Monday, January 25, 2010

UK Govt: School Libraries Not Statutory

This is sad... Posted to the InfoLit listserv:

Van: Information literacy and information skills teaching discussion list namens Mark Hepworth
Verzonden: ma 25-1-2010 7:53
Onderwerp: UK government response to petition to make school libraries statutory


Copied below is the UK Prime Minister’s office response to the petition to make school libraries statutory.

To me this implies that the school library is just a repository for books and ICT kit. It indicates a complete lack of understanding of the potential role of the library and the library/information profession in terms of developing the information literacy of students and incorporating information literacy into the curriculum. It echoes a vision of the school library that is grounded in the 1960s and is not in step with developments in other parts of the world, such as, Australasia and North America. Also a contrast, I think, to what is happening in Scotland.

I wonder why this 50+ year old conception continues to persist?

Read the Government’s response
School libraries are a key resource for pupils and teachers. They support the National Curriculum by providing books and ICT equipment, and at their best they are a valuable asset to teachers and a source of enjoyment and learning for children and young people.
However, the provision of a school library is not a statutory requirement, and there are no current plans to alter this and change the legislation.
It is the Government’s policy to put as much money as possible directly into schools’ budgets, allowing schools to target resources appropriately and to make their own choices about their school library provision and book resourcing.
Apologies for a gloomy start to a Monday morning!

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