‘Enquiring Minds’ – Conference Feedback (CILIP School Libraries Group Conference 2014)

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

‘Putting the Library at the Heart of Your School’ – 18th November at Wellington College

HMC Professional Development Conference for Librarians – at Wellington College 18th Nov 2013

Tomorrow we look forward to welcoming around 50 fellow school librarians for an exciting day of sharing ideas, listening to speakers and discussing school library issues.

The theme of the conference is ‘Putting the library at the heart of your school’

We look forward to welcoming the following speakers:

  • Ann Harding, independent trainer with 15 years of library experience – Reading for pleasure: promoting reading in senior schools
  • Chris Powis, Head of Library and Learning Services, The University of Northampton – Teaching Skills for Librarians

Workshops in the Mallinson Library:

  • Nicola McNee, Kingswood School Librarian – Using social media in librarianship
  • Tom Wayman, Head of English, Wellington College – whole school reading project
  •  Lucy Atherton(that’s me) and my colleague Helen Dahlke, Wellington College Librarian, will be running a workshop on e-books and the e-library

You will also have the opportunity to talk to:

  • Joyce Martin, Director JCS Online Resources
  • Catherine Allen, from Touch Press educational apps
  • Lizzie Duffy, from Browns Books for Students – VLEbooks. Find out more about the VLEbooks e-book platform for schools.


If you would like to Tweet on the day we are suggesting using the hashtag #HMClib13 so that I can storify tweets from the day – bringing together all your thoughts and ideas in an easily readable format.