Beyond books: High school librarians as champions of pupil inclusivity, autonomy, and reader development

Charlotte Webber*, Kayleigh Bohan, Heather Collins, Jasmine Ewens, Katherine Wilkinson, Sarah McGeown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

School librarians can support and enhance pupils’ reading and personal development. However, there is very little research which has sought high school librarians’ perspectives of the diverse ways in which they do this. In this study, semi-structured interviews were carried out with 18 practitioners responsible for school library services from 18 geographically dispersed high schools in Scotland to gain in-depth insights into the practices they use to support pupil development. Inductive data-driven thematic analysis identified two themes. The first concerned reader development beyond reading for attainment. Within this theme it was identified that those with library responsibilities (a) cultivate a love of reading; (b) support diverse reading activities; (c) ensure book provision reflects the school community and (d) align reading with pupils’ contemporary lives. The second concerned pupils’ personal development. Within this theme it was identified that those with library responsibilities (a) support personal development; (b) expand pupils’ worldview through books; (c) support aspects of pupils’ lives; (d) provide support for minority pupils; (e) create a safe and social space and (f) support pupil autonomy. It is hoped that these findings will be of use to librarians and schools seeking to promote the vital role of libraries in supporting pupils beyond their academic attainment, as well as providing recommendations to researchers and practitioners seeking to support pupil inclusivity, autonomy, and individuality through school library services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Librarianship and Information Science
Early online date14 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Feb 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • adolescent
  • inclusivity
  • librarians
  • library practitioners
  • school libraries

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