Course | Learning about Libraries (Primary) - Core Modules

Learning about Libraries (Primary) - Core Modules

These are the compulsory modules for the course. Access to the other modules will be denied unless these have been purchased first. The Learning about Libraries Programme consists of 6 modules, broken down into a number of Units.

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Welcome to the Learning about Libraries Programme. Participants are being offered an enjoyable and rewarding programme of learning and experience which will lead to a certificate of competence from the School Library Association. 

The Learning about Libraries course will lead candidates through the processes involved in organising and running a primary school library with the aim to provide the best possible resource for the school.  The course consists of a series of modules covering the essential skills needed, from basic routines to promotion and marketing and developing a library that fully supports the learning in the school. The training is provided by the following members of the SLA:

Lin Smith - Past Chair of SLA, Annike Dase - previously Vice Chair of SLA, Lesley Martin - previous Head Librarian, Culford School, Nikki Heath- school librarian, Jane O'Loughlin - school librarian, Sally Duncan - Previous SLA Assistant Director

Benefits to the participants

The opportunity to gain knowledge and to put it to practical use in your school library. This will result in a deeper understanding of the way the library operates and an understanding of how you can develop the library to serve the needs of the school.

Benefits to the school

The SLA offers practical training, advice and support to your library co-ordinator. The Learning about Libraries course consists of 6 modules - participants choose 4 from the 6 for the basic course but can go on to do the extra 2 for an advanced certificate. Participants undertake a variety of practical tasks and provide evidence of what they have done and the impact it has had on the school. They should complete the course with an enhanced range of skills and strategies for improving the library provision in the school.

Who is eligible to apply?

Anyone who has responsibility for the day to day running of a primary school library. The programme will suit TAs, HTLAs, parent volunteers and teaching staff who want to gain an insight into library routines.


The cost of completing these two core modules (including assessment and certification) is £115 (for SLA members) and £315 (for non-members).  The assessment and certification charge will cover work submitted for the remaining of course modules if you have signed-up for them.

Further information and next steps

Overview of the course:

The Learning about Libraries Programme consists of 6 modules, broken down into a number of Units. Participants need to undertake 4 modules altogether to obtain the final certificate. Module 2 and Module 6 are compulsory. It is recommended that all participants start with Module 2. There is the additional option of undertaking the remaining 2 modules to gain a certificate of advanced practice.


All modules, wherever possible, contain a mixture of online content and reading matter to ensure an interesting and varied delivery. Each module will take between half to one term to complete as they involve practical exercises, access to the physical library space, allow for communication with other school staff and require pupils to carry out the planned exercises plus evaluation of the above.


The six modules are: 

Module 1 – The Physical Library

Unit 1:  Assessing the situation

Unit 2:  Planning projects

Unit 3:  Putting it into practice 

Module 2 – Managing The Bookstock (compulsory unit - included here)

Unit 1:  Auditing the bookstock

Unit 2:  Planning and budgeting

Unit 3:  Classifying and cataloguing 

Unit 4:  Issuing and promoting the stock

Module 3 – Information Skills 

Unit 1:  Assessing the situation

Unit 2:  Planning and preparation

Unit 3:  Putting it into practice 

Module 4 – Reading Promotion 

Unit 1:  Assessing the situation

Unit 2:  Planning and preparation

Unit 3:  Putting it into practice 

Module 5 – Practical Paperwork 

Unit 1:  Writing a policy

Unit 2:  Developing an Action Plan

Unit 3:  Your information skills programme 

Module 6 – Evaluation and Action Planning (compulsory unit - included)