The SLA is entirely funded by membership income. Without our dedicated and loyal members we are more limited in the support we can offer. We have also seen an increase in personal memberships, as people value the services we offer but cannot pay for it from school funds.
This can result in the schools who have the biggest budgetary challenges (and quite often that means other challenges as well) not receiving the support they need to improve literacy and develop information literacy (learning how to find and use information).
Additionally, now many schools are under extra budgetary pressure as they increase resources to ensure schools are COVID safe. Our Patrons have just launched our first ever Patrons' Appeal to assess the full impact of COVID on school libraries - scroll down to find out more and download a beautiful poster created by SLA Patron Sarah McIntyre (just click on the image).
Support our Patrons' Appeal
We aim to raise £2500 to fund research into how school libraries reacted to and supported pupils during lockdown. This has been a difficult time for all in education and during lockdown school librarians had to adjust their services comprehensively, e.g. running book groups and mindfulness sessions over Zoom, dropping books at pupils’ houses, teaching EPQ sessions over Google classroom, investigating, setting up and running e-book services, and supporting their pupils in many different ways.
These educational services and the impact they had on pupils during this time need to be recorded and shared for the purpose of highlighting best practice and opportunities. At the same time, many school libraries simply weren't in a position to react in the ways mentioned above so this research will also look into the challenges faced by school library staff and highlight areas which need to be addressed to allow school libraries to offer a blended service. Using this research the SLA will then develop a toolkit to support the development of school libraries.
Our Patrons and President, Chris Riddell, are encouraging people to donate. School libraries provide academic and pleasure reading and support pupils in a wide variety of ways including helping with their independent learning skills, creativity and wellbeing. By studying the extent to which school libraries were able to continue offering these services during lockdown, we will be able to add another piece to the puzzle when it comes to assessing the impact of lockdown on children.
We aim to meet our target by the end of December and appoint a researcher early in the new year. In the happy circumstance that the target is exceeded, we will look at ways we can extend this research by, for example, creating practical resources (e.g. lesson plans) or, if there is a sufficient amount, by looking at other areas where research into school libraries would be beneficial for the sector.
Donate : £ 10.00
Numerous research shows the benefits of reading for pleasure, and the SLA develops resources to improve adult’s book knowledge, allowing them to make effective stock decisions and use these books to their potential in a class or library.
Information literacy is a key part of being able to participate in society. Without the skills to identify biased information, or use and reference material pupils can find themselves not only in hot water academically, but in their personal lives too. Without these essential skills pupils are falling victim to manipulation of fact, ‘fake news’ and ‘click-bait’ headlines. All children should be able to make informed decisions about what they engage with both online, and the SLA empowers school library staff to deliver sessions both in the library, embedded within other subjects or through enquiry based learning.
The space of the school library is incredibly important with research showing use of a school library can have a positive impact on well-being. The SLA develops guidelines for the design and layout of the library space, meaning all children have somewhere accessible to do research, read for pleasure and generally escape the day to day pressures.