The 2015 Winner is School Librarian, Amy Icke
UKeiG has great pleasure in announcing the winner of the 2015 Early Career Award, which celebrates extra-ordinary and inspirational enterprise in early-career professionals who are members of CILIP. It comes as no surprise that the prize in this first year of the Award goes to a school librarian. The nomination for AMY ICKE commends her work at both St Paul’s Girls’ School and, more recently, Wimbledon High School, noting that "Amy is a very high-achiever who has a particular talent for encouraging others and inspiring them to raise their game alongside her. She is undoubtedly a driving force, someone with energy and focus, but at the same time, very much a team player. She shares her ideas generously and has a breadth of vision which encompasses the needs of others. She demonstrates enterprise in the way she seeks out opportunities and boldly takes them on. In addition to her outstanding achievements in the workplace, she has made significant contributions to the wider profession."
Amy was always actively involved with all aspects school life, for example by supporting pupils on the environment committee. One of her first library initiatives to raise awareness of resources amongst the staff at St Paul’s was a library blog. Soon after joining St Paul’s, Amy took on the role of Gap Year co-ordinator offering an individual advice and information service to students taking a year out, "she promoted resources through the online platform, co-ordinated a programme of speaker events and took an active part in the school’s annual Higher Education conference, creating memorable displays and providing a break-out session to parents and students." She was also e-learning co-ordinator, working closely with the IT department. She also worked closely with the School Historian, helping to build up a catalogue of resources: just one example of such work can be seen on the webpage she created for the School’s 110th birthday celebrations. Her enthusiasm for developing her skill set can be seen in her activities to organise and catalogue the personal library of Michael Rosen, former children's laureate. Amy also applied for, and won, a fully funded place on a TACCLE training course in April 2014 in Urbino, Italy. She co-authored an article for SLiV (School Libraries in View) with Ann Brine and disseminated the information to St Paul’s staff through the IT Steering group, all of which illustrates how Amy’s professional development fed into wider, whole school policy.
Since moving to Wimbledon High School, Amy continues to demonstrate that she is always willing to go the extra mile, and has significantly enhanced library provision. She has brought her own clear, focussed vision to the library but is also guided by the views of others, working closely with Heads of Department, School Council and Sixth Form Committee to ensure her plans fully-reflect their needs. She has ensured the library extends far beyond the physical space by playing an active role in the Communications Strategy of the school. Working with the local community, Amy is collaborating with Fiona Ravzi, Director of Wimbledon Bookfest, on organising the first Young Adult strand of Bookfest 2015 involving students from five schools across Merton.
As an active member of the various school librarian groups, Amy delivered a talk on the interim findings of her MA research to the London branch of the School Library Association (SLA) and since September 2011, she has served on the CILIP London Member Network Committee.
The nomination ends "Amy would be a worthy winner of this award for the breadth and quality of her achievements, the number of people she has encouraged and inspired and the professional manner with which she approaches every aspect of her work" and UKeiG has no hesitation in endorsing this view. Congratulations to a worthy winner.