A poverty of resources

As part of the first assignment on collection management I need to do an analysis of resources on a curriculum area that is lacking. After much hand wringing and procrastinating I have finally decided that I’d look at the PE/Sport section in the LC. Why did I select this area? Well I knew from gut instinct that it was pretty awful. The PE teacher had also approached me at the end of last term, before I started the role, and had asked me about developing resources, so he had identified a need and thirdly after getting the children to fill in the online survey I realised how interested many of them were in football, rugby and other sporting activities.  Well now I am totally embarrassed by the lack of stimulating and motivating reading material we have about sport.

Last night after school I went through the section (796 to 797)  one book at a time. I examined each book carefully. Was it in good repair?  Would I want to read it? How many of the same sport did we have? Did it reflect our children’s interest in sporting activities in and outside school? I counted the number of books we had. The answer was 42 books on sport. (Remember we have 720 children.)  This is taking into account all of them including the repeats, the torn, mouldy, water damaged, books with pages missing and the plain tired. It was not pleasant viewing. I then looked at the publication dates! Eeek, it wasn’t getting any better. The oldest book dated back to 1988, so is almost as old as our PE teacher who was an 80s baby. The newest was I’m pleased to say 2009 and had recently hit the shelves. The average was 1998. Now to some one of my age that doesn’t seem too long ago. after all I’d had children and was enjoying life in England. we just bought our second home and were ‘settling down’. However if you start to count back that is 12 years ago. None of the children in our school were even born and the majority were not even twinkles in mum or dad’s eyes. Scary. Not one was written in an any other language than English and only 3 present day sporting heroes were represented.

So what to do? Panic, run for the hills and forget the assignment, well I’d like to but with a situation this dire I need to enlist some help. Tomorrow I’m sitting down with the PE teacher and working out what his needs for the curriculum are. Then I’ll take a closer look at the survey to see what sports the children are really interested in. (I mean we didn’t even have one book about rugby and rugby is HUGE here.) Then I can start with all those data bases and lists that I’ve been meaning to getting around to looking at. There must be some good digital resources we could purchase so our PE teacher and children could access them from home or for lessons. The assignment asks us to list 10 resources but somehow, although I’ll only be listing 10, I think we may be purchasing a whole lot more. Thank goodness for that ample budget.

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