After an exciting meeting in half term Chairing the School Libraries Group, I am writing to tell you about our new direction of travel for the GSL Campaign.
The Campaign has now launched Phase 2, after the successful Phase 1 which saw the groundbreaking survey of school libraries. In Phase 2, we are looking at deepening our political involvement further. This blog post will talk about our main aim, and there will be subsequent blog posts from Vice-Chairs Barbara Band and Elizabeth Hutchinson which explain our exciting and vital secondary aims.
Main Aim and way forward
With the remaining time, the Great School Libraries Campaign team plan to lobby the Government to get the document ‘ Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools’ adopted by the UK Government for the other nations in the UK. Along with representatives from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on our group, we are all feeling really excited about it. Our two Scottish librarian representatives, Agnes Guyon and Anne De’Ath, attended the meeting to talk us through how the policy worked and didn’t work, ‘on the ground’.
Nick Poole, CEO of CILIP and founder of the Campaign, was also at the meeting and after a frank discussion, we agreed that although the document wasn’t yet fully implemented by all local authorities and schools in Scotland, having a document setting out standards for school libraries for the whole of the UK was an excellent first step. We have a long way to go with this, lots of discussions and partners to find to help us, but this is our current direction of travel. We value your comments, and especially your offers of help. Please contact us on this website if you are an organisation which we could work with to achieve our goal.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
We also have decided as a group to endorse the IFLA’s School Libraries Guidelines manifesto of school libraries, and hold it as a standard that we aspire to ourselves.
“The school library provides information and ideas that are fundamental to functioning successfully in today's information and knowledge-based society. The school library equips students with life-long learning skills and develops the imagination, enabling them to live as responsible citizens.” School Library Manifesto
As a group, we felt that we needed to be more aware of IFLA – the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. The School Libraries Guidelines are accepted internationally, and this is something that in this country we have consistently ignored. We shall be working towards bringing a growing awareness of IFLA and how we can work to bring British school libraries more in line with international ones.
All this is very exciting and very new! I hope that you approve of the way the Campaign is moving. Do keep in touch with us, either here on the site or on our twitter feed @GreatSchLibs or our Facebook Page. You can contact us on LinkedIn as well.
Caroline Roche, Chair GSL Committee and CILIPSLG Committee