The School Library Guidelines is a collection of online resources which aims to support Tasmanian school libraries. It is primarily designed to support the TALIS network which includes most Department of Education school libraries, TasTAFE Libraries, specialist Department for Education, Children and Young People libraries and Libraries Tasmania. TALIS libraries share the same library management system which enables them to circulate resources, run reports, provide an online catalogue and much more.
Effective school libraries
An effective school library enhances student learning outcomes by providing a range of programs, services and resources which support teaching and learning. It also supports and encourages students’ reading experiences.
These libraries will usually:
- Offer quality programs that support the curriculum.
- Help teachers integrate information literacy skills into learning activities.
- Promote information literacy by helping students develop skills to find, evaluate, use, create and share information and knowledge.
- Enrich student reading experiences and develop independent reading skills.
- Support teaching and learning strategies.
- Provide teachers with professional support.
- Source and deliver suitable and current resources in multiple formats.
- Maintain collections that meet the needs of the school community.
- Use current technologies to provide easy access to information.
- Adopt flexible design principles.
- Offer stimulating teaching and learning environments.
- Reflect and support the social and cultural profile of the school community.
- Operate efficient library systems.
- Skilled, well-trained and enthusiastic library staff.
- Adequate time allocation for library duties.
- Good funding levels to develop services and collections.
- Library representation on curriculum planning groups and other school committees.
- Educational and administrative leadership by the school principal.
- Awareness of current library research and best practice.
- Support from the governing body (eg Department of Education, Catholic Education Office) and library associations.
Six guiding principles for school libraries are outlined in The school library and learning in the information landscape: Guidelines for New Zealand schools (2002) (pdf):
- Information literacy: The school library is a learning environment central to the development of an information-literate school community.
- Service: The school library is a managed centre of professional expertise and support for the school community.
- Reading: The school library is a foundation for the school’s literacy programmes and a catalyst for the development of lifelong readers.
- Access: The school library is a hub and interface with organised systems for accessing and managing information and resources.
- Information resources: The school library is a provider of information resources selected to meet the curriculum and information needs of the school.
- Place: The school library is a student-centred facility designed to play a key role in the intellectual, educational, and cultural life of the school.
Research links effective school libraries to improved student learning and academic success. A good summary is provided in School libraries and teacher-librarians: evidence of their contribution to student literacy and learning (2013).
This suggests school libraries should have access to a qualified teacher-librarian. Teacher-librarians are a critical link between teaching and learning programs and professional library leadership.
The Students Need School Libraries campaign, an initiative of a coalition of library associations, effectively outlines the benefits of school libraries and provides links to supporting research. Watch their video Why are School Libraries so Important?
- Libraries as wellbeing supportive spaces in contemporary schools – Merga, Journal of Library Administration, 2021
- Libraries as literacy leaders – Jorm & Robey, National Education Summit Australia, 2021
- 2021 School library survey report Australia – Softlink, 2021
- How can school libraries support student wellbeing? Evidence and implications for further research – Merga, Journal of Library Administration, 2020
- A place to get away from it all: 5 ways school libraries support student well-being – The Conversation, 2020
- Teacher librarians linked to improved student literacy – ACER, 2020
- Research into teacher librarians in school libraries – ABC News, 2019
- Why school libraries matter – National Library of New Zealand
- Purpose of the school library – National Library of New Zealand
- School libraries matter! The missing piece in the education puzzle – Godfree & Neilson, ACCESS, Vol 37, 2018
- School libraries work! A compendium of research supporting the effectiveness of school libraries – Scholastic, 2016
- School libraries impact studies – Library Research Service
- IFLA school library guidelines – International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2015
- School libraries and teacher-librarians: evidence of their contribution to student literacy and learning – Hughes, Curriculum & Leadership Journal, 2013
- School libraries, teacher-librarians and literacy at Gold Coast schools: research findings – Hughes et al, Synergy, 2013
School Library Guidelines – home page
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Page updated 21/06/2022