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Why schools need libraries

SLA Support for School Libraries

  •  SLA Standards for Secondary School Libraries
    These standards are a statement of the recommended level of provision for school libraries by the SLA. It is intended that they can be used to advocate for improved services in secondary schools to Senior Management Teams, Governors, Inspectors, Politicians and Civil Servants.

    SLA Secondary Standards 2015

    PDF file, 2 MB

    Requires Adobe Reader




  • The SLA Primary School Library Charter

The Charter is a 12-page booklet intended to help you set up and run a primary school library, to point your school towards inspirational and flexible, innovative and exciting library spaces and the development, maintenance and management of the resources held within them.

Primary School Library Charter 2015

PDF file, 2 MB

Requires Adobe Reader



 ‘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.

  • Effective School Libraries
    A special offprint of the article "Effective School Libraries: Evidence of Impact on Student Achievement" by Lynn Barrett, from The School Librarian, Volume 58 Number 3 Autumn 2010. The article presents research evidence on the effectiveness of school libraries and is a useful resource and advocacy tool for your library.

    This special offprint is a free PDF download for members - Download Effective  School Libraries

UK Advocacy Campaigns

  • As part of the CILIPS (Scotland) continuing support for members in schools and school library services CILIPS Council agreed to set up a group to develop an advocacy strategy and associated activity aimed at promoting and highlighting the positive contribution school libraries and school librarians make in supporting the curricular and developmental needs of young people.
  • Save Scotland's School Libraries is a Facebook campaign to counter proposed cuts to School librarians in Scottish schools.

Advocacy Toolkits

UK Research into school libraries

  • A University of Bristol, Graduate School of Education, working paper looking into the gap between boys and girls' reading - published January 2016  Understanding the Gender Gap working paper
  • The All Party Parliamentary Group on school libraries has published their final report 'The Beating Heart of the School'. It is available to download and read here 

International research into school libraries


Updated February 2015