Many of you might have spotted an article in Guardian/Observer featuring Philip Pullman’s appeal to a comprehensive in Chesterfield to keep its library open. Meadows Community School is ditching their library (and librarian) in favour of a ‘virtual learning environment’ and a reading room (without librarian).
Author Alan Gibbons has been motivating a campaign about similar issues – you can follow progress over on his blog. He’s even managed to weave in Obamania with these quotes
Guardians of truth and knowledge, librarians must be thanked for their role as champions of privacy, literacy, independent thinking, and most of all reading.
The critical importance of language, of writing, of reading, of communication, of books as a means of transmitting culture and binding us together as a people.
The library represents a window to a larger world, the place where we’ve always come to discover big ideas and profound concepts.
In an Irish context the evidence overwhelmingly points to the success of school libraries. The snappily titled Junior Certificate Support Programme Demonstration Library Project continues to show what can be achieved when a properly resourced and dedicated space is contributed to the school environment. The Room for Reading Report on the project is long but a terrific source of evidence of the importance of school libraries in Ireland. As one young reader said
It’s brilliant, you can learn more and learn about things you know nothing about and it helps with project work. It’s easier to learn and its very relaxing.”