Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Library funding declining

Summerland Review: 2008 October 8

Dear Editor:

I must say I am pleased to see, as would any teacher in the public education system here in Okanagan Skaha and elsewhere, that Shirley Bond has taken the bold step to declare October, Library Month in British Columbia.

She states, “B.C.’s libraries help British Columbians of all ages access the information and tools that they need to live work and learn.

Library month is an excellent opportunity for all of us to recognize and celebrate these valuable public resources and the amazing people who work in them. Libraries are the gateways to learning and the world of ideas.”

As a teacher and educator, I find it somewhat ironic that in the past almost eight years of her government’s leadership, the support and funding for school libraries in Okanagan Skaha has declined to the extent that most schools in the district do not have full time teacher librarians and that many school libraries are often closed gateways to learning and the world of ideas.

I agree with the minister the our public libraries and the service they provide are both necessary and valuable community resources for a socially responsible, literate and productive democratic society but I also believe that the tremendous work of school teacher librarians and the outstanding service of school libraries to students in search of learning tools and ideas has been greatly diminished by the lack of adequate funding for public school libraries and teacher librarians.

It is fairly inexpensive to declare October Library Month; it is an incalculable cost to students, parents, and neighbourhoods when the learning hubs of schools, the school libraryies are shut down due to provincial cost saving and public school underfunding.

Terry Green, president
Okanagan Skaha Teachers’ Union