“We hope that libraries will always exist as places for learners to find information, resources,services, and instruction. But formats, technologies, learning needs, and our schools are evolving ,and so are students themselves. Our entire information and communication landscapes have shifted—and this shift will only continue.” – Valenza & Johnston (October 2009).The school library is central to learning and plays a key role as a place for encouraging innovation, curiosity, and problem solving. Your library is a catalyst for literacy and reading and for teaching and scaffolding inquiry learning.School libraries make a difference to students’ understanding and achievement and provide support for teaching and learning throughout the school. The school library is an important part of the school community and reflects and welcomes this community.Your school library plays a key role in the cultural and social life of the school. It can be a central
point for engagement with all kinds of reading, cultural activities, access to information, knowledge building,
deep thinking and lively discussion.
School Library role
The school library is integral to the teaching and learning process. The school library facilitates the work
of the classroom teacher and ensures each student has equitable access to resources, irrespective of home opportunities
or constraints.While the role of the school library remains constant, its design, digital platform, strategies and tools change as
pedagogy and technology changes.
Learning and teaching
The school library provides a model for inquiry learning and building knowledge and confidence in seeking and
processing information. The school library is pivotal to developing 21st century learners.
There is a large and growing body of evidence showing the impact of the school library on student achievement.
It is a fundamental resource for supporting students’ learning, and a key support for teaching staff. Your school
library reflects and encourages collaborative learning and sharing of ideas.
Literacy and reading
School libraries are places for learning and thinking, and play a key role in supporting and developing enjoyment
of reading and multiple literacies.
“A sanctuary, a mine of treasure, a house of maps to secret lives in secret worlds… – the library
became my other home.” Joy Cowley.
There is a Pedagogy of the Library, which informs and guides the services of Peak School Library.
School library and the school community
Your school library can also play a key role in building a learning community. A school library reflects students’
identities through ensuring that the languages and cultures of the school community are an integral part of the library’s
collection, services, and environment.
The library is a place for inclusiveness. See The School Library and learning in the information landscape,
p.13 where the whole second paragraph under role and learning in the information landscape begins: “An important
quality of the school library is its potential for inclusiveness.
“The school library provides information and ideas that are fundamental to functioning successfully
in today’s information and knowledge-based society. The school library equips students with lifelong learning skills
and develops the imagination, enabling them to live as responsible citizens” (2008).
The school library is learning environmentfor the whole school community – a learning commons.
Library information landscape
School libraries are unique but they are also part of a much wider information landscape. The school library
is an ideal place to learn about the way that libraries work and how to use libraries. For some students their
school library will be their first experience of a library.
The school library can connect with other libraries, including public libraries, for a diverse range of
School Library and Peak School curriculum
The school library is an integral part of teaching and learning in the school. It scaffolds and provides access to
resources, which support the Peak School curriculum.
The school library embodies the principles of the Peak School curriculum:
- promoting cultural diversity and inclusion
- reflecting Treaty of Waitangi principles
- and developing all learners in a quality and coherent learning environment.
The library plays a key role in enabling community engagement, and promotes outward thinking and future
focused thought and discussion.
Your school library can promote and model each of the key competencies. You can critically evaluate your
library through looking at how the key competencies are represented and modelled.
- Through using your school library students develop questioning skills and become creative and critical
thinkers. For more indepth information, see 21st century literacy and
- In the library students become active seekers and users of information.
- Library users are supported in their inquiry learning and the school inquiry model is displayed prominently
in the library and referred to regularly.
- There is clear and well-organised library layout and signage. Visual displays prompt critical thinking and
- Students can become competent constructors of knowledge. They use the library and its resources to find
information to help solve problems and to develop an understanding of the world and “worlds” beyond their
- All learners develop and use searching skills effectively based on careful choice of information.
Students and educators learn to discriminate useful and valid information relevant to their task.
- The library encourages all learners to reflect on their own learning and to challenge their
own assumptions and perceptions.
- The library is a place where curiosity and creativity are encouraged.
Using language, symbols and texts
- The school library includes a wide range of genre and text types, anddifferent media: books, magazines, newspapers, and online resources.
- Through building library literacy and specific vocabulary students broaden
their language and understanding of library terms.
- Students use a variety of media in the library. They select the best media
for their context and message when sharing learning with their peers and teachers.
- The library collection and environment reflects awareness of and empathy with
a variety of cultures and languages.
- Clear signage, symbols and Dewey interpretation charts enable students to understand the
language of libraries.
- Your school library provides a safe environment where students are empowered to
take the lead, or work as a group with others taking the initiative.
- The library is a learning commons encouraging open forums, learning, discu
ssion and debate.
- The library provides levelled learning goal matrices for student use.
- Library layout, signage and systems enable library users to be supported and facilitate responsible library use.
Relating to others
- The library provides a welcoming environment where the needs of all users are respected.
- There is proactive support for student learning. The library team make recommendations
to teaching staff relevant to their subject specialisations and interests.
- The library team models collaboration and provides an environment that encourages
- The library team communicates with library users in a variety of ways. For example:
texting, blogs, email and face-to-face.
Participating and contributing
- Library users are able to participate in group activities including discussions,
debates and research.
- The library creates opportunities for collaborative book sharing and reading promotion
activities including author visits and special events.
- The library team maximises opportunities to promote the use of library facilities and
resources and uses their expertise to ensure that users’ needs are met.
- The library removes barriers to use. It develops a sense of community through
participating in whole school events and making the library a centre for learning and cultural events.
- School libraries model excellence through supporting and encouraging high levels
of engagement with learning.
- Developing your school library as a place of sharing and cultural engagement means
that it can also become a springboard for developing emotional intelligence.
- School library systems and services provide access to resources that encourage and
facilitate lively debate and academic excellence.
Innovation, inquiry and curiosity
- The school library is ideally placed to foster innovation, inquiry and curiosity.
- Your school library can be the place to go for students’ ‘wonderings.’
- The dynamic environment of school libraries is a key source for motivating learners
and igniting a spirit of curiosity, discussion and debate.
- Libraries are founded on the principle of equity.
- The school library promotes equity through:
- supporting the needs of all learners
- providing services to all students and teachers
- reflecting the languages and cultures of the school community.
- Your school library can support a wide range of learning needs and personal
interests by ensuring books and other resources are available at all reading levels.
- Access to online resources and provision of up to date technology to support
and enhance learning within the library also promotes equity.
- The school library aims to give every student the opportunity to learn, to
enjoy reading and to create new knowledge and understanding.
Community and participation
- The school library is a community of learners.
- Collaboration and communication is encouraged and developed through the ways
that the library team and teaching staff work together.
- Community and participation is inherent within a school library learning commons
environment and where collaborative learning is an integral part of the library.
- Students’ new learning and ideas are valued and they are actively involved in
selecting resources and planning library events and displays.
- The library is a place for the whole school community. Pre-schoolers and parents
are encouraged to explore, and use the library.
- The library buildings and practices model sustainability.
- New and remodelled school libraries are designed according to environmentally sound principles.
- Library staff model integrity through their day-to-day interactions with students and staff.
- The school library reflects integrity through:
- valuing different beliefs
- encouraging the sharing of knowledge
- promoting reading aloud with passion.
- Your school library is a welcoming place for the whole school community.
- The library welcomes and supports all learners and the high value placed on
education and learning encourages and grows respect.
- Library staff respect students’ individual choices in reading genre and format.
They encourage diversity through selecting resources to match the different interests,
cultures and languages of their students.
“Values are the ideals that give significance to our lives; that are
reflected through the priorities that we choose, and that we act on consistently and repeatedly.” Brian Hall (1994:39)
Our well stocked library supports the curriculum and the reading programmes in our schools while encouraging students to carry out research at home. We also have a range of academic and curriculum support reading, additional reading, story reading, information packed CD ROMs, subject related magazines. Students are encouraged to use the library resources during private study periods, and all students can use the library at break times and after school until 4.00 pm.