April 6th, 2018
NDP introduces legislation to protect school libraries
Bill would ensure Department of Education provides adequate support
MAHONE BAY – The NDP Caucus will introduce legislation today that would protect school libraries from closure and require the Department of Education to provide adequate support to ensure libraries have enough staff.
“School libraries around the province have been facing closures, cutbacks, and a general lack of resources,” said Claudia Chender, NDP Education spokesperson. “Children need to have access to books, technology, and other educational materials under the supervision of trained library staff who can assist them with research and discovering new interests.”
Parents at Bayview Community School in Mahone Bay have been working to keep their school library open. The library has faced cutbacks over the last few years, and is largely kept open through the efforts of a team of dedicated volunteers with the Home and School Association, which has raised a large portion of the necessary funding.
“Children in our schools deserve to have a library, and it shouldn’t be dependent on volunteers to raise the funds and provide staffing,” said Kara Turner, President of the Bayview Home and School Association. “The library is often the heart of the school, it should be protected to make sure all children have access to books, a quiet space to learn and professional staff who can foster their love of reading.”
The legislation would also allow integration of school libraries with public libraries and the university library system. This would expand the materials and resources available to students.
“Libraries provide an incredible service to the people of our province,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “The Liberals have sat back and watched as school libraries have closed and public libraries have had to cut back their hours. Our caucus is committed to defending and expanding access to libraries in our communities.”
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