School libraries are invaluable to the progress of pupils at every stage of their education, but funding continues to be one of the greatest challenges to providing a good resource for children. Teachers, at every level, are battling in a digital age to encourage youngsters to read for pleasure and understand the benefits of using libraries for research and learning. Laying these foundations at a young age is a crucial life skill, particularly if they wish to go to university one day. So, what steps could you take towards making your library the buzzing hub of the school?
There is no statutory requirement for schools in England to have a library, but their value has been recognised in a number of reports. At primary level provision and access varies enormously as does accountability. Often the responsibility of English subject leaders and senior managers, the success of the library is sometimes simply a matter of enthusiasm!
Tap into external resources
Whilst predominately more applicable to primary schools, this can be successful in secondary education too. If you’re struggling to find the resources, in both time and money, to run a good library for your pupils, ask for help. Parent volunteers could allow you to increase the access hours, or maybe the local university has students who could spare a few hours assisting pupils or working on a project to improve literacy within the school.
Beg, steal or borrow
Okay, we don’t actually advocate the stealing of books, but you could send out regular requests to parents and the local community for book donations. By being specific about your needs you would hopefully not be inundated with unwanted books but could always have an arrangement with a local charity shop to offload any unsuitable volumes. If you only have a small library, you may be able to rotate stock through a loan scheme with other local schools.
Sometimes you need to think laterally in order to attract reluctant readers and boost the number of visitors to your library. How about making it the base for some cool clubs? Encourage subject teachers to make more use of the resources in lessons or even hold their lessons in the library sometimes. Why not ask the pupils least likely to cross the library threshold to take responsibility for a project? Organise a pupil-led reading challenge with prizes?
Investing in your library
We understand the demands on school budgets and as a leading supplier of high-performance technology products and services for public spaces, we know how quickly our solutions pay for themselves. Don’t assume you cannot afford to update and improve your library, consider external sources of funding or get your pupils on board for fund-raising events. RFID technology will help your school library to facilitate and organise library resources whilst making them readily available and easily accessible to pupils, with the aim to encourage them to further utilise library facilities.