The STUC’s There is a Better Way march and rally in Edinburgh last Saturday was a great way for the Noisy Librarians to get to know some librarians from other schools and even other sectors. As we began the march, our banner attracted a few colleagues who had been primed to meet up, but we were not expecting to bump into a group of schools librarians from a whole other council, as well as a public librarian.
As we chatted, the picture because simultaneously clearer and more grim with regards to potential cuts in services across a number of local authorities. Some councils are proposing cuts to services that will inevitably have an impact on the kind of school library we can provide for pupils and teachers.
It seems to me that we are at a pivotal moment for school librarianship in particular. As we face our jobs and services with much lower expectations, we must keep in mind that it will not always be like this. We must keep a record of how our service has changed following rationalisation or reorganisation. We must ask our colleagues in the teaching profession how they feel about the changes. Somewhere along the line, the financial crisis will abate. We need to make sure we were noisy enough to ensure that investment is pointed to library services that were lacking in a period of financial restraint.
People need to remember what they have been missing, so that there is a profession to take forward into the future.