Schools Library Service

We provide a professional, unique and flexible service that delivers high quality and accessible resources that support a broad and balanced curriculum and inspire the love of reading in all children regardless of age, ability, special needs, or geographical location.

We provide a professional, unique and flexible service that delivers high quality and accessible resources that support a broad and balanced curriculum and inspire the love of reading in all children regardless of age, ability, special needs or geographical location.  

Please click here to download our brochure.

Coronavirus update January 2021

In line with the current guidance, we have a limited number of staff working in our building at Cleaswell Hill. We are not able to accommodate visitors in the building, but any customers wishing to drop off or collect resources can do so if they make arrangements with us in advance.
Please email us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk or call us on 01670 620072 if you would like to arrange to do so, or if we can help in any other way.

New Service from SLS - Access to eBooks and eAudiobooks

We are delighted to announce that we can now offer access to eBooks and eAudiobooks as part of our Service Level Agreements. There is NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to current SLS subscribers for this fantastic - and very timely - new service.

We also welcome enquiries from any schools who don't currently subscribe to SLS.

Please email us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk or call us on 07813 992035 or 07966 326775 to discuss how your school can benefit from this service with a member of the SLS team. We aim to offer an excellent, value for money solution to all your resource needs and can be very flexible with our packages.

 

Please click on the drop-down boxes below for more information:
Our service is available to all schools, nurseries, educators within the region, via an annual service level agreement. Our service level agreements (SLAs) can be bought or upgraded at any time of the year.  Further information can be found in the Service Level Agreements section.

For any school that does not have a current SLA, we also offer a 'Pay as you go' service (subject to availability of resources) although priority is given to subscribing schools.
Our office is staffed Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

We are normally open to visitors MONDAY -  FRIDAY 9pm - 5pm

However, we are not currently able to accommodate visitors in the building due to coronavirus restrictions,  but any customers wishing to drop off or collect resources can do so if they make arrangements with us in advance. Please email us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk or call us on 01670 620072 if you would like to arrange to do so, or if we can help in any other way.

 
We have approximately 250,000 items with over 35,000 different titles and purchase new resources every week so there is always something new to look out for. All of our resources are available for topic box loans or for your school library. We are delighted to announce that we can now offer access to eBooks and eAudiobooks as part of our Service Level Agreements. There is NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to SLS subscribers for this fantastic - and very timely - new service.

We have several specialist collections that include:
  • Artefact boxes
  • Story boxes
  • Accelerated reader/Reluctant reader
  • Class sets
  • Sound & vision
  • Professional reading
  • Art loan
  • Specialist large print (CustomEye)
  • Dual language early years
  • Multi sensory story boxes
The number of resources that can be borrowed and exchanged is determined by the individual Service Agreement taken out by your school or organisation.

Teachers can request their termly topic boxes using our online form


We also send all subscribing schools termly topic request forms which should be completed and returned to us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk

You can also download a copy of the termly topic request form.

All teaching staff in subscribing schools may borrow up to 10 items from our special collections at any one time. These include aretfact boxes, DVDs & CDs and professional support resources

 
 
We will send your items to you via:
  • County Council Courier Service, for small packages, if your organisation buys into that service.
  • The SLS delivery service at the beginning of each term for blue topic boxes.
Alternatively we can make arrangements with individuals for collecting resources from Cleaswell Hill if neither of the above options are suitable.  For enquiries please call us on 01670 620072 or e-mail us at  generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk
 
We offer a broad range of artefacts boxes to support curriculum topics.  All of our artefacts can be found on the catalogue at www.schoolslibraryservice.co.uk or there is a downloadable artefacts publication available.
There is no extra charge for these resources as they are part of your school's service agreement. 
 
Aretfact boxes are issued to a named individual within the organisation and should be returned at the end of term using our delivery & collection service.  If a longer loan period is required, we can renew the resource provided the item has not been requested by another user. Renewal of the loan will need to be requested before the collection period.

Our artefact packs are very popular resources and we recommend that you request them well in advance to avoid disappointment. Please email generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk to request artefact packs.
 
All our books are selected by experienced, professional librarians.  The advantage of subscribing to SLS is that you can borrow resources for specific purposes and exchange them regularly.  When the books are worn out and looking tired, or just not being used in your school, then they can be sent back to us in exchange for some new copies or titles.

All of our books can be found on our catalogue at www.schoolslibraryservice.co.uk

We are delighted to announce that we can now offer access to eBooks and eAudiobooks as part of our Service Level Agreements. There is NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to SLS subscribers for this fantastic - and very timely - new service. Schools will have access to 1250+ eBook titles and a range of eAudiobooks at either Primary or Secondary level. These digital collections are predominantly 'reading for pleasure' titles. New titles are regularly added to the collections.

Our book collections include the following:
  • Picture Books
  • General Fiction
    • Pre-school to post 16.  
    • We can also supply multiple copies (up to 6) of titles for reading groups
  • Reluctant or Struggling Readers
    • The collection has shelf guidance as to the books reading age and interest level.
  • Accelerated Reader Books
    • AR quizzed books across all book levels
  • Non-fiction
    • For both curriculum use in the classroom and recreational reading.
  • Class sets
    • 15 copies of a particular title. These sets include picture books, non-fiction & KS2/3 fiction.
  • ​Local  Books
  • EAL & Foreign Language Books
    • If you have a specific language requirement, we will endeavour to obtain suitable resources from our suppliers.
  • Visually Impaired Pupils
    • We are able to acquire tailor-made editions of many class read titles to suit the individual requirements of your visually impaired pupils.  Please contact us to discuss this service further.
  • Bag Books
    • Stories for children and teenagers with SLD & PMLD
    • These are also growing in popularity as a resource to be used with early years as an alternative way to read a story.
  • Professional Reading Collection for School Staff
    • We have a comprehensive collection of books on many aspects of education, teaching and libraries.
These collections include: audio visual, art and  photography. All are listed on our catalogue at www.schoolslibraryservice.co.uk

Each item from these collections are issued to a named individual within the organisation and should be returned at the end of term using our delivery & collection service.  If a longer loan period is required, we can renew the resource provided the item has not been requested by another user. This will need to be requested before the collection period.
 
  • Music cd’s
    • The music cd collection has a range of music from classical to traditional, including CDs featuring sound effects and dialects.
 
  • Spoken word
    • These include many popular children's titles and a number of the cd's also have accompanying books.  
 
  • DVD’s
    • The DVD collection holds both fiction and non-fiction titles.  These cover all ages and a wide range of curriculum areas.
 
  • Art Collection
    • This collection holds almost 1700 pictures and prints. Our visual publication of this collection is also available.
 
  • Photograph Collection
    • A wide range of themed photo packs that include several high quality A4 colour images.  
What are they?

Our blue topic boxes provide you with a comprehensive range of up to date resources to use in classroom teaching. Each topic is put together to fulfil your specific needs. Topic boxes generally consist of a selection of non-fiction titles but might also include: fiction titles, AV materials, art loan,  photograph packs and artefact packs if you have requested them and they are available.

Topics are loaned on a termly basis and are delivered to your school at the beginning of term and are collected at the end of term.  The school administrator is emailed with your school's delivery date and notifications are also posted on our Facebook page.

Requesting Topic Boxes

Schools are given the opportunity to request their topic boxes for the whole of the next academic year in the Summer term, or if this does not suit the school,  the forms can still be submitted termly. All topic box forms need to be returned to SLS by the end of the first half term to guarantee delivery

Teachers can request their termly topic boxes using our online form 

Alternatively, a topic box request form can be downloaded here. Once completed please return to generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk
 
If your school has a current SLA you may request resources from us. If the items are in stock, you can reserve them via our online catalogue at www.schoolslibraryservice.co.uk.  You will need your schools SLS library membership card and password to be able to reserve through the catalogue. Please contact us if you require either of these.

Title and Subject Requests

From time to time you may wish to request a certain title or topic that we do not have in stock is not in stock. We will endeavour to purchase these items provided that they fall within our stock remit.

A downloadable title request form is available here  On completion please email to generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk

Alternatively you can email us at the above email addres with details of any specific resources you require.


Artefact Requests

Our artefact packs are very popular resources and we recommend that you request them well in advance to avoid disappointment. To do this, please email generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk
 
Our standard Service Agreement includes an element of SLS staff time for an initial library consultation. We also offer a wide range of advisory, training and support services.

Please contact us on 01670 620072 to discuss your needs, or email us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk

Our experienced, professional librarians can advise you on all aspects of school libraries. Further details of these, and other advisory services can be found below.
 
SLS can carry out a comprehensive review of your library, looking at all aspects of the library including its location, the furniture & fittings, staffing, the stock and evaluating the effectiveness of the library. We would then make recommendations on the future development of the library and can help and support you in implementing these recommendations.

Alternatively, if you would just like some help with editing your stock or some general advice on running the library then we can arrange to come into school to do so.
 
We can help you organise your stock and advise on the best way to arrange your fiction and information books (and picture books if you have them). We can also advise and assist with classifying your information books and colour coding these books in first & primary schools.

SLS can provide colour code wall charts to help pupils locate the resources they are looking for and alphabetical subject indexes at appropriate levels for pupils.

We can advise on promoting special collections, such as books for reluctant readers or books for an up and coming event, such as National Storytelling Week!  We can also advise on the best way to display books in the library for maximum impact.
 
We believe that the creation and implementation of a library policy is vital to an effective school library. It needn't be a lengthy document, but should clearly state the role of the library, it's aims and how these will be achieved. A well designed library policy will also inform the future development of the library.

SLS can advise and help schools to draw up a library policy - or refine or update an existing policy. We can also advise on planning and development.
 
If you already have, or are considering purchasing an automated library management system for your library, we can offer advice and basic instruction .Our knowledgeable staff are able to offer impartial advice on the purchase and implementation of a variety of  systems suitable for different types of libraries in all phases. 
If you are considering relocating your library, or simply re-organising the layout, we can offer help and advice about the best way forward.

We will advise you on the best use of the space you have available and suggest options for the layout to best suit your needs. We can advise about shelving and soft furnishings and direct you to reputable suppliers.
 
We can offer help with recruitment and training for new library staff. We can also offer advice and support to teachers who are responsible for the library and for parent helpers and volunteers.
Training sessions tailored to individual schools, hosting termly meetings for school library staff and access to SLS publications and newsletters are just a few of the ways that SLS can support teachers and library staff.

Further details of these, and other support services for school staff can be found below.
If you have a specific training need concerned with libraries or reading we can help. We can offer INSET sessions for school staff, tailored to meet your needs. We have recently held sessions concerning 'Whole School Reading' projects and sessions to update teachers on the current trends - and recommended authors - in children’s publishing.
Termly meetings are organised by SLS so that librarians and teachers working in school libraries have an opportunity to meet with others who are working in similar situations.
Staff from non-subscribing schools are also welcome to attend these meetings. Please contact us on 01670 620072 or email us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk for further details.


The meetings are a great opportunity to share good practice, seek advice, talk over any problems and keep up to date with current local and national developments in the world of school libraries.  From time to time SLS also invites guest speakers to attend the meetings.

The meetings are usually held in March, July and October at SLS, Cleaswell Hill. Occasionally meetings are hosted by one of our schools, which gives those attending an opportunity to look at other school libraries.

 
The SLS newsletter is e-mailed to all schools in February, June & November.  It aims to keep schools up to date with what is happening at SLS and in the wider world of school libraries.

The most recent newsletter can be downloaded here.
Take the opportunity to purchase books for your school at up to 25% discount via the agency agreement we have with our book supplier.  
Please note that there is a charge for this service.

How the agency agreement works:

You:  
  • Either provide SLS with a list of titles you wish to order, or tell us your requirements and budget and we will compile a list of recommended titles.
  • Provide an official school order form.
  • Give us details of the servicing (book jackets and spine labels) required.

We:
  • Research the bibliographic data needed to order the books.
  • Send you a copy of the order to check. When you have confirmed that you are satisfied with the order we will send it to our suppliers and send a copy to you.
  • Arrange for servicing as you have specified. Please note that there is a charge for servicing.

The books will be delivered free of charge directly to your school.


Contact generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk for further information.
 
Our staff at SLS have years of experience of working directly with pupils in schools. We can offer storytelling sessions, book talks and reader development sessions and research and library skills sessions. Further details can be found below:

Our staff are very experienced at storytelling and are happy to come into school to carry out storytelling and/or poetry sessions with small groups or whole classes. We will tailor these sessions to suit your needs, so if you are focussing on a particular topic, or would just like a storytelling session - or assembly - to celebrate the pleasure of reading, contact us to discuss your requirements.

Please note that there is a charge for this service.
An enthusiastic visitor who is passionate about books and reading can really motivate children to pick up a book. We can arrange to come into school and talk to your students about reading and books. We aim to make these sessions interactive and stimulating and can include quizzes and games to give the children a real buzz about reading and books.

Alternatively, you may be thinking of starting up a reading group or book group and we can offer advice on the best way to do this. We can also offer input to book and reading initiatives, such as World Book Day, National Poetry Day, Roald Dahl day and many more.

Our annual publication - Calendar of Book Awards and Display Ideas - A Month by Month Guide - is invaluable in helping you plan reading related activities throughout the school year.

Please note that there is a charge for this service.
 
We can arrange to come into school to work with pupils on research and library skills. Once mastered, these skills will enable pupils to access information throughout their school lives and beyond.

We can also offer training for pupil librarians in first and primary schools. These sessions are always well received and give the children a sense of ownership of their library.

Additionally, our publication, A Pupil Librarian Toolkit for School Libraries, is a step by step guide to training pupils to help run the school library. Subscribing schools can request a copy of this publication free of charge.
Non-subscribing schools should contact us if they wish to purchase a copy of ths publication.

Please note that there is a charge for this service.
 
Staff at the Schools Library Service have produced a variety of publications and book lists. These are free of charge to schools who have a Service Agreement with us. We can also compile book lists and resource lists on an ad hoc basis. Please contact us with your requests and we will try to help.

Publications available
  • Find that book. A large laminated guide to Dewey classification and our colour coding scheme.
  • A pupil librarian toolkit. A tool kit written for librarians, teachers and parent helpers who are thinking of using pupils to help voluntarily in the running of the school library or resource centre. The tool kit is suitable for all schools.
  • Calendar of book awards and display ideas. Updated annually, this month by month guide gives dates and information about regional & national book awards and special days. It also includes ideas for displays to promote the resources in your library and to encourage pupils to broaden their reading experiences.
  • Reluctant readers booklist. A guide to fiction series, play scripts and non-fiction produced for struggling readers by specialist publishers.
  • Reading group toolkit for middle, secondary and high school libraries. A guide to setting up a school reading group with lots of ideas for reading group activities..

Publications can be acquired by emailing us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk  Please be sure to state your school name or organisation as we are unable to send items to private addresses.

Schools without a Service Agreement can still purchase publications electronically. Please email us for further information.
 
Northumberland Schools Library Service is a subscription service which provides high quality resources and advisory services to schools throughout Northumberland and beyond. Using our service is a very cost effective alternative to buying books and resources for school which can quickly become out of date.

Why subscribe to SLS?
  • We save you money. It is more cost effective to borrow books from us. Books can be exchanged regularly, ensuring your school is continuously supplied with high quality, up to date books in excellent physical condition. NEW SERVICE -  We now offer all subscribing schools access to a digital library of eBooks and eAudiobooks. 
  • We save you time. We research and assess the resources we provide, ensuring they are relevant, up to date and of the highest quality. We compile your projects, reading for pleasure and guided reading loans leaving staff time to concentrate on teaching.
  • We deliver directly to your school. Resources are delivered to and collected from your school FREE at the beginning ad end of every term. Stock is delivered in our strong blue storage boxes.
  • We give professional advice. Our team of professional and experienced staff are always on hand to give you advice on all library and resource related issues.

Who can subscribe?

We offer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to all Northumberland schools, academies, independents, nurseries, other organisations and schools outside Northumberland. 

When can we subscribe?

The annual Service Level Agreement runs for 12 months from 1st September to 31st August although provision can be made for schools joining during the year.

What is included in your Service Level Agreement?
 
  • Project loans. Up to 30 books per topic issued for 1 term. Good quality books which will be at an appropriate level for your pupils.
  • Artefact boxes. Fantastic resources to support curriculum topics.
  • Fiction/ Reading for pleasure loans. Up to 40 books per box which can be kept for up to 3 years. Inspiring titles which an be used in your school library or classroom. 30% can be exchanged annually.
  • eBooks & eAudiobooks. Access to 1250+ eBooks and a range of eAudiobooks.
  • Accelerated Reader. Schools using Accelerated Reader can borrow boxes of up to 40 AR quizzed books at the levels required.
  • Teacher loans. All teachers may borrow up to 10 items from our special collections at any one time. These resources include artefact boxes, story boxes, DVDs & CDs and professional support resources.
  • Professional consultation. Initial consultation on development of your library and best use of resources from one of SLS's expreienced librarians.
  • Free requests. If we do not stock the book you want, we will consider buying it.
  • Telephone /email helpline. Help and advice from our knowledgeable and experienced staff on school libraries and literacy.
  • Customer focus meetings. Termly meetings to update staff on the latest school library and literacy developments.
 
 
Schools have the option of buying a subscription at bronze, silver, gold or platinum level.

The amount of stock which can be borrowed is dependent on the level of service which the school chooses to purchase. The maximum number of books that can be loaned at any one time is determined by the number of pupils in the school and the level of service purchased. Access to 1250+ eBooks and a range of eAudiobooks is now also included AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

For schools with fewer than 50 pupils, stock entitlements and charges are calculated on the basis of a 50 pupil minimum. Alternatively, small schools may wish to opt for a Special Package SLA which is not linked to pupil numbers.

Please contact us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk for further details and charges for this package.
 
Schools have the option of buying a subscription at bronze, silver, gold or platinum level.

The amount of stock which can be borrowed is dependent on the level of service which the school chooses to purchase.  The maximum number of books that can be loaned at any one time is determined by the number of pupils in the school and the level of service purchased. Access to 1250+ eBooks and 500+ eAudiobooks is now also included at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.


Agreements and Charges

Please contact us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk for further details and charges for this package.
 
The High and Secondary School Service Level Agreement enables schools to decide on the number of books they need & pay accordingly.

The Service Level Agreement also includes free access to the delivery and collection service at the beginning and end of each term, advice and support, access to School Library Staff meetings and up to 10 additional items per teacher, including artefact packs, audio-visual resources, art loan & photograph packs and items from our professional reading collection.
Access to 1250+ eBooks and 500+ eAudiobooks is now also included at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

Please contact us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk for further details and charges for this package.
 
This Service Level Agreement is designed for schools that wish to borrow a small number of items not linked to pupil numbers.
Schools subsribing to this SLA still benefit from all the advantages of subscribing to SLS such as FREE delivery & collection, free requests and professional advice. 
Access to 1250+ eBooks and a range of eAudiobooks is included in this package if schools borrow a minimum of 100 items. 

Please contact us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk for further details and charges for this package.
 
From time to time schools without a Service Level Agreement may need a particular service and can contact SLS to discuss their needs.

All our services can be accessed on a Pay as you go basis, although it is always more cost effective to subscribe to a Service Level Agreement.

Please contact us on 01670 620072 or email us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk if you would like further information.


 
 
We offer a Service Level Agreement to nurseries and childminders which includes loans of high quality resources, free delivery and collection and professional advice.

Please contact us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk for further details and charges for this package.
SLS "fulfils promises, [provides] good communication, superb choice and quality of books, excellent value for money, and good, always friendly staff" - Middle School librarian

"The SLS service agreement gives staff / students "opportunities to try out new titles without having to buy them" - High School librarian

"I can't think of another service that gives such value for money and goes over and above what it says in the service agreement" - First School Head teacher


For full details of all Service Level Agreements or to discuss your individual requirements please contact us on 01670 620072 or email generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk
 
The delivery and collection service is available to all schools as part of their service agreement. This means that at the end of every term the SLS van will call at your school and collect that term's blue topic boxes, artefact boxes and art loan.

When do we collect and deliver?

The school will be contacted approximately 2 weeks before the end of term to let you know on which day the van will be in your area.  Reminders are also posted on social media.
Please contact us at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk if you need further infomation about delivery and collection dates.

If you don't require a collection, please let us know by emailing us at the address above. This will ensure our driver doesn't make unnecessary journeys.

Schools which have requested topic boxes or other items will have these automatically delivered to them within the first 7 days of the new term.

Where to leave resources?

Collections and deliveries are made to one central point at your school; usually the main reception area.
Please ensure that all resources to be picked up are at the collection point from 7.30am on the designated collection day. 


Forgot to put out your resources?

Please be aware that any blue topic boxes that are not returned on the collection service may incur a separate charge. Please contact SLS at generalsls@northumberland.gov.uk to make arrangements for return of resources if you have missed the van collection service.

 
 
Our aims are to help you:

  • Improve your school library
  • Improve the quality of your school's learning resources
  • Respond quickly to curriculum demands;
  • Foster the enjoyment of reading
  • Save time, money and effort
  • Keep in touch with local and national developments
  • To ensure we meet these aims we regularly monitor our performance through performance indicators, questionnaires and customer surveys

 

Our Customer Service Standards


We will:
  • Provide books requested by you within 20 working days
  • Add brand new resources to our shelves every month
  • Supply project collections within the first 7 working days of term provided that the resources order forms were completed and returned by the required date and that you have not exceeded your allocation
  • Offer a collection/delivery service to your school every term.
  • Respond promptly to requests for help and advice in school
  • Make access to our services available through the SLS website
  • Welcome any comments on our service and will act upon them
“The library service is an exemplary service which other council departments should aim to replicate. I have been coming to this library for over 4 years and have certainly been impressed by the quality of resources, librarian knowledge & superb customer service”.

"SLS is absolutely brilliant. People have been so helpful and good at keeping me right."

"I always recommend SLS to other schools and teachers. Look at what you get for the cost - it's fantastic!"

"Thank you so much for the books. The children particularly enjoyed the selection and it was lovely to have so many."

"Thank you for the prompt service in obtaining a book I needed urgently for research."

"Where would schools be without you..."

"Very satisfied with the service - and it's nice to see that you are always moving on and introducing new initiatives."
 
You can contact us via post, phone, email, or social media.

Schools Library Service
Cleaswell Hill Centre
Guide Post
Choppington
Northumberland
NE62 5DW
 
You can also find us on social media: