An interesting article in the New York Times appeared recently and discussed the “new” role of the school librarian. To practising TLs and school librarians across the world, there’s not much new about the role of the school librarian – the title used in the article – including ICT to a great extent. What might surprise some readers is the comments about how few USA state schools actually have a qualified school librarian or teacher librarian. There tends to be an assumption that USA schools are better financed, better equipped and better staffed than their Australian or UK counterparts, but, as this article shows, it ain’t necessarily so. However, it is always good when school libraries get recognition in the mainstream press – even if there is more than a whiff of a patronising attitude on the part of the article’s author.
We have visitors this week from London and we took them to St Andrews – now most people probably associate St Andrews with golf but there’s a lot more to this coastal town in Fife. We had a walk around the remains of the cathedral which was a magnificent building and, irrespective of whether you like or dislike what went on inside the cathedral, you have to admire the stonemasonry. The walls were built to last and to withstand and it must have been an amazing site for peasants working in the fields when the cathedral was built as they would never has seen a building of that size before. While cathedrals may be compared to skyscrapers of the modern age, they were often different as they were built in areas surrounded only by farmland and not other buildings. They were also built to impress, of course, and let those around know who was in charge. The picture below is of part of the ruins.