Safely Remove the Barriers of a Closed School Library

How resources are used in school now takes planning. With term under way you will have put into place measures to control the handling of all kinds of items, including books. For many schools this has meant closing off their school library, a barrier to reading we could well do without. But perhaps, as you settle into new routines, now’s the time to review how you can safely continue to give children access to a wide range of reading opportunities.

Find Creative Ways to use Your Library and its Stock

Quarantining books for 72 hours needn’t be a barrier. Think about making it fun with countdown posters for popular titles – “get ready to read this book in….. days” – or a decorated book-eating quarantine box. You could take inspiration from Nibbles: the book monster by Emma Yarlett.

If you have a library management system in place, use it to highlight titles and develop your own click and delivery service, or use a book request box in each classroom. Ideally, we want children to play a part in choosing their reading but where browsing isn’t possible, generate book chat and excitement by creating mystery book bags to deliver a surprise and open up more reading opportunities!

Take a look at Booktrust’s article School libraries: Top tips for making them fun, safe places to be during COVID-19 for these and more ideas.

Plan a Celebration of Reading for Pleasure

Use Roald Dahl Story Day to re-launch reading for pleasure. Make sure you have to hand books that will interest children moving on from the familiarity of Roald Dahl, try:

  • The Nothing to See Here Hotel by Stephen Butler
  • The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell
  • The Cosmic Atlas of Alfie Fleet by Martin Howard
  • Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Read as a Class

Find time in the school day to read together as a class, choosing a book that features plenty of natural breaks with cliff-hangers so that children are left talking about and anticipating the next days installment, we love:

  • The Super-miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson
  • The Highland Falcon (Adventures on Trains series) by M.G Leonard and Sam Sedgman
  • The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler

Structured, quality-assured reading comprehension sessions

Designed by our librarians alongside expert teaching advisers, our Reading Comprehension Question Cards can be used as part of your school’s recovery plan and support pupils’ learning as they return to the classroom.

Download A Sample Card For Free!
Sally Harrison

Sally Harrison

Sally is the Education Resources Service Manager for Juniper Education. She has worked in primary school and public libraries for 17 years and as a children’s book reviewer. She is a chartered librarian, a member of the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians and has been a board member of the School Library Association.