The role of the library within school-level literacy policies and plans in Australia and the United Kingdom
ORCID : 0000-0002-9009-3700
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science
School of Education
Libraries are valuable resources that schools can draw upon to enhance their students’ literacy outcomes. However, the role of libraries in supporting student literacy attainment and maintenance may be poorly understood in schools. To determine if libraries are a valued literacy resource within schools, investigation of their incorporation into school-level literacy policies and plans was warranted. Literacy policies and plans from Australia and the United Kingdom were examined using a hybrid content analysis approach to explore if libraries are commonly featured in school literacy policies and plans. Analysis also identified the kinds of libraries that were mentioned, and the roles that libraries play in these documents. Only 34.3% of Australian documents mentioned a library, with UK documents far more likely to include them (74.3%). UK documents were more likely to mention school libraries, classroom libraries, public libraries, mobile libraries, online libraries and book swap areas, while parent libraries were only mentioned in Australian documents. Analysis of roles of libraries found mentions of borrowing and literature exposure; access to a well-resourced facility; reading for pleasure; reading for assessment; environment; research, information literacy and library skills; external expertise, resourcing and outreach; and literacy and literature instruction. UK documents were more likely to include these roles than their Australian counterparts.