The Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL), the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the School Library Association (SLA) want everyone to start SHOUTING ABOUT School Libraries and Schools Library Services.
While recent media focus has been on the closure of public libraries, ASCEL, CILIP and the SLA are asking people to lend their voices to a major new campaign to lead the fight to ensure children and young people across the country have access to proper library resources whether on-site, as part of a cluster of schools or through local authorities’ Schools Library Services.
School librarians and Schools Library Services expertise are essential in helping children navigate the digital world and improve information literacy skills. What use is a classroom of PCs connected to the internet if children don’t know how to use them effectively?
CILIP Chief Executive Annie Mauger, who represents librarians working in both the public and private sector explains, "A library is more than a room full of books. It should be run by trained professionals who encourage reading, advise on using information and help children develop essential literacy and research skills. All children and young people should have access to the benefits they bring. Currently this is not the case. We are launching this campaign to SHOUT ABOUT the great job librarians in school libraries and school library services do and the threats they are facing."
A recent study for the Times Education Supplement (TES) found that some 600,000 children no longer had access to a Schools Library Service.
Gillian Harris, Chair of ASCEL said, “Teachers need a wide range of stimulating, up-to-date and relevant learning resources to deliver an exciting and vibrant curriculum. I want to SHOUT ABOUT Schools Library Services because they are an amazing cost-effective way for schools to make sure children of all abilities have the best quality materials in the classroom to inspire their learning. Add to this the professional support, advice and books Schools Library Services can provide to those wanting to build a reading culture and an excellent library, then they should be at the top of every school’s list to buy in.“
SLA Director Tricia Adams adds, “School librarians are often the lone practitioner in their school; the importance of a campaign like this is in its ability to bring together all the messages that need to reach a wide constituency of government and local decision makers, including head teachers, governors and parents. We all need to join together to SHOUT ABOUT school libraries and Schools Library Services.”
The campaign will run until late 2012 and aims to raise awareness of the value of school libraries and Schools Library Services to their communities (at both primary and secondary school level) amongst key stakeholders including government, head teachers, governors and parents.
To get involved in the campaign visit the SHOUT ABOUT webpage. From now until the end of the year campaigning resources will be developed and added to the SLA & CILIP websites for anyone wanting to help SHOUT ABOUT their own school library or Schools Library Service.
Twitter hash tag - #SHOUTABOUT
Reference: Times Educational Supplement (TES) article: Books denied to 600,000. Full TES article available here: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6082582