Good books for teens and young adults are often about identity and figuring out who you are. Novels with LGBTQ+ characters are some of the best examples of (fictional) young people learning to be themselves while navigating the world.
Cassie Kemp is a librarian with Creative Learning Services in Leicestershire. She is a CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Judge and is a former committee member of CILIP SLG. Here she sharesher top picks of LGBT novels for teens and young adults with Tuva Kahrs.
We were, like many librarians, concerned by the decision to cancel Simon James Green’s visit to John Fisher School. As we are eager to support the striking school staff, as well as LGBTQ staff and pupils in all schools, we feel it is time for librarians to set aside the stereotypical ‘shhh’ and make some noise!
To that end, we’d like to set up a social media buzz around LGBTQ young adult reading.
For Pride Month (June), we are creating a social media relay using the hashtag #ReadWithPride. Each school or library would post a photograph of a member of staff reading an LGBTQ young adult novel (we will coordinate to ensure a variety of titles), then ‘tag’ the next school so that a post goes out every working day in June.
Ideally, those depicted in the photograph would include a range of roles to show wider-spread engagement with LGBTQ fiction, some Heads, sport staff, or even school Pride Societies (GDPR permitting!) in order to really underline the institutional support, and that this is important for everyone. But of course, we’d love to feature librarians, too! We are also asking high profile LGBT authors to join in.
If you’d like to be involved in the relay, please fill out this form by 5pm on Monday 16 May:
And if you’d rather not be part of the formal relay but would like to support the project, please use the hashtag #ReadWithPride while posting Pride Month book recommendations and/or messages of support, ‘like’ or share the relay posts, etc. Some may choose to make explicit reference to recent events or use the #IStandWithSimon hashtag. Given that some schools may prefer not to take a formal stance, or the potential for doxing or trolling on social media, we have not included this but left it down to the individual. Please feel free to tweak the message as you wish.
We will be back in touch with the relay plan w/c 22/5. If you have any questions, please email Kate O’Connor at email@example.com.
This statement has been produced jointly by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the CILIP School Libraries Group (CILIP SLG) and the School Library Association (SLA). It is intended to provide clear guidance for school librarians, school leadership and Governors when considering issues relating to intellectual freedom and censorship.
As leadership organisations for School Libraries, we believe that:
i) Intellectual freedom – the freedom to read, to learn, to question and to access information – is central to a functioning democracy.
ii) It is a core role of libraries, librarians and other library staff to promote intellectual freedom on behalf of their users, to empower users to enact their information rights and to oppose censorship in all its forms – both tacit and explicit.
iii) School librarians and library staff are responsible for promoting and preserving intellectual freedom by working with school leadership and teaching colleagues to support children and young people in their development as informed and responsible citizens.
We affirm the principles set out in the AASL School Library Bill of Rights. Based on this, we assert that it is the responsibility of the school librarian or library staff to:
iv) Provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of individual learners;
v) Provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards;
vi) Provide a range of information resources which will enable pupils to make informed judgments in their daily life;
vii) Provide materials that illustrate and illuminate different views on controversial issues so that learners may develop under guidance the practice of critical reading and thinking;
viii) Provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups in our society and their contribution to our national heritage and identity;
ix) Place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the library;
x) Actively oppose censorship for any purpose other than material that is proscribed by law, which risks the incitement of illegal acts or which constitutes ‘hate speech’ as defined by the Public Order Act 1986, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.
We recognise the significant challenges faced by school librarians in embedding these beliefs into their practice and will be working to provide further support in the coming months.
Jointly signed by Nick Poole, Caroline Roche and Alison Tarrant
Join CILIP on 4th May at 12:30 for a new module in the Data Driven Librarianship course powered by Nielsen BookData, recognised by CILIP. In the Research Module Update, Nielsen BookData will provide a full year review of the UK book market’s 2021 performance, including a look at their library loans data and further insights from LibScan. Register now for free: https://www.cilip.org.uk/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1623059&group=
Librarians, discover how you can harness the power of data to understand your users and inform your decision making on buying and stock selection in this 3-part series run by the experts at Nielsen and recognised by CILIP. Session recordings as well as further reading materials, resources and exercises from our friends at Nielsen are available here so you can complete the series and earn a CILIP-recognised Certificate of Completion: www.cilip.org.uk/datadrivenlibrarianship
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.firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Our Key Issues series has reached its tenth edition focusing on Diversity and Inclusion in the School Library. Written by Barbara Band, an independent consultant and training, it features useful advice for anyone wishing to make sure that their school library reflects the needs of the whole school community.
Key Issues are little booklets are designed to be taster introductions to some of the important subjects you need to know as Library and Information Professionals. Written by members of the SLG Committee, they all give a short introduction to the subject, and further links if you want to know more.
All ten booklets are free to download from SLG Connect.
A reminder that our AGM takes place online on Saturday morning, February 19 at 9.00 am.
This will be followed by our first webinar of 2022, which is a free CPD event to support anyone working on their Chartership submissions. Learn from experienced mentors Barbara Band and Sarah Pavey, and expand your knowledge of another sector as we welcome the Metadata & Discovery Group (MDG) to discuss cataloguing and classification.
AGM – 9.00-9.30am
Session 1 – 9.30-10.30am The new PKSB and what it means for school libarians with Barbara Band (45 mins and questions)
Break – 10.30-10.45 (15 mins)
Session 2 – 10.45-11.45am Reflective writing for your Chartership portfolio with Sarah Pavey
Break – 11.45-12.00 (15 mins)
Session 3 – 12.00-1.00pm Cataloguing and Classification with the Metadata & Discovery Group (MDG)
School Libraries Group organised a hugely educational and insightful webinar on 25 October 2021 called Pimp Your Library. The morning was opened by welcoming speaker Kevin Hennah to talk to us about Maintaining Relevant School Libraries.
Kevin Hennah has over 20 years of Library/Retail experience to coach businesses to increase sales and customer numbers through merchandising strategy, innovative use of space and sales. Challenging traditional ideas, Kevin has carried out approximately 2000 onsite consultations at libraries internationally and helped many achieve a significant increase in loans by creating what he refers to as the ‘post-Internet library’ – a level playing ground between print and online resources.
Kevin’s opening slide read “Change is inevitable, however maintaining relevance is your choice” and he went on to introduce some very interesting ideas including:
Genrification, showcasing a few libraries.
Inspired Library Layout and Seating.
Low-budget Library Makeovers
Genrification in simple terms can be described by keeping collections together and not being too strict about Dewey. It involves grouping a collection of stand-alone fiction/non-fiction collections curated to our library needs and driven by curriculum. He taught us about creating cleverly merchandisable shelving spaces and the importance of weeding our stock to relevance. Shelves can be portable and can be broken up to create a flexible learning space e.g. Arts and Expression can be further divided into subject headers like Design, Woodcraft, etc. You can used interesting sign labels like Jaws, Paws, Claws instead of Animals for factual books and one can use signs with graphics in the fiction lounge e.g. a sign for Horror, Fantasy, Mystery, Classics and so on and Kevin shared ideas on how to create 3-dimensional signage. He showed us how little things can make such a difference like My Story, Do you Dare, Funny Faves, which can be used within fiction. Eye-catching signage should be used at external entrance of library.
Kevin emphasised that the use of laminated paper card signs was outdated and not environmentally friendly and should be replaced with up-to-date trends like putting the product at the end of aisles, using series holders made out of clear perspex to show covers, use of more front facing covers for retail visual merchandising which can be fused with retro library furniture. He gave us ideas of decorating windows with cut outs and the possiblility of marketing the room as a difference space e.g calling it The Cube.
As Kevin says: ‘The foundation of keeping any business relevant is identifying and nurturing a Point Of Difference’
A healthy print collection is without doubt a unique point of difference for libraries – but we cannot do what we have always done and expect to maintain stats. It’s critical that we develop innovative visual merchandising strategies for the physical collection – and that means at least ‘massaging’ Dewey!
If you want to modernise a school library, I would thoroughly recommend looking at some of Kevin’s suggestions and attending a workshop to maintain relevance. His twitter handle is @Kevin_Hennah.
Following Kevin’s interesting seminar, we had a very moving account of how Sue Bussey, who is part of the School Libraries Group Committee, started her own library from scratch and how she developed the entire space to grow into a successful buzzing library at Derby High School. Over 25 years ago, Sue had the immensely hard task of designing an empty room, stocking it and staying relevant over the years to turn the school library into an effective LRC. Sue explained the challenges of dealing with contractors, SLT, external planners and how the students all became a part of the wonderful library it is today. Sue has a wealth of professional experience within schools and remains a very active contributor to Great School Libraries Campaign.
Next, there was an introduction to a library management system run by PSP, called Infinity Library Management System. This is a cloud-based system allowing access to resources whilst on the move. The system can be tailored to each school’s branding and Nick Hunt mentioned the use of LibPaths, a personal record of your search journeys.
Another provider of LMS called Libresoft demonstrated their cataloguing system. Andrew Woods said their company had over 1000 schools subscribing and the demo he gave of the system was interesting.
Following the commercial companies, we were treated to a personal experience of a library rescue by Charlotte Cole. Charlotte is a new member of the School Libraries Group and works as a library coordinator in a large secondary school. Her school library was flooded with a burst of overhead pipes during the summer and the library had to be evacuated with all the stock removed and housed in a separate area. Charlotte has had first-hand experience of rescuing all the resources and is now trying to get the library back to normal by distributing the book trays to classes for the new school pupils to get some access to library books. The role of a librarian is the custodian of the resources and Charlotte has tried her best to mitigate the loss and damage to her library.
The webinar continued with a company showcasing E-books and audio books platform called Wheelers. E-platform helps you build an inspiring digital library. Wheelers product provides access to both school and public libraries you belong to. One can download the app and students can read on their mobiles and other devices, a particularly useful tool when the libraries were not accessible during the pandemic. Digital and audio books are a great accompaniment to your existing library collection and are useful for readers who have dyslexia, sight problems, and students who enjoy audio books.
An entertaining and informative recorded session on Effective Displays from Pauline Carr followed, so many eyeopening , easy to do but wow display ideas , I think most delegates were scribbling notes madly all through it!
The next supplier to showcase their products was a design company specialising in library design and furniture called FG Design Ltd. They are a leading manufacturer and supplier of library shelving and furniture. Julian Glover is their design consultant and viewers got to see their recent projects showing bespoke library designs in various settings.
One of the most useful takeaway’s from this webinar for me personally was a presentation by Barbara Band on how to Pimp Your Library on a Budget. Barbara is actively involved with the library profession and is a library and literacy consultant amongst many other accolades she holds. For libraries run on a shoestring budget, Barbara told us there are various free resources available from Carel Press, SLA, GSL, Booklife, Canva, etc. She emphasised the importance of following school librarians on twitter, authors, teachers, educationalists, and publishers to pick up hints and tips about free supplies. Some active tweeters Barbara recommend you follow are @lucasjmaxwell, @tompalmerauthor, ,@OpenUni_rfp and publishers like Hatchette, Macmillan Childrens’, etc.
Display ideas can be gleaned from Pinterest, the Holocaust Memorial Day website, and linking up to the whole school curriculum and themes. Grants can be obtained from various organisations like The Siobhan Dowd Trust, Foyles Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, local supermarkets, etc. It can be useful to browse charity shops for books, create or share wishlists with PTA/Staff/Parents, ask for donations, browse FB Marketplace, Little Free Libraries and take advantage of other sources of CPD like Open University courses. Barbara summarised her presentation by reassuring librarians that there are plenty of freebies to be gained from the right networking and researching the GSL website and School Libraries Group under CILIP.
Finally, in the last session of the webinar the audience was treated to poetry readings from Joseph Coehlo, Rachel Rooney, Adisa and Laura Mucha. These four amazing poets entertained and moved us with thoughtful and beautiful readings from their poems. What a wonderful end to a very educational, inspirational, and thought-provoking webinar! Thank you to the organizers and contributors!