About us

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

We were founded by library staff to provide the specialist skills, partnerships and programmes needed to deliver excellent services for children and young people in public and school library services. We provide training, peer support, best practice and initiatives that develop and improve services. We have 166 individual members from 140 library services. We have 9 active regional committees which support place based partnership working across the country.

We were successful in gaining funding from Arts Council England to become an Investment Principles Support Organisation from 2023 to 2026. This means we will have £200,000 per year core funding for this time to develop our support services for libraries and embed quality children’s and young people’s engagement across the library sector.

Cocreation with children and young people is central to our organisational development plan. We have always championed the needs and aspirations of CYP, but our new vision and mission place the voice of the child and young person at the heart of our organisation’s aims and objectives.

Partnerships underpin our ability to create impact and change as a small organisation. We have formal partnership agreements with a wide range of organisations, including Libraries Connected, The Reading Agency, the National Literacy Trust, BookTrust, the LGA and the Autism charity Dimensions. We are also part of the CYP Mental Health Coalition.


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