John's difficulties would be re-solved if the school had an expert to manage its resources with a truly cross-curricular approach. He would then be able to use the internet and other resources to give pupils the benefits o a range of information and formats.
Many heads are content to appoint library assistants, often referring to them as "the librarian", and expect them to fulfil the role without the four-plus years' training. Would those heads put a classroom assistant in a classroom and call them a teacher?
Not to be too pessimistic though, in 1997 23 per cent of secondaries employed a chartered librarian, in 1999 this had risen to 29 per cent.