Emirates Literature Foundation has announced the opening of the annual School Librarian of the Year Award. Now in its seventh year, the award is given by The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai and Emirates Literature Foundation to those individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to championing literacy in their schools and sharing their passion for books. It will be awarded in two categories, school librarians working in public (government) schools in the UAE and school librarians working in private schools in the UAE.
The award highlights the significant role that librarians play in supporting educational development by inspiring pupils to read for pleasure
The year award is now open for nominations and will close on 16 November 2022. The winners will be announced, in an awards ceremony, in February 2023.
“It is our pleasure to continue supporting the School Librarians Award for the tangible impact we have witnessed over the past years in enriching the culture of reading among the students,” said Shumous Bin Faris, Advisor at the General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai. “Reading is the most valuable input to gain knowledge in various fields, which enhances the broadening of horizons, empowers generations and arms them with science and knowledge for the future.”
“With the widespread adaptation of digital technology and the return of extracurriculars after a long hiatus during the pandemic, students are struggling to make the time to read. The role of librarians in encouraging reading is more important than ever before, not just for the sake of books, but for the proven physical and mental benefits of reading, including stress relief,” said Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation. “Our school librarians have risen to the challenge and are finding innovative ways to instil the love of books in pupils and creating the next generation of readers”.
The nomination period has been kicked off with a full day of workshops for professional development for the librarians. This included informational sessions with the Emirates Literature Foundation Team, a panel hosted by Dr Kristine Stewart, Chair of Judges; Assistant Professor and Information Literacy Coordinator, Zayed University and the winners of previous School Librarian of the Year Awards, as well as a number of breakout sessions on Wikidata.
The workshops were held at the newly inaugurated Mohammed Bin Rashid Library. Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Member of the Board of Directors said: “The Mohammed Bin Rashid Library is not just a house for books, but a space for the community to come together and celebrate their love of literature and to be inspired by the beauty of the physical space and the vast variety of genres that make up the library catalogue. We are happy to partner with the Emirates Literature Foundation on this occasion and in the future as it furthers our shared objective to nurture a love of reading”.
Nominations can be put forward by any individual, including colleagues, headteachers, parents, and students
Nominations can be put forward by any individual, including colleagues, headteachers, parents, and students. Self-nominations are also welcome and encouraged. Librarians will be assessed by a panel of judges through a sifting process and the shortlisted nominees will be visited in their school libraries. All nominees will be offered professional development opportunities.
Librarians, who work with students up to age 18, and are full-time employees in schools in the UAE are eligible for the award. Nominations must be submitted online and can be in either Arabic or English. Shortlisted nominees from both public and private schools will be judged on the library’s role within the school and wider community in line with the following criteria:
- How does the librarian make the best use of available resources (including the physical library space, collections and use of technology)?
- What is the librarian’s role in raising academic and literacy standards in the school?
- How has the librarian fostered reading for pleasure in students, parents, and guardians using library spaces, resources, and initiatives?
- What projects or innovative ideas has the librarian introduced within the school to support the students and the wider community?
- Explain how the librarian supports the creative talents of the students (encouraging them to participate in competitions, and attend education sessions, talks, or workshops).
- Why do you feel the librarian deserves this Award?