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Expenses only author visit offer - Joffre White

Author Joffre White gives his opinion on the importance of libraries and librarians:

'I can rant on and on about the importance of libraries, particularly of school libraries.I can shout about how it is a disgrace that it is not a legal requirement for EVERY school to have an up to date library, well stocked and managed by a  librarian whose role is to motivate, inspire and guide our young people into finding and reading books, comics and magazines that give them pleasure, and knowledge, and fills their lives with wonder and possibilities.

 I can continue to sign petitions and voice my disapproval at the inept politicians and county councils, and the blinkered governors and short-sighted principals and leadership teams in some of our schools who decide that a properly run school library is not worth adequate funding. 

 I can do this and more, adding my voice to the other authors, illustrators, poets, librarians, parents and young people who show their concern and dismay at the erosion of what should be the beating heart of every school. A well run and well used library should be an essential requirement - NOT AN OPTION!

But, I’ve found that the thing that gives me the most hope is when I visit a school and meet a librarian who hasn’t had the enthusiasm and creativity knocked out of them, when I walk into a school library and the displays, the inventiveness, and the buzz of the pupils says to me – ‘This is OUR library and it’s here to stay!’ 

When I can hear and see the power of that librarian reflected in the pupils and students, that’s when I know that there’s hope. That’s why I love visiting schools and having the opportunity to promote the importance of school libraries, of reading for pleasure and for knowledge. To get young people excited about finding their book, maybe the first book that they’ve ever picked up, a book that could change their lives. 

I am privileged to be an Author and a Patron of Reading – I think that all schools should have a partnership with an author, an illustrator, a poet, a story teller, together we can fight the system from within and inspire and excite more and more young people to become passionate about reading and to appreciate the value of their library and their librarian. Then, whenever this resource is threatened, there will be more and more voices to oppose any ridiculous notion that libraries and librarians are an ill afforded luxury.

As a professional author, I have visited hundreds of schools and colleges across the UK, and what angers me the most is the disparity, the lack of consistency and quality given to the value of a school library – every parent, every carer should expect the same high standard of library resource WHEREVER they place their child or children in a school.

‘But what about funding?’ I hear some people say. I appreciate that school budgets are squeezed along with many other institutions, but in this instance, it comes down to imbalanced, personal priorities. Why is it that I can visit a school with a valued, vibrant, well used and well stocked library with a dedicated librarian at the helm, and ten miles away, visit a similar school that has no librarian, and an unloved room filled with outdated and neglected book stock? 

If Head Teachers, Principals, Leadership teams, those that manage the purse strings, do not show that a library and all that it can contain and stand for is of no importance, what message does that send out to the pupils, the students, the next generation? Time after time, research in numerous countries world-wide continues to show that the educational, economic, aspirational, health and wellbeing benefits are improved in young people who are encouraged and supported through their school libraries to read regularly for pleasure or for knowledge.

Literacy is the cornerstone to education, to all subjects, and all subjects align to the school library – the heart of the school, and every school should have one. A proper one. With a trained librarian – no excuses!'

 Joffre is offering a limited number of expenses only author visits to schools between January - April 2018 (excluding World Book Day week). His sessions are designed to inspire and excite young people in the power of words and how reading a book can change their lives and empower them to chase their dreams. If you are interested in taking Joffre up on his kind offer please email him  joffrewhite@joffrewhite.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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