The trio are all committed to creating book-loving schools and to helping youngsters enjoy reading. Like last year’s winner, Adam Lancaster of Monk’s Walk School, Welwyn Garden City, each of them plays a key role in the day-to-day lives of their schools.
Lyn Hopson, for instance, is librarian at Don Valley Academy in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. She has worked at the school for 11 years and as well as being a curriculum leader and part of the support staff leadership team, she runs a pupils’ group called Pageturners which meets every week to talk about books.
John Iona is equally committed to promoting reading for pleasure at his school. He is the librarian at Oasis Academy in Enfield, Middlesex. The school has 1,100 students on roll, nearly 70 per cent of whom have English as a second language. Mr Iona also delivers the school’s Extended Project Qualification programme and helps with curriculum planning and support.
The third librarian on this year’s honour list is Hilary Cantwell, who works at St Paul’s Community College in Waterford, Republic of Ireland. She gained her expertise in New York schools and public libraries before joining an Irish government programme to create school libraries.
The fourth contender for the prize is Sally Cameron, an early childhood and elementary librarian at an international school in Rome.
The winner of the 2013 award, which is run by the School Library Association, will be announced at a ceremony in London on October 7. The winner of the School Library Association Library Design Award will be revealed at the same event.
Ginette Doyle, chair of the judging panel and former chair of the School Library Association, paid tribute to the four “exceptional” librarians on this year’s shortlist.
“The original concept for the award was that anyone working in a library serving a school community and demonstrating best practice was eligible,” she said.
“The nominated librarians submitted year-on-year continually amaze us with their superb work.”
For more information, visit www.sla.org.uk
Shortlist: (from top) Lyn Hopson, John Iona and Hilary Cantwell are in the running to be named School Librarian of the Year award