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Great School Libraries report prompts call for compulsory library funding

In the UK, a new report from the Great School Libraries campaign has found that schools with a higher proportion of children on free meals are more than twice as likely not to have a designated library space.

While the research found around nine in 10 schools in England had a designated library space, that figure fell to just 67% in Wales and 57% in Northern Ireland.

The report also found that employment terms for librarians and other library staff falls below national standards, with low pay and few opportunities for professional development and training.

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) CEO Nick Poole said of the report: ‘On the one hand, it is a testament to the head teachers, teachers, governors and librarians that value and promote the importance of school libraries for learners and their school. On the other hand, the research paints a picture of inequality of access and opportunity and insecure employment that we cannot accept.’

In response to the report, children’s novelist and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen wrote an open letter in the Guardian calling for libraries to be made compulsory in schools, backed by ‘ringfenced’ government money to support libraries and librarian training.

 

Category: Library news International