This visit was an extremely valuable learning experience. The 3 participants met with the staff in the schools reviewed as well as with a Teacher-Librarian from Tianjin, China. They were also taken on a tour of a library at Thammasat University. The generous and free exchange of ideas was both invigorating and educational.

Although the schools visited represented a wide range of curriculum, sizes, financial situations, management styles and length of establishment it was obvious that the librarian’s unique position in schools transcended all of these differences.

Some areas of note were:
· A single building, when large enough and thoughtfully designed is an economical use of space, staff and resources.
· Library workrooms and Librarians offices work well when they are a visible and accessible part of the library.
· Careful consideration should be given to lighting.
· The position of the circulation desk is critical to smooth traffic flow and security in the library.
· Display and signage are important factors in making the library an inviting space.

Library programs:
· Librarians found that a few lessons for each class close together; working with the classroom teacher, allowed them to impart more useful, transferable knowledge and support the curriculum effectively. Flexible timetabling enabled this.
· None of the libraries visited had student librarian programs. Librarians felt that this was an additional workload that they were not able to devote enough time to. Librarians also felt that children lost interest in the program quite quickly. The good level of support staff in the libraries mains that the jobs that can be offered to students are limited.
· The libraries did not offer clubs of any sort as part of their program. The libraries were simply open during the times that students were in school. Most libraries welcomed students and parents to use the library after school.

· A generous and flexible loans policy is good for public relations.
· Teacher /student input in collection development and timely processing of resources is essential.
· Using Titlewave and Amazon are efficient ways of collection development.
· Online databases are an important part of a modern library.
· Traditional ideas for resourcing the collection should be continually reviewed to ensure that we are keeping pace with change.
· Attractive, well-stocked shelves are important first impressions.

Library management system and online presence:
· The transition to a new library management system often poses unexpected problems. It is essential to allow time and knowledgeable manpower to deal with these problems.
· Sufficient licenses for the library management system are essential.
· Online presence for the library is crucial. It should be easily available to all members of the school community. Library staff must be allocated the time and resources to develop this area.
· Copyright issues are serious considerations for libraries considering digital formats.

Supporting library staff:
· All the schools visited expected their professional staff to take charge of their own professional development by attending a major conference each year. Sufficient funds were readily available for this.
· Librarians were able to order resources, shelving signage etc for their own libraries with minimal input from management.
· Support staff were expected to be capable of carrying out their jobs with minimal supervision.
· Most schools provided assistance for PD for support staff.
· Teacher Librarians did not have fixed teaching loads, but worked with staff to develop and deliver lessons.
· All professional library staff were afforded the same holidays as teaching staff.

Barbara Philip