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Deadline Extended for School Librarian of the Year Award

Sunday, November 8, 2020/ Editor -  

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•        Nominations will now close on 14 March 2021

•        Award recognises exceptional librarians who make an impact in  their schools

Dubai, 8 November 2020:  The deadline for nominations for the prestigious annual School Librarian of the Year Award has been extended until 14 March 2021, with the  awards to be presented in June 2021.
The extension was announced by the Emirates Literature Foundation and The Executive Council of Dubai, who give the awards to reognise those librarians who have made an exceptional impact in encouraging reading in their schools.
“We have taken this decision to reflect the enormous difficulties that librarians are working under as a result of the pandemic,” explained Isobel Abulhoul OBE, CEO and trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation. “We know that some school libraries have been temporarily closed or children’s access restricted, and although the librarians may be employed elsewhere in the school they will still be going above and beyond in their mission to instill in their pupils a love of reading. Their skills are absolutely essential with chilldren’s need for books greater than ever, helping them to make sense of the world, as well as entertaining and educating them. I know many librarians will be making  heroic efforts to overcome these challenges, and that is what we want to hear about. We feel that extending the time frame will mean that the brilliant individuals who are making a difference to literacy in their schools can be acknowledged and honoured.”
The awards will be made in two categories, school librarians working in public (government) schools in the UAE and school librarians working in private schools in the UAE.   
Finalists will be assessed by a panel of judges. All nominees will be provided with opportunities for professional development. 

Nominations
More than  120 nominations were submitted from all over the UAE for the 2020 awards, the highest number of entries ever received. Nominations can be put forward by any individual, including colleagues, head teachers, students, governors and parents. Self-nominations are also encouraged.

Eligibility Criteria
All schools are eligible, whatever their language, but nominations must be entered online in either Arabic or English. Shortlisted nominees from both public and private schools will be judged on the library’s role within the school and wider community in line with the following criteria:

•        How did the librarian promote a love of reading during the pandemic in 2020?
•        How 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?
•        What is the library’s role within the school and the wider community?

Judging Criteria
The judges will take into consideration initiatives by the nominee undertaken during the period September 2019 to December 2020.

Prizes
Each prize will be awarded to a librarian in a public school library and to a librarian in a private school library:
•        First Place: Trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter for four people, to include flights, accommodation and entry to the studio tour; visit to the British library; an item of library furniture to the value of AED 4000; voucher for AED 2000 for library books
•        Second Place: Visit to Dubai Parks and Resorts for four people including two nights accommodation at a Dubai hotel; voucher for AED 1500 for library books
•        Third Place: Voucher for AED 1500 for library books


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