The true value of school librarians

26th January 2007 at 00:00
Duncan Wright convener, School Library Association (Scotland), Stewart's Melville College, Edinburgh

It was with dismay I read your news item "Librarians face pay cuts" (TESS, December 15). This is another example of school librarians being let down by the single-status job evaluation process.

Librarians and their jobs are infinitely varied with regard to qualifications, experience, responsibilities and impact. However, their role in providing resources, and in developing literacy and research strategies, has again clearly gone unnoticed.

School librarians typically hold their own budget and manage an expensive resource. They deal with large numbers of students, often with no support, at lunch and break times. They work on their own or with teaching staff to develop and teach programmes of information literacy. They contribute to meeting their school's priorities for improvement.

This would suggest that, rather than downgrading the role, the authorities should be raising the profile of school librarians. The single-status job evaluation programme, along with A Curriculum for Excellence, gives local authorities the ideal opportunity to do this.

School librarians are at the forefront of cross-curricular learning, and their skills and expertise should not be overlooked.

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