School Library Journal


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: School Library Journal (SLJ)

ISSN: 0362-89301


Purpose, objective, or mission: Per their website, “School Library Journal is the premiere publication for librarians and information specialists who work with children and teens. A source of quality journalism and reviews for more than 60 years, SLJ produces award-winning features and news coverage on: literacy, best practices, technology, education policy and other issues of interest to the school library and greater educator community.”2

Target audience: Any librarians and information professionals working with children and teens, including librarians in K-12 schools as well as those in public libraries.3

Publisher: Media Source, Inc.4

Peer reviewed? No.5

Type: Professional.6

Medium: Print and online.7

Content: Claims to be one of the most authoritative reviewers of children’s and young adult materials. It mainly focuses on books, but also includes reviews on audio and video items. The journal also contains columns, news, and feature articles.8

Frequency of publication: Monthly.9

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: Items of interest to librarians and educators who work with children: feature articles, news articles, and specialty columns.10 Articles from the last few years include topics such as rural public libraries, fundraising, app reviews, bloggers, LGBTQ+ Pride, diversity, and tips for school librarians preparing for the first day of school.11

Submission and review process: Send brief article proposals to the appropriate editor before submitting any complete articles. Feature articles are generally less than 2,500 words, while opinion pieces are around 600-700 words. News articles can vary in length, depending on the topic.12

Editorial tone: Informative, but not academic.13

Style guide used: None indicated.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

This is a successful and popular publication that, while encouraging of submissions, may be difficult to break into as a writer. A thorough study of the publication with attention to the authors published in their pages will give a writer a better idea if this is a good match for them.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: School Library Journal has a circulation of 23,000 in the print edition with an estimated reach of 92,000 readers.14

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: There is no specific breakdown on the nationality of the readers available, but the history of the journal reveals that it is entirely geared toward schools in the United States and Canada.15 Most of the readers of this journal would be those who work with youth in libraries in the United States, so there should not be any problems with cultural references, LIS jargon, or terminology particular to education.16

Reader characteristics: Readers of this journal would be those who work with K-12 students, either in schools or public libraries. They have a shared interest in promoting literacy and welcome resources that inspire student achievement.17 Articles openly and positively discuss diversity and inclusivity in library services, with article topics ranging from combating systematic racism in schools to selecting LGBTQ+ books for pre-teen collections. More articles and reviews touching on these topics would be welcome.18

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers of this journal would not be limited to those with teaching credentials or MLS degrees. Some may be library media technicians who may not have an advanced degree, but would have enough education or professional training in order to understand the subject matter.19

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Readers of School Library Journal have a common interest in children’€™s literature and issues regarding school libraries. Many of the readers are library technicians, so some articles are geared toward encouraging collaboration with teachers and librarians. Authors should recognize that there is an education gap as well as a wage gap between the professionals and the paraprofessionals and should refrain from using an excess of technical terms in their articles. Readers of SLJ maintain a great interest in information literacy and how this can be integrated into the curriculum, as well as increasing the technology available to the students. Introducing ideas that are on the cutting edge of technology yet are not restricted by financial or time constraints would be a way of effectively reaching the intended audience.

Last updated: June 26, 2019.


Show 19 footnotes

  1. ProQuest, “School Library Journal,” Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed June 29, 2019.
  2. School Library Journal, “About Us,” accessed June 29, 2019,
  3. School Library Journal, “About Us.”
  4. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  5. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory
  6. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory
  7. School Library Journal, “School Library Journal content submission guidelines,” accessed June 29, 2019,
  8. School Library Journal, “About Us.”
  9. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  10. School Library Journal, “School Library Journal content submission guidelines.”
  11. School Library Journal, “News & Features,” accessed June 29, 2019.
  12. School Library Journal, “School Library Journal content submission guidelines.”
  13. School Library Journal, “School Library Journal content submission guidelines.”
  14. Library Journals, LLC., “Print,” accessed June 29, 2019,
  15. School Library Journal, “News & Features.”
  16. School Library Journal, “About Us.”
  17. School Library Journal, “About Us.”
  18. School Library Journal, “News & Articles.”
  19. School Library Journal, “About Us.”
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