• Purpose: This mixed method study explored the entrenched views of school library significance held by different stakeholders. It investigated current debates surrounding legislation, funding and who holds the real power and influence. It sought to find proof of impact upon pupil/student grades and social/emotional wellbeing links in UK students aged 5-18. Lastly, a global perspective was sought to explore if the UK narrative is part of a wider trend or sits in isolation.

    Findings/recommendations: The literature supports the belief that school libraries make a difference to pupils’ attainment, reading for pleasure and wellbeing. Nevertheless, that wider stakeholders lack funding, knowledge and training in how to use their libraries/Librarians’ effectively. Direct links between legislating school libraries and PISA global literacy ratings were found to be poor and would need more detailed study. Moreover, research highlights a need for greater advertising of impact and potential to head teachers and teachers by librarians as they hold the power of influence. Finally, that school librarians benefit from converting to a more teacher-centric method of setting pupil objectives, linked to curriculum targets for proof of efficacy, rather than footfall and loans data.