Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A plea to parents of school age children in New Zealand

first rant of the year...

Dear Parents/caregivers  of New Zealand,

From Term 3 this year, National Library will stop sending curriculum based books to schools. This means that if your child's school library is rubbish, if they do not have a library or if your school has a library but with no budget, then effectively your child will lose their main source of inquiry based resources. Nat Lib will still send books to school - but the teachers will have no choice in what they get, one person in the school will be responsible and the books stay there for a year - if your child is doing a particular topic (which they do), they will no longer have any access to books on that topic. No school library can have enough books for an entire school wide topic....

Auckland Libraries are also down sizing non-fiction books. The emphasis from Nat Lib is switching from topic based books to reading for pleasure. Most schools in NZ are under funded ; many still have few computers and most certainly not enough for most children in classes to do research from. This will change NZ education as we know it. Children all over will be disadvantaged by this major change, of which, of course, under National, no school has had any input into, no librarian, no teacher or no principal. Younger children should not be using computers for information - it is known that comprehension levels go down 20% when reading on screen and the vast majority of students struggle finding, comprehending and deciphering information on line. Students need real books. High school students use more books than on-line for research - it is quicker...

This is a horrific situation particularly for year 1-3 students starting their literacy journey; for ESOL students, for special needs students, for the thousands of students with low literacy levels, the thousands and thousands 2-3-4 PLUS years behind (yes there are that many!). They NEED BOOKS at THEIR LEVEL, not information on-line which means little.

I implore you to wrote to Parata, Peter Dunne, National Library School Serivces,  your local MP AND front up to your BOT and ask for a school library budget increase. Make your school community aware of this.

We have to stop this madness ! (and I am rather hoping it will open the govt's eyes to the state of school librarians/ status of school librarians - bottom of pile - in NZ and realise that things are not at all rosy.)

Thanks from one of the many, many NZ school librarians who are HORRIFIED at the implications of this for every student in NZ.


  1. Good for you!! Applauding your rant from across the ditch. xxxx

  2. Bravo,well said xx

  3. HI Kimberley. I'm involved in education and interested if you can give me some info on the studies you are referring to regarding comprehension using devices? It's an area of interest for me as our school moves to 100% BYOD from Year 4 onwards and growing uptake in Year 3. We have had success using a number of online non-fiction sources, including some good subscriptions services, although the downside is the content is changeable from year to year which isn't great with our core inquiry focuses. We've also been able to utilise apps which verbalise all text on ipads which has enabled our non-readers to access information so there is potential to cater for these children. Thanks.