As discussions on A Curriculum for Excellence continue, the School Library Association (Scotland) felt it prudent to highlight the role of the school librarian.
ACfE highlights the importance of information literacy. The myth that this skill is in-born in young people has been exploded in recent reports by Tara Brabazon. The role of the librarian is crucial in ensuring that the school community has the requisite skills, knowledge and experience to access and retrieve resources and information.
The librarian has the skills and knowledge to promote and encourage reading for information, and the vision to ensure resources can support all curricular areas. Enjoyment of reading is essential if pupils are to engage with the written word. The librarian is well placed in schools to co-ordinate and promote an integrated approach to literacy across the curriculum.
The provision of an inspiring and stimulating environment through promotion and display of relevant resources produces an ethos which may encourage a lifelong enthusiasm for books and reading. This is fundamental to the role of librarian.
Librarians in schools hold a unique position. They have an insight into the overarching multi-disciplinary strands of the curriculum, and they play a key part in information identification, analysis and synthesis. Their role in ACfE in secondary schools should not be underestimated.
Early involvement of the librarian in ACfE discussions and utilisation of their skills will undoubtedly pay dividends for the whole school community.
Duncan Wright, convener, School Library Association (Scotland), Stewart's Melville College, Edinburgh.