About

About the SLA

The SLA works towards all schools in the UK having their own (or shared) staffed library to help all children and young people fulfil their potential.  School staff and children should have access to a wide and varied range of resources and have the support of an expert guide in reading, research, media and information literacy.  

We will provide training and access to resources to support the running of school libraries and the continuing development of all staff, as well as advocating for and allowing other educational staff to maximise their understanding and use of school libraries.

We were set up in 1937 to support all those who work in school libraries by a group of Headteachers who recognised the need. We currently have around 2100 members, and are the first port of call for even more people who support school libraries, whether that’s through our training, the publications we publish or our advice line.

Membership of the SLA costs £95 per year and, if paid for by the school, membership covers the whole school, meaning multiple people can have logins to the website, use the advice line, and make use of the member benefits. If paid for personally, the membership only covers one person. Concessions are available, please see Join for more information.

Vision statement

The SLA works towards all schools in the UK having their own (or shared) staffed library to help all children and young people fulfil their potential.  School staff and children should have access to a wide and varied range of resources and have the support of an expert guide in reading, research, media and information literacy.

Mission statement

The SLA will: 

  • Build a community of members to share best practice and provide practical support 
  • Raise the profile and benefits of school library provision and their contribution to the UK’s educational agenda to regional and national governments and educational bodies 
  • Support senior school leaders, governors, parents, teachers, Trust leadership and others in the development of their school libraries to improve literacy and learning in a realistic and constructive manner 
  • Create opportunities for all library staff to develop and showcase their work 
  • Develop the support for teachers to embed reading and research in the curriculum 
  • Provide training, networking and tools for all those working in school libraries 

You can find about our 2022-20227 strategy here.

What we do

What we offer our members:

    A quarterly journal

    This is full of best practice for primary and secondary, ideas for activities, tips; book and digital reviews across all ages from 0-8 through to 16-19 enabling educationalists to stay up to date with the latest in children’s publishing and maximise their budget.

    More Info

    Access to an advice line

    Any member of school staff can email or call and ask about any issues/best practice/guidance and get realistic, personalised advice, whether that's the librarian, teacher, bursar or Head.

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    Training

    Our combined offer of online and day courses, alongside the weekend course, means you can continue to develop throughout the year. Topics range from copyright to mental health, from behaviour management to supporting sixth form.

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    Publications

    Lively and practical; our publications are easily readable whether you’re new or experienced, on a range of topics and across all school stages. Whether its the Guidelines - an oversight of an issue with a few case studies - Riveting Reads or Voices they enable you to explore a topic in your own time.

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    Mentoring

    A mentoring service for anyone with responsibility for running the library. We match you to someone in a similar context to guide you through and provide ongoing support.

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    Regional Branches

    We support regional branches put on their own training days and run network events, bringing training to you, and ensuring a local support network. We also support networks for non-members.

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    Other Benefits

    Members also benefit from competitions, give-aways and discounts from publishers, and exclusive discount on other products including Amazing! Magazine, DLT magazines, The Literary Gift Company; as well as discounts off all SLA publications and training.

    More Info

We also:

    Awards

    Run four Awards: the Information Book Award; the School Librarian of the Year and the Community Award and the Enterprise of the Year Award. We also support the Pupil Library Assistant Award.

    More Info

Meet the people who help make it happen

Get In Touch

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