Senior Leaders

We do a range of resources to support senior leaders maximise the school library and promote understanding of the role and its demands.

The membership of the School Library Association covers the school (when paid for by the school), so you can make use of our advice line, online documents and member benefits. 

We can run training in your school or deliver a consultation to support the future of the school library. 

We offer additional benefits for Multi Academy Trusts or groups of schools. 

If you already have fantastic library staff consider nominating them for the School Librarian of the Year. 

Useful Documents

Dual Use Libraries

(The term dual use libraries refers in this instance to libraries located within schools and intended to serve the needs of both the school and the local community.)

The School Library Association believes that dual use libraries work best when the school managers and the managers of the community library service have a shared vision for the service and a clear agreement as to its operation.

A vision statement might be expected to include the intention to maximise the opportunities offered: to provide an inclusive service to the whole community, throughout and beyond the school day; to provide access for learners of all ages and abilities; and to promote lifelong learning and reading for pleasure.

If the library is to be effective it is essential that funding is adequate to provide an appropriate level of staffing and the range and quantity of resources required to support the school curriculum and the learning needs and leisure interests of the community as a whole.

An agreement on the operation of the service may take the form of a policy or a formal service level agreement. It should include statements relating to:


Access

Ideally the library should be available to pupils throughout the school day. To maximise the advantages of being dual use, it should also be available to other members of the community during the school day and at other times (evenings and weekends) according to community needs.


Security

The security of pupils will need to be considered. Staffing levels should be adequate to provide supervision and guard against inappropriate contact with members of the community, and staff should be given child protection training. The layout of the library should be designed to give good lines of sight.


Staffing

There should be sufficient professional librarians and library assistants to: manage the library; support the learning and personal reading needs of pupils, school staff and other members of the community; collaborate with teaching staff to support library based learning and develop information literacy skills; and operate the library on a day to day basis. Line management of staff should be clearly defined.


Stock

Stock should reflect both the curricular needs of the school and the needs of the local community. Ideally the stock will be integrated, but with provision for items to be retained for school use only, when needed for curricular work.


Budget

The budget may be held by the school or by the public library service. Ideally both should contribute an agreed proportion of it.


Management

Public Library and school managers should both have an input into the management of the library, but responsibilities should be clearly defined, particularly for the management of staff and of the building, so that decisions can be made quickly when necessary.

Positive Behaviour Management within the Library

The School Library Association believes that the Librarian/Library Manager as a member of staff closely involved with pupils and their learning, and with managing their behaviour, is entitled to:

  • take part in whole school in-service training sessions on behaviour management within the school
  • receive support via the mentoring scheme for newly qualified teachers to discuss concerns and solutions in a supportive atmosphere
  • have the status and authority to employ strategies for behaviour management within the library, in accordance with whole school policies.
  • have the authority to produce a library specific code of conduct as part of the whole school behavioural management policy
  • be aware of Health and Safety issues – for pupils and staff
  • have the authority to exercise his/her judgement regarding the acceptable number of pupils using the library at any one time, in order to maintain a safe and effective learning atmosphere. This number might vary from situation to situation, depending on the range of pupils using the library and the diverse activities in which they may be engaged
  • an additional adult cover from the duty staff team at break and lunchtime openings
  • have appropriately trained and supported staff available to cover the library in his/her absence


February 2019

The Purpose of a School Library

The School Library Association believes that the purpose of a school library is:

  • to provide a flexible space with a wide and inclusive range of resources to support learning and teaching throughout the school.
  • to have a vibrant role in the development of a culture that promotes wider reading, motivated readers and learners for life.
  • to provide a place for collaborative learning, creativity, and for developing independent research and information literacy skills.
  • To achieve this it should managed by staff who are supported and have access to training; be funded and be accessible to the whole school community during and outside the school day.

Staffing for Primary School Libraries

The School Library Association believes that:

  • primary school libraries should be open and staffed for as much of the school week as possible, including lunchtimes and before and after school
  • ideally, this staffing should come from a trained librarian, who may be shared between a small number of schools. 

Some possible models are:


  • a teacher as Library Manager, with a regular allowance of time for library tasks and management of the budget, supported by classroom assistant(s) who carry out the day-to-day routines and staff the library on a day-to-day basis
  • the library both managed and staffed by an experienced and knowledgeable member of the non-teaching staff, ideally with an NVQ or equivalent qualification in information and library work.
  • a multi-academy trust, consortium or group of schools may have a librarian to oversee the management, with teaching assistants supporting the library to open for pupils. 

In all scenarios, the services and support of the professional staff of the local School Library Service (where available) will be essential.


June 2019

‘I realise I’m talking to converts here, but I have to tell you that the difference a qualified librarian makes to a primary school is simply transformational’.’ 

David Tilling, Head Teacher of Peasedown St John Primary School, Bath, at the SLYA/SLA LDA Awards Event, 1st October 2012.

Supervision of Pupils

The School Library Association believes that:

  • library staff should work with and supervise students in specific adherence to all of the policies of the school affecting any issues of supervision and of Health and Safety
  • the job descriptions of library staff should include recognition of such supervisory responsibilities as are essential to the management and function of the library
  • this should be determined in consultation with the Senior Management Team, the Librarian’s line manager and Health and Safety representative and should pay particular regard to matters of space, visual control, furnishing and equipment that are unique to the library
  • new developments and any revision or extension of library functions may require a revision of supervisory needs


Library activities vary but at all times library staff should only work with and supervise no more than the number of students for whom they can provide a safe working environment and a positive library and study experience for their users. The range of activities occurring in a school library space, and the multiple demands on school library staff should be taken into account. 

Use of Volunteers in the Library

For ideas on selecting and recruiting pupil librarians, organising induction and developing a training programme, see our Pupil Librarian Toolkit (SLA Members only).

The School Library Association believes that every child has the right to the provision of an effective, well-stocked and well-managed school library and that volunteers can play an integral part in that provision. Volunteers, however, should never replace experienced or qualified staff and they must be effectively managed.

IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Adult volunteers

  • They are welcome, but should not replace appointed members of staff
  • Parent volunteers can be excellent advocates for the library
  • Volunteers should receive appropriate training
  • Volunteers should have a written statement which describes their role and what is expected of them and includes guidance on their interaction with pupils and staff
  • Volunteers must always conform to the school's policies on volunteers on the premises and with all general school policies - especially the Health and Safety Policy and should be DBS checked (checks are free for volunteers)
  • A risk assessment for the library should be undertaken and any problems highlighted should be addressed prior to the volunteers commencing their duties.

Pupil volunteers

  • Using pupils as volunteer library assistants can be good for their personal development
  • Methods of recruitment need to be considered to ensure the widest range of pupils are given the opportunity to apply
  • Pupil volunteers should be given appropriate training and recognition
  • Pupil volunteers should have a written statement which describes their role and what is expected of them and includes guidance on their interaction with fellow pupils and staff
  • A risk assessment for the library should be undertaken and any problems highlighted should be addressed prior to the pupils commencing their duties
  • Pupils should not be given access to private information regarding other pupils. 

IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Adult volunteers

  • They are welcome, but should not replace appointed members of staff
  • Parent volunteers can be excellent advocates for the library
  • Volunteers should come into school for a specific purpose - such as to assist with clerical duties. They should not act as decision makers
  • Volunteers should receive appropriate training from an appointed member of the library staff
  • Volunteers should have a written statement which describes their role and what is expected of them and includes guidance on their interaction with pupils and staff
  • Volunteers must always conform to the school's policies on volunteers on the premises and with all general school policies - especially the Health and Safety Policy and should be DBS checked (checks are free for volunteers)
  • A risk assessment for the library should be undertaken and any problems highlighted should be addressed prior to the volunteers commencing their duties
  • Volunteers should not be permitted access to information regarding pupils

Pupil volunteers

  • Using pupils as volunteer library assistants can be good for their personal development
  • Pupil involvement in the library, including as volunteer library assistants, is regarded favourably by Ofsted
  • Methods of recruitment need to be considered to endure the widest range of pupils are given the opportunity to apply
  • Pupil volunteers should be given appropriate training by an appointed member of the library staff
  • Pupil volunteers should have a written statement which describes their role and what is expected of them and includes guidance on their interaction with fellow pupils and staff
  • Appropriate recognition of their work, e.g records of achievement, should be ensured
  • A risk assessment for the library should be undertaken and any problems highlighted should be addressed prior to the pupils commencing their duties

Salary Scales for School Library Staff

NJC pay scales 
 ( PDF = njc-pay-scales-20190615.pdf )


These recommendations are based on the updated (April 2019) National Joint Council Schemes and Conditions of Service for England and Wales, and the National joint Council for Local Authorities Services (Scottish Council) for Scotland.


Please note: the recommendations are based on a standard 35 hour week and a full time contract. Term time only contracts will be pro-rata.

 

a) Senior Librarian/Head Librarian

With Head of Department status and managing library staff - recommendation: SCP 38 - 54.

This equates to a salary between £40,760 - £61,099.

 

b) Professionally qualified Librarian

With first degree or Masters degree in Library and Information Science - recommendation: SCP 23 - 38. This equates to a salary between £26,999 - £40,760.

Minimum of SCP 26 if chartered MCLIP or £ 29,636.

If teaching duties added to above, e.g. information skills programme - recommendation: SCP 31 - 43. This equates to a salary between £33,799 - £45,591.

 

c) Library Manager (unqualified) or recently qualified librarians

With day to day responsibility, including managing budget, development planning etc. - recommendation: SCP 18 - 25. This equates to a salary between £24,313 - £28,785.

 

d) Senior Clerical or Senior Library Assistant

Working with professional librarian - no strategic role but to include areas of responsibility - recommendation: SCP 7 - 11. This equates to a salary between £19,554 - £21,166.

 

e) Clerical or Library Assistant

working with professional librarian - no strategic role - recommendation: SCP 5 - 6. This equates to a salary between £18,795 - £19,171.

Minimum of SCP6 (£19,171) if City and Guilds or NVQ level 3 library assistants' qualification held.

 

Annual Leave

Since the Introduction of the Working Time Regulations in 1998, all staff, including those who work part-time, are entitled to a minimum of 4 weeks (equivalent) paid holiday per year.

In addition, if library staff are not employed for 52 weeks per year, two to three weeks paid employment may also be required during school holidays for stock-checks, planning and report writing etc.

 

Updated June 2019

The Role of the School Librarian

The School Library Association believes that the School Librarian/Library Manager has an essential and unique specialist role to play in supporting pupils’ learning and their development into effective, independent learners and readers.

The School Librarian should be:

  • a partner with teaching staff in the education process
  • a partner in supporting individual learning behaviours
  • an acknowledged expert in resource and information provision and management
  • a leader and partner with teaching staff in the collaborative design and implementation of information literacy programmes throughout the school
  • a leader in creating and developing a climate to promote and support reading for pleasure across the school
  • an acknowledged partner with all departments to effectively support and resource each key stage
  • a partner in out of hours learning.


The School Librarian should have the same entitlement to continuing professional development as teaching staff and paid holiday as required by the Working Time Regulations.

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