Shropshire school library lead to embark on international knowledge exchange

Sara Pritchard Travelling Librarian banner image png

CILIP, the library and information association, and the English-Speaking Union have awarded the 2017 Travelling Librarian Award to Sara Pritchard, Schools Library Services Manager for Shropshire and Telford.

Sara will take a tour of New Zealand later this year to explore firsthand a thriving culture around joint use libraries, meeting with colleagues and institutions on the islands who have maximised the potential of library spaces to be shared by schools and public communities.


Sara and her colleagues provide school library services to 170 primary and secondary schools in the Shropshire region and their services are now extending into Powys and Wrexham. She will share her experiences formally through presentations and a report to the UK knowledge community on her return.


Sara said:

“New Zealand are doing some really exciting things as they move away from traditional library spaces to multi-purpose flexible learning spaces for the 21st century. I’m really keen to inform our ideas around school library service provision here in Shropshire and the region by learning from the latest school library learning environments and observing innovative school engagement programmes.”

Nick Poole, CILIP Chief Executive said:

“We’re very pleased that Sara will be bringing back ideas that help the UK library sector to understand how library services can be designed in flexible ways to provide maximum benefit for communities as a whole, supporting children’s formal education alongside lifelong opportunities for adults. We look forward to the benefits of Sara’s learning from this exchange.”

Zoë Adams, Cultural Exchange Officer at the English-Speaking Union said:

“We’re delighted to be supporting Sara’s project, which, in line with the ESU’s core aims and values, will promote true cultural exchange and international understanding. We’re looking forward to seeing how she is able to implement her findings in her home community, and beyond.”

The Travelling Librarian Award is a fully funded opportunity to learn from international institutions and counterparts. The joint award is made under CILIP’s international policy to help members develop their professional roles by sharing expertise with overseas colleagues; and the ESU’s work to strengthen international understanding through cultural and educational programmes.


Press contact:

Cat Cooper, Communications and Campaigns Manager CILIP
Tel: 020 7255 0653
Mobile: 07867 455070

Notes to editors

About the Travelling Librarian Award
The annual Travelling Librarian Award, jointly made by CILIP and the English Speaking Union aims to build professional relationships between library and information professionals in the UK and their counterparts on a study tour in the United States or a Commonwealth country.

CILIP: the Library and Information Association is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers. CILIP’s vision is a fair and economically prosperous society underpinned by literacy, access to information and the transfer of knowledge. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014.

About the English Speaking Union
ESU: The English-Speaking Union is a unique education charity and Membership organisation. For nearly 100 years, the ESU has empowered people of different languages and cultures, building skills and confidence in communication to help them realise their potential. The ESU helps tens of thousands of people each year articulate their ideas and share them with others.