Last year was the inaugural Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award and it was the most amazing celebration of the extraordinary work that pupils do in their school libraries. When the creator of the award, Barbara Band, asked me to be on the judging panel of this award I was honoured and accepted immediately. It has been the most rewarding process and I've enjoyed every minute.
A well-managed school library is the best resource that a school can offer, and extensive research demonstrates that a school library raises attainment in the school, but that’s only a small part of the story. What a school library really does is nurture a lifetime’s love of reading for pleasure. The school library reaches far beyond the extent of learning and taps into the part of us that needs more than just an education.
The school library is a safe haven, a trusted and reliable space where pupils can be themselves and find books that engage and support them. Pupil Library Assistants are an integral part of this engagement process as they show that the library does not belong to adults, it belongs to the young people who use it.
Last year the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award had the support of a fantastic group of authors, and we’ll need that support again this year. The authors who attended the event made all the difference and everyone who shared, blogged, retweeted and plugged the award ensured that the finalists felt incredibly special. So to Lucy Coats, Jeff Norton, Sufiya Ahmed, Teri Terry, Caroline Lawrence, Tim Collins, Cliff McNish and everyone else who offered books, time and support - we want to say another huge thank you to all of you, we really could not have done it without you.
The work that these pupils do is astonishing and life-changing, and it is humbling reading their stories and what they have done to support reading for pleasure and their school libraries. Join us in celebrating school libraries and the pupils who give their time to support them and to make a difference.
The nominations are now open for the next award, and the ceremony date is set for March 2016.
If you feel that you can support the award, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – and for more information about the award, click here.