All the World’s a Story: the CILIP School Libraries Group Conference 2018

All the World’s a Story, the SLG National Conference takes place at the Kents Park Conference and Training Centre in Milton Keynes from the 27th to the 29th April!

From a gorgeous opening evening giving you the chance to mingle and meet with colleagues from across the country while being entertained by stunning story-tellers to hearing authors talk about their craft, including Meg Rosoff, Robert Muchamore, Emily Thomas and others. Seminars about marketing your library, transforming lives through education, exploring history through learning and more!

There will be inspiring speakers including SLG Chair Caroline Roche, CILIP CEO Nick Poole, Miranda McKearney OBE founder of the Reading Agency and a whole raft of others; but don’t just take my word for it check out the SLG 2018 Conference Programme for full details!

Once your appetite for continued professional development and networking has been whetted, download the booking form and book your place today!

Booking opens at 9am today

Costs

Bursary

The SLG is offering a bursary to cover the cost of the weekend, excluding travel and Friday night accomodation.

Applicants will need to write an email detailing why they should be chosen by February 16th, this will still allow time for the EarlyBird booking should they be unsuccessful.

Those applying need to be members of SLG, for more details on how to apply or to submit your application please contact the chair of SLG at chair.slg@cilip.org.uk

The successful applicant will be asked to write an article about the conference for School Libraries in View and maybe also live-tweet during the conference itself.

Downloadable Forms

SLG 2018 Conference Programme

2018 SLG Conference Booking Form

Posted in School Libraries | 1 Comment

Older Teens Library Engagement

You may recall last Autumn a survey was disseminated, which many of you completed, about engaging older pupils in your Library. I was pleased to have such a high volume of respondents – 39 – during the October and November months. A plethora of interesting and helpful answers were accumulated due to this survey, and I’d like to share them with you here.

Firstly, as any good researcher must do, I must note the shortcomings in this survey. Those of you who completed the survey will recall questions which covered the number of resources borrowed by various ages/year groups in your libraries. I had to bin this question as I realised this question was deficient in a major way – I did not ask for the proportion of books borrowed to the number of pupils in the class. Therefore, I had some respondents detailing over 1000 books borrowed per month for year 7, and others commenting they only noted 20 per month. This seems like a significant difference, but with no knowledge of how many year 7 pupils were in each of these schools, the data is worthless.

Now to the data itself. Nearly all of the respondents classified themselves as school librarians, with the exception of one consultant. It was amusing to note the variation of job titles which this produced – some of which are especially creative and appropriate! To me, they suggest that a school librarian is far more than someone who circulates books (I especially like the ‘Reading Champion’ title).

Also interesting to note was the fact that respondents reported fiction and nonfiction print materials had, by far, the highest circulation levels. Despite the conspiracy theories that e-books were going to replace print books which began less than a decade ago – evidence suggests this will not come to pass!

Finally, the main point of this survey was to address widespread difficulties with engaging older pupils, particularly as they enter into the exam years. I had mixed feelings in realising most of the respondents share my problem – finding it is especially difficult to convince them to continue reading for pleasure when they get to this stage. On one hand, I’m glad I’m not alone; on the other, I was hoping someone might provide a magical solution I hadn’t yet encountered!

Despite the fact that most respondents empathise with my issue, a plethora of excellent suggestions were offered. These suggestions for greater engagement tended to fall into three categories:

  • Engaging older pupils by providing a space in which they can do revision and ask questions
  • Supporting pupils in their exams and university endeavours with resources which supplement their aspirations (which can certainly count as reading-for-pleasure in my book. As a doctoral student, I often justify my own personal ‘reading-for-pleasure by finding non-academic books in my subject (sometimes fiction!) which will enhance my knowledge, but aren’t supplementary to my ‘curriculum’ so-to-speak.
  • By providing reprieve from exam and university preparation by offering events and activities which offer a brief distraction.
  •  
    Please find below the data for this survey, and thank you greatly for all of you who participated in this survey! If any of you have any ‘magical solutions’ to this issue, please do drop us a comment at the bottom of this post.

    What events/initiatives have you found particularly helpful in engaging older teens with your Library?

  • EPQ sessions/ assistance offered by the Librarian to find useful resources
  • Emailing /creating displays of relevant non-fiction to their curriculum and exam subjects
  • Tutors and Senior Management who support reading-for-pleasure
  • Offering the only shared space at lunchtime which can be used for pupils to talk about books with friends
  • Holding non-library related events, clubs, etc – in the library
  • Fewer rules
  • Activities and lessons which take place in the Library based on revision (homework, classes in the Library, etc.)
  • N/A – no initiatives since their focus is exams
  • School Library Inductions
  • Library research skills sessions – plagiarism, referencing, etc
  • Teachers bring classes into the Library
  • Working with teachers to create and disseminate useful reading lists
  • Older students working with younger students to promote reading-for-pleasure (will encourage their own reading)
  • Teachers consulting with the Librarian to acquire books which can be recommended as supplemental reading (or homework) for pupils in his/her class.
  • Holding high stock of books about current issues and displaying them
  • Authors/guest speaker visits
  • The only reason exam years engage in the Library is when the English department encourage it.
  • GCSE and Sixth Form reading lists
  • Holding a silent policy to ensure a calm and relaxing space to study
  • Promote must-read non-fiction to year 12 pupils a month before they start university applications.
  • Holding a considerable stock of the books which are on the Oxford and Cambridge lists
  • Hosting special events – ‘Harry Potter Night’, etc…
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    How do you measure the success of these events/initiatives?

  • Qualitative data – making note of interactions with individual pupils, compliments received from staff on initiatives, etc.
  • Borrowing statistics
  • Surveys/questionnaires
  • Footfall data
  • Improvement in grades from habitual readers
  •  
    Additional Comments:
     
    The most frequent comment notes the significant reading drop off after year 9 and 10 as a considerable problem. It is difficult to tackle, but easier to engage them on even a minimal level when the support of teaching staff and management is present.

    Posted in School Libraries | Leave a comment

    The dangers of reading Fiction

    fictionimage.jpg

    Blog post by Angela Platt, Librarian, Ibstock Place School

    The term ‘reading for pleasure’ most widely refers to voluntary reading conducted independently.  According to the National Literacy Trust, it is summed as “reading that we do of our own free will, anticipating the satisfaction that we will get from the act of reading. It also refers to reading that, having begun at someone else’s request, we continue because we are interested in it”. Reading in this category most frequently refers to novels and stories which encourage empathy, creativity and vocabulary. It should be noted that reading for pleasure should not omit voluntary, independent reading of non-fiction, which can improve skills and instruct readers on subjects in which they are specifically interested outside of the classroom setting. However, as mentioned, this is most typically associated with the reading of fiction.

    The early dangers of reading-for-pleasure

    Although there are swathes of information regarding the benefits of reading fiction in our current day-and-age, especially via public and school libraries, this was not always the case! Indeed, when the novel took off in the late 18th – early 19th century, it was abhorred considerably by numerous members of the public. This was especially the case amongst proponents of evangelicalism, which was widespread in this era. They themselves did publish their own novels, but these were offered as a moral alternative to secular fiction – a religious counterpart which offered tangible moral imperatives interwoven within their text. This included works such as Hannah More’s Coelebs, a story about a young man who seeks a devout Christian wife after the death of his father.

    Opposition to this type of secular leisurely entertainment was not unusual; indeed, Puritans in the 17th century had condemned theatre-going amongst their congregations, due to their beliefs in its invitation to and promotion of immoral behavior. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, novel reading was also opposed on moral grounds. Said one contributor to the Dundee Evening Telegraph in the late Victorian age:

    “In the days of my youth, fiction was regarded a very dangerous reading, especially for young people. The novel and the theatre were placed on the same level. Both were of the devil, and consequently both were to be shunned.”

    It was believed that novels promoted immoral behaviour. They portrayed immoral behavior in an attractive light, and caused readers to fall prey to their repugnant grip. Furthermore, novels tended to portray unrealistic versions of life, which could at the very least leave readers feeling discontented with their current lot in life. In 1864 a Dundee newspaper published a comment from the Archbishop of York which demonstrates the widespread disgust with this ‘vice’:

    “[Novel reading] cascades people into useless outcomes, obsesses them with unnecessary passions, while providing a distorted view of life”

    Additionally, novel reading was also believed to be frivolous and time-wasting. It was believed that women especially tended to fall prey to its clutches, and this resulted in the neglect of their domestic responsibilities. Numerous stories of domestic despair can be found which allude to a root cause of ‘novel reading.’ (some of which can be found here). Indeed, at a meeting in the Phoenix Lodge in the early 20th century a group of members decided that one of the greatest contributing causes to disruption and dissolution of families was ‘novel reading among women.’

    Novels, as demonstrated, were considered ‘dangerous’ by a significant amount of 18th and 19th century contemporaries, and these suspicions continued until well into the 20th century. While now novel reading is considered part and parcel of overall well-being, it was not so in its initial phase. What about today though, is novel reading still considered a ‘danger’ in some sects of society?

    Novel reading in our age

    One blog, in a tongue and cheek manner, lists a number of dangers which reading for pleasure can elicit. Here are four of the given reasons:

    1.      Books are filled with razor-sharp paper that can easily cut you.

    2.      Reading can fill your mind with dangerous ideas. At least, some governments and organisations think so.

    3.      Becoming engrossed in a book may distract you from feeding yourself, leading you to starve to death.

    4.      Reading books helps keep librarians employed, a secretive group that may or may not be trying to dominate the world…

    Although humorous, these claims do bear some remnants of truth. The third point recalls the fears in the 18th and 19th century that novels cause idleness. The most salient point, however, for ourselves may be the second point – which recalls to our minds instances where particular books have been censored or ‘banned’ from particular institutions or countries due to political and/or religious objections. Indeed ‘banned books’ have been a frequent cause for consternation in bookstores and libraries for decades; a number of publications which received this label can be found here.

    Banning books is a demonstrable effect of the belief that books, or at least some books can be considered dangerous. Undoubtedly, this is a trickle-effect of the beliefs held by our Georgian and Victorian ancestors. Indeed, there are two reasons for which reading novels, even contentious ones, can be dangerous in a beneficial way:

    1.      They inspire empathy

    2.      They challenge us to think differently.

    Reading for pleasure can indeed be ‘dangerous’ since it challenges us to consider new perspectives, perhaps even ones which we have not previously encountered. Given our diverse and global world, these can be especially helpful in developing a well-rounded character in social and professional environments. However, just for the sake of clarity,  I feel I should indicate what promoting ‘dangerous’ reading does not indicate:

    1.      It does not equal agreeing with everything you read.

    2.      It does not mean you must change your religion, political views, or ideologies to reach congruence with what you have read.

    What ‘dangerous’ reading does indicate is the possibility of greater understanding of diversity. In our day and age, this is a salient issue. In truth, we have so much information bogging us down that many people have begun to ultimately form opinions with emotions rather than weighing of evidence. This is not a political piece which argues for/against this trend – undoubtedly there is a place for both emotions and rationalism. However, if post-modernism has taught us anything in this ‘biased’ world we must concede that it is probably impossible to separate our emotions from our rationalism – and reading novels aids us in this. It allows us to understand how people in other cultures and communities view the world. It also allows us to understand why people within our own larger communities might approach the same problems and issues in a vastly different manner.

    Select bibliography and further reading:

    Clark, C. and Rumbold, K. (2006). Reading for Pleasure a research overview. [online] Available at: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk.

    Banned Books. Available at www.banned-books.org.uk

    The dangers of novel-reading. (2017). The Beeton Ideal. Available at: www.thebeetonideal.wordpress.com

    Dangers of Reading Books. (2011). Your Guide to Live. Available at: http://www.yourguidetolive.com/article.php?a=dangersofreading

    Mandal, A. (2015). Evangelical Fiction in Garside, P. and O’Brien, K. English and British Fiction 1750-1820. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 260.

    Pearson, J. (1999). Women’s Reading in Britain, 1750-1835: a dangerous recreation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 197.

    Posted in Reading for Pleasure, School Libraries | 1 Comment

    Are you going to CILIP Conference 2017?

    Are you going to be at the CILIP Conference in Manchester on 5-6th July?  There is still time to bag yourself a place!  CILIPSLG are going to have a stand there, and we will be available to answer any questions you have about school libraries.  Two experienced school librarian Committee members will be running the stand, Rosalind Buckland who works in a secondary school, and Lucy Chambers who is a primary school librarian – so we should be able to help whichever sector you work in.  In addition, I will be around from halfway through the first day if you have any burning questions to ask.  We shall have some of our Reading Packs to sell, including our latest Rainbow Reads and Being Me packs, both of which are proving to be very popular.

    The CILIP Conference – as opposed to school librarian conferences – offers many opportunities to network with other members of the wider profession, which is especially valuable if you are in the process of Chartering.  Chartership requires that you have a commitment to the wider profession outside of school libraries, and this is a good chance to be inspired by some of the talks and to put them into practice in a school library context.

    Looking at the programme for this year, I have picked out some workshops and seminars that I feel would be of especial interest to school librarians – ones which I intend to go to myself.

    Wednesday 5th July, morning:  Creative Hub workshop – Beyond the Summer Reading Challenge: using young volunteers to shape your year-round teenage offer.

    Wednesday 5th July, afternoon: Copyright workshop (always very interesting for school librarians) or Creative Hub: using the arts in libraries to benefit health and wellbeing.  I shall be hard pressed to choose between these two workshops!

    Thursday 6th July, morning: Impact and Evaluation Workshop  Always a hot topic in schools, our own Impact Evaluation course in May was packed out.   Or Your Career Workshop which is a must if you are chartering.

    Thursday 6th July, afternoon: Literacy and Learning seminar (which I shall be chairing), or Creative Hub: Digital Play: ways to enhance the library experience which is also fascinating.

    Of course there are also the Keynote Speakers, Dr Carla Hayden from the Library of Congress, Professor Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford (great for the ethical strand of your PKSB).  I know that I, along with many others, was profoundly impacted by the keynote speaker last year, Scott Bonner of Ferguson Library, who talked about the ethical dilemma of being open for everyone in the middle of the terrible race riots that raged around Ferguson.  I know that one of my mentees made a change in the way his library served his students in the light of what Scott Bonner had to say.

    I hope that I have whetted your appetite – it’s not too late to book!  And if you really can’t make it this year, then please follow these tweets and hashtags to get as much as you can from other people’s experience.

    SLG tweets as @CILIPSLG and our Bursary winner Caitlin McCulloch is @scaredycait

    CILIP tweets as @CILIPinfo and the hashtag this year is #CILIPConf17

    If you are there, please come and say hello! If you follow on Twitter, please retweet us.

    Caroline Roche, Chair CILIPSLG

     

     

     

     

    Posted in CILIP, Conference, CPD, Networking, School Libraries, Training and CPD | Leave a comment

    The Challenge of Implementing Change

    During my spare time in my school library, I was recently perusing various blogs, pinterest, twitter, etc – looking for any new ideas, best practice and developments in the field which I should know about. One such blog that piqued my interest on this occasion, was “Day in the Life” by Caroline Roche[1] a section attached to her blog which allows various school library professionals to ruminate about a day of work for them. It was intriguing for me to note the variety in the days of each of these individuals – some of them jam-packed with teaching and instruction, others dominated by organisational and admin activities; some described library assistants, helpers, and senior management providing all-day assistance, others iterating the challenges of being the sole librarian in their school.

    I have found this variety of experience to be the subject of many conversations which I have been privy to, both online and while attending CPD events with other school librarians. Over my meagre four years as a school librarian this has been on my mind a lot, especially recently as I just applied for Chartership. I can vividly recall in my first year in this position in 2013, attending a couple of CPD events -one run by HMC and the other by SLG. I remember that I felt overwhelmed and, somewhat, a failure by how much these other librarians were doing in comparison with what I was doing in my library.

    Just to elucidate – my school library was purpose built in 2011 (before my time) – a secondary school library attached to the senior school of an independent school. This small, but elegant, library comprises two floors, over 15,000 books, and shelves which were custom-made, reaching from the floor to just inches below ceiling (indeed- the former Bursar told me that when he ordered these custom-made shelves, he had a moment of panic when it occurred to him that they might not actually fit into the new library which was currently being built… they did, but only by inches!). This school library, fitted with open-seating hosting around 40 pupils, and 13 soft brown chairs for reading, was created to provide an aura of academic rigour and quiet reading. The only computers in this library include the one at the Librarian’s desk, and two iPads which allow pupils to peruse the library catalogue. Classes were not permitted to come into the Library, since there was no special set apart “area” designed for classes, and, indeed it was impractical to host them and try to maintain a silent atmosphere for the numerous Sixth Formers who utilise this space throughout the day. Silence was key, and this was (and still is) strictly enforced all day.

    When I compared this with my library colleagues in other schools, I felt that I was failing miserably. Other colleagues described having classes coming in nearly all day long, holding library lessons in the library, teaching literacy skills on a fortnightly basis, pupils coming into the library to play games and socialize about books, and -sometimes- even hosting fun activities in their libraries, such as scavenger hunts and role playing games. At my library, on the other hand, these things were strictly prohibited, an imperative set by management, which was stressed before I even took the job. The library was to maintain its aura as an academic and reading safe-haven – in silence – at all times. While this strict tone did discourage me in the beginning – especially when I compared myself with other librarians – I did come to terms with it. In fact, I even began to appreciate and empathise with this position. Furthermore, I found ways to institute various initiatives which allows things to change…bit by bit.

    A few years ago, if another school librarian had asked me how I felt about the punctilious system at my library, I would have hung my head and admitted it was unchangeable, and that I yearned for a library more like theirs. Now, however, I admit candidly that if I were “in charge” I might do things differently, but I find myself more able to defend and empathize with their position. I think this is in part from my Chartership work, which has compelled me to investigate the school aims and vision, and evaluate how my school library meets these. It also is, in part, from coming to realize a few things. I thought I would share these, as I am certain that I am not the only school librarian who has had this struggle!

    1. “They” have preconceptions too

    While we, as school librarians, come to the “table” so-to-speak with our preconceptions of how a school library should run, what should be prioritised, and what are the best practices – we need to understand that a school management team also comes with their own preconceptions, some of which they have understood to also be best practice, learned from their own CPD sessions, colleagues, and formal training. Indeed, I began to realize that the SMT’s ideas about how the library was run, stemmed largely from their whole-school vision.

    2. Understand their position

     I’m not saying in the first point that we give up if our views conflict- far from it. Instead, we need to learn first to understand and empathise with their position. Identify why they have operated the way they have in the past, and how they feel about it. What did they feel was successful and why. After all, as a school, (especially independent schools), they have the prerogative to decide what message they want to send and advertise as a school – and, indeed, through their school’s library.

    In my case, I began to understand that my school wanted to send a message emphasising academic excellence and the pre-eminence of the book in learning – both things I also hold dear! I, therefore, began to empathise with the various rules they wished to continue to implement in the library.

    3. Change takes time

     And this is the key…Change takes time. One thing I have learned above all else, is that even though I may have ideas which would be brilliant – changes which would be “life-altering” for my library… change often needs to be given piecemeal, not in huge helpings. This may not be the case for every librarian; some very privileged librarians may arrive in their school with a SMT who simply hands them the directive to “make the library great at whatever cost.” This is brilliant, wonderful, and a dream-worthy situation…but not the norm, I expect. Instead, we are likely to arrive in libraries, as the top two points indicate, which already have a system, preconceived notions, and a vision for their library service. If you come into this situation with ideas on how things can change, then definitely do bring them to the table; but first – gauge the atmosphere. Are they likely to be open to the change you wish to present? If not, is there a way you can bring in this change in smaller doses over time?

    I have found this to be pivotal to the change in my library which I am proud to have been able to effect. In my school library, I began to generate initiatives which respected the general rules of the library, but were still engaging, fun, and promoted enthusiasm for the library. I thought of ways which we could initiate small changes without causing disruption to the overall atmosphere – such as allowing classes to come in briefly to select books, holding competitions and events which could be completed without noise/chaos, giving briefings on information literacy held in classrooms/computer rooms adjacent to the Library – I also began a pupil committee who assisted me with choosing books, which met in the Library once per term.

    So please do not be discouraged if you find yourself unable to create your ideal library in a heart-beat. It takes time, patience, and understanding. Afterall, change is often a drizzle, not a hurricane.

    By Angela Platt, Librarian and Archivist

    1. ‘A Day in the Life’: http://heartoftheschool.edublogs.org/day-in-the-life-of/
    Posted in School Libraries | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

    Health Information Week – join in!

    Many organisations across different sectors are collaborating for Health Information Week (HIW) (3-9thJuly 2017). This campaign aims to improve accessibility of high quality health information for the public as well as building on local partnerships between information providers and improving health literacy.

    How can you get involved? You could put up a health information display in your school or find out what is happening locally – you could have a stand at a health event being organised near you or offer internet searching tutorials. Many more ideas are listed here and you can ask for local contacts. Please let sarah.greening@hee.nhs.uk know what you are planning so that your display or event can be added to the diary and promoted. You can also promote the HIW campaign to staff and students via newsletters and social media (#HIW2017)

    For more information and to access HIW resources:http://learning.wm.hee.nhs.uk/health-information or contact: sarah.greening@hee.nhs.uk

    The Twitter campaign has started and can be followed via #HIW2017; there is also a thunderclap which anyone is encouraged to support (it just means that an automated HIW tweet will be sent at once from every twitter account that signs up before 3rd July). Support the HIW thunderclap:thndr.me/n5h7SW

    It would be great to have some school libraries joining with this – as it is end of term and almost the summer holidays, perhaps some health information promotion about travel health, sun care and mental health resources like Mood Boosting books etc for reading over the holiday?

    Do consider joining in with this – contact your local NHS librarian for any leaflets that you may want for your own school display.

    Posted in Information, School Libraries | Leave a comment

    Eltham event – part two!

    SLG Regional Event.  Saturday 18th March 2017.  Held at Eltham College, London.

    Due to popular demand Eltham College was the impressive venue once again for one of the SLG Regional Events.  Having offered the same programme back in October and being highly oversubscribed, Caroline Roche, Librarian and Chair of the SLG, decided to organise a second chance to access the programme. She  offered a highly informative programme of speakers and topics where school librarians could meet and share good practice.

    Caroline opened the proceedings with the SLG News update as Chair.  Being one of the strongest advocates of not only schools having libraries but those libraries having a dedicated librarian, her passion for these issues was clear to all.  It soon became very apparent that the others in the room collectively felt the same way.

    The presentation ‘Using technology for teaching and learning’, also delivered by Caroline, was extremely well received. Many tools were showcased including Diigo, Animoto and MySimpleShow gave us the information and confidence to go and try these in our own setting. Whilst Caroline readily admitted some of the things she demonstrated were far from new, they still have a place within the sector to aid both staff and students.

    Our next speaker was Maggie Thomas, Librarian at Bacon’s College in South London.  Maggie spoke to us of her experience in ‘Rebuilding the library presence.’ This was a very personal story of how Maggie reorganised and rejuvenated her library space so the pupils and herself benefited enormously, however we could all identify with some aspects that we as school librarians face on a daily basis. Maggie now runs a highly successful library and is constantly evaluating the service she offers.

    Then came Murder by the Book’. Alex Gillespie of Box Clever Education demonstrated how we could all hold a murder in the library…hypothetically of course!  We entered the library to find the outline of a body and a series of clues laid out for us to solve the mystery. Well…….what a competitive lot we are!  Clues were gathered quickly and the red herrings were identified.  The big reveal was after lunch so we retired for some well-earned refreshments.

    During lunch there was time to catch up with colleagues we may not have seen for a while or indeed meet new ones! There was a definite buzz in the room as the morning’s activities were discussed as well as sharing success stories of our libraries. After lunch the murderer was identified although I am not going to disclose who that is…….you never know who reads this!

    Matt Imrie, Librarian at Farringtons School, was next on stage and he gave a fascinating talk on Library freeconomics – or getting free stuff for your library.’ With budgets being an emotive topic, we were all keen to see how we can still bring new resources into school with the investment of our time rather than our money!  Needless to say I am sure we will all be entering lots of competitions because as Matt so rightly said ‘You have to be in it to win it!’

    Our final presentation of the day was by Rowena Seabrook, Human Rights Education Manager at Amnesty International UK‘Using fiction to highlight human rights issues.’, led us to work together in small groups looking at human rights and how we can promote them in our school through our literary choices. Using a variety of resources, we touched upon many of the challenges facing different people today.  This as you can imagine triggered a lot of discussion and debate. This presentation was very timely given the publication of the CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist and this too was broached by Rowena as some of the content of some titles is very sensitive and needs careful thought before lending to some students.

    The day ended with lots of email addresses exchanged and the promise of keeping in touch.  I am sure I speak for all of the delegates when I say a huge Thank You to Caroline not only for hosting such a rewarding day but also for her tireless energy in the promotion of both school libraries and of course school librarians!

    By Julie Angel.  Assistant Librarian, Eltham College

     

    Posted in Advocacy, CPD, Leadership, Libraries, Regional Training Days, School Libraries, Training and CPD | Leave a comment

    A word about Copyright

    Naomi Korn, a CILIP Trustee, came to speak at the Day Conference and AGM on February 7th 2017 for SLG.  Having heard her speak at CILIP Conference 2016, I knew she was excellent and an authority on  copyright.  She runs her own copyright agency, and has a gift for explaining difficult concepts really simply for us.  Naomi didn’t disappoint, giving us a really clear understanding of how copyright works in practice and answered some questions.  However, there just wasn’t time for everything to be answered, and so Naomi kindly wrote up her talk, and included lots of great links for us, on her own blog here.  Do have a read, and bookmark the page, as I guarantee that this is something we shall all  need to visit and revisit again.  Our thanks to Naomi for her time and generosity in helping us with this difficult subject.

     

    Posted in CILIP, Copyright, digital literacy, School Libraries, Teaching and Learning | Leave a comment

    Reading Outcomes Framework

    The Reading Agency has published its long-awaited Reading Outcomes Framework. This tool is designed to ‘help improve impact evaluation across the sector…..It will help you understand, demonstrate and improve the impact of your activity to encourage reading. It will support you to make the case for investment and advocate for your work by outlining existing evidence about the outcomes of reading and providing guidance about collecting evidence about the impact your work makes.’ (Laura Venning, Reading Agency, Evaluation and Impact Research Manager). It is freely available to use across education, health and charities sectors. The toolkit is the end of the first phase and the Reading Agency asks anyone using it to give them feedback.

    It includes a succinct one page framework of the outcomes of reading for pleasure and empowerment, sample survey questions which evaluate whether a project has impact on these outcomes and reference evidence about demonstrating how reading relates to these outcomes. The report and evaluation toolkit form a solid 72 pages, but it is well worth reading through it.
    I have been interested in impact evaluation for a couple of years now and have developed some templates for Tower Hamlets SLS. This toolkit is a most valuable addition to the subject. Measuring reading for pleasure is notoriously difficult and potentially mainly anecdotal and subjective. This toolkit could contribute to producing measurable outcomes that can be used as advocacy.

    The framework outlines four stages of analysis of a reading project from the ‘activity to encourage reading for pleasure and empowerment’ to potential reading impact outcomes. These may have a positive impact on health and wellbeing, intellectual outcomes, personal outcomes and social outcomes. These in turn lead to wider positive impact on cultural, economic and societal areas.
    The survey questions are very detailed and are broadly similar to the ones used by the National Literacy Trust to evaluate their projects with children, such as Premier League Reading Stars and also The Reading Agency’s Chatterbooks book clubs . I have used this questionnaire myself with primary school children and, with guidance, it produces useful information and, if used before and after the project, potentially provides useful impact evaluation data. To be of greater value though you need to assess the continued impact some time later. The survey can also be used with other stakeholders.

    The most interesting sections for me are the analysis tools and the references. As someone with no statistical background, I will be studying these to improve my skills.

    Full details and links to the framework, the toolkit and an interactive version are at: https://readingagency.org.uk/news/blog/reading-outcomes-framework-toolkit.html

    Lucy Chambers, SLG National Committee

    Posted in Impact Evaluation, Library Skills, Reading for Pleasure | Leave a comment

    Revalidation – why bother?

    Post written by Sheila Compton, who is on the SLG National Committee

    When looking on the CILIP Directory of Registered Practitioners to see if my Revalidation had been updated I noticed that coincidentally the Revalidation was registered exactly 41 years after I originally registered as a Chartered Librarian. This led me to reflect on what had driven me to undertake revalidation at this stage in my career, when I am clearly not on an upward trajectory in the job market! Soon after I became a Chartered member, ALA, the profession became all graduate entry. Although the status of those who had achieved Chartership under the old system was preserved I later decided to update my qualifications by obtaining a degree. I felt that this would enhance my skills to the level of younger professional colleagues; and would also put me academically on a par with teachers, as I had eventually settled on a career in school librarianship.

    My degree involved a lot of reflection on my own practice through action research, which gave me many opportunities to develop my skills. Over the years I had attend training events and conferences to keep myself up to date so I could just have left it there; quite frankly at this stage in my career why bother with revalidation? Looking at the profession with its dwindling numbers of professional school librarians, and having no desire to change jobs, there did not seem a lot to motivate me to revalidate. After all, surely it would take ages to evidence and require extra work?

    Like many people I started in a half-hearted way to keep a record of my CPD and thinking it would have to be evidenced through formal conferences and training sessions, with certificates of attendance to validate my presence. Months later I had not really got very far with it, and almost gave up until a flash of inspiration made me put down revalidating as my performance management personal target at school. This I felt would achieve two aims as I would have evidence of professional development for school, and it would actually make me finish my revalidation. There was also a slight hidden agenda as in my capacity as SLG Vice Chair I wanted to show librarian colleagues that revalidation is achievable at any age and stage in your career, and perhaps to encourage others to do the same. I think that it is important to be able to evidence our continuing professional development both from the point of view both of our own integrity and to ensure our viability in the job market.

    The SLG 2016 Conference “Read all about it” spurred me on to actually get on with the whole revalidation process as I attended the seminar, led by Matthew Wheeler of CILIP, on Professional Registration which included Revalidation. In his presentation Matthew explained the process and showed that for Revalidation the key elements were the logging of CPD and a reflective statement. It soon became evident that the tasks were less onerous that I had thought. Professional reading counted as an activity, as did attendance at courses and even participation in committee meetings. By the end of the year I realized that I had well exceeded the minimum requirement of 20 hours without any excessive financial cost, or demands upon my time.

    The final task was the reflective statement, the hardest part of which was encapsulating my reflection on all of the CPD in 250 words. With the CPD log and the reflective statement uploaded to the CILIP VLE the process was finished in December, and in January I was thrilled to receive confirmation from CILIP that my Revalidation had been accepted.

    So why had I done it? I wanted to prove that it was an achievable target, and to be able to show my line manager and the Head that I was still keeping up with professional development. I had achieved my personal targets, developed my professional practice, and realized how much CPD can be done in a multitude of different ways. I hope that maybe I will be able to encourage my fellow librarians to revalidate too; it is not difficult, and there is a real feeling of achievement when you get the congratulatory email from CILIP.

    Sheila Compton BA (Hons) MCLIP Revalidated 2016

    Posted in CILIP, CPD, Leadership, School Libraries, Training and CPD | 1 Comment