#51 Staff


Staffing in school libraries can be an extremely thorny issue for librarians. Often, librarians are subject to the whims of the local authority or the headteacher, and guidelines (below) are frequently ignored..

Often, the only way to get extra staff in for a lone worker is to argue your case professionally, make yourself indispensable to the school, provide services that the school cannot (or wouldn’t want to) do without, and keep requesting the cover your require. Of course, this has to be done in isolation, until you successfully argue your case. It can be done, but it’s not easy.

Whilst CILIP guidelines are a useful professional tool for making your case, many librarians crease up in laughter at the thought that their local authority or headteacher would take either the salary scales or the level of cover required seriously. It is also true to say that CILIP are not the most robust advocates for school librarian conditions.

It’s a tricky one. Successful application for reasonable staff levels will depend on the attitudes of your local authority and senior management team, how much you formalise processes to make your own case effectively, and your own performance and level of persuasive skills.

School Libraries: CILIP Guidelines

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