Our Top Blog Posts Celebrating School Libraries

Inverclyde librarian Susan Morton with pupils

In the midst of a poverty-driven attainment gap, it's more important than ever to be aware of the impact a school librarian has. It's crucial that every pupil has access to carefully chosen, high-quality stock; it's equally important that they have the guiding hand of a trained, enthusiastic librarian to introduce them to the book that could switch them on to reading. As well as this, librarians have the expertise to make the library a fun, interesting and nurturing environment for every single pupil - no mean feat in a community of hundreds of children, each with different needs and sensibilities. 

Our Teachers and Librarians blog has always been a hub for great practice, so to celebrate International School Library Day 2018, we've gathered together some blog posts that show how innovative and dynamic librarians are and how influential their work can be. 

School libraries are a hub for every department in the school. In the hands of skilled professionals they are life changing places where everyone feels welcome and safe. We cannot do without school libraries, and we cannot do without the inspirational leaders who run them. 

Inspiring readers at Inverclyde Academy

Susan Morton
Inverclyde librarian Susan Morton received a Scottish Book Trust Learning Professional Award in 2017 for her work in the school library. Susan's impact after just one year was considerable: she used pupils' suggestions as the basis for transforming the unappealing space, sourcing new stock chosen by them and setting up clubs to appeal to their interests. Watch our video to hear pupils, teachers and senior management explain the depth of Susan's work.


Exploring mental health at Elgin Academy

Pupils writing at Elgin Academy
This project aimed to help pupils discuss and learn about mental health issues, and brought together the English, Art and PSE departments. Librarian Shelagh Toonen co-ordinated visits from mental health charities and organised a visit from comic creator Adam Murphy to help pupils create mental health-themed comics. The project was inspired by our Authors Live with Juno Dawson event - you can watch the event, along with over 60 other events with top children's writers, in our Watch on Demand section.


A fantastic cross-curricular project from McLaren High School

Pupils with copies of Zom-B by Darren Shan
Louise Edwards at McLaren High School was inspired by Darren Shan's novel Zom-B to create a cross-curricular project for S1 which involved every department across the school. After the project, the book was borrowed by nearly every S1 pupil, and many in S2 who had heard about the project. 


Kemnay Academy's poetry slam

Pupils working round a desk in Kemnay Academy library
Kemnay librarian Jennifer Horan wanted the library creative writing group to try something different, and so they decided to try their hand at poetry, running their own slam event during Book Week Scotland. A powerful illustration of how the library can inspire writing - you can also check out our blog post from library assistant Chris Kelso about starting up a school creative writing magazine.


Inspiring parents and pupils at Forthview

Eileen Littlewood
Forthview headteacher Eileen Littlewood is the recipient of the 2018 Scottish Book Trust Learning Professional Award, and in our video you can see how Eileen's passion for reading led to the creation of a new school library which switched both pupils and parents on to reading.




Sean McNamara of CILIPS  explains more about why school libraries matter in this blog post.

Click here to see all of our blog posts relevant to school libraries and librarians.