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VIDEO: Island pupils create film to voice anger over school librarian cuts

A group of island pupils have voiced their anger at the loss of their school librarian.

In an online video, students from Tobermory High School on the isle of Mull declare that they are “annoyed” “angry” “heartbroken” and “disappointed” at the decision by Argyll and Bute Council.

The council voted to axe the school librarians at its 10 secondary schools, saving £319,000, as part of £10million of cuts for 2016/17.

Zac Finch, aged 15, a fifth year pupil at Tobermory, said: “We feel that a librarian is very important to a school and education. They are the guide to a wealth of information, they make sure you can find it, and pick things you might like or need as part of a project.

“Our librarian was extremely proactive, and so was always there to help, and was making sure you got the best out of the resources provided, which were plentiful thanks to her updating the selection.

“For example, when our librarian found that my friend and I were interested in going into medicine, she printed off a guide with tips on how to get in, and showed us all the university prospectuses.

“We are angry with Argyll and Bute Council. We feel let down by them, and astonished that they could feel this was in any way a good decision. Especially in an island community like Mull, it’s not like we can go to another library, and in their wisdom, the council has removed our mobile library as well. They have left us with a room of disorganised books on shelves. I miss my librarian and I miss my library. There is a reason that people were employed to run a library, it is because they are essential.”

A spokesman for the council said: “Pupils will still have access to staffed libraries and local arrangements will be made within schools to ensure pupils are supported to make use of school libraries or through the council’s public library services.

“The council would like to do everything that communities want us to but, to meet a significant funding gap, we have had to make savings of more than £10m in 2016/17 alone. The budget decisions taken by the council have prioritised education and children’s services and served to save more than 100 full time equivalent posts.”

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