Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools - A National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland 2018-2023 is the strategic document for the development of school libraries in Scotland.
School libraries have a vital role to play in the learning of children and young people, facilitating the Curriculum for Excellence. They empower pupils, school staff and the wider community in their learning, provide a service to improve school-leaver destinations, promote all forms of literacy, and support the role for lifelong learning in children and young people.
The scope of the strategy is to highlight to decision makers the intrinsic value of a good school library service and the impact this can have on children and young people's wider school experience. It also informs headteachers, school librarians and education practitioners on how to utilise their school library services.
It advises decision makers of the central role school library services play in the education sector and advocate for appropriately resourced services for each child in Scotland. It is vital decision makers recognise the influence school library services and school librarians have in helping to provide children with an equal start in life and supporting young people in their lifelong learning.
The Aim of Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools - A National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland 2018-2023 is to help influence decisions regarding school library provision and showcase the impact an excellent school library service can have in Scotland's schools.
A School Library National Advisory Group was created in September 2017 to help steer the direction of the strategy. The Advisory Group was made up of representatives from organisations across the education sector who met regularly throughout the development process. Extensive desk research, a national survey and site visits were also vital in the creation of the strategy.
Currently school library provision in Scotland varies across schools and local authorities. In Early Learning and Childcare settings as well as primary schools there are differing levels of service. Many secondary schools have a dedicated school library and professionally trained librarian managing the service. This means pupils and teachers receive varying standards of provision and this has an impact on the learning outcomes of children and young people. The strategy aims to ensure that every child and young person has access to an excellent school library service which is tailored to their learning needs.
There are many examples of excellent practice across the country, demonstrating the critical role school libraries play in education.
However, there are also instances where the school library could play a stronger role and the strategy recommendations are designed to help achieve that.
Site visits throughout Scotland have shown the vital role school libraries can have in improving attainment, supporting equity, and preparing children and young people for the future.
The strategy outlines the ways appropriately-resourced school library services contribute to achieving the Scottish Government's ambition of excellence and equity in Scottish education. It will help education leaders and decision makers in making effective choices regarding school library provision - ensuring all pupils, staff and the wider community have access to quality resources, inclusive of staff and activities, within a well-supported library service.