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Launching a school library, Radio 4 and more...

In this blog, GSL campaign committee member Leia Sands shares her recent experiences including launching a brand new school library and speaking to Julia Donaldson on BBC Radio 4.

The beginning of this school year has been incredibly busy, with my work as a school librarian in two school libraries and my role as a committee member for the Great School Libraries campaign. Advocacy for the campaign and the libraries I oversee, has been at the forefront of my mind in both these roles.


I'm delighted to share that the campaign has received continuous support from the esteemed children's author, Julia Donaldson. Collaborating with her on a campaign video to convey our goals and her perspective on the significance of school libraries has been a rewarding experience.

Additionally, I've had the opportunity to promote the campaign on national radio; you can listen by clicking the image below.

In my daily work as a school librarian, I've been dedicated to shedding light on the impact of our school library to a wider audience.

At one of the schools where I work, we celebrated a library refurbishment with a special opening event, engaging our entire school community. This event served as an excellent networking opportunity and a community celebration, bringing together children, parents, grandparents, staff, governors,  library service colleagues, public librarians and local booksellers. It was heartwarming to have our headteacher emphasise the GSL campaign in his speech.

In my other school, I've received positive feedback from our governors regarding the termly reports I provide, which have helped the governing body recognise the importance of a staffed library in children's learning and wider development.

Furthermore, I've been invited to speak to a group of local headteachers in the county where I work, discussing the campaign and the role of school libraries in our schools. I've invested time in contemplating how to use examples from my own experiences to underscore the importance of libraries in schools and the value that a librarian can bring to the educational environment, with particular reference to the updated DFE reading framework.


To me, advocating for our school libraries and the terrific work that we all do, is a crucial part of our role as school librarians, in order to help other's fully understand the importance of libraries in schools. 


Leia Sands 

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