The aim of this article is to investigate the nature of use and impact of the Improve Your Library self‐evaluation process on school libraries and their integration into whole‐school development planning for pupil learning.
The research is structured in two phases. Phase one seeks to map levels, patterns and experiences of use by those responsible for the library within schools and to establish the nature of support needed for librarians from school library services and training providers. Phase two will track schools in detail to explore the extent of difference the process may have on library integration into the wider school self‐evaluation, development priorities and planning, and on library contribution to pupil reading and learning.
Preliminary investigations indicate that there is considerable diversity in current evaluation practice and in expectations of the Improve Your Library toolkits. There is a need for a national vehicle for sharing individual library experience to inform reflective practice.
The research focused on English schools. Successful delivery of the intended case banks of practice examples is dependent on a good range of schools being willing to share their experience.
Training and support needs and networks will be identified for providers and practitioners. Practical experience will be made available to librarians, school management and policy‐makers.
This is a timely evaluation of the first unified system of library self‐evaluation across English schools within the context of a new approach to whole‐school evaluation. It will provide librarians with a means of sharing and comparing experiences in the absence of a formalised benchmarking system for school libraries and contribute to a national picture of school library activity and priorities.
Gildersleeves, L. (2006), "Evaluating evaluation: Introducing a research project on the impact of
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