The School Library Association (SLA) works in partnership with many schools library services (SLS) across the country and has been concerned for some time now about the ongoing erosion of SLS services, so much so that many areas of the country no longer have SLS available locally. To help schools see where their nearest SLSs are available the SLA has produced an interactive map. The map gives a clear picture of the distribution of SLS across the country – and highlights those areas without any service available to them. The concern is that an estimated 600,000 children around the country no longer have access to the work of a schools library service. The map is available to use at http://www.sla.org.uk/sls-map.php .
Tricia Adams, Director of the School Library Association said “Schools library services can provide much needed support in the way of training and resources to schools but their gradual decline is a worrying trend when considering support for students; by producing this interactive map we are hoping to help schools find the practical help and support they need”
The SLA gratefully acknowledges the valuable input from the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL). Gillian Harris, chair of ASCEL says “Where schools do not have a schools library service in their area, they should look to neighbouring authorities for support as all schools library services can offer services outside their immediate area. ASCEL is working with its members on ways of ensuring all schools have access to a schools library service for support, advice and resources.”
CILIP Chief Executive Annie Mauger says, “School librarians and Schools Library Services expertise are essential in helping children navigate the digital world and improve information literacy skills. All children and young people should have access to the benefits they bring. Currently this is not the case.”
 Times Educational Supplement (TES) Survey of SLS provision 2011.