Librarian hours scaled back at local schools

STRAIT AREA: Deanna Gillis, the communications coordinator for the Strait Regional Centre for Education (SRCE), has confirmed library technician services in local schools have been dialed back for the 2018-19 academic year.

“For the 2018-2019 school year, all of the schools in the Strait Regional Centre for Education will continue to have access to library technician services,” she told The Reporter.

“The allocation of services [number of hours per day] is dependent upon student enrolment. For the upcoming school year, there has been a reduction in the number of hours at some of our schools to the equivalent of two full-time positions as we continue to adapt library services to better support students and classroom learning.”

Last week, The Reporter received a letter from the members of the Whycocomagh Education Centre School Advisory Committee (SAC). The letter expressed displeasure with the decision made by the SRCE.

The letter stated that a reduction of library services flies in the face of both the Glaze Report and the Report on Inclusive Education. The Glaze Report, titled “Raise the Bar: A Coherent and Responsive Education Administrative System for Nova Scotia,” is a review of how public schools are administered along with administration at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. The Report on Inclusive Education was the result of a year-long study by a commission looking into teaching in Nova Scotia.

The SAC maintains that the reports indicate library services ought to be increased, not cut back. Students, especially those engaging their own interest-led research, need librarians to guide them to the resources needed for their specific interests, the letter said.

“In our experience, the librarian works alongside the teacher to provide assistance for students to learn the skills of researching, and to learn how and where to find the information they seek,” the members of the Whycocomagh Education Centre School Advisory Committee stated. “It is the librarian who knows what is available and who can skillfully link resources at an appropriate reading level for the individual student.”

Students at schools across the four counties of Richmond, Inverness, Antigonish and Guysborough return this week.