About us

ASCEL is the national network for senior leaders in Children’s, Public and Schools Library Services.

Created by and for Members, we provide training, peer support, best practice, resources and networking initiatives that enable our Members to give children and young people a dynamic, exciting and innovative library experience and amplify their voices.

What we do:

  • Inspire library services that are vibrant and dynamic for children and young people.
  • Connect senior leaders for peer-to-peer support, best practice and knowledge sharing.
  • Support the professional development of our Members, responding to their needs and those of their communities to develop and improve library services.
  • Co-create programmes with our Members and young people to ensure that their voices and needs are heard, valued and reflected.
  • Champion the importance of public libraries and school library services, advocating for their vital role in society and contribution to supporting the lives of children and young people.
  • Amplify the voice of young people, and for their needs to be at the heart of library services, through our youth engagement network and Children’s and Young People’s Promise.
  • Committed to developing inclusive and equitable practices so that every person feels welcome, seen, heard, included and valued through our work and library services.
  • Partner with key strategic organisations to create impact and change, learning together to provide considered, effective solutions to the challenges faced by library services.
  • Promote career pathways and for the value of specialist skills of librarians to be recognised and rewarded.

ASCEL is a charity that receives funding from Arts Council England as an Investment Principles Support Organisation (IPSO). We are a membership organisation that supports public library services and school library services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We have 166 individual members from 140 library services and 9 active regional committees which support place-based partnership working across the country.

Our Vision

Our vision is that the imagination and aspirations of all children and young people can soar through exciting, vibrant and dynamic library services which promote inclusion and diversity, where their voices are heard, valued and reflected.

Our Mission

At ASCEL we inspire all children and young people to reach their full potential by championing excellence, diversity and equality in libraries.


Business Plan 2023 - 2026