If you have kids or grandkids in school in the UK, then I’m afraid I’ve got some news that should terrify you.
Haringey council are ‘deleting’ all school librarians.
All of them. Across the borough.
Just let that sink in for a moment.
The thing about all librarians, but especially school librarians, is that they have a profound effect on the lives of children. This is not new news, just try googling ‘effectiveness of school librarians’ and you will be greeted by a raft of data studies about their efficacy. For example, here is a report made by the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen called ‘Impact of School Libraries on Learning’. Please read it by all means but if you’re just too busy then let me pull out a couple of the key points.
Firstly, on school libraries the study found that there is a considerable body of international evidence showing that school libraries impact on “higher test or exam scores equating to academic attainment”, “successful curriculum or learning outcomes” and “positive attitudes towards learning”.
And what are “the key elements of the library that contribute to the impact on learning”? Well, “a qualified, full-time librarian, who is proactive and has managerial status” and “the availability of support staff to undertake routine tasks enabling the librarian to initiate instructional, collaborative and promotional activities as well as professional duties to support collection development.”
This information is not new, there have been studies across the world done for years and they all show the same thing. Schools that have libraries, staffed with a librarian, regularly out-perform schools that don’t.
But you have the power to change this. Help is at hand in the form of the Save Hari campaign. If you live in Haringey, then sign up and petition your MP. And, if you don’t live in Haringey, then write to your MP and voice your concerns. Remember, this could already be happening in your borough and it won’t stop unless you act NOW!