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Society of Authors urges Gibb to make school libraries statutory
16.05.12 | Benedicte Page
The Society of Authors has written to schools minister Nick Gibb urging him to support children's literacy by making primary and secondary school libraries a statutory requirement.
SoA general secretary Nicola Solomon told Gibb that over the past decade school libraries and library services had been "undervalued and neglected" and that the absence of school libraries and trained librarians was "deplorable". Citing "proven links" between reading and attainment, Solomon said: "It is our belief that this needs to change and that all primary and secondary schools should be required by law to have a library, and dedicated librarians should be compulsory in secondary school and all but the smallest
The SoA also urged Gibb to support teachers in encouraging reading for pleasure by including a compulsory module on the topic on PGCE teacher training courses and with encouragement for teachers to read entire texts aloud to children. Author visits to schools should also be accredited by Ofsted, Solomon argued, to combat a view from some teachers that such visits are a "luxury".
Solomon, who has stepped up the SoA's campaigning role since taking up the general secretary role last year, also recently called for a one-on-one meeting with culture secretary Ed Vaizey to discuss the needs of authors in relation to e-book lending and Public Lending Right (PLR).