Arts Award at the Youth Libraries Group and School Librarians Conference, 2017

Arts Award at the Youth Libraries Group and School Librarians Conference, 2017

Picture of Katherine Stapley-Smith

BY: Katherine Stapley-Smith
26 Jun 2017

Arts Award were thrilled to be invited to lead a session at the School Library Conference 2017 in Harrogate over the weekend of 23-25 June.

The annual joint Youth Libraries Group & School Library Association conference is an opportunity to bring school and public librarians together to share best practice, ideas and updates, as well as inspiration for the year to come. This year was also very special as it included celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary of both the SLA and the CILIP Carnegie Medal, both established in 1937.

Arts Award Education Manager Annabel Thomas and Arts Award Associate (Libraries, Museums and Heritage) Caroline Bray led a workshop exploring literature, creativity and Arts Award to a group of school and public librarians. Arts Award fits fantastically to a whole range of literature-based activities, and we thoroughly enjoyed sharing these with the group. Over the course of two hours we explored what Arts Award is, how to link to library activities and shared case studies and good practice examples from people who have ‘been there, done that’.

Completing an Arts Award in literature is a great way to engage young people in reading for pleasure, a key component in helping them to achieve in all areas of their lives. Our brand-new resource on how to run Arts Award from a school library takes you through some suggested steps on how you may want to do this, and our new case study from 2017-18 Good Practice Centre The Hertfordshire and Essex High School is a real life example of how to link the CILIP Carnegie Medal to Arts Award Bronze.ckg_rgb_landscape

We also have a range of resources to help schools to link their CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shadowing programmes to their Arts Award. See our previous blog post on this and visit our webpage to find out more.

Aside from the Arts Award session at the SLA conference, there was a whole range of exciting and interesting sessions for attendees to attend, including debates between authors and a session from the 2015-17 Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell. Themes of the sessions included self-esteem; mental health and reading; book awards and controversial books; visual literacy; e-resources; information literacy and practical reading promotions. As you can see these covered a huge range of reading activities and programmes, all of which can tie into an Arts Award. It was a fantastic weekend filled with a love for books and a desire from all to get as many young people reading as possible, and we were delighted to be involved!

If you would like to view our presentation at the conference, visit the SLA website where resources will be uploaded over the coming weeks.

If you are a school or public library looking to get started with Arts Award, or if you already run Arts Award but want to embed it into your library, we can help. Check out our resources, or contact us on 020 7820 6178 or We also want to hear from schools who have linked Arts Award to their school library or CILIP shadowing programmes – get in touch or complete our delivery questionnaire to share your experience.

Thank you to the School Library Association for letting us share how easy and impactful it can be to run a literature based Arts Award, and we hope to see more in the future!

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