Student librarians are part of the library team

All rights reserved

When your school library is managed by a team of people with the best possible combination of professional expertise, skills and qualities, they can play an important role in supporting teaching and learning in your school.

Building an effective team

An effective school library team helps to plan, implement and evaluate programmes to develop students’ literacy skills and their enthusiasm for reading. By working collaboratively with other staff, the library team supports student learning as well as the school's vision and strategic goals.

Depending on the size of your school, the library may be staffed by:

  • representatives from key areas of the school — for example, teachers, librarians, resource managers, ICT specialists, support staff, student librarians and volunteers
  • a small team comprising the librarian, a teacher who has been given responsibility for the library and student librarians
  • a library manager with sole responsibility who is supported by student librarians or volunteers.

Each of these models has implications for how your library team collaborates with teachers and supports students to build the skills to become confident, independent learners.

Research into how libraries support student achievement has shown that an enthusiastic and knowledgeable school library team plays a key role in helping students to learn.

Library team members: roles and responsibilities

Your school library team members play a critical role in the school community as both educators and information specialists. The size and nature of your school determines which combination of the following positions is most effective for you.

  • Teacher Librarians (TL)

    The TL is a trained teacher holding a Diploma of Teacher Librarianship or an equivalent qualification. They usually have the overall responsibility for:

    • school-wide inquiry
    • reading engagement programmes
    • ensuring a strong connection between the library, classroom programmes, the curriculum, the school community and wider library community.

    This position usually attracts a Management or Responsibility Unit and requires regular release time from classroom teaching.

  • Teacher Librarians (TL)

    The TL is a trained teacher holding a Diploma of Teacher Librarianship or an equivalent qualification. They usually have the overall responsibility for:

    • school-wide inquiry
    • reading engagement programmes
    • ensuring a strong connection between the library, classroom programmes, the curriculum, the school community and wider library community.

    This position usually attracts a Management or Responsibility Unit and requires regular release time from classroom teaching.

  • Teacher with Library Responsibility (TLR)

    The TLR has overall responsibility for managing the school library.

    They're responsible for ensuring there is a strong connection between the library, classroom programmes, the curriculum, the school community and wider library community.

    This position may attract a Management or Responsibility Unit and requires some release time from classroom teaching.

  • Teacher with Library Responsibility (TLR)

    The TLR has overall responsibility for managing the school library.

    They're responsible for ensuring there is a strong connection between the library, classroom programmes, the curriculum, the school community and wider library community.

    This position may attract a Management or Responsibility Unit and requires some release time from classroom teaching.

  • Library Manager or Librarian

    In addition to providing support for inquiry and literacy programmes, the Library Manager has significant responsibility for managing the library.

    If your school has elected not to have a TL or TLR, then the responsibility for liaison and collaboration with teaching staff needs to be included in the Library Manager or Librarian’s role.

    A library manager or librarian has appropriate professional library qualifications.

  • Library Manager or Librarian

    In addition to providing support for inquiry and literacy programmes, the Library Manager has significant responsibility for managing the library.

    If your school has elected not to have a TL or TLR, then the responsibility for liaison and collaboration with teaching staff needs to be included in the Library Manager or Librarian’s role.

    A library manager or librarian has appropriate professional library qualifications.

  • Library Assistant

    A Library Assistant undertakes all or most of the day-to-day tasks needed to run the library, usually under the direction of a TL, TLR, Library Manager or Librarian.

    Library assistants also liaise closely with teaching staff to provide support for teaching and learning programmes.

  • Library Assistant

    A Library Assistant undertakes all or most of the day-to-day tasks needed to run the library, usually under the direction of a TL, TLR, Library Manager or Librarian.

    Library assistants also liaise closely with teaching staff to provide support for teaching and learning programmes.

  • Student Librarians

    Student Librarians help with many of the day-to-day tasks needed to run the library.

    They also provide valuable input into library development and raise the profile of the library with other students.

  • Student Librarians

    Student Librarians help with many of the day-to-day tasks needed to run the library.

    They also provide valuable input into library development and raise the profile of the library with other students.

  • Volunteers

    Volunteers may include parent helpers and community volunteers. They help with many of the day-to-day tasks needed to run the library.

  • Volunteers

    Volunteers may include parent helpers and community volunteers. They help with many of the day-to-day tasks needed to run the library.

Related content

Job descriptions

Job descriptions Here you'll find job descriptions for school library staff, to help you clarify their roles and responsibilities and clearly state expectations for supporting learners.​

Student librarian issuing a book

All rights reserved

Student librarians Find ideas and guidance to help you select, train and manage your team of student librarians.