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Julia Donaldson writes open letter to First Minister

Category: News

The Herald reports today that former Children’s Laureate and celebrated children’s author, Julia Donaldson, has written an open letter to Nicola Sturgeon asking her to intervene in the decision by Argyll and Bute Council to remove all school librarian posts.

Ms Donaldson has asked the First Minister to try and persuade the Council to reverse the decision saying, “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 librarians…my 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.”

The letter from the Gruffalo author follows a recent request from CILIPS President Theresa Breslin formally asking the Council to reinstate the posts.

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