Bunting and sign saying 'family book bags'.

Effective school libraries connect people with information, stories, and communities. These connections can facilitate the creation and sharing of knowledge, and foster a sense of belonging and well-being.

Why the library’s connections within and outside your school community matter

When school staff, school and public libraries, parents, and whānau work together, they form a community of support for teaching and learning in your school. School libraries are great environments for enabling collaboration, both within and beyond your school community.

The extent to which a school library can effectively meet the needs of learners and educators within the school is determined by the levels of collaboration with the rest of the school community.
Start with the child, CILIP (2002)

How can you best use library connections to bring learners together with the people, information, and stories they need?

Within the school community

  • Encourage library and teaching staff collaboration to plan and resource the curriculum in order to meet student needs.
  • Encourage connections for students between year levels and across subject areas.
  • Communicate with the school community about your library services, using a range of informal and formal channels.
  • Foster positive relationships and partnership initiatives with parents and whānau to understand how students can best be supported through the library.

Outside the school community

  • Build links and partnerships with other school libraries, your local public library, National Library Services to Schools, tertiary libraries, and other special libraries.
  • Connect with literary groups and other organisations (such as the New Zealand Book Council, and the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) whose work can help extend the services your school library provides.

Key questions

  • What opportunities are there for library staff to collaborate with teachers?
  • What opportunities do learners have to collaborate or engage with others, within the library, across the school and in the wider community?
  • How effectively does the library support parents to participate in, and contribute to the life of the library?
  • How well does the school library establish and maintain partnerships with libraries and other organisations outside the school to enrich your library services?

Collaborations and partnerships
Family, whānau and community connections
Connections to digital citizenship