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Librarian books place in national final
An Enfield librarian has been named amongst the best school librarians in the country as he is nominated for a national prize.
Narrowed down from hundreds of school librarians across the country to just four hopefuls, Oasis Academy’s John Iona, 32 will have to now beat off competition from St Paul’s Community college in Watford, Don Valley Academy in Yorkshire and Marymount International School in Surrey to win the 2013 School Librarian of the year.
However, the 32-year-old was very humble when he discovered that he had been nominated by his peers.
He said: “I was nominated back in January, by my line-manager Rob Bird, which was a real vote of confidence to receive. I had heard of the award but had never considered that I should be nominated.”
On Monday, October 7 Mr Iona will discover his fate at the Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury, London but the librarian has already had to make it through two rounds to book his place at the prestigious final.
He said: “Having made it through two rounds of evidence-gathering from the SLA [School Library Association], which most recently involved an inspection from two other Librarians. When I found out I had made it through the most recent round to reach the Honours List I was surprised and delighted.
“It is a great achievement to have reached the Honours List this year, which features just three other Librarians, and a great accolade to receive from the School Library Association.”
Asked what made him stand out from other librarians, the 32-year-old said: “That is a tough question as I hate to compare myself to others in this way. I think that I have had the opportunity at Oasis Academy, Enfield to be involved in initiatives and projects that go beyond of what we think of as a traditional Librarian's role.
“I have always tried to welcome new challenges and the chance to develop my professional skills, knowledge and practice. I am never content, always wanting to improve, develop and learn.
When evaluating his chances of winning Mr Iona added: “I wouldn't like to make any predictions, having reached this far I guess there is no reason why not!”
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