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Lucy Bakewell – School Librarian of the Year

lucyLucy Bakewell of Hill West Primary School, Sutton Coldfield has just been announced as the School Librarian of the Year 2009 .

A first for primary school libraries.

Lucy said, “I am ecstatic and honoured to be given this award for something I love doing. I have the best job in the world and it’s a joy to spend time the library. I feel passionate about making the library a space that children feel is their own and am delighted to receive the honour for the children and for the school. It is exceptionally important that a primary school has won for the first time. It is vital to enthuse and engage children in books and reading from an early age.’
Anne Cassidy award winning author of Looking for JJ, presented Lucy with the award.

Ginnette Doyle, chair of the Judging Panel was especially full of praise for Lucy's inspiration in creating a place where children can love reading.

‘Primary schools are vital in inspiring children to read and reading is so important in the development of children, expanding their imagination, their knowledge, their vocabulary. They also are the places where children begin to learn, where information skills are first taught, creating individuals competent in finding information. Few primary schools can afford to have a librarian and many rely on dedicated individuals, such as Lucy to run their libraries. Lucy inspires her pupils to love books and reading and she inspires the adults around her. Hill West School is an example of a marvellous school where reading and books are central to learning, much of which is down to Lucy. We feel that it is really important to raise the profile of good primary school library practice, to demonstrate that with the right person in place wonderful things can be achieved.’

The groupwork of three other exceptional school librarians on the Honours List was also celebrated.
" Barbara Band - The Emmbrook School, Wokingham
" Lynne Varley - Sponne Community Technology College, Towcester
" Joy Wassell-Timms - Parrs Wood High School, Didsbury

Its fantastic that the award celebrates so much the good work that exists in school libraries, not just as a place for rows of books. But more and more as a place where children can go to read, enjoy books and lose themselves in their imaginations.

Photographs by kind permission of Philip Paul

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