Last year’s winner, Abbie Craske from Aylsham High School in Norfolk (seen here getting her award from Charlie Higson), was said by her Headteacher to be “an invaluable support to the librarian team and that her involvement in the library had transformed her into a self-assured young adult”.
The idea of this award originally came about after a Mass Lobby for School Libraries was organised in 2009 and it received a tremendous amount of support from pupils, people who use their school libraries on a daily basis and sought to tell MPs how much it meant to them. Many of us who were involved in that Lobby, and work in school libraries, already knew this but wanted to have this support officially recognised in some way.
An annual award seemed the most appropriate, something that would showcase the incredible amount of voluntary work that is done by pupils regularly, who are reliable and committed, and who love reading and want to pass this on to others. It was also planned as a joint award between the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) School Libraries Group and the School Library Association (SLA) in order to make it as inclusive as possible and to engender collaboration between the organisations.
The Award was launched in September 2014 and received almost sixty nominations from across the UK, showcasing a wide range of schools and skills. The judging panel had a hard time narrowing the field down to the seven finalists here today and choosing a winner was a difficult decision.
None of this would have been possible without the support of many people: the CILIP SLG and the SLA; all of our sponsors; not to mention the librarians who submitted the applications on behalf of their students.
Finally, special thanks must go to Charlie Higson for announcing our winner and Chris Riddell for designing us such an amazing logo.
FINALISTS - 2015
Morgan has been a pupil library assistant at Wilsthorpe Community School, Nottingham, since February 2012. He works on a number of projects in the school so his role within the library is impressive, and provides an example for others.
Olivia has been a pupil library assistant at Antrim Grammar School, County Antrim, since October 2012 and is a role model for other students, using her leadership skills and mature approach to encourage use of the library for both reading and study.
Abbie became a pupil library assistant at Aylsham High School, Norfolk, in September 2010 where she soon became an invaluable support to the library team. Her hardworking, helpful and cheerful attitude is an inspiration for all who use the library, both for work or relaxation.
Megan became a pupil library assistant at King James’s School, Yorkshire, in October 2010 and, since then, has made an immense contribution to the library through her hard work, dedication and enthusiasm. She loves bringing books and people together.
A pupil library assistant at Derby High School, Derbyshire, since 2008, Francesca has become part of the fabric of the library, supporting students with her calm, purposeful and helpful guidance, and still finds time for reading despite a heavy work schedule.
Jessica has been a pupil library assistant at Heritage High School, Derbyshire, since September 2010 where she undertakes a wide range of jobs, and supports students in developing their reading and literacy skills.
A pupil library assistant at The King’s School, Lincolnshire, since October 2009, James now also volunteers at Harlaxton College Library, providing support to higher education students. He is completely committed to libraries, active in their promotion and hopes to make his career in this area.