The Most Literate Place on Earth…Not Anymore

Below is a letter published in The Province April 21, 2010 by my colleague and a champion of school libraries and teacher-librarians in British Columbia for over thirty-year, Val Hamilton. I’m sure she won’t object to me reprinting this…it’s killer stuff!

The sound you hear is the closing doors of school libraries around B.C. School libraries are the one resource available to every child in public schools. They are stocked with good books to entice children to read and resources that match the curriculum. These resources aren’t just in print, but include online databases, such as encyclopedias.

In a good education system, these resources are bought and managed by a trained teacher-librarian who can guide students to the best books and the most accurate information.
The Internet is a wilderness full of wonderful and stupid information. Porn and pedophiles lurk around the corner. Students need to be taught how to find their way and how to judge the information they want to use.
Why are there no provincial standards any more? How long is your child’s library going to be open next year? Who is running it — a parent? A clerk? No one? I thought we were going to be the most literate place on Earth?


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