On the SLIF blog this month Learning Community Librarian Theresa Newbury from Largs Academy talks about the 'Our School Library!' project which received funding from the School Library Improvement Fund in 2018.

Our School Library! centres on young people empowerment, encouraging pupils to play a proactive role in literacy development. It also promotes our shared Library which opened within the brand new Largs Campus in the Spring of 2018. The campus includes two primaries and a secondary school, as well as the Early Years centre.

The project gave each P7 and S1 class the opportunity to contribute to the development the Library with a class budget of £420 to choose the best books. Pupils used a variety of research methods to decide on their favourite authors, genres and non-fiction topics. Working in groups, the pupils had fun choosing names which reflected the aims of the project.

Developing the Skills for Success

Input from various subject areas helped pupils to develop the range of skills required for success: in Maths, classes learned how to calculate discounts to ensure best value for money; Art & Design helped pupils design logos which reflected their group name, and Business Studies looked at marketing skills to help to promote their brand.

Using commercial websites, publishers’ catalogues and a pop-up shop, groups compiled budget proposals and presented these to the class. After a vote, the winning group from each class went through to phase two of the project.

Phase Two

Our School Library SLIF project pupil group shotIn this phase, groups were in competition with each other to gain points each time their books were borrowed.

Taking ownership of their collections, groups completed routine tasks to process the books and used creative and enterprise strategies to promote their books. Each group created and decorated their own area in the Library to showcase their books.

Our Borrowfairs on World Book Day and Halloween were very successful. Groups brought their collections out from the Library to areas in the shared dining area, competing with each other to attract attention. Visitors from both primary and secondary classes were expected to borrow at least one book, and groups used their powers of persuasion, and small incentives, to ensure that theirs were the most borrowed books.

Our Book Bistro gave groups another opportunity to promote their books to individual pupils who benefitted from a one-to-one discussion.

To decide on the overall winners of the competition, a panel of external judges assessed group presentations which highlighted evidence of past success, while outlining future plans for literacy development and promoting the Library’s role in supporting learning.

The high standard of presentations, demonstrating the young people’s engagement with their book collections, impressed the judges. The winning group was Live Laugh Read, who spoke in detail aboutinteresting ideas for future literacy initiatives and the proactive role they played in the lead up to the final.


  • You can find out more about previously successful SLIF projects and how to apply to the School Library Improvement Fund by visiting our funding page.