The CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) School Libraries Group Conference in April was an excellent opportunity for professional learning. The programme was varied and inspiring and the opportunity to share ideas with school librarians from a wide range of different schools invaluable.
Here is a presentation on the Conference delivered by Sue Bastone, Conference Programme Director and Head of Learning Resources at LVS Ascot, to the Rugby Group Librarians at their recent meeting.
Here are some brief thoughts on the key messages I took away from the conference:
- Importance of reading aloud. Teachers and librarians should increase the times they read out loud to pupils. It’s also important for pupils to read out loud to each other. I took the opportunity to read an excerpt from ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole’ to a 3rd form tutor group during a discussion on diary reading and writing last Saturday. It was not something they knew but they seemed to enjoy it and we had a lively discussion. They will be submitting 12th May Diaries to the Mass Observation Archive.
- Illustrators. We had two fascinating talks by book illustrators about their work. Jim Kay showed us how he created the brilliant illustrations in “A Monster Calls” and talked about how pictures can be a good way of taking in information and remembering things for people like him. Something that came across strongly was an illustrator’s striving for perfection and never being content with their work. I’m keen to invite book illustrators to come and talk to our Art students and also to Shadow the Greenaway Book Award (awarded for illustration).
- All schools should have a reading for pleasure policy. Pupils should be reading widely and often for pleasure and information was one of the key messages of Patricia Metham’s presentation. Patricia is the Lead Inspector for English for OFSTED. Her inspiring talk emphasized the importance of school libraries and librarians to English and literacy levels. She also stated that librarians should be involved in curriculum committees and planning.
- School library award: Warwickshire School Library Service are doing excellent work in the area of school library self-assessment. Their pilot scheme enables school libraries to audit their services and obtain 3 different levels of awards. (Librarians assess a range of criteria on 3 levels: Developing, Establishing or Enhancing). This is something I would like to follow up at Wellington.
- Connell Guides As a direct result of the Conference the Library now has a full set of the Connell Guides to English Literature. These attractive, well-written, pocket size books are extremely useful to students of English. The online content accessed via the e-library contains additional material such as essays and quizzes.
Lucy Atherton, Senior Librarian, Wellington College