Softlink is proud to support school libraries through the annual school library surveys conducted in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific, and the United Kingdom and Europe.
Each year we ask open-ended questions that provide an opportunity for respondents to offer feedback. A recurring theme has been promoting the library and the role of the librarian/teacher librarian.
In 2018, we included a question to explore this theme and get feedback and ideas that could be shared.
We are excited to publish these ideas in our latest feature, School libraries share ideas for promoting the library, which includes a sample of comments from school library professionals in Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, England, and Wales.
The feature article is broken up in to school type e.g. Primary, Secondary etc. to help you find ideas most relevant to you.
This blog presents a sample of the feedback by specific theme.
Peer promotion is a powerful tool. The following responses describe how getting the students involved in running events and contributing to the library has helped.
My team of student librarians are library ambassadors and do a fantastic job of getting information out to students about the library.
We are also utilising the role of student library volunteers to raise their profile and (by association) that of the library.
I have a student library committee which help run events - book swaps, colouring competitions, and Book Week activities.
The Library Captain makes announcements at assemblies.
I have a team of student library assistants who follow the SLA programme.
We have an active Student Library Volunteer Program from Year 6 to Year 12
We put up students’ artwork in the library to make it their space.
I have a team of student library leaders who are like a focus group for improvements.
Collaborating with teaching staff is a common challenge voiced in the School Library Surveys. The following responses describe how some school library staff are achieving this in their school.
We invite all the staff to come to the library during our student free weeks at the end of each Semester, where we create a pop-up library within our library showcasing all the adult books they might like to borrow over the holidays. The first one is in winter, so we provide soup, and the second one is at the end of the year, so it is Christmas themed.
We have a “Showcase Friday” where I share information with all senior teaching staff.
I work closely with the teachers to develop online resources for assignments to encourage students to research effectively.
We provide PD on the role of the librarian and what the library can offer.
I send emails to staff and contribute to the parent newsletter.
Every Friday we have a book display in the staff room so staff who can’t make it to the library can borrow books.
Promoting the library to parents and the community is also very powerful. The following responses describe how school library staff promote the library, its resources, and services to parents and the wider community.
We have parent borrowing on a couple of days after school and periodically put thins in the newsletter that are library related.
We have a website that is updated and available outside the school network so it’s accessible to parents too.
The adjoining pre-school bring their children to visit so that the children are used to visiting before they start school.
I also promote new publications added to the collection to parents and students through the school newsletter.
I attend parent consultation evenings with a book stall. This raises much needed funds for purchasing new fiction.
I promote our library at every possible opportunity - through assembly, in newsletters that go home, and holding community events to get parents into the library with their kids.
Various competitions and activities are run through the year, advertised through the school and via our online newsletter, which goes to parents.
Recently installed screens around the school provide publicity opportunities using powerpoints.
We made an introduction video (Video Profile) about our library.
I promote the library in the community by using the local government library to display our work.
We are always chuffed to hear people excited about Oliver v5 and LearnPath! The following comments share how school library staff are using their library management systems to promote the library and resources.
We also give access to staff and students to use the Oliver search (OPAC) to search for resources in our library.
We just commenced a Click & Collect online service for parents to borrow using the request function of Oliver v5. They then collect the books before and after school drop off
We hold tutorial afternoons for staff to see the features of Oliver and the resources we have.
We promote the library and resources through displays, the library blog, new Oliver, Oliver app, and social media.
We promote the library and resources through LearnPath, in-house television advertisements, posters, workshops, and radio station.
Online Oliver library access is great for staff, and now that Year 7’s are coming through with knowledge of Oliver from primary schools, this information conduit is proving enormously successful. Students check new resources, do their own reservations, and put in reviews.
I promote the library by keeping up to date with our LMS (Oliver).
We have now got Oliver installed on every computer in both the senior and prep schools. We send emails to students on their wish list arrivals.
While there were so many fantastic ideas, there were a couple that caught our toilet humour attention and had us running to do further research… We love it!
We promote the library and resources through Book Week, Reviews in loos, and vibrant displays. New Zealand
Joint planning days, PEE and read, book club, reading time for enjoyment, and makerspaces.