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School libraries

(16 Posts)
ebsln Sat 10-Jul-10 18:44:36

I should be interested to know how important you think school libraries are to children's education, and whether they should be run by qualified librarians. I'll be honest and say that I am a school librarian (as well as the mother of 3 daughters).

BarkisIsWilling Sat 10-Jul-10 18:56:49

Strongly for. But I'd say that, seeing as how most of my school life was spent in the library.

Qualified librarians, definitely. They have background knowledge that is invaluable, and should not be taken for granted.

Using my local library, I can often tell the difference, although the highly experienced, unqualified ones can "pass" sometimes.

nlondondad Sat 10-Jul-10 20:14:30

The library matters a lot.

One of the things that attracted us about our sons school was the Library.

Quality Sat 10-Jul-10 20:37:12

Hugely important, and if not a qualified librarian all the time then at least someone who likes children and is enthusiastic about reading is a must...

violetqueen Sat 10-Jul-10 22:34:02

My DC's school is loosing it's library .
Oh ,sorry ,not loosing - just " merging " with the public one .
Public one will be in school ,freeing up valuable real estate .

MmeRedWhiteandBlueberry Sun 11-Jul-10 08:28:20

Our school librarian (qualified) is invaluable in our school. She really drums up enthusiasm for reading and her passion is infectious.

roisin Sun 11-Jul-10 18:27:11

Some of the [qualified] librarians I know are very academic, more focused on the research side of things and great in HE.

In secondary I think it is more important to have a genuine love of teenagers and a real passion for books and literature. Surprisingly - IMO - not all school librarians have the latter, let alone the former!

MinaTannenbaum Sun 11-Jul-10 20:47:41

I am a librarian too and I think a good school library is vital.
Not surprisingly I think they should be managed by a qualified librarian who should have at least a p/t assistant so the librarian can plan study skills sessions/run reading groups etc
ebsln, I think the writing is on the wall for our profession now. We are going to be decimated in the public sector cutbacks.

readalot Sun 11-Jul-10 21:10:03

I am a librarian too and worked at the school both my sons attended. They left, I moved on (a coincidence) but I do have to say I made sure our library was a brilliant one. I argued for more money for the budget, and I got it - I showed evidence of how I could entice children into the library by clubs, games and much more. We had a wonderful library packed with good stock - it was remarked on always by parents, the governors and SMT. I was proud of what I did and happy to have brought the love of reading into so many lives of our pupils. I am now in a new school and doing the same all over again - I agree schools need qualified staff and staff with a passion for reading. They should also be up-to-date with all the latest reads and technology - they are the key to children's futures in reading. As my Headteacher says "every school needs a library, and every library needs a qualified librarian".
He is so right - spot on Headmaster!

Guerillagran Sun 11-Jul-10 21:14:27

I am a school librarian, and I know how vital school libraries are. Yet in these hard times, many heads are choosing to save money by closing their libraries. Several of my friends have lost their jobs and school libraries in the last few weeks. It would be fantastic if you could get behind us by making a comment and a fuss if you visit a school without a library. Did you know that in the UK libraries are statutory in prisons but not in schools? They are statutory in prisons to address the low levels of illiteracy in the prison population; ironic considering that illiteracy could have been addressed in schools with professional librarians!

Lilymaid Sun 11-Jul-10 21:25:12

I'm also a librarian (business/professional sector which has already been decimated) and regret that school libraries are likely to be very badly hit in the cuts. In my county one plan is to only man 4 public libraries with paid (let alone professional) staff and let the rest be organised by volunteers. I can't imagine that the county's school libraries will come off any better.

violetqueen Sun 11-Jul-10 22:57:43

This is shocking reading .
Have to say that the school librarian ( now gone ) was the only person at the school who managed to entice my DS to join a club.
She had a big impact on him .

ebsln Wed 31-Oct-12 21:29:39

School libraries, or the lack of them, is an issue that won't go away. Many people assume that all schools have to have a library, but this is not the case and there are now schools up and down the country that have none, or which do not have any qualified librarian. Obviously most primaries can't afford a full-time librarian, but they could share, as happens in Tower Hamlets. And surely all secondary schools should have a properly run library. But no. There was a lobby of Parliament on Monday, asking for recognition of the library's contribution in the OFSTED framework. There is to an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons asking the House to recognise their role. Wouldn't it be great if people could ask their MPs to sign?

coppertop Wed 31-Oct-12 21:43:44

I think school libraries are very important and should be run by people who know what they're doing.

My ds' secondary school library is where he discovered a love of reading fiction. He reads as much as he possibly can, and this in turn has had a positive effect on his school work. The school librarians have always been a great help to him and I'd hate to lose them.

bruffin Wed 31-Oct-12 22:12:52

Dcs school librarian is probably one of the most well known member of staff. She is involved in far more than just the library.
School raises a lot for charity and she usually leads the work. Also involved in school shows and competitions as well as setting up young chamber of commerce.
My Dd goes to school early to spend time in the library with her friends.
There is also a prize for yr 7 at prize giving for the best use kg the library.

BeingFluffy Wed 31-Oct-12 23:07:47

Despite this being a zombie thread (2010), I feel it is a crucial issue. Firstly it is important that qualified librarians are employed to run school libraries. A lot of people seem to be under the delusion that anyone who works in a library is a librarian. The reality is that qualified librarians are experts in information management. I do admit to some personal interest here. DH is a librarian and did his dissertation on inclusion in public libraries.

As a parent I think it is important that children are encouraged to read above and beyond their subjects. Obviously a library has access to books, periodicals and other materials that are not available at home or sadly in public libraries. I think they should be inspirational places. My elder daughter loved Tintin and was able to read the books in French and Latin for example.

I was horrified that the head of my younger daughter's school said they were looking at "replacing" the Dewey system. I previously worked in an academic library and had to train many students who were unable to find the books on the shelf! Being able to research and find material is a life skill.

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