Welwyn Garden City school librarian singled out

A SCHOOL library has been singled out as a centre of excellence and an example to others.

With the use of iPads and Kindles as well as traditional books, Monk’s Walk school librarian Adam Lancaster has achieved a measurable love of reading, and has targeted youngsters who may otherwise have given up.

Mr Lancaster, who is also the chairman of reading charity, The Federation of Children’s Book Groups, has been dedicating class time to engaging and exciting lessons with all first year students.

By their second year at the school, more than half applied to be student librarians, with 60 given jobs, their enthusiasm shows the library is a vibrant place to be.

Mr Lancaster’s charity has recently been recognised for its “outstanding contribution to the world of children’s books” when it won the Eleanor Farjeon Award.

And his role as chairman has influenced the way Monk’s Walk’s library is run.

He said: “When children have lessons in here, they aren’t forced to read for an hour in silence.

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“We run events and invite authors in and track the students’ development.

“We build up a picture of them and it’s all about us talking to them and finding out why they don’t like reading.

“We try to find something they will enjoy.

“Eventually they trust us to suggest books, to stretch them and keep them engaged.”

He added: “You need to have a supportive school that understands the importance of reading and the positive impact it will have on learning.”

Mr Lancaster has now been tasked with writing a guide for other schools to use so they can learn from Monk’s Walk’s successes