Advice and Support for All

If you are an SLA member please log in using the button on the top right hand side. If you wish for more personalised advice please phone01793 401156 or e-mail:  Please include your membership number on any e-mail.

If you or your school are not yet a member of the SLA, please visit the Join page using the button above, or contact the SLA Office where staff will be happy to advise you on joining the Association. Members have access to a large number of support and guidance documents. Below are a few for you to use. 


How to write an annual report


Annual Report Secondary School example


Wellbeing and Mental Health YA Booklist


Use of Kindles/ Kindle e-books in schools and school libraries


COVID webinar links


Reading - what works


Family Reading Segments


A Learning Space - a departmental review

Helen Burton, Independent Learning and Library Coordinator at Bishop Challoner Catholic College, has kindly allowed us to feature her 2012 SEF as an example of what a good library offers in support of learning and teaching.

Impact and effectiveness of School Libraries - a round up


Reading Grids


Design Guidelines for a Secondary School Library


The location of the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) or library, its size and its environment are crucial in ensuring its effective use by students and staff. Library location also speaks volumes about the status given to the library as a whole school resource. If it is one of the first things both visitors and school staff and pupils see on entering the school it can reinforce the message that independent learning and reading are given a high profile.

For more information have a look at our page on designing libraries, or our publication on this topic.

Qualifications in Librarianship

Professional Librarian Qualifications

What do they mean?

MCLIP (Chartership) – can only be used by a chartered and fully paid up member of Cilip (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). Candidates will usually have a degree or post-graduate qualification in Library and Information studies and will have spent around 2 further years learning and studying ‘on the job’ and then have submitted a professional portfolio of work for assessment by CILIP.

Candidates should be able to provide a certificate of chartership and an up to date membership card from CILIP. To find out more please visit Cilip's website.

When MCLIP is combined with a suitable period of experience in a school library environment it is recommended that candidates have Head of Department status.

ACLIP (Certification) – is a qualification earned by library staff, who do not have a degree or post-graduate qualification in Library and Information studies - although many are graduates in other disciplines. They have considerable experience of working in libraries and have used that experience to prepare a professional portfolio of work for assessment by CILIP. Candidates should be able to provide a certificate of certification and an up to date membership card from CILIP. To find out more please visit Cilip's website.

FCLIP (Fellowship) – is the highest level of professional qualification awarded by CILIP and is only given to librarians who have shown a high level of commitment to and achievement in their professional life. To find out more please visit Cilip's website.

Vocational Qualifications – Level 2 is an entry level qualification suitable for a library assistant working with a more experienced or more qualified member of staff. It focuses on the routine tasks common to most libraries.

Level 3 has a more managerial element to it and shows that candidates have reached the level suitable to manage a library unsupervised.

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

Status of the Librarian/Library Manager

The School Library Association believes that the Librarian/Library Manager should:

  • have Head of Department status, in order that he/she can play a full part in school development and act effectively and in a proactive manner to support the developing needs of all departments
  • be included in staff and/or senior leader meetings to enable the Librarian to raise and discuss relevant issues, maintaining the high profile of the library across the school
  • be line-managed by a member of the School Management/Leadership Team with curricular responsibilities
  • have the status and authority to employ strategies for the effective management of the library in accordance with all school policies eg Health and Safety, Behaviour, Discipline, Inclusion etc.
  • have the authority to manage the library budget in accordance with school procedures and principles of best value
  • produce some reports to show impact and activity in the library, ideally tied to the school's aims and objectives
  • have some activity within both reading for pleasure and information literacy, or know why this isn't a priority for them/the school.

And in terms of professional development should:

  • have the same entitlement to INSET and Continuing Professional Development opportunities as teaching staff
  • be included in the school's staff appraisal programme
  • be allowed time to network with other School Librarians in the area, attend relevant meetings and actively participate in professional groups outside their school.

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.