CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Curriculum Planning

The English department is always the main user of the library but it is important to offer library support to as many departments as possible.

Introduce yourself to all Principal Teachers/Heads of Departments and pop along staff bases for lunch and meet the staff if you can.  Find out where and how the library can fit into their courses and development plans.  This could be simply providing resources for a topic or could lead to the development of lessons to be taught in the library, collaborating with teaching staff.

Consider wider staff members in the school: Youth Workers, Skills Development Scotland, School Counsellors and School Nurses etc.  All provide opportunities to collaborate.

  • First of all do an audit of current and past involvement with departments (example below).

An example audit of current and past involvement with departments.

Use school curriculum summaries to help with planning (See example below). These are available from your school and are often posted on school websites. Development Plans are also useful to see the focus for each department for the coming school year.

An example school library timetable using the school curriculum summaries to help with planning.

  • Go through each term, pinpointing when topics are taught in each subject and think about what the library could offer to help i.e. books and resources, provide a literacy lesson to tie in with topic etc.
  • Approach Principal Teacher and ask to attend departmental meeting to discuss how the library can help.  Even better, invite them to hold their next departmental meeting in the library. Discuss topics and what is required to support pupils.  Think about ways not just to supply resources but to get classes into the library (if you have the time and space) to conduct research etc.
  • Add to your plan – resources required, literacy lesson required etc.
  • TOP TIP – if you’re struggling, think about the teachers you get on with best and approach them to do a one-off lesson – they will spread the word about how useful and helpful the library is.

Excerpt from full subject list for example.

(Excerpt from full subject list for example)

Managing a School Library

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