14 year old James Belcher, a student at Abbeyfield School, is a finalist for a prestigious libraries’ Award. CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) have voted James through to an exciting final for the Young Librarian of the year, to be held in London at The Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
James achieved his place at the Awards through his diligent work in the school library as a Library Monitor, under the tutelage of school librarian Mr Gareth Evans. Reflecting the feelings of all at Abbeyfield School, Mr Evans said:”James is a fantastic Library Monitor and a great ambassador for the school library. I’m really proud of him for being shortlisted for this award”.
The achievement is all the more impressive because James has autism and has overcome some barriers to achieve. James said: “The Library means a lot to me. It has given me a role with a sense of purpose which has helped me remain focused and control my anger which unfortunately I have had issues with in the past and created a place where I feel like I belong.”
The final judging takes place on Friday 16th March, and not only involves a visit to Parliament but also to 10 Downing Street, where James will deliver his letter for Theresa May about celebrating the importance of libraries in schools personally. He has also had to design a tee-shirt about the benefits of reading and cost and plan for an after school library club.