Shout About School Libraries and Schools Library Services


Here is a campaign for School Libraries in UK. We can learn a lot from this.

From October 2011 to late 2012 CILIP is running a joint campaign with the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL), and the School Library Association (SLA). We want everyone to start SHOUTING ABOUT School Libraries and Schools Library Services.

What is it?
We believe there’s never been a more important time to SHOUT ABOUT the importance of libraries and librarians, particularly in schools and the Schools Library Services (SLS) in local authorities around the country.

While recent media focus has been on the closure of public libraries, ASCEL, CILIP and the SLA are asking people to lend their voices to a major new campaign to lead the fight to ensure children and young people across the country have access to proper library resources whether on-site, as part of a cluster of schools or through local authorities’ school library services.

School librarians and Schools Library Services expertise are essential in helping children navigate the digital world and improve information literacy skills. What use is a classroom of PC’s connected to the internet if children don’t know how to use them effectively? 

The overall aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the value of school libraries and Schools Library Services to their communities (at both primary and secondary school level) amongst key stakeholders including government, head teachers, school governors and parents.

There are two clear themes of the overall campaign and each has their own objectives.

a) SHOUT ABOUT School Libraries
We want to convince the relevant Ministers, senior civil servants, Ofsted and local government Members and Officers to include the provision of secondary school libraries in England in Ofsted inspections

b) SHOUT ABOUT Schools Library Services
We want to expand the coverage of the Schools Library Service providing, as far as possible, availability and access to every school in the UK and so, increasing the number of pupils who will benefit from it.
We also want to convince the relevant Ministers, senior civil servants and local government Members and Officers to establish a Future Schools Library Services project.

In Wales, campaigning is also underway to make school libraries statutory.

In Scotland, school library provision is determined by the COSLA School Library Standards and school libraries are considered as part of school inspection by Education Scotland.

We want CILIP members and people everywhere to SHOUT ABOUT the value of school libraries and Schools Library Services.

Useful definitions:

What makes a good school library?
A good school library will have qualified and experienced library staff who work with teachers to provide learning resources that will support the curriculum.  Below are questions to ask about your school library.
Is your school library:

  • run by a qualified librarian?
  • a fun and exciting place to be with lots of things happening?
  • equipped with a wide range of printed materials such as books, magazines and newspapers?
  • available for children’s private study and reading?

Does your school library

  • allow children access before, during and after school hours?
  • allow children to regularly borrow books?
  • cultivate children’s research and enquiry skills?
  • encourage reading for pleasure?
  • provide access to the internet and electronic resources?

What are Schools Library Services?
Schools Library Services are run by experienced qualified librarians who have knowledge of the curriculum and of children’s literature. The service is run by local authorities although the way it operates varies considerably.  Schools subscribe to their local service on behalf of all their teachers. Some authorities pay for the service from central funds, so it is free at the point of delivery to schools. A Schools Library Service will:

  • Advise schools and provide training on managing and developing their own school libraries and teaching resources in schools, on teaching information and digital fluency to enable children to become independent learners and on helping schools create a reading culture.
  • Lend or make available for purchase carefully chosen resources to support teaching and learning in the classroom and to support wider reading for pleasure and enjoyment.



One thought on “Shout About School Libraries and Schools Library Services

  1. This is something very urgently required in our place also. We have lot of schools in our region offering different curriculum, where students does not have access to the very basic reading materials and facilities managed by qualified professionals.

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