One of Scotland’s largest trade unions has called on local councils to do more to protect the jobs of school librarians.
Unison has also urged the Scottish Government to step in and save the posts after claiming that local authorities see cuts to library services as a “soft target”.
The union has spoken out in the midst of significant cuts to library services through Fife and other parts of Scotland.
The body’s spokesperson, Simon Macfarlane, has said that library provision and the role of school librarians was crucial to the education of youngsters.
“There is a consistent pattern of the school libraries service being a soft target to meet budget cuts,” he said.
“School libraries are not classrooms with books.
“They are vital for young people’s learning.
“School librarians have a central role in equipping our young people for the digital age; recent research has shown that children face struggle to discriminate between facts, fiction and paid for product placement online.
“School librarians are ideally placed to support young people to be more discerning in their use of the internet for research.
“We should be investing more, not less in school librarians.
“It’s unacceptable that Scottish councils are taking the brunt of the austerity cuts, but we also cannot let services like school libraries disappear.”
Earlier this month, Fife Council backed a decision by Fife Cultural Trust to close 16 local libraries to save £813,000.
Most of those affected will be closed by April 1, unless communities can come up with viable alternative plans to keep them running.