Closing School Library Doors- Province OpEd

As many of you know BC Government is shutting down education services left,right and centre. Constituencies don’t seem to matter. Nor do constituents who cherish public education for all kids. The latest budget poker Liberals have foisted on local school boards is causing a massive cut in school libraries- including the trained and dedicated teacher-librarians that service them.  This is perhaps the issue. Boards are cutting teacher-librarian time or reassigning duties while leaving the library ‘open’. That’s like leaving the gym doors open throwing open the equipment room doors  and telling the custodian to keep an eye out! The only reason these inappropriate and inequitable budget policies are in effect is because they think no body cares.  It pushes teachers to fight against other colleagues for job survival. The reading skills and information literacy skills, along with a general advocacy for the value of reading is being butchered.  I benefited from library programs, so did my children; what about the current youngsters? Don’t they count?

Below is an OpEd from the Province written by a friend and colleague.

School libraries invaluable

By Val Hamilton, The ProvinceApril 21, 2010

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// ]]>The sound you hear is the closing doors of school libraries around B.C. School libraries are the one resource available to every child in public schools. They are stocked with good books to entice children to read and resources that match the curriculum. These resources aren’t just in print, but include online databases, such as encyclopedias.

In a good education system, these resources are bought and managed by a trained teacher-librarian who can guide students to the best books and the most accurate information.

The Internet is a wilderness full of wonderful and stupid information. Porn and pedophiles lurk around the corner. Students need to be taught how to find their way and how to judge the information they want to use.

Why are there no provincial standards any more? How long is your child’s library going to be open next year? Who is running it — a parent? A clerk? No one? I thought we were going to be the most literate place on Earth?

Val Hamilton, Vancouver

http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/School+libraries+invaluable/2932381/story.html

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