I would like to thank everyone who attended the three meetings Slanza arranged to discuss the changes to National Library Services to Schools. We held three meetings at Wellington Girls College, one in Kapiti and one in Wairarapa so that all our members could have the ability to meet, discuss and think about the repercussion of the changes. I will be at a National Executive meeting in two weeks time to discuss your concerns.
We had some great discussions and wonderful insights from our members. Here are just some of the comments that sum up our regions thoughts:
1.How will the National Library be able to provide better high-interest reading material for my students than I can and how will I be able to provide better non-fiction curriculum print material than the National Library can?
2.Reading engagement is about more than just dumping a box of books on a table. How will the new plan help teachers and library staff to get kids reading? Most of us already do a good job, and those schools that have low reading engagement probably need face-to-face help, not just at school but in their community. Telling them to find help online will not work.
3.National Library acknowledged that digital resources are currently inadequate and largely unsuitable for primary school children learning to read. They had no plans for accessing NL books in the meantime or for the time it will take to develop digital resources
I spoke at the Wairarapa meeting to a teacher at a small Wairarapa primary school. It is a small low decile school. The National Library books are a Godsend for a school with a tight budget. They cannot go to the public library and their community cannot help them. This is going to disadvantage these children's education.
I think the main concern was as librarian's we want to get children reading and get wonderful books into all our children's hands not just those who can afford them.
Wellington Region Chair
Karori West Normal School
04 476 6165