Gibbons calls for school libraries to be made statutory

<p>A new initiative by the Campaign for the Book, spearheaded by author Alan Gibbons, will call on the government to make school libraries statutory,&shy; as is already the case in Scotland. </p><p>Gibbons said the initiative will help to galvanise the campaign&#39;s work in support of school libraries. He is gathering signatories for an open letter to the press demanding that school libraries become statutory.&nbsp; </p><p>He said: &quot;The campaign has already had an impact on the debate around public libraries but it is much harder to achieve a coherent response for school libraries and school library services.&quot; Gibbons added: &quot;Decisions about these services are made by individual heads who are influenced by school budgets.&quot;</p><p>The open letter stated: &quot;We, the undersigned, call on Her Majesty&#39;s Government to accept in principle that it will make scahool libraries, run by properly qualified staff, statutory and to prepare the necessary legislation in consultation with the appropriate professional associations and trade unions.&quot;</p><p>Gibbons added: &quot;This is only part of the issue. We also need to look at the requirement for book stock, library budgets, how professional librarians are considered in schools, and other issues. But we need to establish a &shy;statutory requirement first.&quot;</p>