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Book Trailers: Digital Creativity and the National Strategy for School Libraries

Category: Blog, Branches and Groups, Case Studies

Every month we’ll be showcasing an activity or project that furthers one of the strategic aims of Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools (VLTS): A National Strategy for School Libraries 2018 – 2023. This month it’s the turn of Pamela McLean, school librarian at St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch.


Book Trailers

VLTS Strategic Aim:

2: Information, Digital Literacy and Digital Creativity

Relevant outcomes from How Good is Our School Library:

  • 1.5 Management of resources to promote equity
  • 2.2 Curriculum
  • 2.3 Learning, teaching and assessment
  • 3.2 Raising attainment and achievement
  • 3.3 Increasing creativity and employability


I’d been reading up on book trailers and been very impressed with the results I’d seen in other schools. I loved the idea that pupils could promote books by creating short videos. But in all honesty, I was a bit scared to try them out: I felt my own digital creativity skills weren’t good enough.

When I was asked to contribute to the S3 Literacy programme this year, I realised this was a chance to develop my skills and improve the library’s digital creativity offer.

How it worked

Every S3 Literacy class visited the library twice, with a gap of several weeks in between. They came for an introductory session, where I explained what book trailers are. We also talked about how important it is to recognise a book’s genre, so the book trailer will convey the right mood to viewers. I asked them to put this skill into practice by giving out pairs of books, and asking pupils to identify what genre they had in common.

Using the Scottish Book Trust’s excellent book trailer resources, I created a book trailer pupil workbook (with teacher notes). This allowed each teacher to continue to explore book trailers in class-time, and gave pupils time to choose a book and plan their trailer. They then visited the library a second time to create their book trailers, using the Adobe Spark Video app on the library’s iPads. Videos were made up of still images, text and music. I was amazed at how easy it was to create professional-looking trailers – and pupils picked up the skills they needed to very quickly.


Our pupils really enjoyed creating the book trailers, and it was a great way of reinforcing traditional literacy skills too. Our pupils knew their trailers would be shown to the rest of the class, and they paid attention to the punctuation and grammar of the text on screen.

Here are some pupil comments:

  • “The book trailer project gave us an insight into how a book trailer works, and gives us a new skill.”
  • “I enjoyed learning how to use the app to create the trailers and I also liked watching and learning about other books.”
  • “This lets you be creative, not boring!”


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