Introducing Sara Pritchard

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I am the Schools Library Manager for Shropshire and Telford, based in Shrewsbury, which is geographically in the middle of the county. I have been in my current post since August 2013. Our School Library Service provides services to over 170 schools, both primary and secondary.

In my current role I am responsible for liaising with schools and school librarians, and I supervise pupil librarian schemes in many of our schools. As chair of the West Midland Youth Library Group (YLG) I encourage schools to shadow the Carnegie and Greenaway Award. I passionately believe that reading in schools should be given higher priority and acknowledge how reading enhances pupils’ holistic learning. I also founded and organise an annual Shropshire Teenage Book Award, and host author talks.

Lightbulb Moments: Powered by Librarians

I recently attended the conference of the School Library Association(SLA) & the Youth Libraries Group (YLG) in Harrogate 23-25 June.

It was a week-end of anniversaries: 20 years of Harry Potter, 30 Years of Where’s Wally, and 35 years of Dear Zoo!

The conference was packed with informative and inspiring talks, and workshops with authors, poets and librarians. For us librarians it was a wonderful chance to meet authors - our heroes - including Lauren Child, the new Children’s Laureate, who confessed that she writes in bed, and that while writing the Big Bad Wolf she listened to Bjork, and the Ruby Redfort books listened to Stephen King audio books and watched Hitchcock films!

David Almond, author of Skellig, told us he used to write in a public library, and even his shed, but now writes at his kitchen table. Almond, when asked what is it like to write says it was ‘dreamy and spacy’. Both Child and Almond praised the positive creative power of daydreaming and allowing children to stare out the window.

It also featured a Harry Potter themed dinner quiz, which my team of 5 excited librarians WON! Do you know which University J.K. Rowling attended and who illustrated the first edition of the Philosopher’s Stone? Our reward for having the answers was that we each received copies of the new editions Gryffindor coloured Philosophers Stone, a bag, and some other goodies.

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