher managerial positions. So experience in leadership, project management and working as a team came at the top of my priorities.

Something had to be done but where to start?

Volunteering for the SLG Committee came at a colleague’s suggestion and I decided to give it a try, even if I was quite unsure whether I would be up for the job. I had not been in the profession for very long and had not even started my Chartership yet!  However, I knew that I had on my side boundless enthusiasm and a willingness to learn new skills and help so I went for it and never regretted the decision.

I am pleased to say that my perception of committee meetings as a place of reverence, where established library professionals meet in an atmosphere of authority has been smashed to smithereens since the first meeting. Committee work brings together experienced professionals who have been in the job for twenty years or more with people who have join librarianship only recently. Engaging in honest discussion with people of this calibre may have sounded daunting at one time, however in the last two years I have become much more confident in presenting arguments or points of view in a way that effectively contributes to a discussion and learn from others as well.

In this atmosphere of shared experience, going to committee meetings has become an invigorating process because ultimately we are all working towards the same goal and everybody contributes with their unique perspective of the profession.

So what do we do? In a nutshell, our objective is to create both formal and more informal opportunities for school librarians to meet, keep updated with the latest developments in the field and share good practice. Our big challenge is to give all our SLG members value for money by ensuring that our courses are affordable and of the highest standards of professionalism. Unlike some other training companies, we know how difficult it is for school librarians to be sent on CPD courses and we make it our priority to make it possible!

The mind boggles a little if I think about what we have achieved in the last year alone and what we have in programme for 2015. We have recently run a whole-day course on library services impact on education attainment and currently planning a new one for next June. Between a winter social event at the pub that we have in plan for January and our fantastic annual Libmeet unconference in April, every committee member is involved in the organisation of an event and learning new skills in the mix.

We are also spreading into blog-space, as you are currently reading. We are quite excited about this blog because we wanted to create an informal yet high-quality online venue where we can discuss current issues with other professionals. This is going to give fantastic new experience to the committee members who felt that they are still struggling with Social Media, myself included.

I am really looking forward to the year ahead: with such a great team to work with, I cannot but feel that 2015 will be our best year yet!

If you are interested in joining our committee, please contact our Secretary, Sue Ayling, at the following email: AylingSM@aol.com

 

A Trip To A Forbidden Planet

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It is notoriously difficult to choose graphic novels for school libraries and so On Wednesday, 22 October, CILIP’s School Libraries Group for London and the Southeast met at Forbidden Planet (https://forbiddenplanet.com) As you may know (or may not if you’ve been living in the Batcave) Forbidden Planet is the world’s largest and best-known science fiction, fantasy and cult entertainment retailer, and the largest UK stockist of the latest comics and graphic novels. What they don’t know about the genre isn’t worth knowing.
The event was well attended by around twenty school librarians and paraprofessionals, who were able to spend the evening browsing across the many genres available at the store, get advice from the extremely knowledgeable staff and then purchase at a discount. At the end of the night the store’s Deputy Manager, Lou Ryrie, gave the librarians in attendance a talk about what manga and graphic novels were appropriate for school-aged children and made other suggestions for ideas of books that could be purchased that evening, such as Batman Year One, Maus, Case Closed and Full Metal Alchemist.
Of course it finished with everyone having tea, coffee and biscuits and exchanging contact information, etc. What would a school librarian event be without chat and biscuits!?

Forbidden Planet gives a 10% discount to all libraries. If you are interested in ordering from them, please contact Lou at manager2.london@forbiddenplanet.com, for advice and purchasing. Forbidden Planet will take a purchase order and then when payment is received will deliver to libraries free of charge. Drop them a line for advice too, they really know their stuff and can guide you through the graphic minefield!

We will be compiling some lists based on the night, so watch this space for that info, and for news of other events.

Image credit to http://paperzip.co.uk/classroom/banners-posters/batman-returns-books

Post contributed by Amanda Ball