Best Practice

School libraries and reading development

Recreational reading. Reading for learning. Reading for life. The school library and school librarian has a vital role to play in supporting pupils to read. Clare Brumpton and Elizabeth Hutchinson look at how they can do this


In a recent article, we unpacked the way school librarians might support “levelling up” (Brumpton & Hutchinson, 2022). Here, we would like to focus on the role and core purpose of the school library and librarian.

Many schools believe that they have a library when they have a room full of books that they issue and return. However, in order for a school library to meet its core purpose, it needs a school librarian – not only to manage the collection but to engage with students and teachers across the curriculum as well.

We understand that employing a librarian is not possible for some smaller schools but there are ways around this, perhaps via a shared librarian working across several local schools or via access to a Schools Library Service.

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