The LAI School Libraries Group evolved from what was the School Library Association in the Republic of Ireland (SLARI). SLARI was set up in 1995 as a branch of the UK based School Library Association. It was ratified as a national branch of SLA in 2001. SLARI was officially dissolved in June 2021. The outgoing committee applied to become an official group within the Library Association of Ireland, and in September 2021, they were approved. This was when the LAI School Libraries Group was formed.
In 2004, SLARI produced the policy statement “The School Library in the 21st Century: an Agenda for Change”. We called for:
- The establishment of a comprehensive system of school libraries throughout Ireland;
- Ongoing public funding to support a high standard of school library provision;
- Access to the services of a professionally qualified librarian for all primary and post-primary schools.
We are still fighting for these goals in 2021.
We believe that every school in Ireland should be provided with resources for a school library run by
a qualified librarian, where each school child will have guided access to a wide and diverse range of
material for pleasure reading, research, learning and literacy.