THE PRIMARY SCHOOL LIBRARY GUIDELINESWorking GroupSue Adler (Education Library Service, Islington), Trish Botten (The Libr...
THE PRIMARY SCHOOL LIBRARY GUIDELINESThe Guidelines are intended to be a practical support to everyone concerned with esta...
CONTENTS     DEVELOPING A LIBRARY APPROPRIATE TO THE NEEDS OF THE SCHOOL                                                  ...
DEVELOPING A LIBRARY APPROPRIATE TO THE NEEDS OF THE SCHOOL A key learning environment                                    ...
POLICY                                                                      Purpose and Content                           ...
CREATING THE ENVIRONMENT    The ideal location                                                                            ...
CREATING THE ENVIRONMENT                                                       (continued)     Furniture and equipment    ...
STAFF    All staff, pupils, parents and the governing body      Staffing options                                          ...
BUDGETS AND FUNDING                                                                       Assessing funding needs for lear...
SELECTING RESOURCES                                                                                                       ...
SELECTING RESOURCES                                               (continued)     Assessment criteria                     ...
SELECTING RESOURCES                                                (continued) CD-ROMs/Web sites                          ...
LIBRARY ORGANIZATION                                                                       Loaning resources          Simp...
COMPUTERISED LIBRARY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Costs involved                                                                An e...
THE LIBRARY AS A FOCUS FOR LITERACY                                                                         Reader develop...
INFORMATION LITERACY                                                                                                      ...
JUDGING SUCCESS         Effective libraries must be responsive to educational           Performance measures              ...
Service Output - Qualitative Measures                           Documentation to support performance measures• how easy is...
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  2. 2. THE PRIMARY SCHOOL LIBRARY GUIDELINESWorking GroupSue Adler (Education Library Service, Islington), Trish Botten (The Library Association), Chris Brown (former primaryHeadteacher), Pam Dix (Education Library Service, Islington), Gill Harris (Schools Library Service, Tower Hamlets),Susan Heyes (Schools Library Service, West Sussex), Sue Jones (Schools Library Service, Hertfordshire),Ray Swan (Education Library Consultant), Glenys Willars (Library Services for Education, Leicestershire and Leicester City).Focus GroupThe Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL), The Library Association Youth Libraries Committee,The Library Association Youth Libraries Group (YLG), The Library Association School Libraries Group (SLG), the SchoolLibrary Association (SLA), the Scottish Library Association, the Welsh Library Association and the Northern Ireland Branchof The Library Association.Consultative GroupPeter Beauchamp, Chief Library Adviser,Department for Culture, Media and SportCeris Bergen, Head of National Grid for Learning Policy Support Unit,British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTa)Tony Kirwan and Diane Wilson,The Study Support National Evaluation and Development Programme at the National Youth AgencyPauline Linton, Curriculum Division,The Department for Education and Employment.Published by The Professional Practice Department of The Library Association, 7 Ridgmount Street, London WC1E 7AE.Telephone: 020 7255 0500 Fax: 020 7255 0501 Textphone: 020 7255 0505For questions relating to this booklet, e-mail:© 2000 ISBN 0 9537404 04
  3. 3. THE PRIMARY SCHOOL LIBRARY GUIDELINESThe Guidelines are intended to be a practical support to everyone concerned with establishing, maintaining and developingdynamic primary school libraries across the UK: Headteachers, teachers, governing bodies, primary school librarians/library co-ordinators and Schools Library Services.The Guidelines address the library needs of pupils between 4 and 11 years as independent learners and imaginative readers;embedding the school library in the teaching and learning culture of the whole school. The Guidelines also recognise that theuse of information and communication technologies is integral to every aspect of primary school library provision.The Library Association worked with key librarians throughout the UK to produce this document. The principles and practisesrecommended, read together with The Library Association Guidelines for Secondary School Libraries, cover the library needsof pupils throughout their school career – from primary to secondary school - and form an essential support to the lifelonglearning process.The terminology used in the Guidelines is generic and the Guidelines have been distributed throughout the UK. However,primary schools in Scotland should use the Guidelines as useful background information and should refer primarily toStandards for School Library Resource Services in Scotland: a Framework for Developing Services, Convention of ScottishLocal Authorities (COSLA) 1999 and Taking a Closer Look at the School Library Resource Centre: Self Evaluation usingPerformance Indicators, Scottish Consultative Council for the Curriculum [et al].The Library AssociationThe Library Association is the leading professional body for librarians and information managers with over 25,000 members. It iscommitted to enabling its members to achieve and maintain the highest professional standards, and encouraging andsupporting them in the delivery and promotion of high quality library and information services responsive to the needs of users.The Primary School Library Guidelines can be found on The Library Association web site: Library Services/Central Library Support ServicesThe Library Association believes that a Schools Library Service plays a key role in developing school effectiveness. This isachieved through support and advice in the development and improvement of school libraries, use of learning resources, thedevelopment of effective information handling skills, and access to wider reading choices for all pupils.Schools Library Services are available to schools in the UK through a range of options for purchase of all, or parts of, theirservice, or via central education funding. The Library Association or the local public library can direct schools to the nearestSchools Library Service.Cover illustrationThe cover illustration is by Quentin Blake, the Children’s Laureate, and was specially created for The PrimarySchool Library Guidelines. This report may be reproduced in whole or in part provided that the source and date thereof are stated, except for commercial purposes or in connection with a prospectus or advertisement.
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  5. 5. CONTENTS DEVELOPING A LIBRARY APPROPRIATE TO THE NEEDS OF THE SCHOOL Real learners need real libraries. A key learning environment; Good school libraries; A whole school approach 1 POLICY Better libraries, Department of Education and Science, 1989, ISBN 085522 2107 Context; Purpose and content 2 CREATING THE ENVIRONMENT The ideal location; Accommodation and shelving 3 Furniture and equipment; Guiding and signs; Lighting 4 A lively, welcoming and well resourced school library STAFF is essential. It gives pupils broad and positive Why appropriate staffing is essential; Recommendations; Schools Library Services 5 experiences of books, computers, and other media. BUDGETS AND FUNDING The library is not just a space but a living organism, General guidelines; Assessing funding needs; Formulating the budgets for resources 6 continually evolving to respond to the learning and SELECTING RESOURCES teaching needs of the whole school – an expression Why is selection so important?; Acquisition: who selects?; Sources of supply 7 of the ethos and values of the school community. It is Assessment criteria; Short cuts to assessment; Stock review programme 8 also an effective and economical shared resource. CD-ROMs/Web sites; Non-fiction; Fiction and picture books 9 The school library should be a centre for learning LIBRARY ORGANIZATION and literacy development; a place where pupils, Classifying and organization; Issuing resources 10 surrounded by books, can enjoy and respond to the COMPUTERISED LIBRARY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS stimulating environment. ICT, through access Costs involved; System considerations 11 to CD-ROMs, the Internet and the National Grid THE LIBRARY AS A FOCUS FOR LITERACY for Learning, is an integral component of this Something for everyone; Reader development; Some examples of reading activities 12 learning environment. INFORMATION LITERACY Effective library provision is concerned with Introducing learning skills; The learning sequence; Extending interactions with text 13 equality and social inclusion. Through the JUDGING SUCCESS school library, all pupils have access to learning Key questions; Performance measures 14 resources. The school library’s role is to help create confident, enthusiastic readers, and to EXEMPLAR 1 POLICY INTO PRACTICE: IMPROVING THE SCHOOL LIBRARY 16 engage children in lifelong learning. EXEMPLAR 2 ICT AND INFORMATION HANDLING SKILLS IN THE SCHOOL LIBRARY 17 APPENDICES 1 RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PRIMARY SCHOOL LIBRARIAN/LIBRARY CO-ORDINATOR 18 2 CONTACT LIST 19 3 UNESCO SCHOOL LIBRARY MANIFESTO 22 4 FURTHER READING 24ii
  6. 6. DEVELOPING A LIBRARY APPROPRIATE TO THE NEEDS OF THE SCHOOL A key learning environment Good school libraries A whole school approachPupils need to develop appropriate learning strategies and • enrich pupils’ reading experiences and develop pupils’ Library planning must:become independent and lifelong learners. The school skills as independent learnerslibrary is the cornerstone to this process. • be part of the school’s policies for teaching and learning • provide resources and information that teachers and • be included in curriculum planning that promotes theLibraries empower pupils, not only by supporting the pupils need development of literacy and reading for informationteaching and learning in the school, but by giving them thefreedom to make their own choices about reading and • support the teaching and learning process, and extend • reflect the school’s profile of teachers and pupils and the the school’s curriculum nature of the local communitylearning experiences.Library skills need to be introduced to pupils from an early • have skilled, enthusiastic staff with time allocated for • complement styles of teaching and learning in the school library dutiesage and practised throughout their school career. • recognise the need for staffing, support, accommodationLibraries in schools give children the opportunity to: • have up-to-date, attractive and suitable resources in a and funding range of media• extend their reading experiences • set targets which are realistic and achievable within an • are adequately funded to ensure continuing maintenance agreed period of time• discover and use information and development • establish an agreed policy and development plan for• learn research skills. • are planned and designed to be pleasant and the librarySchool libraries are important to the learning stimulating environments • ensure the support and formal endorsement of theoutcomes of the whole school and the impact • are monitored regularly to assess their use governing body and staffgoes beyond its walls to the family and thewider community. • are guided by a whole school policy for the library • contribute to school improvementAs a base for family learning activities, the school • make good use of the expertise and stock of a Schools • keep abreast of ICT developments. Library Service, and develop ongoing links with the locallibrary may be the only contact some parents have public library.with the world of books and learning resources. 1
  7. 7. POLICY Purpose and Content The Policy should include: The library policy document should define the visions, aspirations and role of the school library. The purpose of the policy is to make clear, for the whole 1 All aspects of library provision, including: West Sussex Schools Library Service 1998 school community, the role, aims and objectives of the • accommodation library, including: • staffing Context • the library’s status as a learning environment in the • funding school and its role in raising achievement The school library policy does not exist in isolation. • the relationship with other areas e.g. other school • learning resources It should relate to: policies, the curriculum, study support, classroom • organization • national educational initiatives collections • ICT • Local Education Authority plans and initiatives • the relationship with the school’s overall aims as defined • support for teaching and learning. • the policies, ethos and aims of the school, e.g. School in the School Development Plan (SDP) and the role of the 2 Use and access, including: Development Plan (SDP) library in achievement of school improvement priorities. • local support services, e.g. • patterns of class and individual use – Schools Library Service/Central Library Support Service • supervision arrangement – Public Library Service • opening times – other LEA departments – Education Action Zones • library’s role in information skills programmes • the social and cultural environment of the school, the • reading development and book promotion local community and other local initiatives, e.g. • use of ICT – Out of Hours learning initiatives – Equal Opportunities • after hours activities. 3 Monitoring and evaluation – Social inclusion – partnerships with other organizations 4 Planning and future development – pre-school activities – liaison with secondary schools Policy should inform practice, and therefore practice – cultural diversity should inform policy. It should be revised regularly – literacy policies. alongside other school plans and form part of the school cycle of reviews. Policy should be reported to the governing body and form part of the SDP and INSET programmes. The Library Association recommends that the school has a library policy that is effectively implemented through good practice.2
  8. 8. CREATING THE ENVIRONMENT The ideal location The school library should be exciting and welcoming, and identifiably different from classrooms.Ideally the library should be: A multi-media, interactive learning environment motivates pupils to explore resources for both curriculum related work and for their own personal exploration of the resources.• a whole school resource• centrally located within the school Accommodation and shelving• easily accessible to all classes and all children, whatever Accommodation Shelving must provide:their particular needs 1 Size is important. There are a number of factors to consider• a single-use area. when calculating the ideal size of the library. • safe, back-edge book supportsThe library should embrace: • shelf guiding • DfEE building regulations 2• the central fiction collection • adjustable shelves • the number of shelves and wall/floor space required to• the central non-fiction collection house recommended number of books and accommodate • options for face-on book display.• access to ICT, e.g. Internet, Intranet, CD-ROM study, group or class activities. Other forms of shelving include:• study space Shelving • kinder boxes for picture books Shelving may be either wall mounted or freestanding.• enough seating for a whole class • big book storage Ideally shelving should be:• informal reading areas. • paperback carousels.Classroom book corners benefit from a centralised library • a maximum height of 1200mm (and never higher than Shelving should be purchased from a specialist 1500mm). This will provide three shelves per bay library supplier. A Schools Library Service or Thefrom which staff and pupils select fresh collections termly.Schools with no suitable central area must find alternative • 250mm deep Library Association can provide contact details of suppliers and advise on library layout.locations for a central collection which include as many of • 900 - 1000mm in lengththe ‘ideals’ as possible. withOther spaces for the school library can be createdimaginatively but it is important that the library functions • a minimum one front-facing display shelf per bayfully according to the recommended guidelines, and fulfils • a minimum of 1000mm circulation space in front of andHealth and Safety criteria. between shelving units. This is a Health and Safety requirement. 1200mm DIY shelving is not recommended for safety reasons. 250mm 900/1000mm Diagram showing one bay with three shelvesDfEE Access for Disabled People to School Buildings Bulletin No.91,1 2 DfEE Area Guidelines for School Buildings Bulletin No. 82, HMSO, 1996,HMSO, 1999, ISBN 011271062X ISBN 0112709214 3
  9. 9. CREATING THE ENVIRONMENT (continued) Furniture and equipment Guiding and signs Health and Safety Furniture and equipment should include: Clear guiding and signs will ensure that the library is All plans for the development or reorganisation of the easily accessible and effectively used. library (including furnishing, staffing, use and movement of • tables and chairs of a size appropriate for most of pupils) must be in line with the school’s, and other the children This should include: recognised authorities’ Health and Safety documents. • workstations for CD-ROM, Internet use, access to • general signs on bays e.g. Early and regular consultation with the Health & Safety computerised library catalogue representative and/or any other appropriate officer is • sufficient power points and network connections for Fiction A – C advised for all new library plans, schemes and alterations. ICT desk and other audiovisual equipment Safety tips • a table for issuing and return of books with room for • shelves should be strong enough to take the weight a computer • and shelves e.g. of books • easy chairs, bean bags or cushions for ‘comfy reading’ Athletics 796.4 • shelves should not have sharp edges • carpets, curtains and other soft furnishings – all create a • bean bags and other soft furnishings must be flame welcoming and comfortable environment resistant and have removable covers • a wall subject index, e.g. • listening stations with headphones • mobile shelves must have lockable castors. • storage for audiovisual resources, other media formats, Bangladesh 954.9 posters/charts Bible 220 • display facilities. Biology 574 Lighting Birds 598 Wherever possible, make the most of natural light. Strip Boats 386 lighting is preferable and needs to be placed appropriately for even distribution of light. • subjects listed on the end of a bay panel, e.g. 600s 612 Human Body 624 Bridges 640 Food4
  10. 10. STAFF All staff, pupils, parents and the governing body Staffing options Help from a Schools Library Service need to be involved in the school library, Primary school libraries can be managed in one of the A Schools Library Service can: sharing in plans, and helping to ensure that use following ways: is successful and effective. • help and advise in the organization and management of • a full time professional librarian – The Library library resources Association’s recommendation Why appropriate staffing is essential • promote the enjoyment of reading and literacy • a professional librarian shared by a group of schools development across the curriculum, and the developmentRunning a school library is more than day to day of information handling skillsoperational routines. • a teacher as a library co-ordinator, line managed by the Headteacher. Enthusiasm and experience are essential and • lend resources to support the school library andTime and support is required for management and the post should be open to all teachers. classroom workstrategic development. This needs to done by thelibrary co-ordinator or librarian and includes: See Appendix 1 for the responsibilities of a primary school • train and support the professional development of librarian/library co-ordinator. library staff.• policy and development• overview of resource selection Other sources of help• organization of library• overview of use • all teaching staff should contribute to the selection of resources, the planning and monitoring of library use and• creating imaginative and confident readers implementation of the whole-school information skills programme• development of skills programme for pupils.It is also necessary to run the library on a day-to-day • classroom assistants can be trained to help with thebasis. The library co-ordinator/librarian can share the routine tasks and library supervision at lunchtime, or beforefollowing tasks with additional helpers: and after school• preparing stock for use • pupil helpers can help promote the library to other children and carry out routine tasks• shelving books• keeping the library tidy • volunteers, e.g. parents and governors, can provide valuable help with routine tasks as well as• supervising access with library events• supporting pupil use • one-off task groups can achieve a particular aim.• organizing displays, promotions and special events. 5
  11. 11. BUDGETS AND FUNDING Assessing funding needs for learning resources Formulating the budgets for learning resources The library should have a fair share of the total capitation because it is a whole school Budget preparation Resource requirements resource serving all staff and pupils. In order to assess adequate funding for learning Better Libraries, Department of Education and Science, 1989 resources, consider: School Roll • the cost of replacing outdated or worn out resources and resources General guidelines -to-date library filling stock gaps. Regular stock maintenance and annual a) Number of up k= monitoring and evaluation will identify the items and areas n-fiction) in stoc • The school’s total budget must include an adequate (fiction* and no that need replacing and developing dation amount for the library every year. This figure must be a ciation recommen b) The Library Asso • the proportion of funding required for developing new ctive, up- discrete item in the school book policy ovision (13 attra curricular areas for total stock pr roll = • Learning resources need to be regularly replaced in order r pupil) x school to-date items pe to be relevant to the needs of the curriculum, and the • the need for funding books and non-book material rary provision (b -a) = reading and information needs of pupils and teachers eg. CD-ROMs and tapes. c) Shortfall in lib budget figure, a 3–5 year (if this is a large e library • Resources such as books, CD-ROMs, Web sites, How many items? programme shou ld be built into th magazines and story tapes remain useful only while up-to- The Library Association recommends: an) date or in good physical condition development pl • 13 items per pupil (based on National Curriculum existing tion that 10% of • There also needs to be a budget for the physical coverage and fiction reading books per pupil) d) Recommenda )= annually (a/10% environment and appropriate furniture and equipment • that 10% of existing stock is replaced annually stock is replaced et: • It is important to plan ahead and cost for ICT Resource Budg • 2,400 as the minimum number of resources for a e) Total Annual ice) = developments including: school, regardless of pupil numbers. e resource pr (c + d x averag – Internet access and the National Grid for Learning This ensures a full range of resources to cover the – CD-ROM information needs of the curriculum and provide sufficient Average resource price = £9.50 (year 2000) • One computer with CD-ROM and Internet access is a reading materials for all ages and abilities. (this figure takes into account hardback, paperback, basic requirement educational and mainstream children’s publishing) • A computerised library management system greatly *This excludes reading schemes and text books. improves pupils’ access to resources, as well as improving stock management.6
  12. 12. SELECTING RESOURCES Sources of Supply Selecting the right resources for the library is the key to success. It will enable the primary school library to inspire a child’s imagination, provide for a child’s information needs and create life-long learners. Schools Library Service (SLS) A Schools Library Service offers a cost-effective way of exchanging and acquiring up-to-date stock regularly. SomeWhy is selection so important? Acquisition: who selects? SLSs offer a book shop or ordering service, and competitiveThe school library will stand or fall on its stock. Pupils (and The librarian/library co-ordinator has overall terms, as well as ready-serviced stock (saving teachers’teachers) who find what they want will return to use the responsibility for selection time), and give impartial and informed advice on suitablelibrary and will trust the library to meet their needs. material for purchase. Some SLSs provide access to LibraryThe stock reflects a balance between supporting the Issues to consider: Suppliers’ CD-ROM and Internet ordering services.curriculum and providing resources to meet individual • do all staff have opportunities to recommend titles? Library suppliersneeds and interests. • are specialist curriculum and interest areas recognised? Library suppliers offer a wide range of materials which canAs well as providing all users with resources that they know be viewed in showrooms, catalogues, on CD-ROM or on thethey want and need, the library can take them beyond the • can parents, carers and other adults also Internet. They process stock, i.e. classify/jacket/label ready recommend titles?known into new worlds. Selection is not just responsive to for immediate use. Discounts can be negotiated. A Schoolsneed; its role is also to inspire and challenge. Where better • how can pupils contribute to the process? Library Service or The Library Association can provideto discover new resources, new authors, genres and • is the special expertise of both adults and pupils contact details of library suppliers.interests, than in the school library? recognised, e.g. in the area of languages other than English? BookshopsSelecting and withdrawing resources needs to be systematic • does the collection reflect the cultural diversity of the Discounts of 10% can usually be negotiated. The localto ensure currency and relevance. A regular routine needs community? bookshop is a valuable place to see be established. General principlesSelection policy The range and balance of stock in the library should followThis should be part of the library policy. It should an agreed plan that is a part of the school’s library policy.complement the whole school policy on resource provision, Issues to consider:i.e. in the context of core book provision in classrooms,home reading schemes, resources for the Literacy Hour, and • the ratio of fiction to non-fictionICT. The selection policy is therefore part of a wider policy; • the proportion of curriculum resources to leisure readingcreating a context for stock management in terms of • the proportion of stock for early years, KS1, KS2acquisition, promotion and use. • the relationship of classroom collections and literacy resources to the central library • equal opportunities, including multicultural provision and special needs provision. 7
  13. 13. SELECTING RESOURCES (continued) Assessment criteria Short cuts to assessment Assess the item in the school context, e.g. relate current Assessment of resources can be time consuming. Relying on A useful strategy stock to the School Development Plan and the curriculum. the work of others can speed up the process. • buy several books and other resources per curriculum Is it relevant to the age and abilities of the pupils? How will Sources of help and advice subject at different ability levels the item make a difference? For all resources check: • services offered by a Schools Library Service include • buy a range of ‘enrichment’ material and popular fiction • purpose exhibitions of recommended books, booklists, reviews, etc. • borrow more copies of: – relevance to pupils or staff Borrowing recommended resources from a Schools Library – popular fiction – does it achieve what it sets out to do? Service is a cost-effective way of supplementing library and – expensive, special or unusual books – does it appeal to the target age group? classroom resources – topic books. • suitability • review journals and newspapers, e.g. – reading age – clarity of illustration Books for Keeps – print size – ease of use Carousel Stock review programme – readability – use of language Child Education and Junior Education It is important to undertake regular audits and edits of The School Librarian • medium - book/tape/CD-ROM/magazine, how appropriate? Times Educational Supplement library stock, to ensure that resources remain relevant and attractive. • production – quality (e.g. paper) – attractiveness to pupils • the Internet, e.g. National Grid for Learning literacy web • establish criteria for the removal of resources, – durability (e.g. binding) – accessibility sites (always check the credentials of the organization considering: – ease of use and safety providing the web site) – equal opportunities issues • value for money • specialist literacy organizations, e.g. Book Trust – physical condition and REACH. – currency of information – quality – attractiveness to pupils – standard of production Consider carefully – relevance to curriculum or other pupil needs – minority appeal – take into account that a more limited • Internet recommendations – many sites are commercial print run usually means it will be more expensive and may not be impartial • decide on methods of disposal, remembering that – library need stock no longer suitable for the library is unlikely to be – hard-back v. paperback. Paperbacks should always be • sales representatives represent one publisher only. A useful elsewhere library supplier or Schools Library Service will display a wide plastic-jacketed. Decide which format is most appropriate for the age group and intended use range of resources for comparison • resources which are out-dated, offensive or in poor condition, should be pulped/binned. – borrow or buy? • donations may be out of date or unsuitable. Only put in stock if the quality, currency and content are relevant to The stock review should include an assessment of stock • equal opportunities pupil needs gaps. Information from this contributes to the production – how cultures, religions, ethnic diversity, gender and of a development plan and to the informed acquisition of disabilities are presented in text and images • very cheap books - are they just shelf fillers, or do they new stock. – the provision of dual-language and mother-tongue address stock gaps? A Schools Library Service can advise on all aspects of the e.g. Welsh • public library book sales. If the books for sale are no selection policy including evaluation and maintenance. – author credentials. longer suitable for the public library, are they suitable for the school library?8
  14. 14. SELECTING RESOURCES (continued) CD-ROMs/Web sites Non-fiction Fiction and picture booksGeneral selection criteria, eg. content and Content Assessment criteriacoverage/currency and accuracy, apply to all formats. • wide-ranging or specific? While quality is important, so too is balance of stock and having the right book for the right child. A rich readingOther considerations include: • stimulus material or full information for topic research? experience includes access to ‘fast food’ reads as well as theCompatibility • at an appropriate level for the intended audience? more challenging; the TV tie-ins, series, short stories and• will it run on existing equipment? • introducing new concepts or assuming prior knowledge? novelty books. The content should be appropriate to theEase of use Style and language maturity of the reader.• clarity of screen and instructions • clear and grammatically correct Plot• available search strategies, eg. keyword, topic, illustration, • conveys an enthusiasm for the subject • originalityand/or [Boolean] searching • matched to reading abilities and interests of the • creation of a sense of time and place• help prompts intended audience • sensitive handling of controversial themes• time required to train staff and pupils • are differentiated texts available? • imaginative handling of familiar themesFunctions and facilities available as a part Information accuracyof the software, eg. • suited to the intended readers. • correct and current Characterisation• dictionary • avoids errors and bias• print • how do the characters interact with other characters • any instructions for activities or experiments should be in the story?• download to disk workable and safe • how appropriate are they within the genre?• notepad • author credentials. Style and language• search record Illustrations • stimulating use of language• cross-references. • should interact well with the text • language level for the intended readershipNetworking capability • should positively convey accurate information in an • authentic dialogue, particularly the use of patois and dialect appropriate form, eg. photographs, diagrams, maps, chartsUse of mediumeg. sound, music, video, photographs. and drawings • avoid stereotyped language use. Use of slang should not be gratuitous but appropriate to the plot and readership.Are updates available? • have appropriate captions which are written at the same Illustrations level as the text.If so, how often and at what cost? Format • artistic meritReviews of CD-ROMs can be found on the BECTa orTEEM Web sites. • suitable for the subject matter and intended users. • illustrations which complement the textThe Educational Software Data base gives information about Information-finding aids • cover and pictures appeal to the intended readersthe technical requirements for running software. • contents pages should use sensible terms and assist in • illustrations reflect the nature of the story. using the resource Big BooksSee page 24 for these Web site addresses. • indexes should contain relevant terms and • will it last? Look at paper quality and binding. useful references • is the print size large enough to use with a whole class? • glossaries should explain difficult terms. 9
  15. 15. LIBRARY ORGANIZATION Loaning resources Simple and easy procedures are essential for the effective organization and use of the library. An issue system can be useful in order to: Other options for issuing resources Books, and other resources, need to be organized in If a computerised library management system is too a logical sequence and labelled clearly. A Schools • keep track of books as they are borrowed expensive, other options for recording loans include: Library Service will be able to provide advice. • record and assess children’s reading habits • An exercise (or similar) book in which the pupils write • facilitate the issuing of bulk loans of reading materials to the titles of the books they have borrowed. Most schools classroom book corners allocate a page of the book to each child. When books Classifying and organizing resources General rules • encourage children to be responsible are returned, the child ticks off the record of the loan. Some schools like to note both the date of the loan and • Divide the library into fiction and non-fiction resources • familiarise children with library routines which of the return. will give them a generic understanding of all libraries, and label bays, shelves and sections clearly e.g. public libraries • A book-card for each child, which is used to record items Arranging the non-fiction books borrowed. The cards are kept in book-pockets in the • Classify books according to the Dewey Decimal • reduce stock loss. classroom, arranged by the children’s names. The book title Classification System. Dewey organises knowledge into 10 However, issue systems: is written on the card, sometimes with the date. Again, numbered categories, e.g. 900: Geography and History. A • can be time consuming when books are returned, the child ticks off the record. Schools Library Service can provide training and advice on how to classify, or can do this for you. • need dependable people to operate them Details of suppliers of book-cards and book-pockets can be found in the catalogues of library suppliers. • As well as the Dewey system, coloured labels to indicate • require pupils to be trained to use them. The Library Association recommends that a school Security broad categories can be used. A Schools Library Service can advise on local policy. library uses a computerised library management • Security systems are expensive and not normally system which includes cataloguing* and loan necessary in primary schools. • Shelve non-fiction resources in a single sequence, from functions. See Computerised Library Management • Ideally teachers, parents, classroom assistants or primary left to right within bays and in numerical order Systems p.11 helpers should be in the library at all times when the library • Provide an alphabetical subject index in a range of is in use. formats, e.g. wall chart; computer search screen; booklet; drawer of cards. Arranging fiction books • Shelve alphabetically by author’s last name, left to right, within bays. Arranging the picture books • Generally these are shelved separately from the fiction books, or displayed in bright kinder boxes. *Manual cataloguing systems are not recommended.10
  16. 16. COMPUTERISED LIBRARY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Costs involved An efficient computerised library management system will enhance the effectiveness of the library. The systemHardware makes the recording of loans simple and provides useful information about library use. Keywords make• number of computers – at least one dedicated computer finding information easy. When assessing different systems cost, installation, operation and maintenance all needis needed to be considered e.g. printing subject specific lists and producing statistics.• networking costs, if more than one computer• printer System considerations• barcode reader.Software • is the screen layout clear and user-friendly? Company InformationAssess the software packages on offer and decide which • does the catalogue offer all the fields you need - author, • does the company have a good reputation?modules are needed. title, Dewey classification number, edition, publisher, • does the company employ librarians who will understand publication date, price, resource type, keywords, notes? the needs of a school library?Other costs• barcodes • is searching by keyword simple? • is there a user group?• initial input of records: many systems allow data to be • is there a limit to the number of keywords which can be • can demonstrations be organized? applied to a resource?imported requiring only the addition of a class number • is the manual easy to use and comprehensive?e.g. catalogue records – this saves time and money • can lists be printed? • what technical support is offered?• ongoing maintenance and upgrades • what reports and statistical information can be produced, For further advice e.g. top 10 use, books borrowed by boys?• helpline/support A Schools Library Service can advise on evaluating the range• staff training • is issuing and returning straightforward? of computerised library management systems available for a primary school library.• staff time. • can the system be networked across the whole school? The Library Association recommends that schools use • is the system easy to manage? one of the specialist computerised library • does it offer an interactive element, e.g. pupils adding management systems available. their own reviews? • is the system easy to backup? • what systems are other local schools using? • can you visit another school to see the system in use? 11
  17. 17. THE LIBRARY AS A FOCUS FOR LITERACY Reader development Some examples of reading activities “Enjoyment of reading at the youngest possible age sets us up for life as full members Confident readers Outside the requirements of the curriculum there are many of a literate society” Confident readers still need support. The main fiction enjoyable ways to involve pupils creatively in the reading sequence should include quick reads as well as more in- process. Pupils of all abilities need to be reassured that their Liz Attenborough Project Director – The National Year of Reading depth stories. Extending pupils’ reading experiences reading experiences are valid, and to have opportunities and includes becoming familiar with genres, a wide range of activities to measure and test validity. authors, series and different publishers. Pupils relish the Reading Groups Something for everyone freedom to dabble, explore, read up and down, take risks, A Reading Group starts with the interests of the pupils and Children of all ages and abilities, including reluctant and less make choices and read for escapism. allows them to develop the identity of the group and the able readers, need a variety of reading choices to feed their The school library should encourage reading nature of the reading activities, which can include: moods and interests. exploration. • exploring book-related Web sites The youngest readers Some reader development activities Even before children start school they can visit the school • producing book reviews and recommendations for the library as part of their introduction to the school day. • story times for children of all ages whole school Picture books, novelty books, board books and nursery • private reading time • involving pupils in book selection for the library rhymes should be part of the core stock to encourage • author/illustrator visits • taking part in the planning of book weeks children and parents to read together. • book weeks • helping with story sacks. Developing readers There are many attractive first reading series which offer • shadowing national book awards, e.g. the Carnegie and Story Sacks Greenaway Medals Combine a book (fiction or non-fiction) with activities and a both familiarity and challenges but which are not devised as collection of objects, and package them in a decorated reading schemes. Pupils should feel they are reading ‘real • celebrating national reading initiatives, fabric sack. The sacks can be put together by parents and e.g Poetry Day; World Book Day books’ (keep reading schemes in the classroom). Poetry, other volunteers and loaned for use at home as well as in short stories, non-fiction, picture books for older readers and • promoting public library activities, the classroom. Story sacks work well with pupils of all ages story-tapes also appeal to new readers. Many will still enjoy e.g the Summer Reading Challenge including children with special needs. They involve parents the younger picture books. The short paragraphs of text in non-fiction books can also be interesting for new readers. • family literacy in supporting their children’s literacy and stimulate book sharing in families*. Reluctant readers • linking with whole school events, e.g. celebration of key festivals and events. Make sure that there is plenty to interest reluctant readers, e.g. picture books for older readers, suitable graphic novels, short stories, jokes, simple non-fiction, comics and ICT. *Story Sack is a Basic Skills Agency project. For contact details see Appendix 2.12
  18. 18. INFORMATION LITERACY Extending interactions with text4 In a world of global information, the ability to handle information effectively has never been more vital. The school library is much more than a gateway to information sources. It is where pupils learn to make sense of what The Exit Model they see and acquire the essential building blocks of information skills - the key to the lifelong learning process. Process Stages Teaching Strategies The school must adopt a whole approach to teaching information skills, so that skills are not taught out of context but are reinforced in the classroom and the library as the curriculum requires. 1 Activation of prior Brainstorming, concept knowledge mapping, KWL grids Introducing learning skills Reinforcing the learning sequence 2 Establishing purposes Question-setting, KWL* And QUADS** grids• Reading for information is a skill that needs to be taught • Pupils need time and opportunity to learn how to makeand learned, using print forms and on a computer screen full use of the library and to handle information efficiently 3 Locating information Situating the learning and effectively in meaningful contexts,• Start with a basic introduction to the layout of the library, teacher modellingthe range of resources and how to find them • Information literacy must be taught and reinforced throughout pupils’ school careers across the curriculum 4 Adopting an Metacognitive• Move onto the models and structures of information appropriate strategy discussion, teacherhandling skills that help pupils make sense of the • Pupils need systematic guidance and experience in the modellinginformation available – these can be used in the classroom selection and use of information books and other sourcesand the library 5. Interacting with Text marking and • The seeking of information, and the resulting the text restructuring, genre• With a strategy for searching and evaluating information, organization and presentation needs to be within the exchange, clozepupils will be equipped with lifelong learning skills. everyday demands of each curriculum subject activities, sequencing • The creation and use of computer databases are highly 6 Monitoring Teacher modelling, valuable learning experiences understanding strategy charts • As with all newly acquired skills, pupils’ progress needs 7 Making a record Writing frames, grids, to be recorded to maintain and ensure continuity and teacher modelling development 8 Evaluating Discussion of biased • Carefully planned homework activities provide information texts opportunities for pupils to reinforce and extend reading for information, in interesting ways, outside of the 9 Assisting memory Review, revisit, curriculum. restructuring 10 Communicating Different types of information writing frames, drama, alternative outcomes *KWL = Know, Want, Learned **QUADS = Questions, Answers, Details, Source 4 National Literacy Strategy Module 6, Reading and Writing for Information: Teachers Notes, DFEE, 1998, ISBN 019 3121913 13
  19. 19. JUDGING SUCCESS Effective libraries must be responsive to educational Performance measures and technological change, and contribute Strengths, weaknesses and areas for development will be Service Input - Qualitative Measures to school improvement and pupils’ learning. identified by judging the service against the following This requires a continual process of self review and quantitative and qualitative performance measures. Targets • quality of stock evaluation which is both qualitative and quantitative. for raising standards should then be set. • range of stock Evaluations are only successful if their outcomes Service Input - Quantitative Measures • appropriateness of stock are efficiently disseminated and used effectively to inform future action. • size of bookfund • range and quality of displays and book promotion activities • spending per pupil Key questions • number of books in library • training for teachers and pupils • number of multimedia items/CD-ROMs in library • effectiveness of the information skills programme • Are there sufficient resources in the library to meet the • inclusion of library in curriculum plans needs of the various curriculum subjects and cater for • book ratio per pupil (minimum 13 books per pupil) pupils’ personal and leisure interests? • school community involvement: • input into the school’s Annual Report. • Do resources meet the individual learning needs of – teachers Service Output - Quantitative Measures pupils of all ages and abilities? – parents/volunteers These can be easily retrieved from an computerised library – pupils management system. • Are the library and its resources easily accessible to pupils? – primary helpers/classroom assistants • Are these resources relevant and of good quality? – governors • number of books issued • What use do pupils and staff make of the library and – other adults • number of classes using library regularly its resources? • number of hours the library is open/accessible • percentage of books on loan at any one time • How does the library ethos contribute to educational • number of computers in the library • number of pupils using library standards within the school? • internet access • breakdown of users by pupils (age and gender) teachers, • How does the library affect school improvement, class/year groups. including pupil achievement? • accommodation: – space for shelves • Do the school library and the local public library – reading space complement and support each other? Are pupils confident – shelving: accessibility, flexibility, height, users of both? guiding facilities – display space – chairs/tables – lighting – power sockets – floor covering. ref: Goodman, J. The School Library, Making the most of inspection. SLA (Guideline) 1996 0900641 80 0.14
  20. 20. Service Output - Qualitative Measures Documentation to support performance measures• how easy is the library to use by classes and individuals? • library policy, including book selection and stock review guidelines• who is not using the library, and why?• quality and effectiveness of book promotion activities • library development plan• contribution of library to achievements and • material demonstrating how information literacy is taughtschool standards across the curriculum, including the school’s curriculum planning documents• impact on pupils • facts and figures about the library, e.g. from a• profile of individual pupil’s reading development computer database• pupils’ confidence in using information and learning skills • details and photographs of any special library• ways in which the library is used to support teaching and based eventslearning in the school. • comments on the library’s contribution to wholeKey questions which could be asked by an Inspector school policies• “who uses the library – and who doesn’t?” • examples of pupils’ work produced using the library,• are learning resources accessible for the school’s e.g. project work.curriculum and range of pupils? The Library Association recommends that the school – is the library adequately resourced? library is evaluated on a regular basis and that – what is the quality and diversity of the resources? reports are shared with the Headteacher, other – do the resources match the differentiated learning staff, governing body and parents. needs of the pupils? – how suitable is the layout of the library: its organization, use and accessibility?• what is the library’s contribution to: – raising standards and individual progress? – supporting behaviour and personal development? – supporting teaching and the curriculum? – assessment? – supporting spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and pupil welfare? – supporting partnerships with parents, the community and leadership? – supporting the management and efficiency of the school? 15