Preparing library staff for an ERO visit
When you prepare for an ERO visit, get the library staff together and discuss why the visit is important for the library.
Get ready for the ERO visit by:
- finding out when ERO is coming and how long they'll be with you
- knowing the focus of their investigation so that you can prepare relevant information
- preparing 'elevator speeches' explaining your library's services
- having relevant library information ready to present to them
- reading the last ERO Report — it will give you good ideas for the development of your library service and is a great advocacy tool.
Write an elevator speech — ideas from the American Library Association for preparing a very brief message about the value of your library
During the visit make time to show the ERO team around your library and answer any questions.
Getting the library's supporters involved
Let key stakeholders — including students, parents or whānau, and library volunteers — know about the ERO visit. They can play an important role as advocates for the library.
Gathering evidence of your library's impact
Work with library staff to identify and gather information that you can share with ERO. Focus on information that relates to ERO's investigation and the impact your work has on students.
Present your information in a clear, succinct and professional way. Including feedback from students can be effective.
School libraries & student achievement — an infographic developed by Library Research Services highlighting the impact of school libraries on student achievement
Documents that support your library's work and impact
Your annual report and library's guiding documents contain information that could help ERO understand the impact of your library on teaching and learning.
Share these documents with ERO to show:
- the key role the library has in supporting student achievement
- how the library and school community share the same vision
- how the school’s senior management provide leadership and support for the library
- your thoughts on future trends and how the library will respond to them.
Library guiding documents
Your collection management plan
School library budget
Involving the library in an ERO visit
Time limitations may mean the ERO team cannot visit the library at all. You could encourage the ERO team to pop in and enjoy your library — it's a hub of learning, engagement and innovation and holds a key role in your school.
Just had ERO come into the library and I have walked them step by step through every section, showing what I have done in the last year:
- building up te reo Māori and Pasifika collections (and explained how hard it is to find this material!)
- splitting fiction into series all face out
- making Year 7/8 section
- easy fiction/quick reads
I am stoked! They were very interested and my new books display in staff room has had many comments too. They are also thrilled that we are opening the school library during January 15-24 for students to come in and borrow 5 books each. Even had the fridge magnets that each child will get to publicise it, to show them. — Kimberley Atkinson, Robertson Road School, South Auckland
Here are some other ideas for involving the library in an ERO visit.
- Always speak to the ERO staff as you pass them in the hallways. Let them know you run the library and invite them to drop in as they are passing.
- Let them know you've read the last ERO report for your school.
- Make sure the library is welcoming and accessible, for example, by putting on morning tea in the library for the ERO team.
- Offer the use of the library for after-school meetings.
Talking to the ERO man about poetry: how to highlight the important role your library has within your school — Carole Gardiner of Queen's High School in Dunedin offers tips and suggestions for getting involved with an ERO visit to your school.
Find out more
Student learning in the information landscape (pdf, 836KB) — an ERO report from 2005 evaluating how effectively New Zealand schools, including their libraries, are supporting students’ learning in the information landscape