The winners of the School Librarian of the Year Awards 2019 were announced today at a special ceremony at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (1-9 March 2019). The prestigious awards are presented by the Emirates Literature Foundation, in association with The Executive Council of Dubai, to recognise those Librarians who have demonstrated outstanding commitment in sharing their love of literature and promoting reading for pleasure among the student community whilst also raising academic and literacy standards in the school.
“Influencing children to read books for pleasure is one of the most important responsibilities there is in preparing the next generation to become well-rounded citizens,” said Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation. “School librarians are committed to making a difference to literacy in their schools, sharing their passion for books and inspiring children to pick up a book and read. It is wonderful that through this award their hard work and commitment can be recognised.”
Shumous Majid Bin Faris, General Co-ordinator for the month of reading in Dubai and Advisor at the General Secretariat of Executive Council of Dubai, said that “The joint efforts to promote the culture of reading will contribute to enhancing the position of Dubai and its sustainable development, creating a knowledge-based society. She also added, “This award is a recognition of the outstanding role played by librarians to get our children to love and appreciate reading and learning. Librarians support our progress towards achieving excellence in the cultural field, in line with the UAE National Strategy for Reading (2016-2026). The award contributes to empowering generations to face the future and creating a motivating environment.”
The Executive Council of Dubai has remained a strategic partner of the Emirates Literature Foundation in developing a framework to build and empower intellectucal capabilities among youth – aligned with Dubai Government’s efforts to create a knowledge-based economy in line with the UAE Vison 2021.
More than 116 nominations were submitted from around the country, the highest number of entries ever received for the awards. Finalists were assessed by a panel of judges who visited the shortlisted librarians to make a final assessment. The award was judged in two categories– school librarians working in public (government) schools in the UAE and school librarians working in private schools in the UAE.
The winners are:
Halima Khalfan Salem Alnagbi, Omair Bin Abi Waqas School for Basic Education, Cycle 1, Eastern area – Sharjah
Abeer Mohammed Salem Hamad AlHusani, Muhra Bint Ahmad School for Basic Education, Cycle 1, Ras Al Khaimah
Rawdah Mesiad Khalid Almansoori, Ghayathi School for Basic Education (Boys’ section), Abu Dhabi
Mary Rose Grieve, Hartland International School, Dubai
Teejay Button, Raha International School, Abu Dhabi
N Basavaraja, Garden City British School, Al Ain
Two librarians were also awarded special recognition for their determination and dedication to their students. Arwa Mustafa and Ayesha AlShaer from National Charity School, Cycle 1, Al Garhoud Dubai, jointly received this prize.
The winners were presented with their awards by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Department of Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group, Chairman Dubai Airports and Chairman Emirates Literature Foundation, HE Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary-General of The Executive of Dubai, Mrs. Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and authors Nicola Morgan and Maitha Al Khayyat. The ceremony included a celebration lunch and a discussion panel on the importance of reading for pleasure
The prizes for each category are:
First Place: Trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter for
people, to include flights, accommodation and entry to the studio tour; visit to the British
library; an item of library furniture; voucher for AED2000 for library books
Second Place: Visit to Dubai Parks and Resorts for 4 people
including two nights’ accommodation at a Dubai hotel; voucher for AED1500 for library books
Third Place: Voucher for AED1500 for library books
Special Recognition: voucher for AED1000 for library books
All three winners in each category also receive registration to the three-day Sharjah International Book Fair/American Libraries Association conference in November 2019.