Gillian Harris, MBE
Tower Hamlets SLS
The future of primary school libraries report, published today by the National Literacy Trust and partners provides a welcome focus on an essential part of primary school life for children. SLS UK looks forward to working with schools and partners to help school create excellent school libraries.
The report states that not all areas have a Schools Library Service, but we are very excited to announce that by working together, Schools Library Services in England and Wales are able to provide a service to any school, regardless of whether there is a service locally. Schools can submit an enquiry on our website SLS-UK.org and will be directed to experts who can help.
The report identifies that “an effective primary school library needs:
- A wide range of inclusive and representative books.
- An engaging and creative space.
- Trained staff.
- To sit at the heart of the wider school community.”
Schools Library Services, with their expertise in children’s literature can help you the choice of books to buy or borrow for the library – diversity is our speciality – as well as with library design and refurbishment, installing a library computer system and work with the school on a range of reading promotions both local and national to get children reading.
Many schools library services will lend you a box of specially selected diverse books for a term at prices starting £560 for a year.
The report highlights that libraries work best when run by trained staff, stating that “one in three respondents mentioned the importance of having a professional librarian… to sustain the library, to promote reading and to support teachers with pupils who found reading difficult” and that “a librarian who know both the resources and the children they work with can make a huge difference”. This is not only in working individually with children to instil a love of reading, but also using their knowhow to track down, bid for, or otherwise acquire books for the library
SLS-UK provides training for people running the libraries and can help you find a qualified librarian to manage and develop the school library. This post can be full or part time and SLS-UK in London acts as an agency to provide schools with a librarian for a number of hours each week on an annual contract.
SLS-UK is a consortium of Schools Library Services dedicated to ensuring that every school can access the services of a schools library service. Heads of Schools Library Services are members of Ascel