'Hogwarts' school librarian wins top award

Emma Suffield, who turned her library into the Great Hall in Harry Potter's Hogwarts, named School Librarian of the Year

Helen Ward

Emma Suffield, winner of School Librarian of the Year 2018

A woman who temporarily transformed her library to resemble Hogwarts' Great Hall for pupils at her Blackburn secondary has been named as School Librarian of the Year 2018

Emma Suffield, of Saint Wilfrid’s C of E Academy, was honoured by the School Library Association at a ceremony in London today.

“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,” Lesley Martin, chair of the SLA school librarian of the year selection committee, said.

School librarian 'making a real difference'

“Emma makes a real difference in her school and her community, and her contribution to the wider library profession is already making an impact.’’

As well as overseeing the transformation of the library into the Hogwarts hall from the Harry Potter books, Ms Suffield’s work as learning resources centre manager has included putting on a programme of music concerts by students, hosting creative-writing clubs and putting a focus on supporting revision. Since she joined the school in 2014, book borrowing rates have risen by 450 per cent.

The three other school librarians shortlisted were: Nicki Cleveland, of Cannon Park Primary School, Coventry; Chhavi Jain, of Manav Rachna International School, Gurugram, India; and Alison Kennedy, of St George's Ascot, an independent school in Berkshire.

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