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CILIP, CILIP School Libraries Group and the School Library Association announces a second phase of the Great School Libraries campaign.

First launched in September 2018, the Great School Libraries campaign advocates for every school age child to benefit from access to a great school library - a designated space, with high quality stock and supported by dedicated staff.

The Great School Libraries campaign is working with stakeholders from across the education sector to demonstrate how school libraries help support the post-pandemic recovery. There is strong evidence linking school library provision with a range of positive outcomes, including; improved qualifications, increased efficiency for schools and a better quality of life for children and young people.

The first three years of the campaign have delivered the influential UK-wide report into school library provision, the largest collection of case studies showcasing school library impact and new research and toolkits into inquiry-based learning, mental health and well-being. 

Building on these findings and in response to the increasing educational and literacy gaps brought about by the Covid pandemic, the Great School Libraries campaign is moving into Phase 2. This phase will position great school libraries as a key part of academic recovery and the successful provision of formal education.

Co-chairs Caroline Roche and Alison Tarrant said, “There has never been a more important time to advocate for the role that school libraries play across so many areas of development: careers, creativity, research, building independence wellbeing, empathy and of course, literacy and reading. It is a basic fact that education depends on reading, and school libraries have been evidenced to lead to improved outcomes for learners.

The campaign has secured strong support from a range of sector stakeholders including the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society, National Literacy Trust, Book Trust, Society of Authors, ASCEL and The Reading Agency. Phase 2 has also established a new steering committee to support the levelling up agenda including:

  • Sufiya Ahmed: award-winning and Carnegie-nominated children’s and YA author, founder and director of the BIBI Foundation

  • Richard Gerver: former headteacher, award-winning speaker, bestselling author and world-renowned thinker

  • Karthik Krishnan: Venture Chair at Redesign Health, Adjunct Professor at NYU Stern School of Business and an NACD Certified Board Director

  • Sonia Thompson: Director of the Research School and Headteacher at St Matthew’s CE Teaching School

  • Maeve Walsh: experienced policymaker and government relations expert

Sufiya Ahmed says “I have supported the Great School Libraries campaign ever since it was launched and am honored to serve on the steering committee for phase two. School libraries are vital to the wellbeing and education of our country’s children. They offer space for children to grow by offering stories and providing information. All of this contributes to children’s aspirations, allowing them to imagine a world beyond their bubble. School libraries are a means for levelling up and no child should be denied the opportunity to become the best versions of themselves.

Richard Gerver added, “Throughout my career as a teacher and as a Headteacher, a well-run, well-developed library was at the heart of school culture. If our job is to help our young people develop aspirations, a sense of value and of awe and wonder, then books, libraries and skilled librarians must be a non-negotiable; they are the catalysts for so much of what really matters in education.

The campaign is delighted to have secured sponsorship from the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society.

Exciting opportunities are available for sector and corporate organisations who wish to support the cause. For more information on how you can make a difference, please visit:


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