School libraries share a wish list for the future


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School libraries share a wish list for the future

The annual Softlink School Library Surveys provide information about school library budgets and staffing. They also give great insight into the day-to-day of school libraries.

Open-ended questions such as “What is the one thing you would change about your school library or your role?” provide an avenue for respondents to share thoughts and ideas.

Softlink is proud to curate and share these responses in features such as our latest paper, School libraries share: Our wish list for the future, which is drawn from comments in the 2017 Surveys.

A summary of the top 5 wish list items, with additional resources, is included below. To download the full whitepaper, visit our resources page.

What’s on the top 5 wish list for school library staff?

1. Changes to the library space

Top of the wish list is flexible or mobile shelving, furniture, and changes in layout. Comfort and vibrancy also feature heavily in comments.

Further reading and resources

Are you looking for ways to make your library more vibrant? While mobile shelving or new furniture may be out of the question, there are a number of ways that librarians have created an engaging space, or revived their existing space. This blog post shares over 120 entries to the 2017 Softlink Library display competition and has some fantastic ideas! You could also read Ideas for reviving the library space which has some suggestions and examples from School Library Survey responses and experts in school library design.

2. More information literacy and research teaching opportunities

Second highest on the wish list is more opportunities to teach information literacy and research skills, a vital skill set for the 21st century student.

Further reading and resources

This poster, from the Teachers Connecting with Teacher Librarians website is a great starting point for promoting the specific skills that teacher librarians teach. The site also has a number of information literacy ideas and resources, or you could read our blog post Great digital literacy skills ideas for your school library for even more ideas.

3. More access to available technology

School library staff describe the technologies - either hardware, software or digital resources – on their implementation wish list.

Further reading and resources

Would you like to build your eResource/eBook collection, but not sure if you have the budget? Softlink guest blogger, Polly Krabbe discusses this in her post How can e-resources help limited budgets go further? If you are considering a hosted, 24/7 library management system, this blog talks about the benefits of cloud hosting and the top 4 things you should be looking at when considering a hosted solution.

4. Time and increased opportunities to collaborate

School library staff describe how they would like more time as well as more access to relevant educators within the school to improve collaboration.

Further reading and resources

Looking for ways to improve collaboration in your school? Based on comments from the 2017 School Library Surveys, this feature highlights the voice of real school librarians in response to the question ‘How do you currently collaborate, or what ideas do you have for greater collaboration between the library and the rest of the school?’ Inspire Collaboration: A Quick and Easy Guide for Super Busy School Librarians is another great article with ideas and resources for encouraging collaboration.

5. Time and resourcing to improve service

School library staff describe how they would like more time and resourcing to develop new initiatives, work one-on-one with students, and improve their library services.

Further reading and resources

Finding time to do everything we would like to do is always is always a challenge! Softlink solutions, Oliver v5 and LearnPath, can help streamline library administration and enhance library services. Learn more by reading user stories and testimonials by clicking the links below.


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