Meet the Team

Alison Tarrant is the Chief Executive of the School Library Association. She worked as a school librarian before this and set up a library in a brand new school. She was on the Honour List for School Librarian of the Year in 2016. Alison was a Trustee for the SLA and Chair of Youth Libraries Group Eastern before her appointment to the SLA.

Caroline Roche is the Chair of the CILIP School Libraries Group.  She has worked as a school librarian for over 25 years in different settings.  She is the creator of the Heart of the School Website, and currently runs four different blogs, including this one.  She is also a regular contributor to the Digital reviews section of the SLA School Librarian Magazine.

Barbara Band is an award-winning Chartered Librarian with over thirty years’ experience working in the education sector as well as a range of project management skills gained in both commercial and non-profit environments. She provides training and advice to librarians and teachers, is involved in creating and refurbishing libraries to meet the needs of their users, and publishes regularly on reading, library and literacy issues. Barbara received an Honorary Masters from the OU in recognition of her “outstanding contribution to raising literacy levels and removing barriers to education”, is Past President of CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and was on the Honour List for the School Librarian of the Year 2009. Barbara’s website is

Claire Bowles is the Head of Sales and Marketing for Petersthe UK’s leading supplier of books and furniture for schools, academies, and public libraries. Prior to working at Peters, she worked for two national charities in marketing and fundraising.  She loves working with schools and libraries and is passionate that every child should have access to a great school library.

Elizabeth Hutchinson is a chartered librarian and a Fellow of CILIP. She has worked for the Guernsey Schools’ Library Service since 2003 and was appointed Head of Service in 2014. Runner up in the 2016 LILAC Information Literacy awards, she has presented workshops internationally on the importance of using the school library effectively across the curriculum. She writes regularly on how school librarians can make a difference on her blog at, and the CILIP Information Professional. She believes access to a good school library is a right of every child, and through information and digital literacy school librarians have the skills and expertise to support students and teachers to become future ready.”

Sue McGonigle has over twenty years’ experience as a teacher, English subject leader and Deputy Head in inner city primary schools. She lectured in Primary Education at UCL Institute of Education for five years, specialising in English and children’s literature. While at IoE she worked with the library team to develop a children’s book corner for students with recommended book selections and an inviting environment. Before joining IoE she was Senior Adviser at The Centre of Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) where she worked for nine years. Sue was closely involved in developing and researching the Power of Reading project and was project director for five years. She has worked with schools nationally and internationally to develop creative approaches to the use of literature in the primary curriculum. She has recently written a mini-book for teachers and teacher educators, published by The United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA), on planning creatively around a text. In addition, Sue is co-creator of, a website for parents, schools and settings aimed at promoting reading for pleasure through sharing carefully chosen books and story play activities.

Cathal Coyle is a school librarian in St. Patrick’s College Dungannon, County Tyrone and is currently the Publications Co-ordinator for the School Library Association.  He is passionate about libraries and literacy including the promotion of the ‘Young News Readers’ campaign in his school to create better awareness of Critical Literacy.  Cathal has also written articles on cultural and educational issues for a range of publications over the past decade, including three books with The History Press.

Emma Suffield is currently a chartered librarian and LRC manager at an 11-18 Academy in Blackburn, Lancashire. She has been in this role for nearly five years now and she absolutely loves making a difference to young people’s reading. She has currently made the Honorary Finals for School Librarian of the Year 2018 and is also Vice-Chair and Secretary for the SLA Lancashire Branch. She loves YA and Classic novels!

Yvonne Morris is Research and Foresight Manager at CILIP.  A Chartered Librarian she works regularly on school library issues and brought together “Beating Heart of the School”, a 2014 report by the Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group about improving educational attainment through school libraries and librarians. Her wide ranging portfolio also includes copyright, open access, research data management, e-lending, professional ethics and equalities. Prior to joining CILIP, Yvonne was an Information Officer at the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She started her library and information career at the National Council for Civil Liberties, before moving to the London School of Economics Library and then to the University of Brighton. For almost five years she worked in publishing, initially in sales and marketing before moving into foreign rights management.

Nicki Cleveland is currently a School Librarian & Higher Level Teaching Assistant at a primary school in Coventry, and is working towards CILIP chartership. She aims to make reading rock for all of the children at her school and all the evidence shows that despite her limited time and budget, her approach has not only improved academic results for the school, but she has also changed the way the teaching staff think about reading. Nicki is on the School Librarian of the Year 2018 Honour List and her mantra is if you want children to love books and stories, it’s not enough to tell them to read, you have to show them why they should, which is why children need great school libraries from the moment they enter education.