Opening Minds

School Libraries and Teacher Librarians

John Ralston Saul on School Libraries “… cuts to school libraries are short-sighted and destructive…”

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John Ralston Saul visited Vancouver in 2004, after the devastating cuts to school library programs began in 2002.

The “nerve centre” of schools, said Saul, are libraries, and he blasted what he considers their inadequate funding.This incredibly sophisticated, well-educated society has convinced itself that it is too poor to have librarians. It doesn’t make any sense. We have eliminated, particularly in the elementary schools, more and more professional librarians with the result, of course, that libraries are not always open, that they’re not properly used.

John Ralston Saul
Canadian author, historian, philosopher
Quote from Saul given during an interview
Says B.C. Education Cuts Bleed Democracy

I met John Ralston Saul in 2009 when I was in Ottawa participating in a Teacher Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. Saul spoke about his views on education. He said when he visits a school, his first stop is the school library. He asks whether there is a full-time teacher librarian, what the budget is, and how it is spent. Saul said he can trace the literacy skills in an area to the elements of a library program in place in the school.

I cheered!


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