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School libraries and book spending in 2007: a Booktrust survey

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This paper describes the results of a survey of school libraries in the United Kingdom. Provision in both primary and secondary schools is described. There is a wide range of forms of library and reading provision in primary schools, determined largely by the space available. No primary school libraries in the survey were run by full-time Chartered librarians, although a few did have teacher/librarians or part-time Chartered librarians in charge. Relatively few primary schools collect any management data on their libraries, such as the size of the stock, or numbers of loans. Many could not quantify the library budget. Issues for secondary school libraries are rather different than for primary schools. Almost all (99%) have dedicated library spaces, although 15% also have alternative provision. Forty-eight per cent of secondary school libraries were run by a full-time Chartered librarian, with a further 11% having a part-time Chartered librarian. Based on the most recent data available, recommended spending figures on books for reading for pleasure have been calculated, at £10 per pupil for primary schools and £14 per pupil for secondary schools. Sixty-one per cent of primary schools and 92% of secondary schools reported a total library spend per pupil below these levels.

Keywords: book spending; library provisions; primary; school libraries; secondary

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: LISU, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK 2: Booktrust, London, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2008


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