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Advice and practical support from Education Library Service

We can help you make the best use of your time and resources to improve your school library, and give advice on book collections, new builds and refurbishments.

Recommendations for primary and secondary phase libraries

The guidance from the School Library Association is that all school libraries should have a minimum of 2,000 books, and at least 10 books per pupil.  They estimate that annually 10% of stock will need to be replaced because of wear and tear, loss or out of date information.

Library audits

An audit of your school library provides you with a document detailing not only your current book provision, but also the general appeal and attractiveness of the space.  We will consider and make recommendations about the suitability of the shelving, the way the books are arranged, and how well the library represents the whole school community as well as global diversity.

While compiling an audit we usually do a weed of out-of-date materials and will help in any practical ways we can while we are in school.  If you wish we can follow up with book ordering, cataloguing, furniture advice and so on, and we are confident that at the end of the process you will have an up-to-date library which is at the heart of the school’s literacy and learning.


New volunteer support service

Research has shown that school libraries make most impact when there is adult involvement; when there are staff to intervene between book and pupil: to promote, manage, inspire and engage.  We know that schools find it increasingly difficult to allocate staff time for the library, so we are offering a package to help make the very best use of volunteers, who can be great advocates for the library, bringing fresh ideas and enthusiasm, but who will require careful training and support.

Volunteers will benefit by enhancing their CVs, gaining acknowledgement and reward from their schools, and learning new skills.

Our package includes:

  • A twilight session for a member of senior management who will be in charge of volunteers, to consider the role, offer a template job description and ‘contract’
  • A half day inset for new volunteers on all day-to-day aspects of running a school library: the different elements of a primary library stock and basics of the library management system, and care and repair of resources and simple displays
  • A half-day session in school with the volunteer(s) looking at any individual issues
  • A termly twilight forum for general discussion of issues, challenges and ideas
  • Certificates for volunteers on completion of a year’s assistance in school

For further details contact the ELS at

There will a small charge for attendance of the forum in future years. 

Library management systems

There a number of library management systems on the market to suit all requirements and budgets.  If you are interested in purchasing or replacing an existing system please email

We also offer training on a number of systems at very competitive rates -  please get in touch for further details.

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