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An introduction to school librarianship
An introduction to school librarianship

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Introduction and guidance

This free badged course, An introduction to school librarianship, aims to develop learners’ confidence and skills in delivering a library service in schools. It could be of use to librarians with little or no knowledge, as well as those with experience who are looking to upskill.

The course lasts 24 hours, with 8 ‘sessions’. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete a further study session. The eight sessions are linked to ensure a logical flow through the course. They are:

  • Session 1: A librarian’s role in the school
  • Session 2: Equality and diversity in your school
  • Session 3: The best use of technology
  • Session 4: Creating a reading-rich culture
  • Session 5: Embedding literacy in your school
  • Session 6: Independent study and information literacy
  • Session 7: Championing the library
  • Session 8: Reflection and review

Topics covered in the course include the library’s role in the school, legal requirements, and how best to use technology. There is an emphasis on developing an effective practice to meet stakeholders’ needs, and the course also encompasses the overarching principles necessary to support research, literacy, and reading.

Throughout the course you will follow two library professionals, Sarah and Nick. Although their backgrounds differ, they both have vast experience and share the same school library goals.

There will be numerous opportunities to check your learning. This includes interactive quizzes, of which Sessions 4 and 8 will provide you with an opportunity to earn a badge to demonstrate your new skills. You can read more on how to study the course and about badges in the next sections.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • recognise the ways the library can support whole-school reading literacy, information literacy and research skills
  • identify and use the appropriate strategies to deliver a service in the library
  • use resources, confidently and critically, to meet library stakeholders’ needs and fulfil an agreed development plan
  • reflect proactively on performance levels and identify steps for further development.

Moving around the course

In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each session, you will find a link to the next session. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Full course description’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.

There are text boxes within the activities for you to make notes where it would be helpful. This saves for you to refer back to, and only you can access these notes, noone else is able to see them. Alternatively, you are welcome to make notes offline instead, for example in a notebook.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.