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logo-sloy-sma School Librarian of the Year Award 2018 logo-tec-sma

Does your librarian make a real difference to your school?

The second edition of the School Librarian of the Year Award, announced by the Emirates Literature Foundation in partnership with The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, celebrates the inspiring work of the UAE’s best school librarians in public and private schools. The winners will receive fantastic prizes, acknowledging the pivotal role they play in developing students’ knowledge and reinforcing their passion for reading.

Finalists Announced!

We are delighted to announce the finalists for the School Librarian of the Year Award 2018. The winners will be announced and the awards will be presented on Monday, 5 March, during the week of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2018 (1-10 March).

The finalists from public school libraries are:

  • Aliaa Ali Saeed Alketbi, Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Basic Education, Cycle 1 – Girls, Dubai
  • Amna Salem Alshamsi, Shaikha bint Suroor School, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi
  • Asmahan Youssef Mohammad AlAwadhi, Fujairah School for Basic Education, Cycle 1, Fujairah
  • Maha Ali Alghanem, Al Wady School for Boys, Cycle 1, Al Dhaid, Sharjah
  • Margaret Smallpeice, Applied Technology High School, Dubai
  • Sameh Farouk and Bakhita Almansoori, Bida Al Mutawa School, Abu Dhabi

The finalists from private school libraries are:

  • Heba Abdulhadi, Yas Private Academy, Abu Dhabi
  • Heba Hamdy, Al Ittihad National Private School, Abu Dhabi
  • Julie Dotterer, American Community School, Abu Dhabi
  • Madhu Badhe, Kings’ School Al Barsha, Dubai
  • Mary Rose Grieve, Hartland International School, Dubai
  • Ofelia Gulerez, Deira Private School, Dubai
  • Rajaa Albayyari, Emirates National School, Mohammed Bin Zayed Campus, Abu Dhabi
  • Tracy Ammoury and Helen Fouch, Dubai English Speaking School, Dubai
  • Veronika Lambova, The Winchester School, Dubai

We were thrilled to have received seventy-seven nominations recognising the achievements of wonderful librarians from all over the UAE.

We look forward to seeing all nominated librarians and the head teachers of their schools at the award ceremony on 5 March during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. More details about this event will be sent to nominated librarians by email.

The nominations received in English from public school libraries are:

Name School Name Emirate
Margaret Smallpeice Applied Technology High School Dubai

The nominees received in English from private school libraries are:

Name School Name Emirate
Brandy Mowatt Maplewood International School  Abu Dhabi
Carolin Lisa Delp German International School Dubai Dubai
Doaa GEMS Winchester School. Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Jasmine Rafaie Manor Primary School Dubai
Julie Dotterer American Community School AbuDhabi
Kanwaljit kaur Our Own English High School Sharjah Sharjah
Madhu Badhe Kings’ School Al Barsha Dubai
Madhur Khare Gems Modern Academy Dubai
Maissa Kholoki American School Of Creative Science Sharjah
Maricel Agpay Kings’ School Al Barsha Dubai
Marie Comb Safa British School Dubai
Marwah Al Nuaimi Emirates National School Abu Dhabi
Mary Rose Grieve Hartland International School Dubai
Monisha Roy C. Diyafah International School Abu Dhabi
Ofelia Gulerez Deira Private School Dubai
Pam Warkup Fujairah Private Academy Fujairah
Raghunathan Manheri GEMS Westminster School Dubai
Robin Brown Al Mizhar American Academy Dubai
Sana Al Issa Dar Al Marefa Private School Dubai
Simone Nowell Jebel Ali School Dubai
Suha AlQaruty Brighton College Abu Dhabi
Syeda Umme Salma Good Will Children Private School Abu Dhabi
Tracy Ammoury and Helen Fouch Dubai English Speaking School Dubai
Veena Nair Delhi Private School Dubai
Veronica Scheepers Deira International School Dubai
Veronika Lambova The Winchester School Dubai
Walaa Tawfik German International School Dubai Dubai
Zeba Hasan  Leaders Private School,Sharjah Sharjah

Click here to view nominations received in Arabic.

Please click here to view the winning librarians from the first edition in 2017.

What is the prize?

Librarians will compete for the School Librarian of the Year Award in two categories: Public Schools and Private Schools. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners in each category as follows:

  • First Place: Trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter for 4 people, to include flights, accommodation and entry to the studio tour; visit to the British library; voucher for AED 4000 for library furniture; voucher for AED2000 for library books
  • Second Place: Visit to Dubai Parks and Resorts for 4 people including two nights’ accommodation at a Dubai hotel; voucher for AED1500 for library books
  • Third place: Voucher for AED1500 for library books

All three winners in each category will also be awarded registration to the American Libraries Association conference which is held alongside the Sharjah International Book Fair in November 2018.

Who can be nominated?

Anyone who is working in a school library in the UAE. The award will recognize outstanding and exemplary work by a school librarian covering any age groups up to age 18.

Who can nominate?

Librarians are often unsung heroes and we welcome self-nominations.

Nominations are also accepted from colleagues, head teachers, students, governors, parents and anyone with an interest in school librarianship.

What are the guidelines for nominations?

  • Please give as much information as possible to support your answers.
  • Please send us 3 photos and clear descriptions of reading promotion and information literacy work where appropriate.
  • A short student testimonial video may be submitted, describing the role that the librarian plays and why he or she deserves to win the award.
  • Please offer evidence of the librarian’s positive impact on teaching and learning.
  • Please submit only one entry per librarian. Only the first nomination received for a librarian will be considered, so please make sure it includes all relevant information.

How will the award be judged?

  • The shortlist of finalists in each category is announced in January 2018. Members of the judging panel will visit the finalists at their libraries during January and February 2018. The winners will be announced and the awards will be presented at a special event held on Monday, 5 March, during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2018 (1-10 March).
  • Nominations will be judged according to the following criteria
    • Does the library environment promote reading?
    • Does the library make the best use of the resources available to it (including the physical library collection and use of technology)?
    • What is the Librarian’s, and the library’s role in raising academic and literacy standards in the school?
    • How does the Librarian promote reading for pleasure?
    • The library’s role within the school and wider community     

Librarians can be nominated in Arabic or in English.

Terms and Conditions

  • The competition is open to all school librarians in all stages of school education, from primary/elementary upwards.
  • One candidate can be nominated from each library.
  • One candidate can be nominated from each library in schools which have separate libraries for each stage.
  • The librarian and the head teacher must be aware of and approve of the nomination.
  • Any librarian can nominate him- or herself.
  • Previous applicants who were not awarded first prize in the previous edition of the award (2017) are welcome to enter again.
  • Only one nomination will be accepted per librarian and once submitted, nominations may not be updated.
  • Joint nominations are allowed only where the librarian role is performed as a job share partnership where each librarian holds equal status.
  • Joint nominations must be submitted as a single entry, and the prize would be shared by Nominees should they win.
  • To be considered for the award, Nominees must be employed at the same school listed on their entry form at the awards ceremony in March 2018.
  • All Nominees will receive a certificate of participation. Please ensure Nominee names are spelled correctly on the entry form. Certificates will be distributed at the awards ceremony in March 2018.
  • The deadline for receiving entries for the competition is final. No entries received after the given date will be considered.
  • The first and second-place winners must give their preferred dates for travel and the details of their three companions by 15 April, 2018. The prize(s) must be taken by 5 September 2018, and cannot be deferred.
  • In case a first prize winner is unable to travel to the United Kingdom for any reason, a visit to Dubai Parks and Resorts for 4 people including four nights’ accommodation at a Dubai hotel will be offered as an alternative.
  • There is no cash alternative to any of the prizes.
  • Prizes unclaimed within the specified deadline will be deemed to have been forfeited.
  • Emirates Literature Foundation does not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries due to the Internet service. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.
  • Entrants agree, in case they are short-listed, to the Emirates Literature Foundation’s use of their name, photograph and student-testimonial video in relation to related publicity material and activities. Schools should be aware that they need to have parental consent for use of student testimonials.
  • Entrants agree, in case they are selected as winners, to participate in and provide content for media and Emirates Literature Foundation publicity material and activities as requested by the Foundation.
  • By entering for this award, Nominees are deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions and to agree to be bound by them.
  • Judging decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into with regard to these decisions.

Frequently asked questions

What are the award categories?

The 2018 School Librarian of the Year Award is awarded in two categories:

  • Public schools: for school librarians working in public (government) schools in the UAE
  • Private schools: for school librarians working in private schools in the UAE

Entries will be judged against other entries in the same category.

What language should the nomination be submitted in?

Entries can be submitted in Arabic or in English, however the award category is defined by whether the school is public or private, regardless of the language of the entry or of the language(s) supported in the school library.

What type of information should be included in the nomination entry?

The nomination entry consists of the response to the three questions in the entry form as well as three photos of the library and an optional student video-testimonial. The entry should include as much information as possible to answer the questions fully and describe the award nominee, the value add he or she brings to their work and services implemented. All instructions should be followed carefully. Statements should generally be supported with corroborating details, such as measurable impact on learning, reading habits and student engagement; descriptions of specific creative projects; innovative use of resources; collaboration in the school and wider community; library promotion and so on. Personal comments and testimonials can also be included in the answers.

The student video-testimonial is optional, however we strongly encourage applicants to include one where possible. A good testimonial will be delivered in a natural speaking tone and in the student’s own age-appropriate words to show their genuine enthusiasm for reading for pleasure, the library, and the librarian. Situations where students have been coached are easy to recognise and should be avoided.

May I submit additional documents to support the nomination via email?

All required information must be submitted via the online entry form. Nominations will be judged solely on the contents of the online entry form and any material sent by email will be excluded.

Will multiple nominations increase a librarian’s chances of winning?

Multiple nominations are not allowed. Only one nomination will be accepted per librarian and once submitted, nominations may not be updated. Only the first nomination received for a librarian will be considered, so please make sure it includes all relevant information.

How will the results be announced?

In January 2018, the names of all nominees for the School Librarian of the Year Award will be published on the website and the list of finalists in each category will be also be announced.

Finalists will be notified directly as well by email.

The winners will be announced and the awards will be presented, during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2018 (1-10 March).

All nominees and their head teachers are invited to attend the awards ceremony which will include afternoon tea and a panel discussion.

How are the prizes organised?

The first and second-place winners will give their preferred dates for travel and the details of their three companions by 15 April, 2018. The trip itinerary will be arranged by the Emirates Literature Foundation. The trip must be taken by 5 September, 2018.

What our attendees from last year said

“Words cannot describe how wonderful it feels to be recognised for the library program I’ve created in our little school.”

Sheila Seiler, 1st Place Winner 2017

“I think that… the School Librarian of the Year event, including the panel, was superlative, and a wonderful shot in the arm for people and a profession often undervalued.”

Kevin Crossley-Holland, Chair of the UK School Library Association (2012-17)

“It was an honour to work with you. I view it as an enriching experience. I thank you all for inviting me and for the organization and patience.”

Shaikha Al Muhairi, Judge

“A huge thank you for a wonderful evening and I was very pleased to receive third prize.”

Vikki Gilzean, 3rd Place Winner

“A massive thank you for such a wonderful time at the Librarian of the Year Ceremony. It was the most lovely event, a great discussion, the food was amazing and it was great to meet other librarians. I was so happy to receive my award and feel proud to have been a part of it all.”

Kate Riddle, Highly Commended

“Librarians are often overlooked and underfunded as was made clear last night. It was delightful to hear such approbation for school librarians.”

Judith Bonner, Nominee

In the News

© 2017 Emirates Literature Foundation
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