Tag Archives: training

SLG Conference 2021 – Behind the Scenes, Charlotte Cole

This year was the first SLG virtual conference. After being postponed twice due to the pandemic, the decision was made for the conference to go ahead virtually, rather than postponing for a third time. As a newly joined committee member, I was excited to see what was involved in organising a conference. I had only been to one conference previously and that was also virtual due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The planning for the conference had been well under way before I had joined the committee, but I was involved in discussions from my first meeting. My initial thoughts when discussing the programme was of sheer amazement at just how much was going to be packed in to the three days and the diversity of the sessions that would be on offer. I was so impressed to see that there was something that would be useful for all librarians, whether they had been in the job for years or if they were completely new to the role. 

The conference was organised by the conference planning group which was headed by committee member Annie Everall, but it was something that the whole of the committee was involved in. As the date of the conference loomed closer, we were all given jobs and Annie held a meeting so that everyone was aware of what to expect over the weekend. I was given the task of hosting a session on Promoting reading in schools, with Matt Evans, Zoe Rowley and Mary Rose Grieve. I was really nervous about hosting this session as it isn’t something that I had done before, but I was also mindful of all of the hard work the committee had put in and I didn’t want to undo it all with an inadequate session. Annie was fantastic at giving me advice on the types of questions that I could ask and best practice on how to be prepared for the session. I took her advice on board making sure that I had typed my questions up before hand, printing them in large font making them easy for me to read without making it obvious to those watching.

A couple of days before the conference, a WhatsApp group was set up for the committee so that we could communicate with each other during the conference. This turned out to be such a valuable tool and a wonderful way to be able to share the highs and the lows of the weekend, as well as be able to send messages for help when the odd technical issue or last-minute panic occurred, without making an announcement on screen.

The conference tied in with 40 years of SLG and there were some fantastic sessions to mark the mile-stone birthday. .

Unfortunately, I was at work on the Friday and so could only dial in to the odd session here and there. SLG chair Caroline Roche opened proceedings welcoming everyone and introducing our first keynote speaker, Cressida Cowell. Cressida was so lively and full of enthusiasm for children’s reading and why it is so important to instil a love of reading at an early age. She also talked about her legacy project where she has asked government to invest £100m yearly in primary school libraries. It was very clear from this session to see exactly why Cressida is the children’s laureate. 

The evening session on the Friday was a wonderful event, hosted by the very excitable and funny SLG ambassador Philip Ardagh. During the evening various authors entertained us with singing and storytelling and it was a delight to be able to attend. At the end of the evening, we were played a song which Jo Cotterill, John Doughtery and Steve Cole had written especially for the evening about SLG. The song was fabulous and was a real ear worm. I found myself singing it well after the weekend was over. The tag line was SLG – Still Looking Good, which I think of every time I see the SLG acronym. (As I write this blog post almost three months later, my son has just peeked over my shoulder and gave me a rendition of the chorus!) – Look out for our launch of this fabulous video at the start of Libraries Week next month 😊

Saturday was another action-packed day full of publisher highlights, author slots and ideas of how to engage readers in the library. One of the seminars I attended was about Newsguard, an add on for search engines which rates the authenticity of websites. The idea is for students to be able to identify fake websites as it isn’t always obvious. Newsguard is available for free for school libraries, and I was sure to make the IT coordinator aware of this on my return to work.

Saturday afternoon was the time for me to host the seminar. As mentioned above, I was lucky to have such a great panel and I knew they would be able to answer the questions which I had emailed to them before the day. My biggest worry was that I would fumble and trip over my words and would let down the team or run out of things to say and to be faced with complete silence. After all the hard work and dedication that had been put in by the whole committee, this was something I was desperate to avoid. As Annie had advised, I had everything prepared in advance and when the breakout room was open, all eyes were on me to get the session going. I had performed in a number of ballet shows in my youth and I remembered the advice that my dance teacher had given me. Whatever happens, just keep smiling and chances are the only person that will be able to tell if you’ve made a mistake is you! So, with a big smile on my face, I thanked everyone for attending, introduced the panel and the session was underway. With only 1 small technical hitch which was resolved almost instantly, the time just flew by and there wasn’t enough time to ask all of the prepared questions. The session was a success. 

With the relief that the seminar was behind me, I looked forward to the evening session which was hosted by Nosy Crow publishers, as part of their ten-year birthday celebrations. This was another fantastic evening and as the conference was online, I was able to share it with my children. They particularly enjoyed helping Pamela Butchart to think of characters and events to create a very original and funny story. Nosy Crow also kindly sent out a goody bag to all delegates which had a copy of The Secret Detectives by Ella Risbriger, a 10th birthday postcard and a number 10 iced biscuit. 

Sunday was the third and final day of the conference. It began with a very interesting talk delivered by Dr Margaret Mega from Australia on School Librarians as Literacy Leaders. Dr Merga spoke about how librarians can demonstrate their value to colleagues and stakeholders, how they can support reading for pleasure and information and how to help shape a positive future for the children in their schools. Dr Merga has published a number of papers on school libraries,  some of them are available to read for free here researchgate.net/profile/Margaret-Merga-2.

For the seminar choice on Sunday, I chose to watch effective displays by Pauline Carr from the Alternative Display Company. Being new(ish) to the role in the library and not particularly creative, displays are something that I find a little daunting. I was really interested to see what I could learn from this session, especially as it was advertised as creative displays on a shoestring. Pauline and her husband were absolutely fantastic to watch, and making brilliant displays from everyday materials such as bin bags, brochures and bookmarks. Despite the duo being concerned about their technical know-how in providing their demo via zoom, the seminar was a triumph and one of the most popular choices to being re-visited by delegates.

The final session to close the conference was with the amazing Jason Reynolds, Chris Priestly and Danica Novgoradoff, discussing their partnership in Long Way Down, the 2019 Carnegie nominated book written by Jason. There was quite some debate beforehand on who would be the one to welcome Jason into the conference, but as Annie was the conference organiser the honour was quite rightly given to her. It was wonderful to listen to Jason talk so eloquently about his book and commenting that we need to make sure that we look after our boys, as the protagonist in the book needs someone to guide him through a very difficult time. It was interesting to hear the different approaches from Chris and Danica and how they worked with Jason. A very happy end to three brilliant yet tiring days. 

Student Library Assistant Training Day 12.12.19

This very popular training day is running again at The Elmgreen School in London. Why not take along your pupil library assistants for a day of learning and fun. For full details download the flyer below.

Once you’ve trained up your assistants don’t forget to nominate them for the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award!

AGM and Training Day, The Power Of Us: The Many Roles of School Librarians

CILIP School Libraries Group will be holding a training day and AGM on Friday 18th October at CILIP HQ in London.

Programme outline:

09.15   Coffee and Registration

09.45   Welcome and Housekeeping – Caroline Roche, Chair SLG

09.50   Librarians and Great School Libraries

  • Caroline Roche #GSL campaign
  • Ros Harding, Kings School Chester & School Librarian of the Year 2019

10.20   Librarians as Reading Promoters

  • Lucas Maxwell, Glenthorne School London

10.50   Coffee break

11.20   SLG AGM plus CILIP update from Jo Cornish, Head of Sector Development, CILIP

12.00   Librarians as Teachers and Information Skills Developers

  • Elizabeth Hutchinson, Independent Trainer and Adviser for School Libraries 

12.30   Meet Macmillan Children’s Books Author Hilary Mckay

             Hilary will be talking about her writing and her Costa Award winning novel The Skylarks War

13.00   Lunch and Book Signing

14.00   Librarians as Creators and Developers

  • Rhiannon Salvin Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award winner 2019, Firth Park Academy, Sheffield
  • Alison Edwards, School Librarian, Firth Park Academy

14.30   Librarians as Authors: Meet the Harper Collins Children’s Author and ex school librarian Anna James

             Anna, will be talking about her Pages and Co books and the new title Tilly and the Lost Fairy Tales

15.00   Tea and Book Signing

15.30   Librarians Reaching Out Across the World

  • Darryl Toerien, Head of Library and Archives, Oakham School
  • Annie Everall, Director Authors Aloud UK

16.00   Summary of the Day – Caroline Roche

16.15   Close of Day

Macmillan Children’s Books and Harper Collins Children’s Books will have a display of their new books for delegates to look at.

All delegates will receive a goodie bag of proofs and publicity materials.

A bookshop will be provided by Rosemary Hill Books

Booking Information

Bookings now have to be made directly though the CILIP YM system

To book a place, please follow the link:    https://www.cilip.org.uk/events/register.aspx?id=1258474

Costs:  CILIP Members £50 + VAT, Non Members £65 + VAT

Closing date for bookings: Friday 11th October

For enquiries please contact:

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

 

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

 

 

Essential Training

Educational Attainment and School Libraries

Is your library at the Heart of the School?

Date & Time:
Friday, 14 November 2014 – 10:00am to 4:00pm

Inspired by the recent CILIP report of the same name, this training day will explore the answers to key questions:
– Does your library service meet school priorities?
– Is it responsive to user needs?
– Are all your users aware of the services you offer?
– How can you ensure your service provides value for money and
supports school objectives?

The course will explore how you can make an impact within your organisation and promote your service to school stakeholders. Through practical examples and the application of case studies, delegates will discover how to ensure that the impact of their service on teaching and learning attainment is both visible and strategically aligned with school priorities.

Programme

An interactive programme will facilitate learning through a series of lectures, discussions and exercises. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with professionals from different schools and libraries where fresh perspectives may be revealed and reviewed.

Participants will:
– Explore practical ways to raise the visibility and educational impact of their service.
– Reflect on the features of an outstanding school library.
– Consider the strengths and weaknesses of their own service.
– Understand the benefits of social media and how to apply them in a school environment to positively impact pupil development both inside and outside the library.
– Learn how social media and blogs can be used to effectively brand the school library and improve communication with parents, students and staff and raise awareness of the library.

Speakers

Dawn Finch

Dawn Finch is a literacy and reader development consultant and vice-chair of the London & South East School Libraries Group. With 25 years of experience in both school and public libraries, Dawn’s career in training and library development includes working for the UK’s top training companies. She has done extensive research on the implications of the National Curriculum and the Framework for Literacy on library services, has worked with many schools in establishing and managing an effective school library and is active in reading and literacy campaigns. Dawn’s portfolio also includes delivering creative writing workshops to children. A published author, Dawn is a member of both the Society of Authors and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Address:
CILIP HQ

7 Ridgmount Street

WC1E 7AE London, LND

United Kingdom

Contact Details

Amanda Berrisford
020 7307 8700

Booking Information

Event Cost:
CILIP Members: £96 (£80 +VAT)
Non-Members: £115.20 (96+VAT)

Library and Information Sector Subject Tags

Event Format

– See more at: http://www.cilip.org.uk/events/educational-attainment-and-school-libraries#sthash.M0Gu5dGZ.dpuf