LRC Business Meeting 7th September 2016

We met at St Aidan’s High School for our first Business Meeting this year with a busy wee agenda catching up with the latest news and reviewing recent activities and events.  We were all agreed on the benefits of remaining current with the First Minister’s Reading Challenge for primary children, with several colleagues already signed up as interested parties. None of us were aware yet of any associated primaries who were involved.

We were all very impressed with the outline for Coatbridge High’s forthcoming Literacy Festival in October (which we’ll hopefully hear more about later) and discussed June’s Reading Boot Camp, SALS, Encounters, future CPD, recommended suppliers and our latest Library stories.

Future events included the Kids Lit Quiz 2016 (27th October) with Elizabeth Wein and Alex McCall as confirmed authors so far. New members are welcome to join the Calendar Group to help us plan out activities across the year.

And of course we all enjoyed exploring Marie’s beautiful Library.

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Sharing from sln.

The March Infotopia newsletter is available online at

(also available as a PDF).

Infotopia is a monthly newsletter by retired teacher / librarian team of Carole and Michael Bell and worth a look.

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Don’t crush reading motivation

Don’t Crush Reading Motivation by Barbara Wheatley, Education Week, October 6, 2015

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School libraries transform learning

sl_transformThis is an interesting magazine supplement from the American Library Association entitled School libraries transform learning available to read online or download as a PDF.

Covering topics such as advocacy, enthusiasm, reading, collaboration, campaigns, presentations, ICT and general library goodness, it’s worth a quick read.

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CILIPS Autumn Gathering

CILIPS Autumn Gathering will be held again in the John McIntyre Conference Centre on Thursday October 30th. Four North Lanarkshire LRC Managers participated last year and we all agreed it was a day well spent.

Bookings are now open, with a variety of prices for tickets, depending on whether you are a CILIPS member and whether you book before September 12th.

There will again be a school library advocacy strand included in the programme, along with talks on copyright, Wikipedia editing, social media, and what’s bound to be a highlight, a final keynote from Alan Bissett (who is one of the funniest speakers I’ve ever seen).

Full details are available on the CILIPS website.


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Impact of School Libraries on Learning

The full report, Impact of School Libraries on Learning, is now available for download from SLIC.

Click on the image to see the report.


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The Beating Heart of the School

beatingheartCILIP have reported the findings of the Libraries All-Party Parliamentary Group research on school libraries.

The Beating Heart of the School: improving educational attainment through school libraries and librarians makes four recommendations which will only be applicable in England. However, reference is made to the situation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and most of the research is applicable to the Scottish situation too.

Click on the image to view the report.

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The Scottish Book Trust’s ‘Home’ Project, the Library and English

Back in March, I e-mailed our newest English teacher to see if they would be interested in taking part in a library writing activity. They were extremely positive and suggested their S2 class take part in such a project. Great! An opportunity to work with our S2s.

Pupils were asked to write a letter discussing the places, people, pets, buildings, community or fun activities important to them, reminding them of ‘Home’. The class were also asked to write approximately 500 words. One pupil stated he wanted to keep writing, while others saw this as a challenge. However, our pupils have never been afraid of expressing themselves. Pupils choose to share various memories from their Gran’s house, to their own home or their favourite summer holiday. The class were also given the chance to elect a member of staff to write to.

Miss Murphy stated,
‘I was really pleased by the response of my S2 class, as they were all genuinely pleased to be selected for this trial project with the library. It was wonderful to see all the personalities in class come forward.
My class all worked well together, were very hard working and showed a united front when completing this activity. This project gave my pupils the confidence to discuss and write about a subject that is important to them.’

Orginally, I thought about putting the class pieces on the library wall. However, this idea was not as popular as I would have liked because of the subject matter. At first I was really disappointed but not accepting defeat, I began thinking about possible ways to promote the work this class had undertaken without embarrassing them. It would be a waste not to display at least some of our pupils’ fabulous achievements!
For help with this, I spoke to their teacher. She kindly asked the class who would be willing for their work to be displayed in the library and how they felt about being entered into the Scottish Book Trust’s national literacy competition for the rest of Scotland and the world to see.
The response was encouraging with four pupils coming forward to have their letters displayed in the library. I was really pleased that this would not be a wasted opportunity and would give our pupils the recognition for their work they deserved. Like previous personal writing activities I have co-ordinated, it was really lovely to read about what a special community we have here at Taylor.

One of our pupils stated,
‘I thoroughly enjoyed this project as it gave me a chance to share my memories with different people. I also enjoyed the fact that I had to write five hundred words. I believe that this project was a great success and I would love to do it again.”

Many thanks to Miss Murphy who took part in this project and to the S2 pupils who kindly permitted their work to be displayed and submitted to the SBT’s ‘Home project.

Categories: Communication, Competitions, Creativity, Daily life, Events, Interdisciplinary Learning, Literacy | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Creative Commons and Public Domain

New pages have been added to the Three Ring Circus.

Creative Commons and Public Domain lists guides to copyright and the various licences in use, along with links to sources of copyright free and creative commons media.

World War I is a list of useful links to all aspects of the First World War.

Both are works in progress, and further links would be welcome.

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UK ED is an online magazine with good material from educators across the UK. Articles cover resources, pedagogy and research.

Four issues have been published so far via Issuu, and they are all excellent.

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School Library Camp Scotland

School Library Camp Scotland will be held Saturday, 14 June 2014 at Strathclyde University’s Andersonian Library.

The day is free to attend, but please bring your own lunch.

If interested, see the School Library Camp – Scotland page for more information.


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A message from Nicola Morgan

I have a suggestion which I hope will be useful to you.

I often have offers, competitions, giveaways, and links to fascinating
research – things to benefit or interest schools, parents, readers,
professionals who work with young people or who are interested in the same
topics as me – notably the brain, stress, and the reading brain. But how
can you be sure to see the information, without the time-consuming task of
reading my blog?

So, I’m starting a newsletter. Less than once a month, it will bring items
of interest or benefit to you – offers, competitions and giveaways; links
to new research about the brain/ teenage brain/ stress/ reading/ literacy;
and exclusive offers – including, in each issue, a prize for a
randomly-selected subscriber. Schools or event organisers will see months
ahead where I’m booked to speak, and will have the chance to book an event
at reduced cost.

If you would like to sign up, the simple form is

You can unsubscribe any time but I hope you will find it so useful,
interesting and unintrusive that you won’t want to!

Please feel free to pass this to colleagues or friends.

With very best wishes for 2014,

*Nicola Morgan*
*Writes, speaks and blogs*

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School Librarians: a precious resource by Linda Strachan

Linda Strachan’s passionate defence of school librarians on the Awfully Big Blog Adventure.

Click here to read.

Categories: Learning and Teaching, Librarians, Literacy, PRD / CPD, Websites | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

How to teach… reading for pleasure (The Guardian)

Good collection of resources mentioned here for encouraging reluctant readers – worth a look. Resources cover babies to teenagers.

Guardian article, 16th December: How to teach… reading for pleasure

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Society of Authors report: benefits of author visits

The Society of Authors has completed  research on the benefit of author visits for literacy and reading for pleasure. The report also recognises the importance of school librarians in organising author visits.

See the results here.

From the Society of Authors:

Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, has written to Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, presenting this evidence in order to encourage Ofsted to acknowledge the importance of school libraries and validate this by making it part of their inspections process.

Categories: Author visits, Librarians, LIS reading, PRD / CPD, Reports, School Librarians | Tags: | Leave a comment

SLIC – School Library research

From the SLIC website

SLIC has commissioned Robert Gordon University (RGU) to undertake research into the impact of school libraries, which was launched at the Scottish Learning Festival 2013. Download the flyer (PDF) showing a summary of findings. Full details of this project, including the RGU final report, will be available here soon. If you would like notification of publication, please contact

Impact of School Libraries. Used with permission SLIC

Impact of School Libraries. Used with permission SLIC. Click for larger size.

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Acquired Brain Injury

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) affects 1 in 30 young people, and can be caused by trauma, poison or stroke.

The clips below are are from an excellent film called As easy as ABI, made by a group of young people to share information about their disability and how they cope (or don’t) at school.

This is a very moving film (get the hankies ready), but it’s worth watching for the valuable insights into a hidden disability.

For more information, contact the Child Brain Injury Trust.

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Ted Talks: How books can open your mind

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Books for Keeps 200th edition

The 200th edition of Books for Keeps is now available online.

Check it out along with their archive on their website.

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Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Training

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend an extremely useful course,  Automated External Defibrillator Training.  I wasn’t even sure I had applied to go on the course but was assured that as I had responded to an e-mail asking which staff in the school had completed previous HeartStart training, I had been selected to attend this extended training session. Not something you would normally associate with the LRC.

Just to give a little bit of background to the reason for the course – North Lanarkshire, in conjunction with NHS Scotland and partner agency Amey, aims to install Automated External Defibrillators (AED) in each of its 24 High Schools, by March 2014, at a cost of £70,000. Given that the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest increase from 2% with limited CPR to around 40% with CPR, defibrillation within 4 minutes and paramedic response within 8 minutes, this seems a small price to pay to save lives.

The course was delivered by a paramedic, along with members of the St. Andrew’s Ambulance Volunteers, who reminded us of the DRs ABC (Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing, Circulation) and the recovery position, before practising our basic CPR on Resus Annie, finally progressing to the AED units. The defribrillators are designed to be used by untrained members of the public and the instructions are clear and easy to follow, you really just have to know basic CPR.

Having attended the course and listened to the paramedic’s statistics on the likelihood of surviving a cardiac arrest on the streets of Britain (less than 5%) in comparison to that of Norway (50%), where First Aid education is taught to school children aged 6-16, I feel that all of our children (ideally everyone) should know at least some basic first aid. Even if it is only how to put a friend, who collapses, into the recovery position while they get help. I went home to give my 15 year old daughter and her friend a quick first aid refresher – just in case! I just hope that I never have to use these vital skills but am more confident now that I can if the need arises.

That’s one e-mail I’m glad I responded to!

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