School library books sent to the dump
QUEENSLAND schools are opening without libraries or replacing them with "digital information centres" with one school even throwing out books at the local dump, sparking concerns children aren't learning how to read.
Grounds staff at Charters Towers State High School were almost in tears after being instructed to throw out books, sources revealed
The school's library was renamed as the Innovation Hub or The Inn and staff were directed not to call it a library in 2019, with 10 computers in the place of most books.
The source said staff were told the move was to meet the demands of the 21st century students, "which the previous library wasn't doing".
Just weeks ago, all remaining books and shelving were removed from the library, including teacher reference books, and taken to the local dump without consultation with staff, parents or students, sources said.
Half the library was turned into classrooms to cope with demand.
But Education Minister Grace Grace said outdated teacher reference books were replaced with new books and offered to charities or recycled to surrounding schools.
"Charters Towers State High School routinely updates their book collection to ensure their resources are relevant and suitable for student use," she said.
It comes as two of the eight new state schools opening this year, Fortitude Valley State Secondary College and Ripley Valley State School opened without libraries while Mango Hill State School opened with an "information services building" with no books at the time.
Ms Grace said the new inner-city vertical school would have a library in a building to be finished mid-year.
"Modern libraries have a wide range of options for students to engage with research and learning including books, devices and computers," she said.
It's understood Ripley Valley has a temporary library set up, with the library to be opened when the second stage of school is complete.
Queensland School Library Association vice-president Marie Miegel said the body was alarmed that many students were being denied the right to a fully functioning, professionally staffed library.
She said concerned members reported school libraries are being closed and books removed.
"The argument is often made that we do not need libraries, teacher librarians and books, because we have the internet," she said