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Pullman, Gaiman back UK school library campaign

In the UK, authors Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman and Malorie Blackman are among more than 150 book industry figures who are supporting a campaign to halt the decline of libraries in England’s schools and colleges, reports the Bookseller.

Spearheaded by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the campaign is also supported by the UK Booksellers Association, the National Literacy Trust and the Society of Authors.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening, CILIP requested the government’s ‘urgent intervention’ to halt the declines in both library services and in the numbers of qualified librarians in state-funded schools and colleges. The letter urges government to ‘act now’ to ‘counter the loss of school and college libraries before we consign a generation to a lifetime of low attainment and mobility’.

According to CILIP, the UK is experiencing a ‘literacy crisis’, with England currently ranked 23rd out of 23 OECD nations for teenage literacy. England is also the only OECD nation where the literacy of 16-24 year olds is below that of people aged 55 and over.

UK school library services are facing cuts that would result in the loss of an estimated 30% of the school librarian workforce.

 

Category: Library news International

 

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