School library mergers

Library mergers need careful planning.

When schools merge often their libraries need to merge too. Use our guide and checklists to help you plan a merger and make sure you've understood all the issues.

Strategic considerations

There are many issues to plan for when schools merge, including the types of library services they'll offer to support student learning.

Your options could depend on whether:

  • your school’s existing library facilities will continue to be used
  • the library is moving to another building
  • a new library is going to be built.

The timeline for the school’s rebuilding project may have an impact on your library services and you may even have to set up a temporary library. For example, the library space may need to be extensively remodelled or used as a temporary classroom until a new classroom block is completed.

Merging school libraries can be an opportunity to rethink the location of the library and how you can create a culturally inclusive and responsive environment that has a positive impact on student learning. For example, you could create flexible multi-use learning spaces for individual and group learning and a social hub for students, parents or whānau, school staff and community members to:

  • read
  • socialise
  • create things
  • celebrate literary and cultural events
  • hold meetings, talks and presentations.

Who needs to be consulted

Before any decisions are made, the project planning team should consult with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and your school community. This allows everyone to:

  • identify a shared vision for the library
  • clarify expectations
  • find out about any MOE budget issues and timeframes that will have implications for the library.

A guide for your library merger project

The 6 checklists in our guide cover different aspects of a library merger:

  1. Form a planning team and prepare an action plan.
  2. Assess library staffing requirements during and post-merger.
  3. Plan the location and layout of the library.
  4. Weed collections and migrate the catalogue records.
  5. Establish a relocation plan: collections, furniture, ICT and equipment.
  6. Other actions resulting from your library merger.

School library mergers checklist (docx, 123KB)

As well as the guide and checklists, there is other information to support your merger project.

Shelving guidelines for your school library

School library suppliers list — includes suppliers of library shelving, furniture and equipment

Cataloguing your library collection

Tips for moving your library — information about setting up a temporary library

Getting advice and help

If you need more help:

  • contact Services to Schools’ advisory helpline for free advice on the stages of the merger — call 0800 LIB LINE (0800 542 5463)
  • talk to other schools that have been through the merger process.