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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.
The campaign launched in September 2018 and will run until the summer of 2021.

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 are the campaign objectives?

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 campaign’s other key objectives are:
1. To create a School Library Strategy for England
2. To secure school library funding
3. To encourage Ofsted to recognise libraries and librarians in their school inspection framework.

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 Library Group) and the SLA ( School Library Association). A working party has been set up, chaired by SLA CEO Alison Tarrant and CILIP's SLG Chair Caroline Roche.

What’s the timeframe for the campaign?

The campaign will run for three years starting September 2018

"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