Life as a pupil librarian

After reading the great article in the Guardian by pupil librarian James, I asked him to write a piece for Heart.  James was really pleased to do so.  I think he is a shining example to hold up to our pupil librarians, and we should encourage more of them to join his Facebook page. This is what James has to say:

I really enjoy my work as a Pupil Librarian in my School’s Library. I’ve been Pupil Librarian for just over 3 years.  The Library I work in is located in (or was- we are currently having a new roof fitted!)  a stunning building, perfect as a library. We even have our claim to fame- Isaac Newton’s signature (allegedly!) We have 2 library staff, and a team of 10 Pupil Librarians. Our Pupil Librarian team have to go through a proper application process….. preparation for working life!

We have a stock of around 10000 books, a growing selection of DVDs & audiobooks and we also subscribe to a number of magazines. We like (and encourage) pupil recommendations for stock in the Library.  As time has gone on, I’ve got more confident with using Web2.0 technologies- I now run the School Library Blog ( ), and have my own blog ( ) too! I’m currently experimenting with Glogster, Wikispaces and other Web 2.0 tools.

I also write the Library newsletter, which we produce termly. Book reviews, library news, updates on library closures, how students can get involved with the library, e-resources and how to get more out of our resources. Sometimes, I’ll write a piece all about a special library I’ve visited- Lincoln University Library, RHS Harlow Carr Library and my local library.  We run a Library Book Club, which we launched on World Book Day 2012- we had a good turnout and the club is going strong! The Library also hosts a Warhammer Club, run by our Librarian, which attracts a good number of pupils. All these activities aim to boost pupil awareness of the Library!  The School has a thought for the week, and I try to find a quote for our library blog……normally a thought for the month. I think the Dr Seuss quotes are great.

Displays are also important in our library. The whole library team contribute to the displays, and pupils like to get involved as well- it’s good fun! Just before we broke up for Summer, we did a collage of book covers- wild and wacky, but really well received by pupils. Everyone wanted to share a book they liked- from gardening to Warhammer magazines, George Orwell to GCSE study guides.  So, I do hope I can continue my work as a Pupil Librarian into sixth form. I took part in CPD23 in 2011, contribute to various library forums and am currently a member on The Guardian Children’s Books website. I am also the co-founder and moderator of the Student Library Assistants’ Network(SLANet), a group for pupil librarians like me to share ideas and discussions about their work within the school library! The link for the group is:

By James K, November 2011    Pupil Librarian

4 thoughts on “Life as a pupil librarian

  1. I must admit, I know James personally as I used to work as a Librarian at his school, but he must be commended for his sheer enthusiasm for Libraries (in whatever form), the cause and the profession. I think he possibly has enough evidence for a Chartership portfolio already with all the advocacy work he has done! Pupils such as James must be treasured, encouraged and nurtured as they represent the future of our profession.

  2. Inspiration to all pupil librarians certainly. Young people like James are the reason you’re doing the job and we do appreciate all the help YP give us

  3. Pingback: Great blogpost on school libraries | Alan Gibbons' Diary

  4. I am currently attempting to introduce and structure a program for secondary students to become library assistants in the school library. This does not appear to be a very much used strategy nor very structured if in place, here in Queensland.

    Largely, my previous experience as a primary school teacher has been focused on younger children and while I can certainly adapt some of the training program I had for these students, would be very interested in seeing any formalised ideas that others might have for secondary helpers.

    I see from your website that it appears that more than one UK school has a successful training program in place. If someone could share some thoughts or information about your program, it would be really wonderful.

    I appreciate any assistance, tips or advice you might be able to offer.

    Warm Regards

    Sue Warren

    St Joseph’s Nudgee College
    PO Box 130, Virginia Qld 4014
    Phone: 3865 0534

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