Tuesday, October 02, 2007

School Libraries in Crisis

If anyone has doubts about the level of commitment made to Libraries by successive governments they need look no further than the current Bookstart survey that found School Libraries under-funded, poorly staffed, and poorly supported by teaching staff.
"In primary schools lack of dedicated and trained librarians means that libraries are often closed, while in secondary school, where nearly six out of 10 schools have a trained librarian, the spending on books is so low that pupils are often put off."

Part of the problem goes back to the privatisation of the Thatcher and Major government's when Public Library support for School Libraries was effectively dismantled in many areas, but New Labour have had ten years to do something to correct the problem but have only exacerbated the problem. The decline in public libraries will not be reversed until schools encourage children to use both school and public libraries. If a school failed to provide computers for use they would be castigated, yet local authorities and central government have both failed to support school libraries - oblivious of the damage they are causing to children's education. Details are not yet published on the Bookstart website but here is the article in today's Guardian:

The research was carried out by the Book Trust and is available on their website: