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Leicester School Librarian Hails Prestigious Award Win as ‘Highlight of her Career’

A Leicester librarian has been named ‘School Librarian of the Year’ for her work in transforming her school and boosting pupil’s life chances through reading.

Bridget Hamlet from Leicester’s Rushey Mead Academy, was awarded the prestigious accolade last night (Tuesday, July 11) at the annual School Library Association (SLA) Awards.

Leicester Time: Leicester School Librarian Hails Prestigious Award Win as 'Highlight of her Career'
Picture: Reading Cloud

Not only has she had a huge impact on the library at Rushey Mead, transforming it into a welcoming, vibrant space, but she has also set up libraries in other schools in the Academy Trust. She ensures that these libraries are established according to each school’s needs and that the librarian who will run it is fully trained and supported. 

Within her own school, Ms Hamlet has used various activities and challenges to establish a strong reading culture amongst pupils and staff, including instigating reading for pleasure tutor times for all 1700 students and supporting teachers with their book knowledge. Equally the responsibility given to pupils in helping to run the library at Brook Mead school is having a significant impact on their self-esteem say the SLA.

In her acceptance speech, Ms Hamlet said that winning the award was the “highlight of her career.”

“The beneficiaries of our hard work are our students and colleagues who trust us to help them meet their full potential; and we take pride in that trust and responsibility,” she said.

That is the joy and wonder of being a school librarian.

Vicky Barwell, Principal of Rushey Mead Academy said, “It means a lot that Bridget’s phenomenal expertise has been recognised beyond our school. She is thoroughly deserving of this prestigious accolade. We are all incredibly proud of her and grateful for the hard work and love she has committed to cementing our school library as the heart and soul of the school.” 

Steve Reyes, from the award’s sponsor OverDrive said, “It is so important we give librarians like Bridget the recognition they deserve for making school libraries a safe space to learn, be creative and develop a love of reading.”