National Award for Acton-based Librarian

Jenny Griffiths named Primary School Librarian of the Year

Andy Slaughter MP with Jenny Griffiths and her award

January 26, 2023

A woman from Acton has been named 2022 Primary School Librarian of the Year by the School Library Association (SLA).

Jenny Griffiths, who works at Ravenscourt Park Prep School (RPPS), was given the prize jointly with another librarian from the West Midlands after and intensive period of assessment by the judges.

After being nominated in November 2021 she was longlisted after completing a 20-page questionnaire about the changes she has made, with plenty of evidence such as her library policy, lesson plans, staffing, relationships with colleagues, reading promotion, information literacy, use of technology plus many photographs. There was a big focus on pupil librarians and how the children view and use the library.

After informing her she had made it onto the shortlist last Easter, the judges came to see her in action in May. They observed lessons; interviewed pupils, teachers, parents, and the head of a local charity, and Mrs Griffiths herself. Pupils were asked by the judges to produce a poster showing what they “loved most about the library”, with their creation going on display at the SLA Conference in June 2022. RPPS also had to produce a video all about Mrs Griffiths and the library, with Mr. Howes, teachers and library prefects being interviewed.

Ultimately two finalists were announced with the SLA deciding to award them the prize jointly because they couldn’t decide between the two.

Her school said, “We were utterly overjoyed when Mrs Griffiths was made joint winner.

“As part of the application, Mrs Griffiths was asked to add one final piece of evidence, and we think this sums up why she won:

“In January 2022 Mr. Floyd Steadman came to speak to our staff on the topic of diversity and unconscious bias. He held four Headships in West London Independent Schools and was also an extremely talented scrum half and captain of Saracens, playing for the team in the late 1980s and 1990s. I had the pleasure of giving him a tour of my Library after his enthralling, heart-breaking, inspirational, and informative talk, and the next day he sent this message to one of our Deputy Heads: ‘Please thank your librarian for showing me your fantastic facility. It truly is a wonderful example of diversity and inclusion in practice. She was so passionate about all the positive changes made. If you could bottle that passion & pass on to others - wow!’”

This week Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter visited her library to see her at work and personally congratulate her for her award.

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