Skip to content

Are there any bookworms anymore? – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 20th April 2016 – Ballard School

April 20, 2016

Are there any bookworms anymore?

I am sure that many of you will have enjoyed the recent re-runs of the Ronnie Corbett / Harry Enfield sketch, ‘My Blackberry is not working’. (If you haven’t seen it and want a comic interlude then do search it out on YouTube! or click here!) The sketch is set in a grocer’s shop and they make a great deal of the double meanings involved in ‘blackberry’, ‘orange’ and ‘apple’ in our IT-conscious world.

my blackberry is not working

‘My blackberry is not working’ from the BBC sketch

I have just read about the lamentable demise of school libraries highlighted in the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) where a speaker warned the audience that head teachers were busy cutting library budgets (not this one!) and re-allocating library spaces for other usage, not least IT related. It got me thinking about ‘the one Ronnie’ sketch and how they might have viewed this as fuel for a sketch based in a pharmacy or doctor’s clinic featuring ‘tablets’, ‘lap’(tops) and ‘eyes’ (IPhones etc.). I have no quarrel with the development of language and vocabulary – at the very least it keeps the English language alive and vibrant – but I do fear for the demise of the traditional understanding of the importance of libraries and books.

Here at Ballard we have three main libraries – Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior – along with several departmental bases for resources. Each of the main school libraries has its fair share of IT (desktops and some audio facilities in seniors) but each is also a quiet haven for reading in corners and for browsing. Whilst ‘Mr G’ may well have taken over as the quickest and easiest way to research that elusive fact, it cannot replace the pleasure of sitting with a book in hand, feeling those pages, getting lost in the world of the novelist, researcher, naturalist, explorer (etc.) and having a few moments ‘out’ and away from the ever-present and pressing digital world.

Jr Library 2

Our Jungle inspired Junior Library – dive into a book here

Jr Library

Find a book from one of our shelves of discovery

So, whilst I may have encouraged you earlier to dip into YouTube, please don’t see this as a license merely to reach for the ‘smartphone’ but also as an encouragement to mix your mediums and to spend some time each day with a real book in your hands – and to encourage your children and family members to value the calm and pleasure of a library.

Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

Ballard School is an independent, private co-educational school in New Milton, Hampshire, providing an outstanding level of education for nursery to GCSE. With small class sizes and proven academic excellence, we strive to nurture the academic potential of all students. Learn more about our academic programmes, pastoral care, facilities and school ethos by visiting our website or by requesting a prospectus here.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: