This year two people have been awarded the honour of the SLA School Librarian of the Year at a celebration at the Hotel Russell in London, on 7th October. Candy Gourlay, author of the award-wining Tall Story and recently published second novel, The Shine, presented the award to:
Hilary Cantwell, librarian at St Paul’s Community College, Waterford, Republic of Ireland.
Hilary gained expertise in New York schools and public libraries before joining an Irish government programme to create school libraries. St Paul’s has 430 students and is in a rural county with the highest unemployment in Ireland. It is affiliated to the Irish government’s inclusion programme, Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools.
John Iona, librarian at Oasis Academy, Enfield, Middlesex.
John creates award-winning resources, delivers the school’s Extended Project Qualification programme and plays a significant role in curriculum planning and support. The school has 1,100 students of which up to 70% have English as a second language. John actively promotes reading for pleasure with a number of initiatives including Reading Games.
Ginette Doyle, Chair of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Selection committee said: “It was an extremely strong, and international, Honour List. In the end we chose two librarians both working in different ways to bring their libraries into the heart of the school and learning. They are not joint winners, but each deserves the accolade of SLA School Librarian of the Year.”