Dubai: The search is on for the UAE’s top school librarians with the return of the prestigious annual School Librarian of the Year Award. Now in its sixth year, the award is given by the The General Secretariat of Executive Council of Dubai and Emirates Literature Foundation to those individuals who have shown exceptional commitment in championing literacy in their schools and sharing their passion for books. It will be awarded in two categories, school librarians working in public (government) schools and those in private schools in the UAE.
The yearly award is now open for nominations and will close on November 10. The winners will be announced in February 2022.
“We believe in the role of reading. It enriches our culture, and our students have so much to gain from books, in all fields of knowledge. That’s why we continue to support the award since its launch,” said Shumous Bin Faris, Strategic Development Advisor at the General Secretariat of Executive Council of Dubai and Coordinator of Reading Initiatives in Dubai. “And we continue to instil the habit of reading in future generations, especially as our students go back to the corridors and libraries of their schools.”
Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation, said: “The role librarians play in encouraging reading has never been more important than in the last 18 months, where the pandemic has meant that many children have been learning from home for long periods of time. Many of our school librarians have gone above and beyond in imparting their enthusiasm and by making sure that their students have had the right books to enable them to flourish during this uncertain time. This has not only been important for their education, but also in making them appreciate the huge benefits reading can have on our wellbeing, offering escape, insight and entertainment.”
Nominations can be put forward by any individual, including colleagues, head teachers, students, governors and parents. Self-nominations are also welcome and encouraged. Librarians will be assessed by a panel of judges through a sifting process and the shortlisted nominees will be visited in their school libraries. All nominees will be offered Professional Development opportunities.
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 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?
• What is the library’s role within the school and the wider community?
The closing date for nominations is November 10.