Croissants and poetry: school librarian of the year

The three school librarians shortlisted for the award are announced today

Adi Bloom

school library

A school librarian who films teachers reciting poetry is among the three members of staff shortlisted for the School Librarian of the Year award today.

Chantal Kelleher, learning resource centre manager at Herne Bay High School in Kent, also compiles book-filled goody bags for transition pupils and runs a group for LGBT pupils.

She is the only state-school librarian on the three-person shortlist for the School Library Association’s annual awards. 


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Shortlisted alongside her is Helen Cleaves, librarian and learning resource manager at Kingston Grammar School in Surrey. 

Ms Cleaves was praised for her commitment to ensuring that the Kingston Grammar library is a welcoming place for staff and pupils. To this end, she welcomes new staff with a breakfast croissant. She has also appointed the first school poet laureate, and regularly produces a podcast entitled The Guilty Librarian.

The third shortlisted candidate is Ros Harding, head librarian and archivist at The King’s School in Chester, and regular Tes book-review contributor.

Described by library users as “a tour de force”, Ms Harding is keen to emphasise the importance of research skills for pupils.

The winner of the School Librarian of the Year award will be announced at a ceremony in London on 27 June. 

Sue Bastone, chair of the award selection committee, said: “The honour list this year are a remarkable set of librarians. They have come through from an extremely strong field, and the judges have had very difficult decisions at each stage.

“These school librarians are leaders in the field and exemplars for the profession.”

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