Why do school libraries need support? 

Schools don't have to have a school library - they are not statutory, or inspected - which means in some schools they don't exist, and where they do they are not funded and/or staffed.

The fact is that:

  • Schools with a higher percentage of children eligible for Free School Meals are least likely to have access to a library space

  • Nearly two thirds of primary schools (62%) report that they do not have a designated library budget

  • School library provision in secondary schools has dropped by 10% since 2019
    From the Great School Libraries campaign, 2023 research report

Which means that not all children are getting the same support with reading, research or their wellbeing.

Our awards show the impact that school libraries have on pupils, staff and the community, and we believe that every school should have one and know how to maximise it. Help us achieve our aim. 

"For years we have been looking to boost attainment to help close the gap between disadvantaged and SEN children and their peers. The library was the only intervention they needed."

   Headteacher, BookTrust's Life Changing Libraries Project

School libraries are important for:

  • Learning: Reading for Pleasure, Reading Progress, Research skills
  • Wellbeing
  • Independent learning
  • Lifelong skills
  • Media and information literacy
  • Personal and social development

Your support is vital

Being a charity, we don't set out to make huge sums of money, but our services and impact are limited by the income we have available.

Your support and donations allow us to do more and support more schools - staff and pupils.
Your donations support literacy and wellbeing at a national level. 

Why support us?

We have expertise schools need and want, but not the resources to provide it to everyone. School libraries can change lives. We want every pupil to have the best educational experience and are tackling some of the barriers and challenges facing school libraries directly. 

 "School libraries have a positive impact on all areas of pupils’ learning, including the development of reading and writing skills, their wellbeing and overall academic attainment. What's more... these benefits are particularly profound for children on free school meals."

National Literacy Trust research review and research paper with Nottingham Trent University

“School libraries have been proven to lead to better academic attainment, better learning outcomes, and better attitudes towards learning”

Williams, Wavell and Morrison, 2013, Great School Libraries Research

Help us support school staff like this member, who had to make a difficult decision in 2023:


"My budget is a little over £25 a month. Memberships like this provide absolutely vital glue for us as a profession but you can see that the subscription leaves me so short of cash to replace books that I feel I have no choice but to leave."


Help us support more people who are just trying to do their best, like this member who joined in 2022:


"Just joined SLA and I’m so impressed already! I’ve been made to feel so welcome and there has been instant communication. As an enthusiastic amateur, this is going to be invaluable." 


Or this member, who attended a training session:


Being the only school librarian in my school it was really helpful and refreshing to speak to others who do the same job and share ideas. I always feel the odd one out in school.

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All donations help us support more people and children


£15 allows someone who's never looked after a library before attend a webinar. 

Donate £15 now

£40 is the approximate amount for a set of the Information Book Award books in one age category.

Donate £40 now

£95 pays for a year's membership for a whole school.

Donate £95 now

£300 provides the chance for a member of school library staff to join with other school library staff to learn, and re-find their magic.

Donate £300 now

All donations are vital contributions, no matter how big or small. To donate another amount or set up a direct debit, click the button below.


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If you want to help but can't support us financially, that's not a problem. There are lots of ways you can help us - do a challenge and crowdfund, volunteer with us, encourage your workplace to support us for example. We really appreciate all your support, in whatever form. 

Our Team

The School Library Association is managed by a Board, elected by SLA members for a period of three years. There are currently two sub-committees, for Publications and Training.


Our Strategy

Our strategy is put together by members and the board as well as the staff team. It creates the direction of travel for the organisation, the issues we want to take on, and how we're going to support our members, the sector and the general public over the next few years. 

Our History

The SLA was set up in 1937 by head teachers, and one school librarian. We have been focused on supporting school library staff since then, with our main services being The School Librarian, publications and training.