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As of January 2013, SLAINTE will no longer be updated and this website will be an archive of joint SLIC and CILIPS initiatives. For current information about the individual organisations, please go directly to the SLIC and CILIPS websites.

News > November

School Librarians Lobby at the Scottish Parliament

Photo of school library lobby at the Scottish Parliament

Many CILIP members who work in schools and education resource services were among those who took part in last weekend’s Parliamentary lobby organised by the School Library Association (Scotland).

They were joined by authors and MSPs including Julie Bertagna, Debi Glover, Keith Gray, Jonathan Meres, Linda Strachan, Iain Gray and Marco Biagi.

The purpose of the lobby, part of the wider CILIP #shoutabout campaign, was to highlight the positive impact school libraries and school librarians can make on young people’s education. Both SLA(S) and CILIPS are concerned that as budgets tighten in local councils, school librarians and education resource services are at risk.

School librarian of the year 2010, Duncan Wright and children’s author, Julie Bertagna addressed the lobby emphasising the important role performed by full time school librarians in delivering and supporting the Curriculum for Excellence in schools and giving access for young people to Scotland’s national literature.

CILIPS commented: “A smarter Scotland means supporting successful learners by ensuring all children have equal access to the knowledge and information provided by a professionally staffed school library”.

Added: 30 Oct

New Chair at NLS

The former Controller of BBC Radio 4, and founder of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, James Boyle has been appointed as the new Chair of the National Library of Scotland (NLS) by Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop.

Mr Boyle has had a wide and distinguished career and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role. He spent most of his career at the BBC and was head of BBC Radio Scotland when it was named UK Radio Station of the Year. As Controller of Radio 4, he reformed the network producing with his team an entirely new schedule. Programmes in the new schedule subsequently won six Sony Gold awards – the radio Oscars.

He has since remained active in the culture and arts world. His public service posts include Chair of the Scottish Arts Council, Chair of the Scottish Cultural Commission, founder and first Chair of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature and founder of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. He replaces Professor Michael Anderson who served as Chair of the NLS Board of Trustees for 12 years and made an enormous contribution to the current success of the Library.

Mr Boyle said: “I am very proud to be appointed and understand well that it is a privilege as well as a great responsibility. The National Library of Scotland is a cultural treasure house and a digital powerhouse. It is one of the engines of our economy supporting research, providing information to Scottish businesses and working with the universities.

"At the same time, the collections, exhibitions and the services are for everyone. At the National Library on George 1V Bridge Edinburgh there is a welcoming environment and indeed a café atmosphere as you arrive to begin the work of your research. There is an equally good experience if you visit the Library online. There we help people from home and abroad to explore the digital collection.

"I will work with the Trustees, the National Librarian, the staff and supporters of the National Library to extend the success of recent years.”

Martyn Wade, National Librarian and Chief Executive of NLS said: “The Library is very fortunate to have someone of James Boyle’s calibre and experience to lead our Board of Trustees and guide our future development. We are very much looking forward to working with him as we seek to continue to develop and improve the many services we offer to people in Scotland and further afield.”

Mr Boyle was a member of Court at Edinburgh Napier University for eight years and is currently Chair of the British Council Advisory Committee in Scotland. He has honorary doctorates from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier Universities. He is married and has three sons and three grandsons.

Added: 26 Oct

Reading is a lifeline for blind people according to new research

New research reveals that reading plays a vital role in the lives of blind and partially sighted people, helping them to overcome daily challenges, boosting mental well-being, enabling them to develop learning and skills and providing opportunities for social contact through reading groups. This research was published on 18 October, the eve of Read for RNIB Day, the charity's appeal to raise funds for services such as braille, giant print and Talking Books.

According to this new research into the impact of reading for pleasure on the lives of blind and partially sighted adults 82 per cent of the people said that reading for pleasure was 'very important' in their lives, whilst 95 per cent read for pleasure more than once a week, with over half (55 per cent) reading more than ten hours per week, figures which appear to be considerably higher than the general population.

The research was commissioned by leading sight loss charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to mark Read for RNIB Day and conducted by The Reading Agency, the charity working to inspire more people to read more, and LISU research and information centre at Loughborough University. Its full findings are published in a report entitled Assessing the impact of reading for blind and partially sighted adults.

Linked to its impact on quality of life and well-being, the new research also reveals that reading plays a significant role in helping blind and partially sighted adults cope with life's pressures, including significant moments such as bereavement; engaging them in meaningful activity that passes the time, occupies the mind, and represents a stimulating alternative to activities that are no longer easy or possible to undertake.

The recommendations of the report centre around ensuring that authors, publishers, RNIB, public libraries and local authorities all work and collaborate wherever possible to ensure that appropriate materials are available in a variety of formats including, for example, text-to-speech enabling on e-books. The research also indicates the importance of accessible presentation of reading material to enable selection without sighted assistance and the value of library reading group provision as a significant social, well- being and learning experience for blind readers. It also recognises the importance of library services continuing to build on the valuable framework provided by Six Steps to library services for blind and partially sighted people, in particular, building the needs of blind and partially sighted readers into the organisation of reading events and promotions.

Added: 23 Oct

Orcrime 2012

Orkney Library and Archive launched its first ever crime writing festival on Thursday 11 October with a Broth and Breid lunch in the library and a talk by Ann Cleeves.

The three-day festival, titled Orcrime 2012, also features authors Lin Anderson, Denise Mina and Paul Harrison as well as local historian and storyteller, Tom Muir.

Over the three days of Orcrime 2012 there will also be displays of crime fiction and true crime books, quizzes, free CD & DVD loans and the online reading group At home with Faber will be inviting comments on Death comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.

The event is funded by the Scottish Booktrust Live Literature initiative and The Orcadian Bookshop.

Added: 11 Oct

Shout About School libraries at the Scottish Parliament

CILIP’s SHOUT ABOUT initiative is a joint campaign with the Association of Senior Children's and Education Librarians (ASCEL), and the School Library Association (SLA) which advocates that school librarians and Schools Library Services expertise are essential in helping children navigate the digital world and improve information literacy skills. The overall aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the value of school libraries and Schools Library Services to their communities (at both primary and secondary school level).

As part of the campaign the School Library Association (Scotland) has organised a lobby of the Scottish Parliament to take place on Saturday 27th October, two days before a lobby of the Westminster Parliament by school librarians. The lobby will take place outside the Scottish Parliament at 11.00 am. Authors Theresa Breslin and Julie Bertagna have confirmed they will be in attendance and 3 MSP’s Gordon MacDonald and Marco Biagi, (both SNP) and Alison Johnstone, (Green) will also attend.

The following statement highlights what the lobby is trying to achieve: "We believe that access to quality school library provision, including a specialist school librarian, supports children and young people's learning and achievement across the curriculum. We encourage HM Inspectors to reflect on the impact of the school library during their inspection and encourage the Scottish Parliament and local authorities to recognise the importance of the school library in developing lifelong learning skills in our children and young people. We would therefore ask the members of the Scottish Parliament to oppose cuts to school library services and individual school librarian posts."

SLA have a template letter to send to MSP’s asking them to attend the lobby and there is a facebook page for the lobby.

Added: 11 Oct

In brief

Nominations for Vice President of CILIPS

Nominations are sought for the role of Vice President of CILIPS.

Please ensure that nominations, proposed and seconded by members of CILIPS, are emailed to Elaine Fulton, Director, at by Friday 30 November 2012.

Added: 30 Oct

CILIPS is changing: Aberdeen Consultation

CILIPS is changing and we need your input to ensure that our review reflects membership wants and needs. We’ve opened a consultation on the underpinning rules and regulations which govern our organisation in an exercise aimed at:

  • encouraging stronger member inclusivity and involvement in CILIPS activities;
  • ensuring OSCR guidelines on good governance for charities are met;
  • strengthening the relevance of CILIPS to all its members.

CILIPS members are invited to a meeting in Aberdeen to discuss the proposed changes with the CILIPS Working Group who developed the revised draft. The meeting is free and takes place at Robert Gordon University on Monday 19 November. For more information ,or to book a place, please see the event listing.

Added: 23 Oct

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