Campaign Shouts About school libraries

Campaign Shouts About school libraries

A campaign to promote school libraries and school library services aims to make them statutory. The campaign, Shout About, is backed by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), the Association of Senior Children's and ­Educational Librarians (ASCEL) and the School Library ­Association.

The initiative aims to use lobbying and PR to halt the closure of school libraries and to prevent more qualified school librarians from losing their jobs. Shout About will also campaign for school libraries to be inspected by Ofsted.

Annie Mauger, chief executive of CILIP, said: "I have had positive discussions with schools minister Nick Gibb who is looking for answers on how to promote a culture of reading in schools. We believe that taking away pupils' libraries and librarians is not the best way to do it."

A libraries all-party parliamentary group will launch next month. "There will be parliamentary questions and future discussions on these issues with ministers," Mauger added.

The campaign will be closely involved in promoting school library services (SLS), a distinct facility that supports school libraries and provides book loans and guidance for teaching the curriculum.

Gill Harris, ASCEL chair, said as well as its promotional work to government and schools, the campaign will explore SLS' business models in order to develop a strategy or proposal for how SLSs should conduct their business. SLSs work within a number of different business models and are in danger of being used as a cash cow by local authorities.