Plan your reading engagement loan

What's a reading engagement loan?

The purpose of reading engagement loans are to encourage students to read for pleasure so they can experience:

  • the immediate magic and joy of reading, and
  • the long-term learning and life benefits it can bring.

The loans consist of high-quality fiction and non-fiction reading resources. They are intended to supplement your existing resources and help your school develop a strong reading culture.

When your school requests these loans, our Services to Schools librarians select a rich variety of formats and genres to engage your students based on the reading engagement focuses you ask for in your online loan request.

Planning your reading engagement loan with staff helps ensure you get a loan that best supports and encourages your students to read for pleasure.

Reading engagement loans are not for inquiry

Inquiry loans are separate to reading engagement loans. Therefore requests for books related to inquiry in your school should only be included in your inquiry loan and not in your reading engagement loan.

You can also request individual items

Your school can also order up to 5 specific items (author/titles) as part of your whole-school reading engagement loan.

Secondary school author/title loans

Number of resources and reading engagement focuses for your loan

The number of books and resources your school can receive in each reading engagement loan depends on the size of your school roll. You can spread these items across up to 4 reading engagement focus areas. A 'reading engagement focus' states the purpose for a group of resources (e.g. 'read alouds for ESOL students').

For example, a school with a roll size of between 450-549 students is entitled to a reading engagement allocation per loan of up to 200 items, across 4 reading engagement focus areas.

What and when you can borrow gives the allocation for your school's roll size.

Note that you don't have to request all of your school's allocation for a loan. You can choose to receive all (100%) or just part (e.g. 50%) of your allocation.

Work with teachers to build your reading engagement loan request

Ensure staff at your school understand the purpose of reading engagement loans — that they provide resources to specifically support reading for pleasure.

The school loan coordinator coordinates the request for the whole school. They will collect all the information needed to complete the online request form. For each reading engagement focus requested as part of your loan, you'll need to provide:

  • the reading engagement focus
  • the reading age and year-level ranges for this focus
  • what percentage of your loan you'd like for this focus.

Requesting all or part of your school's allocation

The following examples show how you can order different allocations.

Ordering your full reading engagement allocation

A school who wants to receive their full entitlement of 200 books (100%) may order like this:

Reading age Reading engagement focus Year levels % allocation
5–8 Books to build reading for pleasure Y1–2 25%
7–9 Transition from picture books to junior fiction Y3–4 25%
8–12 Good read alouds for ESOL students

Y5–6

25%

12–15

A variety of genre to ignite learners' interest in diverse reading opportunities

Y7–8

25%

Ordering half (50%) of your reading engagement allocation

If a school is allocated 200 books (100%) but only wishes to receive 100 books (50% of their allocation), they can do this in a variety of ways. For example, they may:

  • choose just 1 reading engagement focus for their 100 books
  • divide their 50% (100-book) allocation between 1–4 reading focus areas.

The following table shows a loan request where the school has divided their 50% allocation between 2 focus areas.

Reading age Reading engagement focus Year levels % allocation
5–8 Books to strengthen reading for pleasure Y1–3 25%
8–12 Extension for sophisticated picture book readers Y4–6 25%

Tips for getting a great reading engagement loan

In the online form, you build your loan by adding (up to 4) separate reading engagement requests, 1 for each focus area. 

Word your reading engagement focus areas carefully so our librarians can prepare a loan that meets your school's needs for each of your focus areas. Consider why you want these resources and what you want to do with them. 

  • Your school may want to have support for a particular student group as a focus. For example, books to support:
    • ESOL students
    • students transitioning from picture books to early chapter books
    • developing rich vocabulary for junior readers
    • a range of formats to excite and engage active children.
  • Only specifying a format or genre is not a reading engagement focus. As a national service, we're unable to meet specific requests for large numbers of formats or genres (e.g. graphic novels, sophisticated picture books or dystopian fiction).

Examples of good reading engagement focuses

Example 1 

Reading age Reading engagement focus Year levels % allocation
5–8 Books to encourage reading for pleasure Y1–2 25%
7–9 Transition from picture books to junior fiction Y3–4 25%
8–12 Good read alouds for ESOL students Y5–6 25%
12–15  A variety of genre to ignite learners' interest in diverse reading opportunities Y7–8 25%

Example 2 

Reading age Reading engagement focus Year levels % allocation
5–8 Books to strengthen reading for pleasure Y1–3 50%
8–12 Extension for sophisticated picture book readers Y4–6 50%

Why both examples will give a great loan

  • Each reading engagement focus gives a clear purpose. They show why the school needs the resources and what it wants to achieve with them.
  • The focus areas don't overly specify a particular format or genre. Instead, they enable the Services to Schools librarians to use their knowledge and skills to create a loan from resources available on our shelves. The loan will include a rich and varied selection of formats and genre to engage students.

Example showing how NOT to complete a loan request

Reading age Reading engagement focus Year levels % allocation
5–8 Books on transformers, Lego, and racing cars Y1–2 25%
7–9 Books to support an inquiry unit on volcanoes Y3–4 25%
8–12 Graphic novels Y5–6 50%
  • The first reading engagement focus (books on transformers, Lego and racing cars) would be better worded as 'a range of high-interest resources to engage our junior readers'.
  • The second focus is asking for resources to support an inquiry area of study. The intention of the reading engagement loan is to grow students’ love and pleasure of reading, rather than to extend an inquiry topic.
  • The third reading engagement focus is asking for a particular format — graphic novels. The Schools Lending Collection is unable to supply sufficient resources for format requests across a national service. Rewording this focus e.g. to: 'books to engage reluctant readers', would enable our librarians to compile a varied loan rich in formats and genre to engage students.

Request a reading engagement loan

Your school can request 2 reading engagement whole-school loans per year and keep each loan for 2 terms.

What and when you can borrow explains what your school can borrow and when you need to order or return your reading engagement loans.

Request a loan — quick guide for school loan coordinators explains how to use our online form to request a reading engagement loan.

Find out more