Whole-school loans — how they work

Services to Schools' whole-school lending model aims to help develop young people as readers and learners. This page gives a summary of how our whole-school lending service works.

We offer 2 types of whole-school loans to schools: inquiry and reading engagement loans.

Who can borrow from us gives the types of schools who can borrow from us.

Inquiry loans

An inquiry loan provides students with a wide range of fiction and non-fiction resources to inspire, enthuse and inform them throughout the inquiry process. These loans help educators create resource-rich environments for inquiry learning, and are intended to supplement your local resources.

Plan your inquiry loan has more about these loans.

Reading engagement loans

Reading engagement loans will include high-quality fiction and non-fiction to be used to engage students in reading for pleasure. They are intended to supplement your existing resources and help your school develop a strong reading culture. Reading engagement loans are separate from inquiry loans and are not designed to be used to continue inquiry topics.

Plan your reading engagement loan has more about these loans.

Whole-school loans encourage collaboration and resource-sharing

Whole-school loans encourage collaboration and resource sharing within schools — between teachers, school leaders and library staff. The school loan coordinator plays a key role in these loans, as they are your school's central point of contact for ordering and managing books and resources from the National Library.

Planning for the loans together ensures the loan coordinator can submit loan requests that support:

  • a collaborative approach to teaching and learning
  • the development of a school-wide reading culture
  • resource development and sharing within the school community, and
  • the role of the school library in the provision of resources and information.

The whole-school lending process

1. Register and then select your school loan coordinators

To access our lending service, your school needs to register with Services to Schools. Your principal also needs to appoint 1 or 2 school loan coordinators. These coordinators request loans from the National Library on behalf of all of the teachers within your school.

If your school is already registered, you don't need to re-register.

School loan coordinator role

2. Plan your loan requests across your school

Your school can have 2 inquiry and 2 reading engagement loans per year, with:

  • 1 loan request per term, alternating between inquiry and reading engagement loans
  • each loan issued for 2 terms.

You can also make 5 author/title requests with each loan.

Plan your inquiry loan

Plan your reading engagement loan

The number of resources your school can borrow is determined by the size of your school roll.

What and when you can borrow

3. Your school loan coordinator enters and submits your requests

The loan coordinator enters your school's request into the online loan request form. When all the loan details are entered, the coordinator submits the form.

How to request a loan — quick guide for loan coordinators

4. A Services to Schools librarian selects your books and resources

A Services to Schools librarian selects the best available books and resources to match the loan request submitted by your school.

5. The books and resources are couriered to your school

The books and resources are packaged and sent to your school using our national CourierPost door-to-door, track-and-trace delivery service. The National Library covers the cost of delivering the resources to you.

We aim to dispatch all loans within 20 working days from when we receive your request.

6. Your school manages the loan when it arrives

When your loan arrives, one of the boxes will contain a printout listing the items included in the loan. This list will also be emailed to your school. Use the list to help manage the items while they're at your school.

School loan case studies show how some schools are managing and using their loans

7. You return your loan at the end of the loan period

When the loan is due back (or earlier if you've finished with the resources), your school returns their whole-school loan back to Services to Schools using the CourierPost service.

Returning books and resources