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About us

What is a Great School Library?



What is the Great School Libraries campaign?

Great School Libraries is a three year evidence-based campaign to bring back libraries and access to librarians in every school in the UK. Our guiding principle is a firm belief that every child deserves a great school library.
Phase 1 of the campaign launched in September 2018 and will run until the summer of 2021. Phase 2 of the Campaign launched in the spring of 2022 and will run until the summer of 2025.

Why are school libraries so important?

All children deserve a great school library because adequately funded, staffed school libraries deliver enhanced and independent learning as well as reading and curriculum support. School libraries contribute to building lifelong readers and support whole school initiatives promoting reading for pleasure.

Evidence also suggests school libraries:

  • Lead to higher qualifications/attainment

  • Promote a better quality of life

  • Generate improved results

  • Alleviate pressure on health and mental health services

  • Alleviate teacher workload

  • Increase efficiency for schools

  • Contribute to the delivery of a well-rounded education

  • Deliver and teach essential Information/critical literacy skills to combat fake news and engender independent learning

All of this evidence shows us that school libraries are a vital part of every school, and should be cherished and maintained.

What were the campaign objectives for Phase 1?

The first step is to find out more about the current state of school library provision. At the moment no one knows how many school libraries exist, or whether the ones that do exist are staffed or funded. We need to change that. Over the course of the campaign we will collect accurate data on library provision and use it to inform our advocacy.  The survey was completed and you can see the results on the Home Page. When Covid forced us into lockdown the Campaign moved to work supporting the sector directly.  See the 2021 Report for the toolkits we produced and the research we undertook.

What are the campaign objectives for Phase 2?

Who’s behind the campaign?

Announced by CILIP’s CEO Nick Poole at the CILIPSLG conference in April 2018, the campaign is a collaboration between CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), CILIPSLG (School Libraries Group) and the SLA ( School Library Association). The campaign is co-chaired by the School Library Association's CEO Alison Tarrant and CILIP's School Libraries Group Chair Caroline Roche.

"A school's physical and digital learning space where reading, inquiry, research, thinking, imagination, and creativity are central to students' information-to-knowledge journey and to their personal, social and cultural growth." IFLA 2015

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