Judging Success

Effective libraries must contribute to school improvement and pupils' learning.

Most schools will have their own templates for self evaluation and review. The library should be included within this process and contribute to the school review. Some of the measures used will be library specific, but others may draw on information gathered by colleagues to illustrate that the library and librarian has made a contribution to raising standards.  

Key questions

  • Who uses the library - and who doesn't?
  • What  is the library's contribution to raising standards ? How high are standards ?
  • How well are pupils' attitudes and values developed?
  • How effective is library-focused teaching and learning  in supporting the curriculum?
  • How well does the library meet pupils needs? Is it adequately resourced? How  well does it support the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupil?
  • How well are pupils guided and supported when reading for enjoyment ?
  • How well is the library managed?
  • How well does the library contribute to teaching and supporting independent learning?

Primary School Library Self-Evaluation

These documents were developed to work alongside whole-school self-evaluation.  Although now archived by the DfE, they still provide tools and samples to work through.  

See also Information Management Associates website, who are the creators of this work.

Benchmark Checklist

 Pdf version    excel spreadsheet version





Future action required

School has library and / or book corners in each classroom





School has current library policy





Library included in school development plan





Library has at least 10 books per pupil





School replaces at least 10% stock each year





There is a separate library budget





Stock is edited throughout the year





School uses nearest Schools Library Service





Library is strategically managed by a professional librarian





Library staffed by volunteer (s)





Library is staffed by paid adult





Team of children librarians are trained and help run the library





Library is accessible all day (i.e. not closed to individuals because of group work, music lessons etc)





Library is open before and after school





Library is attractive & welcoming





Shelving/ furniture is age appropriate





Books are displayed attractively to promote reading





Library guiding and signs are clear & simple 





Fiction is arranged in alphabetical order





Non- fiction is classified by the Dewey System





Library has a range of non book resources





Library has internet access for children in the library / adjacent space





Library issue and management system is computerised and networked around the school (i.e. every teaching area and for use on a white board)





Each class visits the library regularly for project work and there is a planned integrated programme of support for developing independent learning skills





Classes visit regularly to choose books for recreational reading 





Children can use the library independently





Reading for pleasure promoted in school





Children can borrow books from the library





Every child has a book on loan from the library





Book club or library club run on a regular basis










TOTAL indicators







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