Letter to The Age, 24 April 2010

Endangered species
GOOD on Peter Craven (Comment, 21/4) for commending Julia Gillard for believing ”kids need to be stretched in their reading”. As both know, there is no more effective way of creating literate young people than by encouraging them to read widely and with enjoyment.

The missing link is how young readers can find the right books at the right time. It is a specialised task that requires well-read, enthusiastic adults who know the books and have them at hand. These people are from an endangered species called teacher librarians. These creatures have been rapidly disappearing from school libraries because of scarce funding and competing priorities.

If the government is committed to creating a literate community, thus also safeguarding our publishing industry, ensuring every school has at least one fully trained teacher librarian is the best place to start.

Agnes Nieuwenhuizen, Woodend

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