CILIP* recommends 10-13 quality library books for every pupil
This excludes textbooks, structured readers and class sets.
  • Smaller schools need proportionately more items per pupil, so schools with fewer than 100 pupils should aim for a minimum base figure of 1300 quality library books.
  • Books wear out or become outdated and the average life expectancy of a book is 10 years (for some it is a lot less!) so schools should work on 10% replacement per annum, but not necessarily like for like.
  • The annual library budget should cover at least the cost of replacing 10% of library stock, with additional funding made available to bring resources up to a suitable level.
Some calculations useful for benchmarking
  • To calculate your library stock per pupil, divide the number of library books by the number of pupils.
    • Does your library stock meet the CILIP benchmark of 13 books per pupil?
    • Is the range balanced and appropriate for the needs of the pupils?
  • To calculate the stock renewal rate, divide the total library stock by the number of library books purchased last year + the number of books exchanged via SLS last year.
    • Effective use of the School Library Service exchange might assist your school to meet the 10% stock renewal recommendation of this service is offered locally.
  •   To calculate the minimum bookfund needed to replace stock: divide the total stock by 10 and multiply by £10 (average cost of library books for primary age children)   
These figures can only be rough estimates and guides  Talk to your  School Library Service   for more information.  
Factor in the costs of subscribing to a School Library Service.
*CILIP is the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals

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