Statement in response to the Education Commission of Southwark Archdiocese decision regarding an author visit :: NEWS
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Statement in response to the Education Commission of Southwark Archdiocese decision regarding an author visit

09 March 2022 Share


The School Library Association, CILIP and CILIP SLG are united in their stance towards the news of an author visit being cancelled this week (Monday 7th March) due to its belief the event fell “outside the scope of what is permissible in a Catholic school”. 

This event was due to happen at the end of a week-long celebration of reading and that was the purpose – to encourage children to read for pleasure.  

It is a central tenet of a school librarian’s role to provide a range and variety of resources to support all pupils; to present many voices, multiple stories and various points of view. This teaches nothing other than the importance of celebrating who we are and to be accepting of difference; which is so vital for mental health and wellbeing. 

This is enforced in part through the CILIP Ethical Framework, which provides guidance on ethical professional practice for librarians. It includes an active responsibility to “uphold, promote and defend Human Rights, equality and diversity and the equitable treatment of library users”. This active responsibility extends to all aspects of library provision, including the selection and development of diverse and representative book collections as well as activities, resources and access to electronic materials in the library. It is only by being exposed to a broad, balanced and diverse range of information and stories that users can not only learn more about themselves, but to empathise and engage productively with the people around them.” 

We stand with the school’s senior leaders, governing body and staff in believing the visit should go ahead, and send our support and sympathy to those impacted by this decision.   


Signed by:

Alison Tarrant, Chief Executive, School Library Association 

Nick Poole, CEO, CILIP 

Caroline Roche, Chair, CILIP School Libraries Group