Category Archives: Uncategorized

GRA – 2018

We had a great morning in Gonzaga College as the guests of their librarian Siobhan McNamara who had organized a fantastic event for our 2018 Great Reads Awards. The large auditorium was nearly full. We had a number of authors who had made the time to come along, Helen Donohoe, Paul Gamble, Laurence Anholt (who won most read Junior category), Sarah Carroll (who won most read senior category), and Meg Grehan. We are very grateful for them making the effort to attend as it is a big part of the buzz of such events to see students meeting authors. Dave Rudden (last year’s winner of Junior most read category) was also in attendance and proved very popular. Sarah Webb gave a lovely talk introducing the award and announced our winners, One of us is lying by Karen McManus (senior category) and Wing Jones by Katherine Webber (junior category). It was a very interesting short list and a huge thanks to all the librarians who had whittled down a long list to this excellent shortlist. We can now start thinking what our suggestions will be for the 2019 award. DSC00165

Let’s Be Well – Feedback

Our November conference was well attended and seemed to hit the right notes for those who attended based on the very positive feedback. Lorraine Marrey did a great job in preparing the feedback form and in collating the information. Most found the venue and catering very suitable and we are very happy that the speakers were also considered  ideal. The hope is that for our 2018 conference and agm we can provide for some of your suggestions, which of course want to focus on things that actually work, supporting the new JCT and research skills with effective practice.

Robert Dunbar Memorial Libraries

To access potential funding for a school library collection you can apply for the CBI Robert Dunbar donation given annually to support reading for pleasure in schools. Check out the entry form on

Great Reads Award Winners Announced at Awards Ceremony!

For the announcement and photos see the GRA website and on Twitter #GRAIrl

School Librarian Vacancy

St Columba’s College, Whitechurch, Dublin, has an upcoming vacancy for a College Librarian.
Please open the following link for the advert and details of how to apply:
St Columba’s College Librarian Vacancy
Closing date: 2pm, 7th November 2016

The Great Reads Award Website

The website for the Great Reads Award is now live. You will find information there about how to register your school, posters, score sheets, etc:



ISLM Bookmark Exchange Project 2016


The ISLM Bookmark Exchange Project will run again for 2016 and registration is now open.

The Bookmark Exchange Project involves matched schools making homemade bookmarks (any style, shape, etc – be creative) to exchange with each other.

This year, Breege O’Brien of Ireland returns to co-ordinate the Bookmark Exchange Project. Last year, due to personal circumstances, Breege was unable to coordinate the Project and much thanks is due to Marie O’Brien of Australia and her team who took over the Project to ensure this popular ISLM activity could take place in 2015.

The Bookmark Exchange Project is a simple, fun way of sharing the pleasure and delights of books and libraries and of making new friends through school libraries worldwide. If you and your students did not get involved last year perhaps you will this year.

You might wish your students to communicate with their partnered school (s) as you make your bookmarks so that they can learn something about another culture and a different way of life. Alternatively, your students might do an in-depth investigation about each other’s localities. If you don’t want to do either of these things you can simply just swap bookmarks or devise your own activity. What you make of your exchange is entirely up to you.

You will be able to register your interest by entering your details into a Google Spreadsheet

If you are unable to use the spreadsheet you can email Breege O’Brien directly at Please make sure, if you are emailing your information, that you include as much of the following information as you can:

  • your school’s name
  • your school’s full postal address
  • the grade/grades of the students to be involved
  • the approximate age of the students in each separate group
  • the number of students in each group (this is very important to ensure you are matched to a school or other group of a similar size)
  • your Bookmark Coordinator’s contact information (name and email address – include a contact email where you can be reached during any school holidays)

Matching will be taking place between August and the end of September.

Please note the following:

  • You should aim to send the bookmarks to your matched school in October or as soon after that as possible
  • In order to avoid disappointment for students and teachers in your matched school, please follow through on your bookmark swap commitment.

Please register for the project, using either the Google spreadsheet or by email, as soon as possible. If you have sent us your details and have not had them acknowledged by the end of August please resend them.

For more information and/or assistance contact Breege O’Brien at, Bookmark Exchange Project Coordinator

School in Africa Seeks Partnership in Ireland

A small school with a budding school library in Beni, North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is seeking a partnership with a primary school in Ireland. The school hopes through this partnership to engage with an Irish school in reading and library related activities. Once the partnership is established it would allow the DRC school to source development funding from the Irish Government’s Development Aid Programme for its library and related educational programmes.

The ABC Primary School (Académie Bilingue du Congo) in Beni is located in one of the least developed countries in the world, and in a region experiencing ongoing violence. The current educational system dates back to the colonial era, and emphasizes rote memorization while simultaneously disciplining creative thinking and question-asking. The Académie seeks to provide excellent bilingual (French and English) education that emphasizes character growth and creative thinking, and classrooms that allow children to explore and learn in ways that engage their senses and help them do their best learning.  Its library project addresses a crucial need for its  students, as well as their parents, families and communities, by opening up a world of new information, and giving them the opportunity to develop a love of reading and learning. You can read more about the school and its context at:

If you are interested in pursuing a partnership with this school please contact its Director,  Katherine Shaw, Académie Bilingue du Congo | Directrice Générale, Beni, Nord Kivu, RDC:

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The Great Reads Award: Shortlists Unveiled!

Have a look below at the shortlists and the longlist for the Great Reads Award 2016. More information about how to take part to follow!

The Great Reads Award: A debut YA book award judged by readers, shortlisted by school librarians

SLARI has been setting up a new book award for secondary schools in Ireland to participate in.

We will be communicating with schools about this shortly. The award is for a debut fiction book for young adults and the winners will be elected by reader votes.

We are pleased to announce the shortlist which was decided upon by a working group of SLARI members:


The Best Medicine by Christine Hamill (Little Island 2016 )

The Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden (Puffin 2016)

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle (Corgi 2015)

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit (A. Knopf 2016)


The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (David Flicking 2015)

Weightless /by Sarah Bannan (Bloomsbury 2015)

The Serpent King /by Jeff Zentner (Random House 2016)

Orangeboy /by Patrice Lawrence (Hachette 2016)