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School Libraries and Librarians

CILIP believes that every child should benefit from a great school library staffed by a dedicated professional librarian (noting that a ‘professional’ school librarians may or may not be formally qualified). This is the theme of our #GreatSchoolLibraries campaign, which we are proud to lead jointly with the CILIP School Libraries Group and the School Libraries Association.

Benefits of a great school library/librarian

Working in partnership with teaching staff, school leaders, parents and learners, school librarians are able to enhance and extend the teaching and learning experience in a wide variety of ways:

  • Promoting a culture of reading for pleasure across the school
  • Enhancing curriculum-based teaching to improve attainment
  • Developing digital skills and information literacy
  • Providing a ‘non-classroom’, trusted space for teaching and learning
  • Improving literacy and reading
  • Promoting creativity and self-expression
  • Supporting pastoral care, health (including mental health) and wellbeing

For more information about the #GreatSchoolLibraries campaign visit Great School Libraries

School Libraries Data Group (SLDG)

The SLDG is a sub-group of the Management Committee of the #GreatSchoolLibraries campaign. It is working to improve the quality and reliability of data about school library provision across the UK, including:

  • Qualitative data about the impact of school libraries/librarians on attainment, OFSTED performance and ‘value-added’ for learners;

  • Quantitative data about the quality and extent of staffed school library provision in different sectors, and;

  • Narrative evidence and case studies highlighting the transformative work of school librarians

The SLDG is implementing a project to gather an publish this data at part of the overall campaign.

Pay and employment status

CILIP is committed to ensuring that School Librarians are recognised and paid on equal terms with other teaching staff and that their employment status reflects the importance of their role. This includes making the case against term-time only contracts for School Librarians.

CILIP supports the CILIP SLG and SLA in providing salary guidelines for school employers. We will not accept recruitment advertisements which include salaries or conditions that do not meet these expectations. Where a role is advertised on a grade or pay band lower than those advertised in our guidance, we will engage with the school to seek to improve these conditions.

A look at the invaluable role of school libraries

The APPG report The Beating Heart of the School provides a valuable look at the crucial role that school libraries and librarians play in providing an environment that enables educational attainment given their impact on children's literacy, education and wellbeing.

CILIP School Libraries Group

All of CILIP’s work with school libraries and librarians is developed in partnership with the CILIP School Librarians Group – an active, welcoming and collaborative community of people working in school libraries and related disciplines.

School Libraries Group
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