CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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On the trail of a school library strategy for Scotland

Category: Blog

Blog by Catherine Kearney, CILIPS Director

Courtesy of SLIC, CILIPS joined other working group members of the SLSNAG on a recent visit to Port Glasgow Community Campus located in Inverclyde to learn more about the SLIF funded Makerspace project located in the school library learning resource centre.

The Community Campus serving around 1000 pupils opened in 2013 and aims to be a centre of educational excellence for the area. The campus is home to 3 schools – Port Glasgow High, St Stephen’s High, and Craigmarloch, for those who have additional support needs.

Both high schools have their own entrances but are linked via a shared ‘social hub’ which also connects to Craigmarloch. The shared Library and Learning Resource Centre is a fantastic, spacious, well equipped and busy facility located on the second floor of the Campus.

Inverclyde Council won £3000 of SLIF funding for the creation of a Makerspace to promote project based activities, contribute to the wellbeing of pupils and promote the use of the school library as a learning hub. Our visiting party was welcomed by the school librarian, Amanda Joykin, who acted as our host throughout the day.  Amanda discussed with us the resources within the Makerspace area and we got a chance to explore these and to witness them in use by an incredibly engaged group of pupils.

During our visit we observed an exceptionally well used space with individual pupils and whole classes engaging with a range of resources including IT, as well as more traditional resources.  There was lots of positive engagement with the librarian from pupils and staff visiting the area, some seeking advice, others support and guidance on the use of various resources.

After enjoying a sandwich and soup lunch, we were taken on a guided tour of the school, where the wider ethos and reach of the library was all around e.g. a series of notes on classroom doors naming the teacher within and featuring a brief paragraph on their favourite book and reason for choosing.

Indeed, every member of teaching staff we met was enthusiastic and appreciative of the role of the school library and professional librarian in supporting delivery of the curriculum. Several, having learned of our visit, made individual journeys to the library to impress upon us how much they valued the service.

After thanking Amanda for hosting our visit we left the school having observed the positive contribution being made by a professional librarian at the intersection between formal and informal learning in the school library.