Collaborating with your local public library encourages students and their families/whānau to use their local library and its resources. This supports students to read for pleasure outside of school, at home, and during the holidays.

  • Develop a partnership with your local public library

    Developing a rapport and good communication with your public library allows you to share opportunities, ideas, and information to support students.

    Chat with colleagues to see who is in contact with your local librarian (some of the larger libraries have a Youth Services Librarian) to ensure communication is coordinated where possible.

    Start by bringing the public library to your school

    Invite your local public librarians to visit your school to:

    • meet with staff to discuss their library's services, programmes, and resources
    • learn about your school community, resources, and study topics or themes
    • be guests at assemblies, school family events, and school library events (e.g. invite them to be judges during Book Week)
    • promote holiday activities, programmes, competitions, events (e.g. authors' visits), library websites, and email newsletters
    • talk about and recommend books
    • read aloud to students
    • video chat using Skype or FaceTime with classes
    • make connections with student librarians.

    Increase visibility of the school at the public library

    • Offer to share students' reading-response work for display in the public library. This might include artwork, poetry, stories, book reviews, and recommendations.
    • Ask the public librarians if they would like students to create a display of favourites. Students could make bookmarks or shelf-talkers saying why they enjoyed particular books.
    • Ask if they would like student input into their library's collection development plan. They may have suggestion forms you could share with your students.
  • Develop a partnership with your local public library

    Developing a rapport and good communication with your public library allows you to share opportunities, ideas, and information to support students.

    Chat with colleagues to see who is in contact with your local librarian (some of the larger libraries have a Youth Services Librarian) to ensure communication is coordinated where possible.

    Start by bringing the public library to your school

    Invite your local public librarians to visit your school to:

    • meet with staff to discuss their library's services, programmes, and resources
    • learn about your school community, resources, and study topics or themes
    • be guests at assemblies, school family events, and school library events (e.g. invite them to be judges during Book Week)
    • promote holiday activities, programmes, competitions, events (e.g. authors' visits), library websites, and email newsletters
    • talk about and recommend books
    • read aloud to students
    • video chat using Skype or FaceTime with classes
    • make connections with student librarians.

    Increase visibility of the school at the public library

    • Offer to share students' reading-response work for display in the public library. This might include artwork, poetry, stories, book reviews, and recommendations.
    • Ask the public librarians if they would like students to create a display of favourites. Students could make bookmarks or shelf-talkers saying why they enjoyed particular books.
    • Ask if they would like student input into their library's collection development plan. They may have suggestion forms you could share with your students.
  • Organise student visits to the public library

    Provide opportunities for students to visit the public library during school time. Arrange a time with the public library and discuss how to make the most of your visit.

    • Does the library offer guided tours? If so, are they basic as well as tailored?
    • Do they have reading-related activities or programmes? These might include storytime sessions, author events, book launches, book groups, or holiday programmes.
    • Are there specific services for children and teens?

    It's useful to let the public library know your students' ages and interests. Consider any themes or topics they could tie into, particularly during a storytime session.

    Ask what level of involvement from school staff is appropriate. Your engagement and enthusiasm during the visit will make a difference and have a positive impact on student behaviour.

    Follow-up to visits

    Some follow-up actions after visits may include the following:

    • Ask whether the library would like any feedback to help improve future visits.
    • Think about your objectives for the visit. Were these met?
    • Share results of the visit with school and public library staff. What impact did it have on the students? Has it helped to increase membership?

    School/student membership and borrowing

    Membership and borrowing policies can vary between public libraries. Find out if your local library:

    • offers group membership to schools and what access to resources is included or excluded
    • allows a school to apply for more than one membership
    • encourages students to have their own library card
    • alerts members to upcoming overdues by email, text, RSS, phone, or letter
    • charges students for overdue items — consider how your school might organise a fortnightly or monthly return of public library books.
  • Organise student visits to the public library

    Provide opportunities for students to visit the public library during school time. Arrange a time with the public library and discuss how to make the most of your visit.

    • Does the library offer guided tours? If so, are they basic as well as tailored?
    • Do they have reading-related activities or programmes? These might include storytime sessions, author events, book launches, book groups, or holiday programmes.
    • Are there specific services for children and teens?

    It's useful to let the public library know your students' ages and interests. Consider any themes or topics they could tie into, particularly during a storytime session.

    Ask what level of involvement from school staff is appropriate. Your engagement and enthusiasm during the visit will make a difference and have a positive impact on student behaviour.

    Follow-up to visits

    Some follow-up actions after visits may include the following:

    • Ask whether the library would like any feedback to help improve future visits.
    • Think about your objectives for the visit. Were these met?
    • Share results of the visit with school and public library staff. What impact did it have on the students? Has it helped to increase membership?

    School/student membership and borrowing

    Membership and borrowing policies can vary between public libraries. Find out if your local library:

    • offers group membership to schools and what access to resources is included or excluded
    • allows a school to apply for more than one membership
    • encourages students to have their own library card
    • alerts members to upcoming overdues by email, text, RSS, phone, or letter
    • charges students for overdue items — consider how your school might organise a fortnightly or monthly return of public library books.
  • Promote the public library to students and families

    Encourage school staff to promote the public library to students on a regular basis. Highlight the importance of its services and how they can support reading and learning.

    Promoting to students

    • Talk to students about borrowing from the public library. Show them your library card and talk about when you visit the library.
    • Discuss similarities and differences between the public and school library.
    • Publicise the public library and its location, opening hours, and contact details on flyers, posters, newsletters, school websites, and social media.
    • Many public libraries have useful social media feeds and websites with book lists and resources for loan including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and more. Ensure your students know how to borrow these and about any technical requirements.
    • Encourage older students to be independent and use the public library regularly.
    • Find out how many students are members and use the public library. Use the data as part of a promotional campaign or set a school goal of increasing membership by x %.

    Promoting to families and whānau

    Encourage families and whānau to visit and join the public library with their children. Communicate with them regularly about the importance of students reading for pleasure and having plenty of reading material to choose from. Most public libraries are open after school, at weekends, and school holidays, extending access to reading material.

    Send membership forms and promotional material to parents and in packs for parents new to the school. Suggest that:

    • families take part in events such as summer reading challenges
    • families check their local library website for resources and information
    • students ask their parents, siblings, and other family members to join and use the public library.

    Home-school reading partnerships

    Reading for pleasure

    Summer reading — includes information for families, schools, and public libraries about encouraging students to read over summer to help prevent the ‘summer slide’ in reading.

  • Promote the public library to students and families

    Encourage school staff to promote the public library to students on a regular basis. Highlight the importance of its services and how they can support reading and learning.

    Promoting to students

    • Talk to students about borrowing from the public library. Show them your library card and talk about when you visit the library.
    • Discuss similarities and differences between the public and school library.
    • Publicise the public library and its location, opening hours, and contact details on flyers, posters, newsletters, school websites, and social media.
    • Many public libraries have useful social media feeds and websites with book lists and resources for loan including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and more. Ensure your students know how to borrow these and about any technical requirements.
    • Encourage older students to be independent and use the public library regularly.
    • Find out how many students are members and use the public library. Use the data as part of a promotional campaign or set a school goal of increasing membership by x %.

    Promoting to families and whānau

    Encourage families and whānau to visit and join the public library with their children. Communicate with them regularly about the importance of students reading for pleasure and having plenty of reading material to choose from. Most public libraries are open after school, at weekends, and school holidays, extending access to reading material.

    Send membership forms and promotional material to parents and in packs for parents new to the school. Suggest that:

    • families take part in events such as summer reading challenges
    • families check their local library website for resources and information
    • students ask their parents, siblings, and other family members to join and use the public library.

    Home-school reading partnerships

    Reading for pleasure

    Summer reading — includes information for families, schools, and public libraries about encouraging students to read over summer to help prevent the ‘summer slide’ in reading.

  • Find out more

  • Find out more

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