Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - It May Be Libraries' Final Chapter: Opinion

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

What Keeps Me Awake at Night - It May Be Libraries' Final Chapter: Opinion

Article excerpt

I was saddened recently when one of my teaching assistants told me she was being made redundant from her part-time job at the local library. It is a shame for her, of course, but also for the school to be losing this link to our library.

Promoting a love of reading is one of the most important things a teacher can do. What infuriates me are the barriers to developing that love: the threat of library closures and an apparent obsession with the teaching of phonics as the sole strategy to give our children reading skills.

The local library is the most fantastic resource for enabling children to immerse themselves in books of all kinds. We are all guilty of ignoring this resource - parents who never get round to taking their children and schools that don't encourage regular visits by local librarians. Schools library services, where they survive, can also be woefully neglected - loans, library audits, suggested reading lists, projects and awards are all ready to be used but too often aren't.

My school recently held an assembly at which the schools library service, ably supported by some enthusiastic Year 6 readers, promoted the annual Summer Reading Challenge, which is organised by national charity, The Reading Agency. …

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