The evolving role of the school library and information centre in education in digital Europe

The purpose of the research is to study the evolving role of the school library and information centre (SLIC) in primary and secondary education in digital Europe, not only in countries where schools have reached an advanced stage of usage of digital technology in education, but also in less advanced schools. This international research provides a bridge between two different disciplines – Comparative Education (Sociology) and Library and Information Science (LIS) – and attempts to provide information to both the educational and library communities throughout Europe regarding the role which SLICs play in the emerging educational global landscape and to determine whether or not these traditional, digital or virtual SLICs, and the work of the school librarian and information specialist, influence the quality of education and improve children’s learning outcomes at different levels.

First of all, the study examines a sub-matrix known as the KILM (Kalsbeek Information Literacy Matrix), which was developed as part of an educational matrix between 1997 and 2008 at the Kalsbeek College in Woerden, the Netherlands. The educational matrix attempts to introduce and implement educational reforms, ICT (information and communication technologies) usage, educational technology and new forms of learning throughout the school in an orderly fashion while maintaining a high level of educational quality. This sub-matrix (KILM) identifies the role of the SLIC during the application of the educational matrix.

The study then looks at success criteria which became apparent during the application of the sub-matrix and asks whether it would be possible to apply similar strategies to other school libraries and information centres, firstly at Dutch national level and then in school libraries throughout Europe. The staffing, facilities and conditions varied greatly in school libraries and information centres that were studied; however, thanks to the willingness of teachers, school librarians and (school) library associations to share information and data, it has become possible to identify common problems and to present some solutions.


Dr Helen Boelens

Dr Helen Boelens, founding mother and board member of ENSIL was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the Middlesex University School of Arts and Education on 17 December 2010.
The full version of her thesis is available from



The poster is a gift from Dr Helen Boelens to all those people who helped her with her doctoral research by providing data and information. The poster comes in different sizes: A4 and A3. It can be used either digitally, or can be printed off at a local print shop. The poster is designed by Toon Joosen from TOON concept, art direction and design in Breda, the Netherlands.
The poster is available from