Things to do if your school library is closed, by Sarah Pavey


Send out reading lists for eg for AR levels, year groups or key stages with a precis of the chosen books and how they can be accessed online

Collate a series of video links of authors talking about their books

Create your own genre stickers

Create your own stickers for attaining reading levels

Create a story that can be read in parts and released to students via video or text

Create a downloadable pack of literary pairs eg Romeo & Juliet, Piglet and Pooh for a pelmanism game to play at home

Make a word search based on a fiction book (

Make a crossword based on a fiction book (

Hold a short story competition and publish the best in a self published ebook

Get students to send you reviews of books they have read and collate

Compile lists of books you would like to add to stock


Make guidance brochures for curriculum subjects 

Send out lists of free online databases to teachers and parents

Create reading lists for wider reading linking fiction reads to non fiction topics

Develop guides for enquiry based learning using models such as FOSIL, Big 6, 7 Pillars

Create a guide to help students understand critical literacy and academic writing

Set up a web quest for students (

Create a guide showing alternatives to powerpoint to present project results

Consider how digital literacy theories can be applied to projects and develop a guide

Investigate databases, organisations and websites/blogs that might support non fiction areas of the curriculum and compile lists

Create puzzles and quizzes to support non fiction curriculum areas


Create virtual posters using websites such as Glogster (

Plan displays for the future by researching the curriculum

Make QR codes with links to information (

Create infographics for subject areas (

Use to create giant posters

Explore #Poundlandpedagogy on Twitter for cheap display ideas

Have a go at some creative book folding through video tutorial or a book

Look for ideas and examples of how to make creative displays online


Tidy up your authority files

Add keywords and subject headings to more resources

Add URLs to resources including fiction

Add summaries to resources 

Create edocs to upload to your database

Add videos to your database

Make the home page of your catalogue more relevant

Add price data to your books

Add see also references to your references

Devise templates for reports

Tidy up your classifications / shelf marks

Create reading lists

Add reviews from students and official ones too


Create or update your Twitter account

Create or update your Facebook account

Create or update your Instagram account

Design a library logo

Create a library brochure for students

Create a library brochure for staff

Create a library brochure for parents

Preparation & CPD

Prepare/write your annual report

Read the Ofsted Inspection Guidelines & prepare any evidence you might need

Sign up for a MOOC (Massive open online course)

Finish or begin your portfolio for CILIP accreditation, membership, fellowship or revalidation

Complete an Adult Education and Training Level 3 (AET) online

Complete an online course offered by the School Library Association

Watch TED talks related to school libraries and education

Begin a distance learning degree or Level 3 qualification in librarianship, information or education

Read back copies of professional journals

Read books on professional development such as The Innovative School Librarian and primary or secondary guidelines for schools

Read some of the publications on practice available from the School Library Association

9 thoughts on “Things to do if your school library is closed, by Sarah Pavey

  1. Pingback: When you school is closed… you have to be creative – Information Literacy Website

  2. Jane Baker

    Thanks to Bev for posting and jo for creating this really useful list of ideas.
    Please can I ask Jo what you suggest using for a web quest as I’ve not done one before and would like to give it a go. I think the URL link is broken in the above … these things happen.
    Hope you see this.
    Many thanks


  3. Pingback: Resource Sharing During Lockdown, by Elizabeth Bentley | Talking Books

  4. Vicky Nolan

    My Headteacher is talking about me becoming a TA during lockdown, I now have some great ideas to ‘remain in post’ .Vicky


  5. Pingback: Things to do if your school library is closed – Education Blog

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