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The Dangers of Social Media - an SLA perspective!

Being an organisation that uses social media to communicate with our far-flung members it is interesting to be on the other side of it – when it goes wrong for us.

Our President, author Kevin Crossley Holland, was on the Radio 4 programme ‘Today’ last Friday in response to Haruki Murakami’s teenage reading records being leaked to the Press (not by a librarian.) The piece used was very short, with Kevin making two points, both of which have caused some parts of Twitter to become very vocal and critical.  Criticism is no problem – as an organisation we encourage constructive criticism, but, we are also a small organisation without the capacity to necessarily respond to Twitter 24/7.

Kevin Crossley Holland is well aware of the professional librarians Code of Ethics (produced by CILIP) – to which SLA expect all professional librarians to be fully aware, and to practice in their daily work situations.  Kevin is also aware of the difficult situations school librarians can find themselves in – but he is also acutely aware that their overriding drive is for the benefit of their students. School librarians are in loco parentis, so are in a very different position from public or HE librarians and that whilst they certainly protect and defend student's privacy and reading records, there will be times when they use them to guide and help students. Appropriate situations could mean monitoring literacy levels (as in the Accelerated Reader programme), content level or even in a safe guarding capacity.  The SLA Board are confident that Kevin has the wellbeing of school librarians and their students at the heart of everything he says.

Our vision is that the School Library Association is committed to supporting everyone involved with school libraries, promoting high quality reading and learning opportunities for all. SLA will continue to strive for this – with trained librarians in all schools we know it will make a huge impact.

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