Tag Archives: school libraries

#ReadWithPride

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 oconnork@dulwich.org.uk.

From Helen, Kate, Alice and Katie.

Censorship and Intellectual Freedom in School Libraries

Interim Joint Position Statement

May 2022

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

Find out more about CILIP’s project to develop a new policy and supporting guidance on intellectual freedom for librarians, library workers and information professionals in all sectors.

Key Issues No. 10 – Diversity & Inclusion

Making diversity visible within the school library raises the profile of these students
and sends a message to the whole school community. Reading about diverse
characters increases empathy and understanding., and can be a starting point for
further conversations.

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.

SLG Chartership Training Day and AGM

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.

Timetable

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)

Plenary/summation – 1.00-1.15pm

Book now https://www.cilip.org.uk/events/register.aspx?id=1582786

Book Review – The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

When the vampires, or the soul-eating ghosts or the emissaries from the Domain of Light come to Earth, they go after the Indie Kids. Romantic, free-spirited loners with their own whimsical style and distinctive names, the Indie Kids listen to music that isn’t popular anymore, write poetry about their feelings and move through the crowd of faceless, boring normal people with the confidence that comes from knowing that they have a Destiny that sets them apart and makes them special. Mikey and his friends are not those kids.

This ninth offering from two-time Carnegie Winner Patrick Ness isn’t just an engaging coming-of-age story and a sharp parody of Young Adult Paranormal Romance, it’s a book with a mission – to dismantle the toxic and harmful myth of the Chosen One and the Magical Loner still enormously popular in YA fiction. What one might otherwise expect to be the main plot – in which thoroughly unique and special indie kid Satchel falls in love with the achingly handsome Prince of the Immortals and battles to exile his people back to their own dimension – is relegated entirely to brief chapter-headings which gleefully, and savagely, mock the pompous style of Twilight, Mortal Instruments and their less famous kin, with the main body of the text exploring Mikey and his friends’ much more mundane struggles. Though markedly different in content, in theme it could be seen as a Young Adult companion to China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun, which does a similar thing for Narnia-style escapist fantasy.

Part of how Ness achieves his goal is through unflinching often brutal honesty – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s Disease and eating disorders are all stripped of the comforting lies and obfuscations they’re usually dressed up in, and Mikey’s experiments with his own sexuality are rendered in a matter-of-fact, unsensational tone which neither belittles nor objectifies them. Mikey himself – the attractive, broadly popular son of a Republican senator – is the last person who would ever be the star of one of these books, and his friends are likewise far too “normal” and vanilla for the indie kids to pay attention to, but by focussing on the details of their lives, Ness shows us that they are every bit as tragic, brave and interesting as the kid with the silly name who spends all day writing poetry. As well as deconstructing the Chosen One mythology, The Rest Of Us… is also a deft reflection on family, self-worth and the process by which teenagers give up enough of themselves to be adults.

Teenagers are a demanding audience, and of course none of this would mean anything if the story and characters weren’t strong enough – but Ness has never had problems in this area, and he isn’t starting now. Even if one chooses to ignore the subtext, The Rest Of Us… is still a skilfully handled, wise and entirely human coming-of-age story, and the Twilight-parody is sharply observed and often genuinely funny. Beyond that, however, it feels important – a bold, confident strike at one of the most dangerous lies we still tell teenagers, that your problems are more real, more interesting, more special than those of “normal” people, and that being important is some kind of reward for the struggles you’ve faced. Everyone’s special, Ness reminds us – which means that no-one is.

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!

The Beating Heart of the School – a London & SE SLG course

heart image copyright free

On Friday 14th November 2014, SLG London and South East committee hosted a training course to attempt to deal with some of the issues facing school librarians. This event was inspired by issues raised in the APPG document published in May 2014; The Beating Heart of the School. This is a summary of the key elements of the course.

Post written by Dawn Finch

The Beating Heart document has highlighted both the need for a professional librarian in schools, and the need of schools to have a more enlightened view of what exactly a school librarian does. Sadly it seems from their findings that in schools there is still a very archaic view of the abilities of school librarians, and this can hinder how much they are able to be part of the higher level or management structure of the school. Ultimately this can have a directly negative effect on pupil progress, and is essentially a misuse of valuable resources.

In the course we discussed how a successful and ‘outstanding’ school library is such an integral part of the school that its influence reaches far beyond its walls. It simply is not possible to be a “Beating Heart” if the pump does not have the strength to reach every limb! So how do we break out beyond our walls? We have all done every event and reading initiative we can think of, and taken part in every scheme and promotion we can – but most of us are still finding it hard to keep a high profile, and to increase the number of our loyal users.

One of the most successful strategies for creating extended loyalty for the school library is to engage in certain branding activities; make a logo, create a theme, decide what image you want to represent for your library and be persistent and consistent with your promotion of the library. Our aim should be that as soon as anyone sees our logo, they should have an instant understanding of what we represent, and of what a library can do for them. Branding is recognition in a heartbeat, and recognition creates loyalty. What we are looking to do is create a feeling, an emotion, and ultimately loyalty.

On the day we also looked at the issues surrounding digital literacy. The days of ICT skills in schools has passed, and school librarians are now at the front-line of the teaching of digital literacy. We live in a world of cyber-crime and cyber-bullying and our children’s best defence of this is knowledge and understanding. We cannot expect our children to protect themselves online, or to behave well, if we do not model good behaviour in schools. To this end we need to be using social media and blogging just as they do, but to use it to show young people how it should be done.

There are many arguments against the use of social media in schools but, as Ofsted are increasingly saying, it will soon not be possible for schools to achieve an outstanding rating if they fall behind in digital literacy. The fact remains that some of the finest resources available for researchers are now in blog form. To deny use of blogs and blogging in schools is to deny access to some of the most accurate first-hand resources available. This denial will also act as a kind of exclusion policy exposing the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in the classroom.  If we do not allow our pupils access to blogs for information and research, we are simply encouraging unreliable wiki-research and creating a two-tier system of work.

As an example, let’s look at the landing of Philae on Comet 67P. Pupils researching this historic event can read Wikipedia, or newspaper reports, but how much better is it to access the blog of the European Space Agency and subscribe to their updates?

How about if your pupils are studying fashion? During London Fashion Week they might be able to find a newspaper report about the week, or even some smaller articles on the official site. How much better would it be to follow the accredited blog of a young designer as they go through the process for the first time?

Then we should take into account the fabulous resources that we have at our fingertips to protect our own service. How would we have access to articles like this one by Phillip Ardagh about the importance of libraries if we did not access blogs? We are not even touching on the importance of Twitter and other social media as a vital communication tool, but needless to say it is all part of the same move towards a digitally literate society.

The issue of cyber-bulling and trolling is at the top of many schools’ agendas, and is often an excuse used to prevent access to social media sites. This can lead to failings in how children perceive social-media, and failings in how schools deal with cyber-bullying issues. The children that I have supported through these issues still complain that school doesn’t “believe it’s real.” Pupils often complain that adults (including teachers) still insist that the hurt felt from online insults and persecution is not real. They are often still told that they should “get over it” or “forget it” or “ignore it.”  It is very real, and the key to preventing it is to first accept the reality of it. The “sticks and stones” line is dated and insulting. If you hit me with a stick, I’ll heal. If you cut me down with savage words I may carry those scars for the rest of my life. Embracing the hurt is the first step to preventing it from happening, and the first step towards stopping your pupils from behaving in this way themselves. The next step is using social media in lessons and as an educational tool.

We, as school librarians, have a duty to provide what our pupils need, and that is information in any form and format. We should do this by using social media in both our communication methods, and in our service to our young learners. By staying at the cutting edge, and using every tool at our disposal, we will future-proof our service whilst providing what our pupils need to fully progress as both informed learners, and socially well-adjusted adults.

Course delivered by Dawn Finch

Literacy and school library consultant, writer of children’s fiction and non-fiction books.

www.dawnfinch.com

Footnote; we will be revisiting elements of this course in much greater details, including supporting EPQs, in our April LibMeet as well as our Summer 2015 training courses. Follow this blog for more information. If you are a CILIP member you can log in and see our events posted here.

All of our events are open to both CILIP members and non-members, but if you are a member the cost of events will be lower.



Documents referred to on this training course can be downloaded by using the links below;

The Beating Heart of the School – APPG report on school librarieshttp://www.cilip.org.uk/cilip/advocacy-campaigns-awards/advocacy-campaigns/libraries-all-party-parliamentary-group/beating

Moving English Forward – Ofsted

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/moving-english-forward

National Curriculum for English (2014/2015)  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study

 

 

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

Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award

This new Award is to recognise the contribution made by pupils who work in their school libraries, to acknowledge the skills gained and to give them the recognition they deserve, both within and outside their school community.

Nominations can be made by the School Librarian, by emailing the nomination to president@cilip.org.uk by 31 October 2014.

A shortlist of candidates will be drawn up by the Judging Panel and announced during the first week of the school term in January. Shortlisted pupils will be asked to submit a portfolio of evidence by 13th February 2015 and the shortlisted nominees will be invited to an Awards Ceremony, to be held on Thursday 12th March at a London venue.

The winner of the Award will receive:

£100 worth of books
£100 worth of books for their school library
Glass book trophy x 2 for the winner and for their school librarian/library
A certificate

Shortlisted nominees will receive:

£50 worth of books
A certificate
For full information about the award and the nomination criteria, please download the guidelines below.

To submit a nomination, please use the link below to download the required paperwork.

School libraries
– See more at: http://www.cilip.org.uk/school-libraries-group/pupil-library-assistant-year-award#sthash.c60yvYdz.dpuf

The Ultimate Guide to Comics and Manga

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Choosing graphic novels, comics and manga for your school library can be a bit of a minefield. This event run by London and South East SLG will help you choose the right material for your pupils, and it’s a great opportunity to meet up with other school librarians, and explore the wonders of Forbidden Planet.

Date & Time:
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 – 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Visit to the Forbidden Planet shop

This free visit will give attendees an introduction to the manga, comic/graphic novel genre, and an opportunity to take advantage of the discounts available for libraries. Discounts of 10% will be available for purchases on the night, with free delivery!

All (members and non-members) are welcome to this free event.

No booking required: just meet at the shop.

Speakers – SLG committee members and staff from Forbidden Planet.
https://forbiddenplanet.com/
Address:
The Forbidden Planet
179 Shaftesbury Avenue
WC2H 8JR London , LND
United Kingdom
See map: Google Maps
Contact Details

Amanda Berrisford
amanda.berrisford@portland-place.co.uk
0207 307 8700
Library and Information Sector Subject Tags

School libraries
Event Format

Visit
– See more at: http://www.cilip.org.uk/school-libraries-group/events/ultimate-guide-comics-and-manga#sthash.tfR5VY4a.dpuf

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