Don’t ditch your librarian – This article originally appeared in Issue 48 of the UKEd Magazine. Click here to view.
We are all concerned about the rise of Fake News – yes? If not, we should be, because otherwise future research becomes based on the shoulders of some very wobbly giants. If we extrapolate this idea further, we may find such attitudes bring about the demise of the human race. Last week there was a vacancy for a school librarian, no qualifications necessary, for 20 hours a week. The employers were asking for a volunteer! In 2008 most UK school librarians were postgraduate qualified information professionals.
What has gone wrong and why are we depriving school children of specialists in cross-curricular information skills needed for 21st-century life? How will students understand the value of libraries and librarians when they join the workplace or HE if their only experience is with someone who looks after books at a very basic level. Budget cuts, curriculum changes, pressure on physical space are all contributing to this unfortunate demise, but sense needs to prevail. We need to follow the examples set by our colleagues overseas, particularly in IB schools, where the school librarian is an essential and often statutory player in education. Recent research from the USA underpins this argument.
@Sarahinthelib School consultant & trainer – Epsom, Surrey