School Libraries

October 10th, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Press reports:

Schoolchildren will be asked to help fill the roles of Christchurch support staff facing job losses, a support staff worker says. …

“In one case, a librarian has lost her job, a part-time position will be created and that person will be assisted in the library by students,” she said. “Our students go to school to learn and receive a quality education, not to work in the library because there is not enough funding in the school to provide a librarian.”

Well at my secondary school, several dozen students helped out in the school library. Far from stopping us from receiving a quality education, it enhances our education. You got to learn more about how the library worked, got to read more books and also a degree of responsibility.

Being a good geek, I ended up Head Librarian in my final year. We had a gap of several months between staff librarians, so us students ran the library for an extended period of time. It was a great experience in learning adult responsibility.

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23 Responses to “School Libraries”

  1. dime (9,611 comments) says:

    lmao oh the horror of helping out in the library!

    its not like they are running the sick bay! or acting as dental nurses. my god.

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  2. frankflintstone (70 comments) says:

    you must have been on the receiving end of quite a few wedgies..

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  3. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Ahhhh we’ve had school librarians for as long as we’ve had books. I was one.

    And before flintfranstone gets quippy, WBHS was one the few schools that had librian bouncers under the leadership of the late great Lex Lewis.

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  4. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Our students go to school to learn and receive a quality education, not to work in the library

    Working in a library is not educational? Anyone who could make that statement should not be allowed to work in a school.

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  5. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    The woman is the “Papanui High Support Staff Executive Officer”. Please.

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  6. Scott Chris (5,953 comments) says:

    Murray “WBHS”

    Another piece of the puzzle falls into place ;)

    In 10 years “the library” will no longer be a physical structure for kids. It’ll be a website, possibly sponsored be Amazon.com.

    I assume librarians will still exist, but as virtual AI beings who look a little like Sarah Palin.

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  7. ben (2,412 comments) says:

    God I forgot about that. Yes, IIRC we have student librarians for our tiny library at my primary school.

    As you can see, the experience completely f*cked me up, and I had to join the VRWNLLC for protection. I have to say, all the free money from big oil has been nice.

    If only I hadn’t had to, er, bear the responsibility.

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  8. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    And a Google search shows she’s a union activist. How hard is it for the Press to do a Google search?

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  9. RRM (9,606 comments) says:

    Ben:
    I have to say, all the free money from big oil has been nice.

    Damn you, coffee all over my keyboard..

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  10. Elaycee (4,322 comments) says:

    I note that The Press left out the bit that confirmed the political affiliations and the NZEI links of the ‘staff support worker’…. and that this breathless revelation was nothing more than a political piece by someone with a vested interest.

    Quelle surprise.

    http://www.fairdeal.org.nz/profile/GayeParlane165

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  11. Elaycee (4,322 comments) says:

    @EWH – Snap! :)

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  12. Other_Andy (2,466 comments) says:

    @Elaycee

    “oh you are such cynical and heartless person. She does it all for the poor little children you know.”

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  13. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Surely teacher unions would have 100x more support and buy in from parents if they weren’t so bitchy and were more compromising. My aunt (a senior teacher) frequently goes off about the govt and National and my family (who is not that interested in politics) just ignore her, get turned off, and I suspect don’t think she has much credibility. Frankly they’re their own worst enemy and I suspect they’ll have little purchase on a post-Nov 26 National govt. I speculate – though I can’t prove it – that the union reps are the less professional less skilled teachers. A few friends are very good teachers and think that the unions are horrid. Thus I guess the unions attract the less stellar performers.

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  14. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Sorry, I missed finishing my point. And, if the teacher unions had even 10x more support, they might have achieved something in the last three years. Instead of achieving donut.

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  15. simonway (373 comments) says:

    Allowing children to volunteer for library work can be good for them, but I don’t think forcing the school to rely on the labour of its students to function properly is a good thing.

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  16. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Being a good geek, I ended up Head Librarian in my final year.

    Hey DPF, who would’ve guessed that? :D

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  17. Elaycee (4,322 comments) says:

    @Other_Andy says: “oh you are such cynical and heartless person. She does it all for the poor little children you know.”
    Of course. Oh what a silly boy I am……

    EWS says: “Thus I guess the unions attract the less stellar performers.”
    Based on the evidence thus far, it would certainly appear so….

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  18. Longknives (4,657 comments) says:

    WBHS?? Waitaki Boys High School??

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  19. Tauhei Notts (1,635 comments) says:

    This story reminds me of a time, just after I had been accredited University Entrance, when the principal asked some of the senior class, like me, to help in the library.
    I was bloody hopeless. In five years at that school I had no idea there were so many very interesting books in that library. I wanted to read most of them; not sort them for the Dewey Decimal System.

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  20. DJP6-25 (1,297 comments) says:

    Elaycee 12:26. You shouldn’t be surprised by mutual back scratching on the part of socialists.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  21. BeaB (2,074 comments) says:

    The library has always been a refuge for many kids but the school ‘librarian’, no more than a teacher aide, usually does little more than tidy shelves and stick on labels however much they try to dress up their job. it is the teacher librarian who is the professiona and many of them know the library is having to change when kids can walk round with the world’s knowledge (and novels) in their pockets.

    And, as many of you have pointed out, schools have always ‘employed’ kids in science labs, libraries etc helping out with all kinds of jobs. Long may it last even if the NZEI (the union for support staff as well as for primary teachers) would love to unionise schools completely – and then they could raise their already generous donations to the Labour Party.

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  22. gump (1,538 comments) says:

    I love books. They’re one of my greatest pleasures.

    But will schools even have libraries within 5-10 years time? I understand that school library utilisation is declining and their upkeep is somewhat costly.

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  23. scrubone (3,074 comments) says:

    I must have missed something.

    Wasn’t the point of the cuts that there are fewer children now, and merely brings the schools into the same staff ratios as everywhere else?

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