Towards a Common Terminology in School Librarianship


  • Diljit Singh



school library, teacher librarian, terminology, common language, comparable data


School libraries exist in most countries where they play an important role in education. However, the diversity of educational philosophies, policies, resources, infrastructure and technology have led to wide variations in what constitutes a ‘school library’, and its associated terminology. This diversity affects communication, collaboration, synthesis of evidence, and translation of research findings. If we are to promote school librarianship internationally, it is important to have a common terminology. This paper presents the preliminary findings of an international survey on the terminology and characteristics of school libraries, Based on responses from school library stakeholders from 19 countries, it was found that the more common term used to describe the facility was ‘school library’, while term used for the person managing it was ‘school librarian’ or ‘teacher librarian’. While few countries had a formal definition of a school library, the respondents were able to provide the desired characteristics of a school library and of a teacher-librarian. These findings can be used to develop consistent and internationally-applicable terminology and definitions for school librarianship.






IN PERSON | IASL 2022 Strand B: Research Forum