Do school libraries work? (and stormy sea)

This week, some of my students are looking at some of the research relating to the value of school libraries. Now this is a problematic term in that it is difficult to tie down exactly how you might measure the value of a school library. There’s been a fair bit of research done on this. The 3rd edition of School Libraries Work (Scholastic Library Publishing) is now available online and the research indicates that schools with qualified teacher librarians will provide excellent services to the school community. In Australia, my colleague at CSU, Lyn Hay has published some of her research and has done some valuable work on what students think about school libraries and Lyn provides some very useful advice to teacher librarians on engaging students. So, it’s worthwhile for teacher librarians across the world to take a few minutes and ask the question “Is my school library valuable?”. It’s not an easy question and answers may be complex but it’s definitely worth asking.

In my part of the world i.e. where I live at the moment in SE Scotland, we had strong north winds over the easter weekend/spring or autumn holiday weekend (take your pick) and here in Dunbar, that means big waves crashing over the harbour wall in a spectacular fashion. It also means that when you walk along the shore, the side of your face meeting the cold wind is likely to feel as if it’s being cut off whilst the other side, in the sun, is glowing. A picture taken from the back door of my house below, will illustrate. The best way to look at this of course, for the fainthearted, is from the window of your centrally heated house – but outside, it’s invigorating!



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