Cuts in School Libraries or How to Decrease Students’ Level of Education
by louisp on February 7, 2015 - 5:46pm
On an article from CTV News named School Boards Have to Make Budget Choice, Says Yves Bolduc published on August 28, 2014, Quebec education minister Yves Bolduc made a controversy by saying, on August 26, to the French newspaper Le Devoir that there was enough books in school libraries. This source is reliable because, the day after, Bolduc himself went on national television to restate his position by asking librarians to spend as much on books as the previous years. However, he put emphasis on the fact that libraries will still have to find a way to face the recent budgetary cuts imposed. For instance, the Lester B. Pearson School Board would be forced to spend 37% less money in its library if the measure was adopted. According to Suanna Stain Day, the administrative head of the school board, it would be impossible to do because the administrative budgets for school libraries are already very thin. Since now, no such measures have been applied yet.
Since I was 13 years old, I have been doing community in service every week in my little 5,000 citizens’ municipal and scholar library and I totally disagree with Yves Bolduc’s position because I think that libraries budgets in small communities are already too small. For instance, where I was volunteering, at the library of Vercheres, there was a ratio of two paid employees for 35 volunteers. Therefore, when the news came out, the librarian was very shocked because she would not have the choice to cut in the scholar book purchase budgets because the two employees are paid by the city, and not by the Ministry of Education. This measure worries me as well because I noticed that children do not have the same way of reading as adults do. Indeed, when an adult wants a specific document and that I do not have it, he will generally look for alternatives, but when a child has a specific book in mind, it is usually very hard to suggest him something else. For instance, just last Saturday, a little boy asked me if we had a very popular series of book called Paddington, but, unfortunately, our librarian has to make choices. When he left with his mother, his bag was empty. This example demonstrates that in order to motivate children at school and to ensure their success, they must be allowed to choose what they want to read because if they just read the required textbooks during all their education, they are more likely to perceive reading as something that is boring. Finally, preventing children from reading what they want to read would be like preventing their access to creativity and imagination, which is, I think, the most important element of their development.
To see CTV News’ article: <http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/school-boards-have-to-make-budget-choice-says-yves-bolduc-1.2749131>
To see Le Devoir’s article: <http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/416356/la-moitie-des-budgets-des-bibliotheques-scolaires-risque-d-etre-ampute>
[Video] Yves Bolduc’s point of view on Radio-Canada (French) : < http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/politique/2014/08/26/004-bolduc-bibliotheques-scolaires.shtml>