Posters: Library Christmas Carols

Library Christmas Carol posters, adapted from the original carols.

to download click on the images



CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Independent Review

In June 2017 CILIP launched an independent review of the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals as part of their Equalities and Diversity Action Plan.

Today an interim report to provide an update on the work of the review has been released.

The Bookseller has a brilliant article that summarises the findings so far, you can read it here: ‘No more buck-passing’, says Carnegie Diversity report

To read the full report and register to take part in the consultation here: CILIP Carnegie Kate Greenaway Independent Review

Poster: Revision Tips

Library Advocacy: Correspondence with the Department for Education

As you will no doubt recall, on the 21st November I sent an e-mail to Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening and the Department for Education about School Libraries. you can read it here: Dear Justine: School Libraries Need Your Help!

I have just received a response from the Ministerial and Public Communications Division on behalf of the DfE which you can read below:

Dear Mr Imrie

I am writing on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education to thank you for your email of 21 November, about school libraries.

I can understand your reasons for contacting the department and can assure you, the government strongly support school libraries because of the important role they play in encouraging young people to read for pleasure.

We believe all children deserve to be taught a rich curriculum which encourages extensive reading of books and other kinds of texts, both in and out of school and school libraries complement public libraries in providing this. It is for individual schools to decide how best to provide and maintain a library service for their pupils, including whether to employ a qualified librarian.

Schools decide how much of their budget to spend on books. In addition, Booktrust works with primary and secondary schools throughout England and runs programmes and competitions such as Read for My School, that offer young people the opportunity to read a wide range of exciting material. You can view the information about Booktrust online at:

You may be aware the national curriculum states that teachers are expected to encourage pupils to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. Within the national curriculum, the programmes of study for English have been developed to make clear the importance of reading for pleasure.

The department funded The Reading Agency in 2015-16 to expand its Chatterbooks scheme to set-up book clubs in 200 primary schools for Key Stage 2 pupils, where reading attainment at key stage 2 is currently low. This funding also supported those schools in enrolling their year 3 pupils with a public library. In 2015/2016, we also funded more bookclubs to encourage year 3 pupils to enrol in a library. In addition Poetry by Heart was also funded between 2012-17, to develop and support inspiring poetry teaching in schools, and to motivate pupils and teachers to explore England’s rich literary heritage. Pupils choose these from the anthology of over 600 years of poetry on the competition’s website.

In addition, we want to make sure that young people have access to qualifications that set expectations that match those in the highest performing countries. Employers and educators have continued to report that school leavers lack crucial skills. In 2012, more than two in five employers (42%) reported that they had organised remedial training for at least some young people joining them from school or college. Young adults in England were amongst the worst performers in literacy and numeracy in the OECD’s recent survey of adult skills. We are reviewing GCSEs and A levels to be robust and rigorous, to match the best education systems in the world and to keep pace with universities’ and employers’ demands. One of these changes is in English, English language will encourage pupils to read a greater range of high quality, challenging literature and non-fiction texts drawing across a range of genres and types (from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries).

Greater weight will be placed on pupils’ demonstration of accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar. English literature will encourage pupils to read a wide range of classic literature fluently, including 19th century novels, Shakespeare and the Romantic poets. In total, pupils will have studied at least three Shakespeare plays by the time they have completed key stages 3 and 4.

I hope this information is helpful and once again thank you for writing.

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2017-0055419. If you need to respond to us, please visit: and quote your reference number.

As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website at:
Yours sincerely


Ministerial and Public Communications Division


Santa says Stop Cutting Libraries

A few days ago I was involved in a twitter chat the inaugural #ukslachat.

Question three was “What do you wish Santa would whisper about libraries into the ears of senior leaders & politicians?”

My answer is below, rendered into as a poster. Download a copy to keep & use by clicking on the image

Library Advocacy: Correspondence with Labour

On the 24th November following the letter I sent to Justine Greening the Secretary of State for Education I sent an email to her shadow counterpart Angela Rayner:

Dear Ms Rayner

On the 21st November I sent Justine Greening a letter (, on the 24th November Dawn Finch on behalf of CILIP also sent her a letter (

The purpose of these was to highlight the dire straits that state school and college libraries in England find themselves in and the fact that England has the lowest teen literacy rate of all OECD nations. We feel that these two things are linked.

In the past, due to the non-statutory nature of school libraries and librarians, UK government ministers have left the decision about school libraries up to the heads of individual schools, this has clearly not worked as the low levels of literacy of English teenagers shows.

As Shadow Secretary of State for Education you have an important voice in parliament, I urge you to throw your support behind the push to have school libraries and librarians considered an absolute necessity for schools and colleges in England.

Yours sincerely

Matt Imrie
Librarian & Editor: Teen Librarian

Yesterday (the 29th November) I received a response from Labour’s Membership Services and Correspondence team:

Dear Matt,

Thanks for writing to Angela Rayner MP in her capacity as Shadow Secretary of State for Education. At this point in time Angela’s mailbag is so full that she has asked me to respond on her behalf.

Labour Party policy is created through discussion and consultation with our members – so thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts; I have forwarded your comments on to our Policy Team who will be grateful to receive them.

During our Annual Conference in Brighton, Angela Rayner MP outlined the Labour Party’s plan to transform Britain’s education system and set out the core principles of our National Education Service.

As we continue to build on our General Election manifesto in anticipation of entering Government, the draft charter sets out the principles that will structure and guide our National Education Service.

Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:

The next Labour government will create a National Education Service, a cradle-to-grave system supporting everyone throughout their lives. It would start in the early years, where we know it has the most impact on changing people’s lives. But our National Education Service is not just for young people either. Our National Education Service will be lifelong, providing for people at every stage of their life.

A promise, from a Labour government, to the British people and British businesses, that we believe in all of them, in their talent and their potential, in all they give to our country, and that we will never limit their aspiration or their ability to succeed.

It will set out the education that people can expect throughout their lives. The contribution that society makes to them and that they can make to society.

Years of Conservative cuts have and continue to starve schools of the funding they need to deliver a first class education. Crippling underfunding will drive up class sizes and may force schools to cut corners. Labour will give all of our schools the investment they need, to ensure that every child has access to a world-class education.

We really value your ideas on how the next Labour government should tackle the challenges our country faces, and build a more equal and prosperous Britain.

As a member of the Labour Party, you can submit policy ideas and contribute to policy discussions online at As I said earlier, Labour Party policy is created through consultation and discussion with our members, so be sure to have your say in our Policy Forum today.

As a member of the Labour Party, you can submit policy ideas and contribute to policy discussions online at, we’d appreciate it if you could submit your policy idea to this site so that it can be considered by our Early Years, Education and Skills Policy Commission.

Best wishes,

Membership Services and Correspondence
On behalf of Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education

CILIP Letter to Justine Greening

On Thursday Dawn Finch, Immediate Past President of CILIP – the library and information association wrote to Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening MP calling on her to intervene to halt the shocking decline of library provision and the numbers of qualified librarians in state-funded schools and colleges in England.

Over 150 authors, educators and many other supporters of school and college libraries put their names to this letter urging the government to change their policy of leaving the decision to have school libraries up to individual heads as this clearly has not worked.

read the full letter here: School Libraries SOS

Love Your School Library Service Day

Books in Your Classroom

Download (PDF, 249KB)

Curriculum Resources

Download (PDF, 901KB)

Access to a Library Management System

Download (PDF, 236KB)

The School Library Award (accredited by ASCEL, SLG and SLA)

Download (PDF, 206KB)

Setting Up Your School Library

Download (PDF, 864KB)

Dear Justine: School Libraries Need Your Help!

Dear Ms Greening

I write to you today out of desperation, English teens are the most illiterate in the developed world


Does this frighten you? To be honest it terrifies me! We have a group of young people poised to enter the job market and they are at best barely functionally literate.

In my years as a Public & Youth Services Librarian I have worked with young people that were barely able to read The Cat in the Hat. Since 2011 when austerity measures were enacted in the UK and my post in the public library service was cut I have worked as a School Librarian.

Since then I have been concerned that School Libraries and Librarians are not statutory – not because I am worried about job security (well maybe a little) but because studies show that School Libraries have a positive impact on student learning and development.


Our latest research review shows that school libraries have a positive impact on all areas of pupils’ learning, including the development of reading and writing skills, their self-esteem and their overall academic attainment.(Literacy Trust)

In 2014 the Libraries APPG recognises that School Libraries should be looked at during Ofsted inspections:

As many School Librarians are solo workers we regularly speak to each other via e-mail and social media and lately what I have heard from friends and colleagues across the country fills me with a growing sense of disquiet, Library staff having to purchase books using their own funds as their budgets have been slashed to zero, parent volunteers freely giving their time in school libraries after professional staff have been let go only to see their efforts fall apart as the school has no-one to promote library use.

The purpose of this e-mail is to implore you to revisit the stance that the heads of schools should determine whether or not to employ a school librarian or even have a school library.

If required I can send you more evidence or put you in touch with other professional organisations that can provide even more information on what School Libraries and Librarians can and do offer to enable learners to reach their full potential.

Warmest regards

Matt Imrie
Librarian & Editor: Teen Librarian

Plagiarism for Executives: a Guide

Plagiarism is defined as:
The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.
New Oxford Dictionary of English

These are all examples of plagiarism:

  • Copying text & images from a website, film or book and passing them off as your own work
  • Paraphrasing text and not citing the original source
  • Handing in a previously submitted piece of work from another subject
  • Copying the work of others
    Avoiding plagiarism

  • Plan your work
  • Use multiple sources
  • Take notes by paraphrasing & summarising
  • If you use exact words & phrases use “quotation marks”
  • Do not copy & paste from the internet – read and then make notes without looking at the screen
  • Do not copy work from anyone (but especially not well-known creators)
    Unconscious Plagiarism
    Cryptomnesia (hidden memory) occurs when a forgotten memory returns without it being recognized as such by the subject, who believes it is something new and original.

    Examples of Creative Plagiarism

  • Shia LaBoeuf copying almost word for word and scene by scene Daniel Clowes’ comic strip Justin M. Damiano and creating a short movie called Howard
  • Melania trump plagiarising Michelle Obama’s speech (
  • Beyonce has been accused of plagiarising lesser-known artists over the course of her career (
  • When George Harrison released My Sweet Lord in 1969 he (perhaps inadvertently) copied the melody for He’s So Fine by the Chiffons. While the judge ruled that the plagiarism was accidental George was still liable for half a million dollars in royalties.