Create Your School Library Writing Center
Grades 7–12
by Timothy Horan
October 2016, 185pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-3578-0
$55, £43, 48€, A76
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3579-7
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In order for students to be college- and career-ready, they must be able to write well. This book addresses this critical need by showing school librarians exactly how to create and maintain their own school library writing centers.

Colleges typically have writing centers to which students can bring their writing assignments to a peer tutor for assistance, but most high schools and middle schools do not. This book advocates for the creation of writing centers in 7–12 schools and explains why the school library is the best place for the writing center.

There is a glaring absence of writing centers in today’s K–12 schools. More and more students are being asked in college entrance testing to submit samples of their writing, and employers are expecting their workers to write correctly and clearly. This book addresses the critical lack of writing centers below the undergraduate level. It demonstrates how middle school and high school librarians can create writing centers in their school libraries, explains how to assist students through a one-on-one writing tutorial method, and gives students and teachers the tools for learning and understanding the complex art of writing.

Author Timothy Horan—inventor of the School Library Writing Center—establishes why school libraries represent the best—and most logical—places to create writing centers, and why school librarians are the natural choice to direct writing center operations. He then takes readers through the process of creating a writing center from original conception up through opening day. Additional topics covered include how to publicize and “grow” your School Library Writing Center; maintaining your writing center for efficient operation on a daily basis as well as for years to come; how to become an effective writing center director and writing tutor; the most current technology that can be used to assist in the writing, composition, and research process; and working with English language learner (ELL) students within your writing center.


  • Provides practical, step-by-step instructions for creating and maintaining a School Library Writing Center
  • Presents extremely pragmatic and useful information written in an engaging, enjoyable, and understandable style
  • Clearly describes the role of the school librarian as director and head tutor of the writing center, highlights the school librarian's role as a multifaceted educator, and showcases the library as a unique and important learning space
  • Includes a valuable writer's guide that will help educators understand and teach writing as well as aid students in completing their writing assignments
Timothy Horan, MA, MSLIS, MSEd, DA, is the library media specialist and director of the Writing Center at Hauppauge High School in New York. He is also a former teacher of high school English. He holds five degrees and an advanced certificate in creative writing. While earning his doctorate in English at St. John's University, he helped establish the university writing center and became the center's first assistant director. Horan is the inventor of the School Library Writing Center, and was the 2013 School Librarian of the Year in Suffolk County, New York.


"VERDICT For high school librarians with the resources to set up a writing center, this is a useful addition. It may also be helpful for language arts teachers seeking to fine-tune ideas and schemas for peer tutoring."—School Library Journal, March 1, 2017

"Virginia Woolf famously said that all writers need a 'room of one's own.' But young writers need more than that. They need a safe, collaborative space where they can develop ideas and get feedback and guidance. Timothy Horan's book provides a blueprint—and inspiring success stories—on how educators can turn the library into just such an encouraging, yet rigorous, environment. Writing, as a solitary experience, can be scary. Tim Horan shows you how to transform it into an engaging, enjoyable, and satisfying collaborative experience."—Patricia McCormick, author of Sold, Cut, I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, and other novels

"School librarians: Take note. This is a helpful and inspiring guide."—Susan Isaacs, Author
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