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Entries in school libraries (4)


RGU's Report on The Impact of School Libraries on Learning is now on-line


Workshop event: Impact of school libraries on learning in Edinburgh 19th June & Aberdeen 3rd September 

Workshop event which will explore the findings from RGU's recent (2013) research for SLIC on the impact of school libraries on learning and attainment

Location and dates:

Attendance is free but numbers will be strictly limited - so book early!

For further information or to book a place at one of these events contact


CILIPS School Library Advocacy Group seeks short quotes that highlight the importance of a school librarian 

Item of interest from CILIP in Scotland's April Newsletter. Great idea this - so please contibute and spread the news. 

"CILIPS school library advocacy group is planning to create content for online/print that advocates for school librarians and gathers all the amazing and vital things you all do.

What they want is that highlight the importance of a school librarian to them. If you were able to send a quote or two from any of the above that would be incredibly helpful, ideally the quote would be attributed but the group welcome anonymous ones too.

The easiest way may be to keep a notepad handy and ask people for a quick quote about why they love the school library or about how you have helped them.

The group would also like some images of school libraries in action across Scotland, anything at all that you can give your permission to use.

If you can provide something, no matter how small, please e mail it to CILIPS would very much appreciate your help on this. Please share this with anyone else if you wish."


CILIPS Autumn Gathering 2013: Inspiration and Education - school libraries, digital and information literacies and professional development

On the 10 October I attended the  at the John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh. The themes for this year were school libraries, digital and information literacies and professional development. Audrey Sutton, CILIP in Scotland's President kicked off the day and welcomed everybody.

The first keynote speaker was Barbara Band, CILIP Vice President - Let’s shout about advocacy Barbara is a school librarian and very passionate about what she does and called upon everyone to be an advocate and shout out about libraries. That self advocacy does not come naturally to most people but we need self advocacy to support our role, services we provide and our profession. Advocacy she said 'was a bit of a scary concept for people' as it was associated with lobbying, putting yourself out there, not a comfortable position. However if you looked at alternative words for advocacy, it was closely aligned to promotion, a term / activity which people were more comfortable with. The major reasons for advocacy was to influence, to inform, to educate and to change.  People's perceptions are based on their experience, so what you do influences people's perceptions of what you and we do as a profession and the services you/we provide.

“30% of our success is due to skills and experience but 70% is due to visibility.” Steve Bowman, University of Chichester

When advocating / promoting it is important to decided who your target audience is, what your key message is, it must be pertinent and relevant and you need to speak their language. How or what you will do, will depend on your circumstances and commitment, for example:  

  1. your organisation - let people know what you are doing
  2. your sector (your tribe) - collective wisdom - participate, collaborate, disseminate with others
  3. the profession - get involved

You need to: be creative and persistent; look at how others do it; use your network. We all have a voice - so use it.

Many of the above themes were picked up by other speakers / presentations throughout the day.

I next attended the Schools Libraries: Advocacy! A group discussion facilitated by the School Libraries Advocacy Group Firstly we learnt about the advocacy being carried out by the group including:

  • focusing on Education Scotland
  • sharing of good practice / evidence of supporting learners - there is a space on the cilips website
  • SLIC has commissioned Robert Gordon University (RGU) to undertake research into the impact of school libraries. The information was gathered through Freedom of Information requests from local authorities not just in Scotland but in England as well. Some information was shared with us. Of the 21 local authorities in Scotland who responded (2 failed to respond) there is a variation of service offered across Scotland and unfortunately an overall demise of centralised library services. 12 authorities provide some provision through public library services and all but one employs a professional librarian. The English scene is still to be analysed. See for a summary of the findings, full details of the project and the RGU final report which will be available soon.

The discussion part of the session focused on specific questions regarding advocacy linked to how, what, where etc. The delegates from each table discussed the question at thier table - suggestions, comments etc. where recorded by a facilitator and the group moved on to the next time when time was up. Hopefully the recorded thoughts will be written up and made available. If I hear about it I will let you know. If you hear about it - please let me know.

The second keynote speaker of the morning was Liz McGettigan – A Force for Change - The infinite possibilities of libraries and librarians in the digital age I know and have heard Liz speak before and she is certainly a force for change and an inspirational speaker. Her presentations are always filled with powerful images and quotations. I didn't take any notes during her presentation so please have a look at it.

As this is quite a lengthy blog posting I will finish here and post another day about the afternoon sessions I attended which concentrated on professional development. There are I think some useful activities and strategies that we could use for information literacy. 


The presentations from this year's Gathering are now online and available at