School library service

Services provided for Primary and Special Schools

Harrow School Library Service supports schools in obtaining and maintaining excellent school libraries and classroom resource collections to support the requirements of the curriculum and to encourage reading for pleasure.  The service provides schools with quality books that support curriculum requirements and responds to curriculum developments.  We offer an in-depth knowledge of children's literature and curriculum support to help nurture the learning and development of every child, with a wide range of fiction, poetry and information books so that you can build a reading culture in your school and promote enthusiastic, independent learning.

The School Library Service Manager is a chartered librarian. They offer schools a professional library service including project loans, a discounted book purchase scheme and professional advice with time in schools as requested by you, and reading promotion.  The charge is fully inclusive covering all aspects of the service.

Nothing is more important in education than ensuring that every child can read well. Pupils who can read are overwhelmingly more likely to succeed at school, achieve good qualifications, and subsequently enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Reading: The Next Steps.  Department for Education report, March 2015

Description of Service

This is a service devised to support children in Primary and Special Schools, and includes project loans, advisory services and other items as detailed below.

  • Project Loan Service
    Teachers may request one collection of books each term to meet the particular needs of the children in their class from a collection of over 50,000 titles. Each collection will consist of approximately 30 attractive and up-to-date picture books, board books, interactive books and non-fiction, worth up to £400.  Cost of delivery and collection is included.
  • Professional Advisory Service
    Advisory Service by a professionally qualified librarian on all aspects of the design, organisation and administration of library collections and the creative use of books both in the library and the classroom. Schools can receive one advisory visit each year to help with the development of your library and resource collections.
  • Harrow Junior Book Award Annual prize for the best children’s novel as voted by children from Harrow Primary schools, including an award ceremony with a guest author.  
    The Harrow Picture Book Prize offers children in KS1 the opportunity to read six outstanding picture books and decide on their favourites, with the results announced during an online author event.
  • Discounted Purchase Scheme and Personal Shopper Service
    A purchase scheme is available for teachers and librarians to purchase books at discounted prices, enabling schools to make limited budgets stretch further.  All books are supplied ready for the shelf with labels, jackets or sleeves to extend their durability.  We offer a personal shopper service and can order books on your behalf.  We have access to specialist suppliers and bibliographic databases.
  • Exhibition Collection
    Access to over 11,000 recommended and in print children’s books for teachers to inspect prior to purchase.  Advice from School Library Service staff during your visit and assistance with ordering books.
  • Access to Library Co-ordinator meetings
    Opportunity for professional updating and networking, open to all librarians, teachers and Early Years practitioners. 
  • Subscription to Pen&Inc magazine containing latest information on diverse and inclusive children’s books
  • Newsletter and discounts on publications

Performance Standards

  • Helpdesk:  Available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, during term-time and school holidays.  An e-mail facility is available outside these hours.
  • Professional staff have qualifications recognised by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and are in membership of relevant professional organisations, e.g. School Libraries Group of CILIP.
  • Books ordered through the purchasing Service are normally delivered within three weeks outside school holidays and we can organise urgent orders for you.
  • Project loans will be delivered to your school as soon as possible following receipt of the request.

School's Responsibility

  • Schools are responsible for the care of books on loan to them and for their return when requested by the School Library Service.

Contract Period

  • The contract will run for one year from 1st April 2024 to 31st March 2025

Further details and charges

For further details, information about charges and to purchase this package please visit Harrow's Support Services for Education portal.

Contact us if you would like to discuss a specialised service or consultancy for your school. Our details are at the end of this page.