Curriculum & Assessment

Restarting School Library Provision: A Necessity We Can't Overlook


School libraries are the heart of schools, serving as the cornerstone for learning and nurturing a lifelong love for reading. However, the challenges facing school libraries are ever-evolving. There is a clear need for adapting and rejuvenating school library services, ensuring they remain accessible, vibrant, and indispensable in the modern educational landscape. This is no mean feat; our education experts share some insights into how this can be achieved. 

The Importance of School Libraries

School libraries play a pivotal role in encouraging a rich reading culture among pupils, providing access to a diverse array of books that cater to varying interests, backgrounds, and abilities. Research has consistently underscored the profound impact of reading for pleasure on educational achievement and mental well-being. It transcends socio-economic boundaries, allowing every child to explore the world through literature.

Library Disparities

While the significance of school libraries is indisputable, disheartening statistics reveal a stark reality. Shockingly, one in eight primary schools in the UK lacks a dedicated library space. Furthermore, schools in economically disadvantaged areas are even less likely to have access to a library. These disparities deprive countless children of the opportunity to experience the joys of reading, learn about different cultures, and expand their horizons.

The Vision of a Gold-Standard Library

Every school should have a library to be proud of or a ‘gold standard library’, which promotes a love for reading and encourages literacy. But what should a ‘gold-standard’ primary school library look like? The answer lies in a multifaceted approach that encompasses:

Expertise: Access to a librarian or educational resource specialists who can offer guidance on library management, reader engagement, and resource acquisition.

Diverse Collection: A well-curated collection of books that mirrors the school community's unique backgrounds, interests, and abilities. This collection should encompass fiction and non-fiction in various formats and media.

Regular Updates: A regularly replenished and updated collection to ensure its relevance and appeal to pupils.

Inviting Environment: A dedicated library space that is warm, welcoming, and safe, encouraging pupils to explore the world of books.

Reading Engagement Activities: Activities such as author visits, book clubs, book awards, and role models promote the library's role as the heart of the school.

Independent Inquiry: A collection that is organised and stocked to facilitate independent inquiry, sparking curiosity and a thirst for knowledge among children.

Overcoming Challenges

The pursuit of creating a gold-standard library involves overcoming several challenges, however:

Limited Resources: Many schools operate with limited resources, making allocating funds for library development challenging. However, creative solutions such as seeking external funding or donations can help bridge the gap.

Space Constraints: In schools where space is a premium, it may be necessary to repurpose existing areas or make innovative use of available space to establish a library.

Access to Expertise: Smaller schools may struggle to afford dedicated librarians. In such cases, schools can collaborate with local library services or enlist the support of teachers passionate about promoting reading.

Maintaining Interest: To ensure the library remains a vibrant hub of activity, schools must continually engage pupils and promote a sense of ownership and excitement about the space.


In an increasingly digital and fast-paced world, the role of school libraries in nurturing the habit of reading for pleasure cannot be overstated. Every child deserves access to a gold-standard library that not only provides books but also inspires a lifelong love for reading. By addressing disparities, overcoming challenges, and creating welcoming library spaces, we can ensure that school libraries continue to be a place where young minds embark on incredible journeys through the pages of books.

How Juniper Education's Education Resource Services Can Help

Juniper Education's Education Resource Services support schools in crafting and maintaining gold-standard libraries. With our expertise in educational resource management, we can assist schools in curating diverse book collections, implementing engaging reading activities, and creating a conducive library environment. Together, we can empower schools to offer their pupils the gift of reading and unlock the doors to a world of knowledge and imagination.

Our passionate Education Resources Service team would love to hear from you and can make a real difference to the library resources in your school. Find out more here!