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logo-sloy-sma School Librarian Of The Year Award 2017 logo-tec-sma

In its inaugural year, the School Librarian of the Year Award, organised by the Emirates Literature Foundation and The General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai, received a staggering 100 entries. The top 10 UAE librarians were awarded for their transformative work in encouraging students to read, develop their creativity and enhance the importance of reading in the schools of the UAE.

The 2017 award ceremony was held at the InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City alongside the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2017. In attendance were Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Vice Chairman, Emirates Literature Foundation and His Excellency Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General at Dubai Culture. The prizes were presented by His Excellency Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani – Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai and UK President of the School Library Association and author Kevin Crossley-Holland.


  • 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; visit to a school library in UK; an item of library furniture; voucher for AED2000 for library books
  • Second Place: Visit to Legoland Dubai 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
  • Fourth place: voucher for AED1000 for library books
  • Highly Commended: voucher for AED500 library books

All four winners, plus the highly commended librarian in each language, were also awarded registration to the 3-day Sharjah International Book Fair/ American Libraries Association conference in November 2017.

Click here to learn more.


International School Librarian – Winners

Sheila Seiler GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi
Michelle Plant JESS Arabian Ranches Secondary
Vikki Gilzean Rashid School for Boys
Emma Fisher JESS Jumeirah
Highly Commended: Kate Riddle Deira International School (Primary)


The finalists from international school libraries were:

Emma Fisher JESS Jumeirah, Dubai
Kate Riddle Deira International School, Dubai
Margaret Smallpeice Institute of Applied Technology, Dubai
Michelle Plant JESS Arabian Ranches, Dubai
Raghunathan Manheri The Westminster School, Dubai
Sheila Seiler GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi
Vikki Gilzean Rashid School for Boys, Dubai

Click here to view the finalists from Arabic language school libraries.

We were thrilled to have received nearly one hundred nominations recognising the achievements of wonderful librarians from all over the UAE:

The nominees from international school libraries were:

Name of Nominee School Name Emirate
Elle Ryan Safa Community School Dubai
Amanda Lamond Repton School Dubai
Christine Malinowski Greenfield Community School Dubai
Damian Morgan Australian International School Sharjah
Emma Fisher JESS Jumeirah Dubai
Fatmeh Othman Al Foot Al Dhafra Private School – Al Ain Abu Dhabi
Gaelene Clarke Dubai College Dubai
Judith Bonner Jumeirah College Dubai
Kate Riddle Deira International School Dubai
Lesley Donnachie Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
Madhu Badhe Kings’ School Al Barsha Dubai
Madhur Khare GEMS Modern Academy Dubai
Margaret Smallpeice Applied Technology High School Dubai
Michelle Plant JESS Arabian Ranches Dubai
Mireille Najjar Horizon Private School Abu Dhabi
Mittu Jayakrishnan Gulf Indian School Dubai Dubai
Najwa Deeb Abu Dhabi International Private School Abu Dhabi
Nihal Hassan Wesgreen International School Sharjah
Nosheen Saba Khan King’s School Nad Al Sheba Dubai
Ofelia Gulerez Deira Private School Dubai
Paddy Mullen The British School Al Khubairat Abu Dhabi
Pam Warkup Fujairah Private Academy Fujairah
Raghunathan Manheri The Westminster School Dubai
Reefat Nurmohamed Jumeirah Primary School Dubai
Saleem Ayyanath Delhi Private School Dubai (Senior School) Dubai
Sanam Bozorgi The Arcadia Preparatory School Dubai
Sheila Seiler GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Simi Jaiphar Gulf Model School Dubai
Suha AlQaruty Brighton College Al Ain Al Ain
Susane joseph Raffles International School Dubai
Tamara Button American Community School Abu Dhabi
Tracy Ammoury Dubai English Speaking School Dubai
Veena Malapil Delhi Private School Dubai (Junior School) Dubai
Vikki Gilzean Rashid School for Boys Dubai

Please click here to view the winners, finalists and nominees from Arabic language school libraries

What our attendees are saying

“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

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