We bid farewell to Wendy Worley this week who has led Sidcot Library with considerable distinction since 2003.
For a start, Wendy has always been indefatigable in foregrounding the opportunities for students’ academic advancement and enjoyment within the library environment. Unceasingly energetic, Wendy’s operational range included: arranging author visits; managing reading events such as “World Book Day” and “The Book Fair”; teaching induction activities at all Key Stages most memorably “The Reading Game”; managing the Year 9 shadowing of the Carnegie Award; co-ordinating weekly sessions with Junior School students; that is, while she also managed the daily bread and butter of library business. Wendy’s orchestration of all these varied activities has enriched the whole school from Reception to the Upper Sixth; her achievements stack up as a remarkable testament to her management flair, passion and drive.
Wendy’s commitment to her role went far beyond the boundaries of its remit. She enabled all students to become involved with the library, not only as a resource centre, but as a gateway for wider cultural experiences, creating a library which was a prism through which students could enhance their curricular, extracurricular and life-long learning in a friendly, inspiring place at the heart of the school. Unfailingly cheerful, patient and wise, Wendy was always generous with her time: helping students, helping staff, helping visitors.
Many of the author visits she arranged were, in fact, the celebrity scoops of the children’s book world: the ebullient Tanya Landman, fresh from a Carnegie Award win; the suave Philip Reeve, with his surreal slides and sophisticated sound system; Bali Rai – quick as a crackerjack in discussion with the sixth form; the compelling Tim Bowler awakening the emotions of the whole of Year 10 and getting a piece of potential G.C.S.E. creative coursework out of each of them; Marcus Sedgwick engaging with the whole of Years 7, 8 and 9 in the Meeting House, revealing his esoteric research about vampire myths and nurturing KS3’s Gothic sensibilities; up and coming writers - Chris D’Lacey, Phil Earle, Steve Voake, Suzanne Lafleur, David Massey, Alex Scarrow - to name a few.
As a colleague, Wendy was the much appreciated long standing co-ordinator of the Staff Fund. For ten years, she led a Staff and Sixth Form Reading Group sharing her love of reading and tasty cake recipes. She guided readers towards becoming writers, running creative writing activities, helping IB students research extended essays and, as a leading figure in the Schools Library Association, Sidcot has benefited from her breadth and depth of knowledge.
Enjoy your books, your garden and your travels. Let us know when you get that novel you are writing published and put us down for your first author visit. You will be missed. Thank you, Wendy.
Deputy Head of the English Faculty.