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logo-tec-smaSchool Librarian of the Year Award logo-sloy-sma

The School Librarian of the Year Award, in partnership with The Executive Council of Dubai, was established in 2016 to celebrate the inspiring work of the UAE’s best school librarians in public and private schools. The winners receive fantastic prizes, acknowledging the pivotal role they play in creating the next generation of readers.

Winners Announced!

On 5 February 2020, The General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai and Emirates Literature Foundation awarded the 7 winners of the School Librarian of the Year Award for their significant work in actively supporting and encouraging reading for pleasure and nurturing a life-long love of learning and innovation in their students. One librarian was also awarded special recognition for his determination and dedication to his students.

The ceremony was held at the InterContinental Festival City during the week of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2020. The winners were presented with their awards by HE Aisha Abdulla Miran, Assistant Secretary General, Strategy Management and Governance Sector of The Executive Council of Dubai, Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and authors Lucy Strange and Hussain Al Mutawaa.

Click here to learn more.

Winners

Public Schools

First Place: Suhair Jalal Abdulrahman, Rawdat Al Oula – Abu Dhabi

First Place: Suhair Jalal Abdulrahman, Rawdat Al Oula – Abu Dhabi

Second Place: Marwa Magdy Ali Mohammed, Baya’at Al Radwan – Ghayathi, Abu Dhabi

Second Place: Marwa Magdy Ali Mohammed, Baya’at Al Radwan – Ghayathi, Abu Dhabi

Third Place: Sheikha Ali Saif Bin Abed Almari, Salma Al Ansariah Primary School – Dubai

Third Place: Sheikha Ali Saif Bin Abed Almari, Salma Al Ansariah Primary School – Dubai

Special Recognition

One librarian was awarded special recognition for his determination and dedication to his students.

Yasser Mohammed Abdul Mutalib Ibrahim, Majd Model School – Sharjah

Yasser Mohammed Abdul Mutalib Ibrahim, Majd Model School – Sharjah

Private Schools

First Place: Alan Jacques, Uptown School – Dubai

First Place: Alan Jacques, Uptown School – Dubai

Second Place: Caroline Lewis, RAK Academy – Ras Al Khaimah

Second Place: Caroline Lewis, RAK Academy – Ras Al Khaimah

Third Place: Jessica Raeside, Dubai International Academy, Emirates Hills – Dubai

Third Place: Jessica Raeside, Dubai International Academy, Emirates Hills – Dubai

Prizes

Professional Development for all Nominees

All librarians nominated for the School Librarian of the Year Award are awarded registration to a one-day workshop for school librarians at the Library Conference hosted annually by the American Library Association (ALA) Conference at Sharjah International Book Fair in November 2020.

Winners’ Prizes

Each of these prizes is awarded to a librarian in a public school library and to a librarian in a private school library:

Special Recognition may be awarded to a librarian in either or both categories at the discretion of the Judging Panel. The prize for librarians receiving Special Recognition is a voucher for AED1000 for library books.

Winners in each category are also awarded three-day registration to the Sharjah International Book Fair/ American Libraries Association conference in November 2020.

Finalists

The finalists of School Librarian of the Year Award 2020 have now been announced. Congratulations!

Name School Name Emirate
The finalists from public school libraries are:
Aliaa Ali Saeed Almalawi Alketbi & Asmaa Issa Buhmaid Mohammed Bin Rashid Primary School Dubai
Inayat Al Sayed Mohammed AlJindi Lulu School, Cycle 1 Abu Dhabi
Marwa Magdy Ali Mohamed Baya’at Al Radwan Abu Dhabi
Shiekha Ali Saif Bin Abed Almari Salma Al Ansariah Primary School Dubai
Suhair Jalal Abdulrahman Rawdat AlOula Abu Dhabi
Yasser Mohammed Abdul Mutalib Ibrahim Majd Model School Sharjah
The finalists from private school libraries are:
Alan Jacques Uptown School Dubai
Sreevidya Devanand GEMS modern Academy Dubai
Marie Comb Safa British school Dubai
Jessica Louise Raeside Dubai International Academy, Emirates Hills Dubai
Sanam Bozorgi The Arcadia Preparatory School Dubai
Caroline Lewis RAK Academy Ras Al Khaimah
Jack Morris Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi

We were thrilled to have received 123 nominations recognising the achievements of wonderful librarians from all over the UAE.

Nominations

Click here to view nominations received in English from private school libraries.

Click here to view nominations received in Arabic.

Private Schools

Name School Name Emirate
Alan Jacques Uptown School Dubai
Andrea Williams Star International School Dubai
Annie Madden Al Yasat Private School Abu Dhabi
Avan Kazzaz Dubai British School Jumeirah Park Dubai
Azza zakaria badran New academy school Dubai
B.Bagavathisudha Buds Public School Dubai
Bidulekha Rajendran DUNES INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Abu Dhabi
Caroline Lewis RAK Academy Ras Al Khaimah
Carrie Hanspaul Brighton College Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Clare Napper Dubai English Speaking college Dubai
Doaa Allah Al Rabeeh School Abu Dhabi
Dr Fawzia Gilani Williams Al Ghadeer – Al Jana’en – Al Narjes Abu Dhabi
Elena Ysais Dizon Credence High School, Dubai Dubai
Fiona Redding Greenfield International School Dubai
Ghazala Mufti Al Muna Academy Abu Dhabi
Glenda Castanares The British International School Abu Dhabi
Hanadi Tayfour North London Collegiate School Dubai Dubai
Jack Morris Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Jericho C. Dian Summit International School Abu Dhabi
Jessica Louise Raeside Dubai International Academy, Emirates Hills Dubai
Joy S. Buenaventura Al Salam Community School Dubai
Julie Daccache International concept for Education ICE Dubai
Justine Elamatha Swiss International Scientific School Dubai Dubai
Karen Sherriff Jumeirah English Speaking School Dubai
Karthikeyan Balasubramanian Asian International Private School Abu Dhabi
Krishnapillai Kannan Private International English School Abu Dhabi
Kristine Kirby Gems American Academy Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Lise Whatley Victory Heights Primary School Dubai
Maricel Agpay Kings’ School Al Barsha Dubai
Marie Comb Safa British school Dubai
Masooma Wafa New Indian Model School Dubai Dubai
Meer Alam Pakistan Education Academy Dubai
Michaela Magdolen Deira International School Dubai
Michelle Henderson Manor Hall International School Abu Dhabi
Mrs Louisa McGauley Jumeirah English Speaking School Dubai
Ms Khatija Abdul Karim Gems Cambridge International School, Dubai Dubai
Ms. Merinisa A. Alva The Elite English School Dubai
Nafeesa Kouser Future International School Abu Dhabi
Nosheen Khan Kings School Nad Al Sheba Dubai
Olivia Mendoza Brighton College Al Ain Abu Dhabi
Premil Subramanian GEMS Wellington Silicon Oasis Dubai
Renu Mehta Shining Star International School Abu Dhabi
Rima Alzoubi Alshola american school Ajman
Robert Pateman Ajman Academy Ajman
Rouzaba International School of Arts and Sciences Dubai
Safeera Aslam Dwight School Dubai Dubai
Saleem Ayyanath Delhi Private School Dubai Dubai
Sana Adil AlIssa Dar Al Marefa Private School Dubai
Sanam Bozorgi The Arcadia Preparatory School Dubai
Sarah Austin Al Mizhar American Academy Dubai
Simone Nowell Jebel Ali School Dubai
Sreevidya Devanand GEMS modern Academy Dubai
Srija Jidesh New Indian Model School Dubai Dubai
Stacey Turnbull Jebel Ali School Dubai
Suha AlQaruty Brighton College Al Ain Abu Dhabi
Teejay Button Raha International School Abu Dhabi
Vandna Sharma Habitat School Ajman
Zeina Al Sukhon Emirates International School Dubai

School Librarian of the Year Award 2021

Nominations for School Librarian of the Year Award 2021 will open in September 2020.

Rules of Entry

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?

Nominations are invited from colleagues, head teachers, students, governors, parents and anyone with an interest in school librarianship. We acknowledge that librarians can be unsung heroes and therefore self-nominations are also welcome.

How to nominate?

  • Submit your entry by completing all sections of the nomination form below.
  • 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.
  • 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 is the award judged?

  • All nominations are carefully assessed and analysed, and the shortlist of finalists is then drawn up. For advice on writing an engaging nomination entry, please refer to the frequently asked questions.
  • A shortlist of finalists in each category is announced in December. Members of the judging panel visit the finalists at their libraries during the first half of January.
  • Nominations are 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
  • The winners will be announced and the awards presented on Wednesday, 5 February, during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2020 (4-9 February).

Librarians can be nominated in Arabic or in English.

Terms and Conditions

  • The competition is open to all school librarians in any stage of school education.
  • One candidate can be nominated from each library.
  • One candidate can be nominated from each school 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 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020 are welcome to enter again.
  • Only one nomination will be accepted per librarian and once submitted, nominations may not be updated.
  • Joint nominations must be submitted as a single entry, and the prize would be shared by nominees should they win. Joint nominations are allowed only where the librarian role is performed as a job-share partnership where each librarian holds equal status.
  • To be considered for the award, nominees must be employed at the same school listed on their entry form at the awards ceremony in February 2021.
  • All nominees receive a certificate of participation. Please ensure nominee names are spelled correctly on the entry form. Certificates are distributed at the awards ceremony in February.
  • The deadline for receiving entries for the competition is final. No entries received after the given date will be considered.
  • All nominees are offered registration to a one-day workshop for school librarians at the Library Conference hosted annually by the American Library Association (ALA) Conference at Sharjah International Book Fair. This applies to the ALA conference in the November following the annual awarding of the prize in February.
  • The prize(s) must be taken as stated 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. The prizes are non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  • Prizes unclaimed within the specified deadline will be deemed to have been forfeited.
  • The first and second-place winners must provide their preferred dates for their visit and the details of their three companions by 17 March 2020. The itinerary will be arranged by the Emirates Literature Foundation. The trip must be taken by 8 September 2020.
  • 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 shortlisted, to the Emirates Literature Foundation’s use of their name and photograph in relation to related publicity material and activities.
  • Schools should be aware that they need to have parental consent for use of student images in any material submitted.
  • By entering for this award, nominators are deemed to have the agreement of the nominated librarian and the head teacher of the school to submit the entry and their approval on the content.
  • 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.

For further details, please click here to read the frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions

What are the award categories?

The 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.
Entries can be submitted in Arabic or in English, however the category is defined by whether the school is public or private, regardless of the language of the entry.

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. The entry should include as much information as possible to answer the questions fully and describe the award nominee 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.

Do

  • Bear in mind that the shortlist is determined on the basis of the written submission plus photos.
  • Make sure the librarian reads and approves the submission before it is sent in.
  • Make sure submissions are complete, clear and concise.
  • Make sure that each point in the submission shows what an amazing difference the librarian makes at their school and is directly relevant to how the nominee executes their core mission as a librarian and to the specific question being answered.
  • Select photos of library events in action, of enthusiastic students and attractive displays.
  • Share examples of the librarian’s enthusiasm and their passion to see children reading for pleasure, as well as serving the needs of the curriculum, within the boundaries of budget and management of the school.
  • Demonstrate how the library offers a safe and welcoming learning environment, and show evidence of involvement by the children/students – displays, book reviews, suggestions for book purchases being taken into account.
  • Describe the librarian’s knowledge of children’s literature, their awareness of the school curriculum, and how they work closely with colleagues to deliver a positive experience for all.
  • Show how the librarian makes every attempt to work with school management and to gain their support for initiatives.
  • Explain how the library is inclusive, offering materials for all students including those who require learning support.
  • Highlight engagement with others in the community – volunteers (including parents), school support staff and involvement in literature-related events (including Emirates Literature Foundation), especially promotion of the children’s and school events and competitions.
  • Let us know how technology is considered – is there a balance between traditional forms of reading and information-finding as well as embracing new ideas and technologies? Librarians should always be keen to innovate wisely to motivate readers.
  • Write and save the submission in a separate file and then paste it into the nomination form.

Don’t

  • Include contact information in the answers to the nomination questions. Contact information should only be entered in the relevant fields on the form.
  • Include details not directly relevant to the submission, such as the librarian’s age, nationality, address, social media tags, list of job positions, courses attended, etc.
  • Mention degrees/certifications/awards unless you can succinctly describe how they contribute to helping you excel as a librarian.

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 are the results announced?

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

Finalists are notified directly as well by email.
The winners are announced and the awards presented during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in February.
All nominees and their head teachers are invited to attend the awards ceremony which includes lunch and a panel discussion.

How are the prizes organised?

The first and second-place winners must give their preferred dates for their visit and the details of their three companions by 17 March 2020. The itinerary will be arranged by the Emirates Literature Foundation. The trip must be taken by 8 September 2020.

Nomination Form:

Please complete all sections of the nomination form below:
To complete the nomination form in Arabic, please click here.
This is closed.

What our attendees from previous years said

“I am indeed proud to be a resident of this glorious nation and its kind and benevolent Rulers who set new examples of excellence with every passing day. From them I draw my inspiration. Thank you once again for bestowing me with this momentous honour. I promise to work with dedication and the single minded aim to promote the love for books amongst all.”

Veronika Lambova, 1st Place Winner, Private Schools, 2018

“The main lesson I teach is that reading is free and that a book could be a friend whenever and wherever you go.”

Sameh Farouk, 1st Place Winner, Public Schools, 2018

“All librarians adore their jobs and they’re not particularly highly paid and they aren’t generally in the limelight. So it’s very special that in this beautiful building, we have had this ceremony where everybody shows just how grateful we are for all their hard work and enthusiasm.”

Jacqueline Wilson

“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

“It is so wonderful that you are able to host this contest each year. It is a great opportunity for us librarians… Being a fighter, I will continue to work and create future readers.”

Ofelia Gulerez, Finalist, 2018

“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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