Gruffalo author warns against axing school librarians

Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson has warned that moves to cut school librarians in Scotland will lead to a ‘decline in literacy’.

In an open letter, Donaldson called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to intervene after the decision by Argyll and Bute Council to remove all school librarian posts.

Donaldson expressed concerned that the situation in in Argyll and Bute might ‘set a precedent for the rest of Scotland’, which would result in wide spread cuts to school librarians.

She wrote: "It seems obvious that the result will be a decline in literacy. I feel sure that as the instigator of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge you are aware that reading broadens the mind and feeds the imagination, and that you would rather increase than decrease school pupils’ access to books and author visits and the caring and inspiring advice which a school librarian can provide.

“When I was on an Australian book tour recently, I attended a dinner for school dinner companions were almost incredulous when I told them that in the U.K. there were hardly any primary-school librarians and that many of those in secondary schools were losing their jobs.

“I am worried that the situation in Argyll and Bute might set a precedent for the rest of Scotland, and I would urge you to persuade the councillors to reverse their decision.

“With so many public libraries disappearing or being run by volunteers it is surely vital that children have access to books and to professional advice."

Read more