PE01581: Save Scotland's School Libraries


Petitioner: Duncan Wright on behalf of Save Scotland's School Libraries


Date Lodged: 16 October 2015

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to set out a new national strategy for school libraries which recognises the vital role of high quality school libraries in supporting pupils’ literacy and research skills.

Petition History:


24 November 2015: The Committee took evidence from Duncan Wright, and Yvonne Manning, Chair, School Library Advocacy Group, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Educational Institute of Scotland, Unison Scotland, COSLA and the Scottish Youth Parliament. Link to Official Report 24 November 2015

26 January 2016: The Committee agreed to write to the Association of Directors of Education Scotland and COSLA. Link to Official Report 26 January 2016

8 March 2016: The Committee agreed to include the petition in its legacy paper for consideration by the Session 5 Public Petitions Committee. Link to Official Report 8 March 2016  

29 September 2016: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Library and Information Council. Link to Official Report 29 September 2016

8 December 2016: The Committee agreed to write to COSLA and the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland. Link to Official Report 8 December 2016

2 March 2017: The Committee agreed to invite the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to give evidence at a future meeting. Link to Official Report 2 March 2017

20 April 2017: The Committee agreed to reflect on the evidence from the Deputy First Minister and to consider a note by the clerk at a future meeting. Link to the Official Report.

25 May 2017: The Committee agreed to write to the Deputy First Minister. Link to Official Report 25 May 2017

9 November 2017: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that the petitioner considers that there is a clear plan for development and delivery of the strategy announced by the Deputy First Minister, with an appropriate timescale in place. Link to Official Report 9 November 2017

Written Submissions:

We firmly believe that school libraries are unique in their ability to support teaching and learning and should be the central resource of every school, open every day and staffed by a professionally trained librarian. We believe that all learners should have equal access to a qualified school librarian.

Currently in Scotland this is not the case and the situation is deteriorating rapidly. We firmly believe that this needs to be addressed.  Please show your support be signing this petition and if appropriate highlighting how your school library helped you.

National government does need to ensure proper funding for schools but let's remember that it is local authority education departments and schools themselves that will choose this cut over other options - a test of the value they place on reading, research and information management skills.

Ann Murray

18:17 on 16 Oct 2015

school libraries are a vital support for learning for all teaching departments and an important resource for pupil research even in these days of internet access as a librarian can provide expert help in directing pupils to the relevant areas.

Brian McGill

15:59 on 16 Oct 2015

For many young people today the library is a place of learning, and with a librarian who is fully qualified, it enhances their learning experiences and opens up the world of literature and information skills required for the knowledge economy of the modern world.

Mark Russell

14:24 on 16 Oct 2015

Effective School Libraries teach essential research skills and promote enjoyment of reading without which education is ineffective.

Felicity Bramwell

13:00 on 16 Oct 2015

The library was a huge part of my school life and was a vital resource for so many areas.

Scott Thomson

10:16 on 16 Oct 2015

For some young people the school library is the only place they have access to real books.

Anne Bacon

23:04 on 15 Oct 2015

Aside from being places to learn both within and outside of the curriculum, school libraries can be safe zones for children. I say this from experience. During breaks, before roll call, after the final bell has rung but before the staff have gone home, school libraries provide somewhere to go for kids who need somewhere other than the playground or the lunch hall or their own homes, and often the library staff are the guardians of these safe spaces. And again from experience - it's not the kids who are doing alright who need these sanctuaries. It's the ones already at risk. The bullied, the anxious, the awkward, the loners, the kids who haven't yet grown into themselves. Cutting library funding won't just harm young people's ability to learn, it will remove an emotional and psychological support network from those who need support. Libraries are not just books, they're people - and we should support that as best we can, not cut away at it.

Ryan Vance

22:10 on 15 Oct 2015

As a former Head Teacher in a deprived area I am very aware of the importance of a qualified Librarian. I am shocked at the way the service has been allowed to deteriorate and indeed is being targeted for further cuts.

Thomas Breslin

17:40 on 15 Oct 2015

School libraries and librarians are essential for lifelong learning and are at the core of the CfE. They play a key role in literacy across learning - critical literacy and information literacy.

Christine Irving

10:33 on 15 Oct 2015

I wouldn't be the person I am today without the opportunities my school library gave me.

Philip Kingscott

10:19 on 15 Oct 2015

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