School Governors

School Governors

An effective school library has been proven to have a positive, long-term impact for children. 

You can read more about the research on school libraries here, and there's also a wealth of information about the impact of reading for pleasure. 

A school library helps a school achieve their aims in the following areas: 

 - Learning: Reading for Pleasure, Reading Progress, Research skills

 - Wellbeing

 - Independent learning

 - Lifelong skills

 - Media and information literacy

- Personal and social development

You can read more about this here. 


If you already have fantastic library provision consider entering our Awards.

We've been supporting school libraries for 85 years in 2022; helping all children reach their heights. Call or email with any questions you have about your school library to receive personalised, realistic advice. Our recommendations, and more about us is below. You can contact us here.

Our Recommendations

Our recommendations are:

- The Library is open 8am-4pm, including breaks and lunch. 

- That senior roles at least allow for 2 weeks outside of term time. This is to attend training, but also carry out important tasks which cannot be done while pupils are using the library, such as a stock take, or which are better when uninterrupted such as cataloguing or mapping resources to a scheme of work. In the same way teachers cannot actively teach a lesson and write a scheme of work, librarians cannot actively support children with their reading and do long term planning. 

- That a librarian (or the most senior member of library staff) reports to a senior leader, possibly with responsibility for the curriculum, but someone who can see and support the work that happens from the library across subjects and year groups. 

- That the library has a link governor. This is because a library is a significant investment for a school and due to the overarching nature of the school library work. 

- That a librarian role focuses on reading (for pleasure and supporting the curriculum) and on information literacy and research skills (working with teaching staff to ensure all pupils learn how to find and use information and develop skills which are vital for the workplace and university). To enable both these it is important that the librarian has the opportunity to attend meetings (for Head of Departments for example) and speak to colleagues. 

- That a Library Report is written at minimum each year, or termly, which shows how the work of the library is helping the school achieve its aims. This should be shared with the line manager, Headteacher and the link governor. A library development plan may support this. 

- Library staff are encouraged and supported to network. Being the only person in the school responsible for a department can be isolating, especially when many are unable to attend staff meetings or utilise the staff room as the library is busy. Many Trusts encourage Trust Library meetings or discussions, and the SLA have a network of Branches with local meetings and networking. 

- The specific and expert role of the school librarian is recognised and supported with relevant training. This may be some whole school training, or specialised training. Topics may include building a reading culture, delivering media literacy, widening library participation, or teaching skills. 


We know that schools are working in difficult circumstances, and so want to work with schools to find the best solution where these can't be followed for any reason. These would be for a Head of Department/budget holder role; expectations for any other role would need to be considered in light of their level of responsibility and pay. 

Resources

We have many resources available to support any area of a school library, from funding, practicalities or services and aims. 

Some of these are available to non-members here, and many many more are available to members. The best thing to do is email or call and let us know what you're looking for. That way we can make sure you get support relevant for your context.

We've produced a way to measure wellbeing and reading so that interventions can be prioritised and measured. Find out more about Wellbeing through Reading here. You can also read some case studies about how school libraries support wellbeing here. 

We are key supporters of the Inclusion Labs Decade of Diversity; and there are two pledges you can take - one around diversity of Governors, and one around diversity of literature. You can find out more about that here.