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Proposed Cuts to School Library Service by North Lanarkshire Council – Statement from Theresa Breslin O.B.E.

Category: News

Theresa Breslin O.B.E.

Former CILIPS President and award winning author, Theresa Breslin O.B.E, has released a statement in support of school librarians in North Lanarkshire.

A petition opposing the proposed removal of school librarian posts has now received over 37,000 signatures – please add your name if you agree that school librarians are essential in Scotland now more than ever.


I am writing as a well-established author with extensive experience as a writer working in schools to encourage reading and creative writing, and as a former professional librarian – Principal Officer providing Youth Library Services.

For many of our young people the library within their school is their sole access to reading materials and professionally curated sources of information.

Our school libraries are vital in supporting the Curriculum at all levels, including certificate examinations. In addition to the promotion of literacy, literature, knowledge and information retrieval skills, a professionally delivered library service within a school embeds the joy of reading in our young people. Reading builds confidence, self awareness, articulate self expression, validates readers’ life and culture, and leads to social and emotional literacy. In the company of their peer group, the pupils have the best chance of accessing the materials which are absolutely crucial to their development as mature well-informed citizens of our country and of the world.

Via extension activities: Buddy-Reading schemes with local primary and nursery schools, book clubs, poetry slams, arranging author visits, taking pupils to Book Festivals, and liaising with key organisations such as Scottish Book Trust, the pupil is exposed to a multitude of experiences which would otherwise be inaccessible to them.

Other than a professionally staffed school library there is nowhere else able to provide this service at that level.

I foresee the detrimental effect the removal of the post of school librarian will have on the education and well-being of the pupils and am deeply concerned for the future prospects of our young people.

Theresa Breslin O.B.E. – Services to Literature

Carnegie Medal Winning Author

Honorary Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies

Scottish Book Trust Outstanding Achievement Award

Former Principal Officer – Youth Library Services – East Dunbartonshire Council

Former President of CILIPS (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland)

CILIPS statement on North Lanarkshire’s proposals.

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