MEET THE JUDGES
THE CILIP CARNEGIE AND KATE GREENAWAY JUDGES 2014

  Helen Thomson

Helen Thomson
Chair of Judges 2014

I work in Durham - the most beautiful place in Britain - managing 7 libraries and responsible for the Children's Portfolio for the entire network of 39 public libraries. A librarian since 1991, I've always focussed on children's work, and love nothing more than discussing books with a fellow reader - whatever their age. In 2004 & 2005 I was the North East judge for the awards, and I've never been so thrilled or so proud - I never dreamed that I would be able to repeat the experience, and am unbelievably excited to be Chair of Judges for the 2014 Awards!

This year's judges are awesome. Noisy, opinionated and passionate - our meetings won't be easy or quiet, but the result will be the very best there is!

I can't wait to get started!

       
  Alison Brumwell

Alison Brumwell
Humber & N Yorks

Librarianship is my second career, having worked first in the Canadian publishing industry. I have nearly sixteen years’ broad-based experience, ranging from working for Leeds Library and Information Service in a number of different roles to the Librarian post at a challenging secondary school. I have been a children’s specialist for eight years and am currently the Librarian/Information Officer for booksplus, Kirklees Council’s schools library service. It is a dream job, which allows me to do the two things I love best: working with young people and promoting the value of books and reading for pleasure. I also have the opportunity to do something else I love, which is writing, and work actively with three different charities to support school library provision in developing countries. A third visit to Uganda is planned for February 2014, along with a pilot Greenaway shadowing project in Mbale which will be the highlight of three very rewarding years as Yorkshire and the Humber Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal judge.

       
  Ana Guevara

Ana Guevara
South East

From farm work in Norway to grape picking in Australia I travelled widely before returning to Libraries in 2002 (having previously worked for six years in Haringey Libraries during the 1980s). I worked as a Library Assistant then a Senior Library Assistant with the East Sussex Library and Information Service whilst studying part-time for my Information Studies Masters Degree (University of Brighton).

I have been a Librarian working as a Children’s and Young People’s Services Co-ordinator with East Sussex since 2007. I find it extremely rewarding working with children and young people and passing on my enthusiasm for books and reading. I’m responsible for the Children’s Libraries of five branches working with children of all ages. My responsibilities cover three main areas – stock selection and promotion (including keeping up-to-date with the range of children’s books available), events and outreach.

I am an active member of CILIP – with CILIP Sussex (2002-2010) and with YLG South East (2009-present). I am looking forward my second year as Carnegie Kate Greenaway Judge.

       
  Cath Skipper

Cath Skipper
Northern Ireland

I have always been a keen reader, and was a pupil library assistant during my school years, so becoming a school librarian was perhaps always my destiny! Following a stint as a bookseller at Aberystwyth University after I finished my undergraduate degree, I completed an MSc Econ in Library and Information Studies there and have been the librarian at Campbell College, a boys’ school in Belfast, for four and a half years. I feel very fortunate to have a job I love; it is a great privilege to be able to help develop a love of books and reading in the young people I work with.

I am hugely excited and honoured to be part of an award that has such enduring appeal. I couldn’t have imagined all those years ago when I was reading Tom’s Midnight Garden (one of my favourite books as a girl) that in the future I would be one of the judges of the award - I can’t wait to get started!

       
  Charlotte Arthur

Charlotte Arthur
London

I graduated from Aberystwyth University having gained a Library and Information Studies degree in 2004. From there, I worked in a number of bookshops before becoming the project loans librarian in Hounslow School Library Service. This role involved providing materials each term for loan to schools and has been a great way to gain knowledge of books for children and young people and what they enjoy reading. I have recently been promoted to managing the service. Hounslow School Library Service is now growing and it's a thrill to see schools borrowing books, improving their library provision in school and children enjoying a wide range of books. In 2008 I joined the committee for the London branch of YLG. It is a privilege to be on this committee, providing training and publisher events for other London based librarians with a passion for children's books.

Books have always been a huge part of my life. My parents are avid readers and my mother is a secondary school librarian. As a child I was always encouraged to read but became a non-reader at primary school. I only realised how fantastic reading for pleasure was when I was given the right book at the right time. From then on I've been hooked on reading and it's exciting to be involved in this award process which gives so many the opportunity to find that one books that gets them hooked too.

       
  Kara Orford

Kara Orford
Wales

My career in libraries began quite accidentally when I accepted a Saturday Assistant’s post to help pay the bills while studying for my MA in American Literature. What a revelation! I soon cast aside any other career plans I had been forming and began working in libraries full time. I have since worked for public libraries in Doncaster, Manchester, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Pickering Public Libraries in Ontario, Canada. I also worked briefly as a School Librarian in a Yorkshire comprehensive.

I am currently employed as a Community Librarian for Denbighshire Libraries and was recently awarded Chartered status via pathway 2. My role is very varied and no two days are the same! Children’s stock purchasing for the county is one area of my responsibility, as is the programming of community reading groups in the libraries that I manage. I have been running Carnegie / Greenaway shadowing groups for around 9 years now and cannot describe how excited and privileged I feel to be a member of the CILIP Carnegie/Greenaway panel of judges this year. It has been an ambition of mine for a very long time.

       
  Alison Tarrant

Alison Tarrant
Eastern

Librarian at the newly opened Cambourne Village College, after being Library Assistant for 2 years at Comberton Village College. It was while doing my Library and Information Studies Masters at Aberystwyth during 2010 that I decided I want to work in school libraries. I ran the shadowing group at Comberton last year, and have run book groups that follow other awards as well. I have enjoyed being on the Eastern Committee for the past 2 years, and am always inspired by the opinions that are voiced. I regularly read and review books on Twitter, and use Twitter to follow the latest goings-on in the world of children’s publishing.

       
  Sophie Hawkey–Edwards

Sophie Hawkey – Edwards
Scotland

I love books, I love stories and I love libraries. Though never intending to become a librarian, my life has led me to a place full of wonderful words, stupendous stories and endless possibilities, where serendipity plays its part in helping you find what you might not even have known you wanted. Please note: librarians are Tweedledee to serendipity’s Tweedledum.

As a wee person I wasn’t too hot at the old reading thing. Loving stories, I would persuade as many folk as possible to read to me but I just couldn’t seem to turn the peculiar hieroglyphics on the page into words and sentences. Luckily for me I had a fabulous teacher, Mr. Oakley, who with great patience spent his break times coaxing some basic literacy out of me, eventually helping to flip the magic switch that turned shapes into words and released the stories from the page. Between him, my family and the best children’s librarian in London I became a devoted reader and I believe it was my experiences of these people who cared, who loved words and loved stories that made me the person I am. Anyone who tries to tell me libraries are dull silent places peopled by bespectacled ogres in twin sets and tweed will find I have no choice but to lock them in the children’s section with a toddlers’ song and rhyme session in one corner, a preschool storytime in the other and Julia Donaldson performing the Gruffalo to primary school pupils in the centre. Oh, and don’t forget the teens hanging out on the mezzanine playing on the Xbox and flicking through the graphic novels!

For the past decade I have been working with children and the young in various guises involving the promotion of books and reading to children of all ages, coordinating children’s and young people’s book festivals and delivering activities that involve a lot of glitter. I currently work for arts and heritage, developing children’s heritage visits in our library heritage centres and museum and also working on projects to introduce young people to authors, illustrators and poets. I love the diversity of my job which can involve anything from Blue Peter-style workshops with wee ones to working with comic book artists in secondary schools, as well as designing learning programmes and working with my team to develop storytimes.

Before my career in libraries I completed an MA in History of Art at Glasgow University, an MSc in Information & Library Studies at the University of Strathclyde and, somewhere in between, became virtuoso at pouring the perfect pint in various hostelries.

Away from libraries I love going to gigs and festivals, visiting galleries and museums, eating, flying my kite and lazing in the bath with a negroni and a good book.

       
  Tess Macpherson

Tess Macpherson
North East

I have been working in libraries since qualifying in 2002, initially as a Sure Start librarian working with young children and their families. Being immersed in a world of picture books and storytelling was a great experience and convinced me of the value of books for learning and pleasure, from babies and beyond. In 2007, I joined North Tyneside Libraries children’s team working with experienced and committed colleagues to promote books and reading through a wide range of projects, activities and events, including the Northern Children’s Book Festival. I love reading and have been an active member of YLG North East for a number of years, helping to organise courses and events. I currently work in the North Tyneside Schools Library Service and count myself lucky to have a job that enables me to read, discuss and buy books for children and young people.

       
  Hannah Thomson

Hannah Thomson
West Midlands

I have been working as a Children's Librarian for the past seven years and currently lead Foxford School’s Library and Learning Resource Centre, which is based within a large and culturally diverse city comprehensive.

The promotion of a love of literature and stimulating reading for pleasure underpin my main vision for the library and I aim to engage all users in a variety of creative and innovative ways.

I am incredibly excited to be involved in the judging for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Book Awards, one of the country's most prestigious book awards, this is a huge privilege!

       
  Kathryn Flagner

Kathryn Flagner
North West

I first worked as a Children’s Librarian in Knowsley from 1993 to 1998, covering both Public and School’s Library Services. I then had four years with Halton to broaden my library experience. It was there I realised that I preferred working with children, as there is no bigger buzz than the feedback they provide when they are introduced to new books and authors.

I started working as Children’s Librarian in Cumbria in July 2002. This was something of a baptism of fire as it was the first day of the summer holiday and the library where I was based was having an Open Day for children to launch the Summer Reading Challenge.

My role has changed over time so not only do I co-ordinate and run children’s activities in Cumbria Library’s West Group, but have also taken on a larger management role for the group, being deputy to the Area Library Manager. My first love is still children’s work and I read widely, I am especially into dystopia and horror.

       
  Victoria Barton

Victoria Barton
East Midlands

I have ten years’ experience of working with children and young people, first teaching English in the Secondary School, then as a Librarian. I am a Chartered Librarian and a qualified mentor with an MA Library and Information Management. During my MA I focused on children’s picture books in my ground breaking dissertation.

I have worked in a huge variety of public libraries large and small throughout my career, including an arts and humanities library, local studies library and many different public libraries as well as a dedicated education library serving Leicestershire Schools. In my job being a bookworm for children’s books is not a guilty pleasure as it gives me the chance to share the best children’s books with parents, teachers and children as well as recording my children’s book review show on local radio.

I am part of the Membership and Awards committee for the UK Literacy Association, judging a variety of literacy teaching and education awards. I am the Secretary for the East Midlands Youth Libraries Group, organising training days, meetings and CKG choices days for the committee and beyond.

The thing I particularly love about my job is the opportunity I can give to children and young people to really feel a passion for books and reading that comes from being involved with their library. I have been lucky enough to work with children and young people who have volunteered for or become involved in the Summer Reading Challenge and to organise children’s events that get everyone reading. The most rewarding aspect is to see their involvement with the library grow and help them to flourish as readers and advocates for reading.

       
  Karen Horsfield

Karen Horsfield
South West

I have been reading and inventing stories for as long as I can remember so it is not surprising that I initially trained as teacher of English and worked in a comprehensive school for almost ten years. My interest in the school library heralded a change of career and after having the family I qualified as a librarian and now manage Resources for Learning, Somerset’s Schools’ Library Service. I have now been working with children and young people for over 30 years! I am a member of YLG SW Committee and Vice-Chair of the School Library Association.

Not daunted by the time I almost set fire to my bed reading under the covers, I am as enthusiastic about reading as ever. Reading is essential to children and young people fulfilling their potential. I hope that I have played a small part in developing a love of reading and information in some of those whose paths I have crossed.

Being a member of the CILIP Carnegie/Greenaway panel of judges has been on my list of ‘things to do before I die’ for a very long time. I really look forward to the exciting challenge ahead.

       
 
The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards CILIP YLG Carnegie UK Trust Renaissance Learning ALCS