Campaigners call to end school library closures

<p>The Campaign for the Book has called for a moratorium on all school library closures following the news that some 12 school libraries have been closed or severely downgraded within the past fortnight. </p><p>Author Alan Gibbons, who heads up the campaign, has written to education secretary Michael Gove asking him to prevent further school library closures until the findings of a School Library Commission are reported in the autumn.</p><p>Gibbons said: &ldquo;I am disturbed by the level of cuts going through at the moment, even before the full-scale spending cuts are announced in October.&rdquo;</p><p>Tricia Adams, director of the School Libraries Association, said: &ldquo;Schools are definitely responding to the forthcoming cuts. It is unfortunate that some head teachers view the library as a drain on resources rather than a support.&rdquo;</p><p>Gibbons added: &ldquo;All the recent closures have been secondary school libraries, which is precisely when young people need the support of qualified librarians the most. It is catastrophic that they won&rsquo;t have that.&rdquo; Some&nbsp; schools will replace qualified librarians with non-qualified staff, others are breaking up their school library to house it in individual classrooms. </p><p>Seven of the school library closures have taken place in South Wales. Gibbons said: &ldquo;When you have a cluster of schools taking the same action, I am in no doubt that the head teachers have got together and decided to get rid of their libraries. Once you lose the library, the whole culture of reading in the school collapses.&rdquo;</p>