Magazine article School Librarian

Editorial

Magazine article School Librarian

Editorial

Article excerpt

Becoming a school librarian was not part of any career plan so the move to working in a school library was not a calculated decision. I'm not sure when I joined the SLA but I became a member of CILIP in January 1997, the same time I started my distance-learning LIS degree. And it feels as if I've been advocating and fighting for school libraries ever since. During those early days it was assumed that a school would have a library and librarian, if not full-time then at least during term-time. Over the years, more and more schools have made their librarians redundant or not replaced them when they left. Full-time staff have been exchanged for part-time staff or volunteers. Libraries have been closed and the space used for something else.

In 2012 a group of librarians, authors and other supporters marched on parliament to argue for the right of every child to have access to a school library. This Mass Lobby resulted in the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Libraries report The Beating Heart of the School which had several recommendations, none of which were followed through, and since then there have been more cuts, closures and redundancies.

This brings us to 2018 and the Great School Libraries campaign. Whilst you might be forgiven for thinking 'not more advocacy and promotion, what difference is this going to make?' I do wonder if things are beginning to change. Are people more aware of the need for school libraries in an environment of fake news and falling literacy levels? …

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