Developing library classroom children's collections in English for a Catalunyan private school

Roxanne Myers Spencer (Educational Resources Center, Western Kentucky University Libraries, Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA)

Collection Building

ISSN: 0160-4953

Publication date: 1 December 2005



Seeks to present a case study of librarians developing recommendations for a small collection of children's literature in English to support primary grades' English‐language curriculum for Col°legi SEK Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain and to briefly describe development of intermediary library classroom models to put the collection development process in context.


Visits on‐site to target school and to selected regional schools and public libraries; development of a proposal to target school administrators; refinement of goals for project; selection aids for children's literature titles and resources for recommendation to English language primary teachers; provision of library organization and collection development skills workshop for English language teachers.


Roles and functions of school libraries in Spain differ in scope from the US model of the integrated school library media center. Most school libraries visited were staffed by teachers who volunteered time. There was little formal instruction in information literacy at the schools and public libraries visited. The US concept of a school library media center, with its integral role to the school's curriculum, literacy, information literacy, and leisure reading support, is not well known in Spain, although this is changing, due largely to an increased awareness of the need for information literacy education in schools.

Research limitations/implications

Brief visits to target school and selected regional schools and libraries. European teaching models differ from current US education strategies. Concepts of integrated roles of school libraries in Spain are beginning to gain momentum; legislative and administrative support is slowly developing. There is great potential in such international collaborations, particularly between library higher education and P‐12 institutions. Adapting the US model of the integrated school library media center and its roles in literacy and information literacy holds great promise for P‐12 schools in Spain and other countries.

Practical implications

International collaborations increase awareness of diverse cultures’ similarities and differences, and lead to global exchanges of ideas and programs. Target school in this case study will have a well‐integrated English language library to support acquisition of English language, literacy, and information literacy. The acquisition of these important literacy skills through a carefully developed library program can only benefit student achievement and foster international collaborations.


Research into the function and possibilities for improvement in school libraries in Spain has been the subject of research among practitioners in Spain since the 1990s, but little of this research is known internationally. The original research and unique and timely implementation of this case study, though small in scope, has wide implications for school libraries internationally.



Myers Spencer, R. (2005), "Developing library classroom children's collections in English for a Catalunyan private school", Collection Building, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 117-123.

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