Thursday, 1 May 2014

Running a primary school library – sources of information, advice, ideas and support

Oxford Gardens 26People with responsibility for the primary schoool library are often not given the help they need. They may have little knowledge of its role, and how to manage it effectively to support the curriculum and children’s reading and wider learning. Preparing a course on running the primary library today, I realised it might be useful to list sources of information and advice, so the library can be, in Michael Morpurgo’s words, ‘the heart and soul’ of the school.

Schools library services are invaluable for support and resources. I cannot recommend subscription to an SLS highly enough. Here are links to all the SLSs in the UK and a map so you can find your nearest one, helpful now that many local authorities unfortunately no longer provide this crucial service.

The School Library Association, producers of the list and map, is extremely useful. They too provide support, and their publications are excellent, very practical. Making a Start with Your Primary School Library is, as the name suggests, a good starting point, but do check out their other titles too.

There are masses of ideas and information in the Primary School Library Guidelines.

Though not new, Ofsted’s report Good School Libraries: Making a Difference to Learning remains useful.

The School Librarians’ Network is a forum where school library staff can exchange news, views and ideas. The majority of members work in the secondary sector, but there is plenty that is relevant to primary libraries too.

Heart of the School has a secondary library focus, but is well worth a look.

The photo shows an inspiring library lesson at Oxford Gardens Primary School.