SoA Scotland chair opposes school library cuts

SoA Scotland chair opposes school library cuts

Lin Anderson, chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland, has spoken out against Edinburgh City Council’s proposals for saving money in 2014/15 by having two schools share one librarian.

In an open letter to the council’s chief executive, Sue Bruce, she has called for the council to abandon the proposal and instead to protect the services librarians provide to pupils. Her letter has been backed by others including Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin.
The consultation period on the Edinburgh decision continues until 20th December and campaigners believe that the proposal could be overturned if enough stakeholders act now.
In her letter, Anderson said that the campaigners are “deeply concerned” by the proposals and referred to studies which have found “that children who read for pleasure do significantly better at maths, vocabulary and spelling, compared to those who rarely read”.

She pointed out that many children might not have parents that are readers or access to local libraries meaning that, “it is vital that children have guided access to books in schools, by professionals that know what texts will be appropriate for their age and interests, and will inspire and enthuse them to read more widely”.

Commenting on Anderson's letter, Rankin said: "Proposing to cut school library services in the first-ever designated Unesco City of Literature? I despair".

This move comes after the Moray Council in Scotland made the decision to close seven libraries and cut all of its art development earlier this year, prompting outrage from several writers.