top of page

Inquiry learning - GSL's, FOSIL and IFLA - What does this mean?

Updated: May 1, 2020

Yesterday I was delighted to announce that I will be heading one of the two secondary aims of the second phase of the GSL's (Great School Libraries) campaign. The blog outlining what is planned can be found here. This aim is called Approach to Learning through Inquiry and is something that is really close to my heart. To have the opportunity to share with school librarians the journey I have been on since 2013 is amazing.

I have written on numerous occasions about the wider role of the school librarian as an information professional and how the role is more than 'reading for pleasure'. We need to ensure that when schools decide that AR (Accelerated Reader), or whatever other literacy schemes the school librarian is involved with, is no longer affordable, that their schools understand that the value of the school librarian is more than this. I also need to say that the school librarians role in reading for pleasure is not an unimportant one but my passion is for our expertise in inquiry and I hope you will join my journey.

The link with FOSIL (Framework Of Skills for Inquiry Learning) is an important one. As I talk about in my GSL's blog there are other frameworks out there, however it is impossible for us to support school librarians using them all. An overview and a brief history of FOSIL, along with some other models, may be found on CILIP ILG's (Information Literacy Group) Models & frameworks page.

Focusing on one framework will allow us to ensure that we can create a true support network for our current and future school librarians. The Fosil Group has already started this network of support so it will be great to encourage others to join this.

I have also created a new webpage to try and help explain more about FOSIL which can be found here. I intend to add more as time allows so please remember to go back and look again, occasionally. I realise that some of you will now be thinking, how on earth do I do any of this. I also provide training on using FOSIL within the curriculum so if you want to know more please follow this link. I also run a course for the SLA which may be worth looking out for too. Don't forget that we are all learning together and no-one is going to get it right all of the time. I will be sharing and learning from my failures over the next 18 months and I hope you will too.

Embracing the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) school library guidelines is also an important step forward on our journey to unite and support school librarians. With over 50 years of research into school libraries, it is important that we acknowledge that our school libraries in the UK will benefit from this international link and understand that there is no need to do this on our own.

Over the next few months of the campaign, I will be busy talking to anyone who will listen about this area of school librarianship. I will be especially be looking at ways we can support learning and advocacy but I will need your support too. This is not a one-person job and your ideas and support will be very welcome! This also includes any Library Insights blog or case study you might want to write demonstrating work you are already doing within this field of school librarianship. If you want to know more please email

I look forward to sharing this fascinating journey with you all.

162 views0 comments


bottom of page