Days at the SLA are nothing if not varied… Today I have sent letters to the Welsh Assembly supporting the petition for statutory school libraries and librarians in Wales, as well as sent a letter of protest to East Ayrshire Council over their plans to replace qualified librarians with library assistants on shorter hours. The research and advocacy that sits behind both of these letters is very similar but the interpretation of it for protest or support is interesting.
As an association, with specific charitable purposes to support school libraries and librarians we sit in a quite difficult position. We can advocate, advise, guide and support, plus train all those who work in school libraries and, by extension, schools. We can forcefully advocate to government, to headteachers and senior managers, and other influential people and we can make sure all our efforts go towards supporting all our members in whatever their circumstances – but we are not in a position to intervene in individual cases. An often frustrating situation to be in, but - keep an eye on our website – we are trying to make sure that whatever situation you find yourself in we will have some advice and help; hence our recent addition of the advice and guidance page on contractual changes and redundancy. Don’t hesitate to contact us – we may not be able to help directly but we often know someone who can….