The 2018 School Librarian of the Year is revealed

Written by: Emma Lee-Potter | Published:
School Librarian of the Year: Winner Emma Suffield (left) receives her award from author Lauren St John (Image: Supplied)

The winner of this year's School Librarian of the Year is Emma Suffield, whose wide-ranging work at a school in Blackburn impressed the judging panel.

School librarian Emma Suffield is full of original ideas to encourage her pupils to read.

Her initiatives at Saint Wilfrid’s CE Academy in Blackburn include temporarily transforming the library into the Great Hall at Hogwarts and running chocolate reading time sessions to support youngsters who have not met the school’s requirements for engaged reading time.

Ms Suffield’s determination to engage the school’s 1,400 students in reading has led to an impressive 450 per cent increase in book borrowing – and now she has been named as the School Librarian of the Year for 2018. The honour recognises the excellent work done in school libraries and highlights the best practice of outstanding librarians.

Ms Suffield, whose official title is learning resources centre manager, was honoured by the School Library Association at a ceremony in London last week (October 9). Award-winning author Lauren St John presented her with the award.

Lesley Martin, chair of the School Librarian of the Year selection committee, said: “It is exciting for the profession to have someone as forward-thinking, creative, passionate and professional about school libraries and no doubt with a great career ahead of her. Emma makes a real difference in her school and community and her contribution to the wider library profession is already making an impact.”

Ms Suffield, who has run the St Wilfrid’s library since 2014, works closely with subject departments to provide lesson resources and provides additional support by organising library displays on topics like plagiarism and fake news. She also runs book clubs, daily reading activities, creative writing groups and enriching events, including a new programme of music concerts in the library.

The three runners-up for the award were Alison Kennedy, from St George’s Ascot in Berkshire, Nicki Cleveland, from Cannon Park Primary in Coventry, and Dr Chhavi Jain, from Manav Rachna International School in India.


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