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Annie Brady, Librarian, St Paul’s CBS Secondary School, Dublin wins Librarian of the Year 2015

For the second time in three years, the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award has been won by an Irishwoman.

Annie Brady of St Paul’s CBS Secondary School, in Dublin with 250 boys, was awarded the honour at the Royal Society of Arts in London yesterday by award-winning author Kevin Brooks.

The award by the School Library Association seeks to recognise the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day in Britain and Ireland and to highlight the best practice of those whose work is outstanding. It was won in 2013 by Hilary Cantwell of St Paul’s Community College in Waterford.

The St Paul’s CBS librarian said: “My reaction was total shock but also total delight. I’m really honoured and its huge honour for the school. And as I said when I won – you can only be librarian of the year if you have the support of a fantastic staff and amazing students.”

Ginette Doyle, chair of the selection committee, said: “Annie Brady has a huge impact on teaching, learning, numeracy and literacy levels within her school. Her energy, commitment and drive are something to be admired and her willingness to go beyond what might be expected of a librarian is plainly obvious. She puts the library at the centre of learning within the school and her concern for the children within her care, constantly creating and developing a huge variety of learning opportunities, shows her to be an inspirational professional.”

Patrick McCormack, Principal of St Paul’s CBS, said: “I am absolutely thrilled and delighted for Annie. It is a great achievement for her and fantastic recognition of the wonderful work that takes place day in and day out in our school. It is a great endorsement for our school community. Annie works wonderfully well with our students and staff and long may that continue. She is the toast of Dublin 7 and no doubt her home county of Monaghan.

 “Annie has ensured that the library lies at the heart of our school life playing a key role in planning and implementing our literacy and numeracy strategies. She works tirelessly to ensure that our students see reading as not just a school based activity but as something really enjoyable that can enrich their lives beyond the classroom walls. I can say without reservation that she has profoundly enhanced what our school offers to the students.”

Pupils told the judging panel: “The library is the epicentre of the school and Annie is like a friend.”

The award is sponsored by Macmillan Children’s Books and Softlink.

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