School librarians – at risk
Posted by Lisa Hill on May 13, 2009
My school community is lucky that my principal understands the link between literacy and libraries. There’s mountains of research which shows how crucial it is, and anyone who’s taken more than a cursory look at what passes for a library lesson in those primary schools where the class teacher takes the children to borrow and a library technician processes the books, knows that it’s not fair to anyone to do that.
The kids miss out because the class teacher has so much else to do that she can’t possibly know the bookstock, purchase quality texts, help the kids find the right book or have time to prepare a really good lesson week after week. Even those of us who really love books and reading (and not all teachers do) would find it difficult. I’ve been in my library for nearly five years now, and I read 4-5 children’s novels a month but I still haven’t read some of the novels that I need to, in order to help those kids who are struggling to borrow something they’ll enjoy.
Schools make hard choices because they have to. If we were really serious about an education revolution, we’d restore funding for teacher librarians, and schools wouldn’t be able to spend it on anything else!
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