Researchers appointed to gather data about school libraries

School libraries

The Great School Libraries campaign announced in late October that the Foyle Foundation had awarded a grant to appoint a researcher to gather data about school libraries – specifically to try and find out how many there are. After a tender and interview process we are delighted to announce that the research group tasked with gathering this data is BMG Research. They have carried out a number of education based research projects, including working for the Welsh Government and the Department for Education.  The research will be comprised of an online survey and follow up phone calls to make sure we get a range of respondents from all types of scenarios – the purpose is to build a true picture of the reality of school libraries and their situation. This is necessary because school libraries are not included in the school census which the Department for Education issue every year, meaning that no statistics exist on how many schools have libraries, or whether they are staffed or funded. Elizabeth Davies, Research Director, BMG Research, stated: “BMG Research are delighted to be working with the Great School Libraries campaign on this important survey.School libraries play an integral part in supporting pupil’s educational and personal development, we hope this research will provide a greater understanding of how many are currently operating to inform future policy and resourcing decisions. Barbara Band, Chair of the School Library Data group (part of the Great School Libraries campaign) commented: “I’m delighted that we have awarded the contract to BMG Research and look forward to working with them. Hard data on school libraries is desperately needed and will support the Campaign as well as providing a benchmark for future reference.” Alison Tarrant, Chair of the Great School Libraries campaign working group said: “This data collection is an important pillar of the campaign – allowing us not only to see how many school libraries there are across the nation, but also look at differences between certain characteristics. This will allow us to develop our campaign strategy for the next two years and make sure support is getting to where it is most needed.” We all have a role to play in ensuring every child receives the benefits a Great School Library can offer.  You can explore the resources currently available here: