Birmingham City Council

Libraries - Information for Teachers

Summer reading challenge - every year

Libraries keep children reading during the long summer break

The Summer Reading Challenge gives children a great chance to feel rewarded for reading, to discover new books and authors and to get into the habit of reading for pleasure. When they register, children receive a collection card. As they read books they can collect stickers to add to their card. There are also activities and story sessions in all Birmingham libraries during the summer break and other activities throughout the year.

Young Poet Laureate Birmingham

Book the Young Poet Laureate for your school

Birmingham is proud to have its very own Young Laureate. This year's Laureate is 14 year old Damani Dennisur. Did you know you can commission Damani to write a poem to read at special events using our online booking form? Find out more about Damani and how to book.
Our previous Young Poets Laureate, wrote many specially commissioned poems on topics such as bullying and racism which make useful resources to use in class.

Free use of Reference websites from home/school

Find up to date and accurate information from trusted and well-respected sources. Our subscription websites are paid for by Birmingham Libraries and can be used free from home or school just by keying in your library card number. Sites cover a range of subjects and include the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Grove Art Online, Times Digital Archive and the new Oxford Islamic Studies Online.

Library Services for Schools

Services to schools are provided by local libraries throughout Birmingham. You can arrange a class visit to your nearest library for a story or library skills session or have library staff visit your school. You may also want to encourage your students to visit the library in their own time to join in with a homework club, reading trail or teenage reading group.

Study guides and revision help for GCSE students

For students preparing for their GCSEs, Central Library has all the help they need including free internet use, access to past exam papers, revision guides and quiet space to study.

Reading Lists

When a book might help includes reading lists on themes of relevance to children and young people including bereavement, bullying, dyslexia and eating disorders. There are also lists of fiction and non-fiction featuring positive images of children with disabilities and caring responsibilities.
What can I read next? includes themed reading lists on varous topics put together to highlight events such as Refugee Week and Black History Month.

Homework Support

A wealth of information to help students with their homework can be found at: Some libraries round the city run regular Homework Support sessions with dedicated staff, books, internet access and other resources. Homework Collections in libraries include GCSE Study Guides and SATs books. Online help can be accessed through a list of weblinks by subject and a number of Hot Topic links on current issues such as the War Against Terrorism.

Harry Potter, Lola Rose, Artemis Fowl

Online Reservations

Students can reserve books through the online catalogue and collect them from a library of their choice. They will need their library ticket number and PIN. They can find out their PIN number by contacting their local library. They can choose to be notified when the reservation is ready for collection by sms (text message) or email.

If they are not already a member of Birmingham Libraries it is quick and simple to join the library.

Creative Learning with Archives

Birmingham City Archives employs a Creative Learning Officer (CLO) to help schools in Birmingham access archive material, using funding and support from Creative Partnerships. The CLO acts as a link between the City Archives, teachers, young people and other agencies to plan and coordinate creative heritage projects using archives and can help identify potential funding. Recent projects include A Shared History, A Shared Future which examined slavery past and present in response to the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade.

Stories from the Web

Stories from the Web encourages children to enjoy books and reading and the website is accessed by children from all over the world. Your students could send in their own writing for the gallery or join a club.

Resources about the Holocaust

Poetry, books and web links

Birmingham Libraries has a wide variety of resources to support work about the Holocaust. Many of our Young Poets Laureate have written powerful commemorative poems which are freely available on the Young Laureate website. Our Holocaust Memorial Day booklist for young people includes picture books for older readers, diaries and biographical accounts, non-fiction and fiction for children and teenagers. Our useful websites page has links to lots more information on the subject.

Young Readers Schools Programme

Young Readers Birmingham is a book festival for children and young people which takes place in May/June each year. The Schools Programme usually includes over 50 events from Foundation to KS3 featuring novelists, poets, storytellers, performers and a teenage debate.