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2020 School Library Survey Report UK


2020 School Library Survey Report - United Kingdom

The 2020 School Library Survey, conducted by Softlink in partnership with the SLA, on behalf of the school library sector, examines key trends and issues impacting school libraries. 

This report provides an overview of survey findings, with a further breakdown for primary, secondary, 6th form/6th form & secondary, and all-through schools. 

Points for analysis include the school library space, school library collections, staffing, engagement and support, budgets, promoting reading/the library/library services, response to current issues, and professional support for school library staff. The results help to advocate the role of school libraries and library professionals to education decision makers, as well as through industry associations and networks. 

A summary of key findings can be found below. 

To download the full report, visit our resources page

Survey findings summary

  • 46% of respondents feel their library is adequately resourced including staffing and budget.
  • 86% of respondents reported that they have a designated library in a separate room/classroom/floor/ building.
  • When asked about how their library is operating during COVID-19, 60% of respondents reported that they are open to a bubble or limited group.
  • 62% of respondents indicated that they do not provide access to eBooks.
  • 98% of respondents indicated that they have designated library staff; 82% indicated that COVID-19 has had no impact on staffing.
  • 89% of respondents indicated that they have a dedicated library budget. When comparing budgets from 2019 – 2020, 6% of respondents indicated that they have had a budget increase, 79% indicated that their budget was unchanged, and 15% indicated that their budget had decreased.
  • The top reported training priority for school library staff is reading for pleasure.

Further reading

The 2020 School Library Survey asked open-ended questions that gave participants the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas and asked them to reflect on issues important to them.

Comments from two of these questions and have been collated and shared in the following feature articles:

Additional feature articles will be released throughout 2021.

Thank you! 

Thank you to everyone that took the time to respond to the 2020 School Library Survey. Your willingness to participate and share information about your school library means that we can continue to provide this valuable, annual analysis of school libraries. The survey results provide a critical reference point for changes, impacts, and trends across school libraries in the United Kingdom.

About the School Library Association (SLA) 

The SLA is a United Kingdom focused charity which supports everyone involved in school libraries. 

We believe that every pupil is entitled to effective school library provision and the educational, emotional, and developmental benefits that come with it. 

The SLA is committed to supporting, promoting, and sustaining high quality reading, and teaching and learning opportunities, for all in a diverse and changing world. 

With around 2300 members, we provide training and access to resources to support the running of school libraries and the continuing development of all school library staff. 

To find out more visit our website sla.org.uk, follow us on Twitter @uksla or contact us via email info@sla.org.uk 

About Softlink 

Softlink has been providing school library software for over 30 years, offering solutions to meet the ongoing needs of schools globally. 

Users of Oliver v5 benefit from regular new feature updates, which are developed in direct response to feedback and insights gained from our active user community. 

LearnPath users can create, publish, and share rich learning guides and content. They also have access to over 300 ready-made guides produced by teacher librarians.

To find out more about how Softlink and Oliver v5 can support your school library visit our website softlinkint.com/edu, follow us on Twitter @SoftlinkEdu or contact us via email communications@softlinkint.com