I was really surprised to discover that no school in the UK has to have a library! Lucy Coats over on Scribble City writes:
Did you know that that, in the UK, every prison has a statutory duty to provide a library for its inmates? This, of course, is right and necessary. What is disgraceful is that the same statutory provision does not apply to our UK schools. That’s right. You read correctly. No school in the UK HAS to have a library (though many do). Alan [Alan Gibbons] has now started a petition to remedy this. Sign it, please, if you would like to and you haven’t done so already and pass the word on. The closing date is 11 December 2009, and at present there are 3380 signatures.
Do sign up – 3397 signatures and rising!
Now, of course, there’s the line that why should government have to legislate about something as obvious as having a library in a school. I agree, it shouldn’t. But then that’s in an ideal world not in the illogical world we live in where common sense seems to have become the rarest of commodities.
Add to that the fact that parents volunteering to “man” the library – as I remember doing with great pleasure on a weekly rota – will now presumably have to go through the new Vetting and Barring scheme run by the ISA – in England at least. The only reassurance is that the one-off fee is waived for volunteers.