Shortlist Announced for first Emirates Literature Foundation School Librarian of the Year Award
Dubai, 1 March, 2017: The Emirates Literature Foundation today announced the top 14 school librarians shortlisted for the first School Librarian of the Year Award. Held in partnership with the General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai, the Award recognises the most innovative and creative work of librarians in the UAE, which helps reinforce a love of reading in the schools of the UAE. Principals, teachers, students and parents nominated nearly 100 school librarians from across the UAE, with seven librarians from Arabic schools and seven from international schools qualifying for the final round of judging.
Judging the inaugural competition are Fahad al Mamari, Director of Public Libraries Department at Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Shaikha Al Mehairi, Cultural Research Centre Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture, Ahmed Al Hashemi, and with Yvette Judge, Chief Operating Officer of Emirates Literature Foundation chairing the judges. The final shortlist is:
|International School Librarian – Shortlist|
|Sheila Seiler||GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi|
|Michelle Plant||JESS Arabian Ranches Secondary|
|Vikki Gilzean||Rashid School for Boys|
|Emma Fisher||JESS Jumeirah|
|Kate Riddle||Deira International School (Primary)|
|Margaret Smallpeice||Institute of Applied Technology|
|Raghunathan Manheri||The Westminster School, Dubai|
Prize Giving Ceremony
Winners will be announced at a ceremony on 6 March during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Prizes will be presented by His Excellency Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani – Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai and Kevin Crossley-Holland, author and President of the UK School Library Association.
First place winners will receive a trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London for 4 people including flights, accommodation and entry to the studio tour, plus a visit to the British library, a school library in UK, an item of library furniture and a voucher for AED2000 for library books. The second place winner will receive Legoland Dubai tickets for 4 people including two nights’ accommodation at a Dubai hotel and a voucher for AED1500 for library books. Additional winners will receive cash vouchers for library books.
Developing a Reading Culture
At the ceremony, His Excellency Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai said, ‘We have been and remain committed to the directives of our wise leadership in promoting the culture of reading. We recognise that achieving this ambition comes through careful attention to many different aspects that must work together to promote a culture of reading. Libraries play a very important role in inculcating a habit of reading, and that’s why we have committed ourselves to develop, promote and motivate those who work in this field. The award is just one of many initiatives taken to support reading in the UAE.’
He added, ‘The School Librarian of the Year Award is one of several enterprises developed by the partnership between the Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai and the Emirates Literature Foundation, which has become an integral part of the cultural scene in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and the region. We will take part in the annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which has been growing bigger year on year. I would like to extend my thanks to the team work of the Foundation that has continued to perform in this area because it works with love and passion and belief in this message.’
Importance of School Libraries in Education
Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature reiterated the importance of the Award, ‘This is a wonderful enterprise and we are elated that to have partnered with the General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai to reward school librarians in the UAE. The shortlisted librarians have shown a passion and dedication to their work which far exceeds the requirements of any library.’
And she added, ‘Libraries are an integral part of children’s learning and journey to become readers. To see the creativity and hard work of these librarians to win over even the most ardent non-reader is why we need to recognise their importance.’