I have seen reading bring so much pleasure to children and to feel that any child may be deprived of that pleasure is what drives me to search out the hook that will draw them in. Books can immerse children in another world, helping to develop self esteem and confidence, help them become problem solvers and grow as individuals. It also promotes all aspects of learning and has such a positive impact on school life. For example, one particular student with an autistic spectrum condition had a focused dislike for the library as well as poor behaviour throughout the whole of the school. However, once the library had been rejuvenated, I was able to capture his interest with the range of activities and books, transforming his reading and behaviour throughout the school. In fact he became such a huge fan of reading he wasn’t often seen without a book including during lessons!
Not restricted to school life, reading is also a crucial life skill, supporting economically deprived students to develop the skills necessary to escape the cycle of poverty which affects nearly four million children throughout the UK. Promoting children’s literacy is not only essential for economic benefits, it is also critically important for health and emotional wellbeing, with obvious links between poor literacy skills and criminal activity.
I feel that reading can be viewed as a microcosm of education itself, and for me, if education is freely available for everyone then reading should be just as easily accessed. Central to this is a friendly, exciting and welcoming library, something I have worked so hard to create at Sacred Heart School. Providing something for everyone is essential. Whether they are confident readers or not, the children at Sacred Heart primary school have come to expect a library that has a range of engaging activities, a huge variety of books and also a high level of staff interest in reading, new titles and of course library competitions. It is this staff interest that has allowed the library values to spread so effectively around the school, along with a love and enjoyment of reading.
The library values reflect my own, and it is my determination, enthusiasm and passion for books and reading that has allowed Sacred Heart Primary school library to grow and grow, and I feel that these three qualities are the principle skills necessary to become a positive, effective school librarian.
After all to quote Julie Bertagna “Stories are the world’s heartbeat. That’s what keeps us all alive”