Over 1,600 people have signed a petition demanding that school libraries be staffed.

On Monday, the initiators handed over the collection of names in the form of an 80 meter roll of parchment to Minister of Education Lotta Edholm (L).

- There was a symbolic value in carrying the heavy scroll and feeling how heavy public opinion is on this issue, says the initiator Hilma Olsson, publisher at Hega's publishing house to SVT and adds that she has training pains after pounding around on the parchment scroll.

Continues to risk reduced reading comprehension

Among those who have signed are authors, researchers and teachers - and the petition states that reading comprehension among young people will drop further unless a change in the law takes place.

- We will also see that inequality increases between students who are strong readers and students who are weak readers, says Hilma Olsson and continues:

- A school librarian should not be added as a bonus when you have staffed the rest of the school.

Without the school librarian being part of the foundation of the school, then you get a good school.

The Minister of Education: Important question

An inquiry proposal on staffed school libraries is with the government office.

Before the election, the Liberals were positive about the investigation, but Hilma Olsson experienced on Monday a cool interest from the education minister in the matter.

- How much can you say that you stand for a decision, for a bill, if you do nothing in practice to work for it?, says Hilma Olsson to SVT.

Education Minister Lotta Edholm tells Kulturnyheterna that the issue is important, but at the same time she does not give any information about when a decision can be expected.

Nor does she answer whether the law change is required.

- We must improve the quality of school libraries in general.

There are too many differences today between the schools that have staffed school libraries with a great deal of books and expertise, and those that may only have a few bookshelves standing in a corner, she says.

When Kulturnyheterna asks if the Liberals have swung on the issue, the education minister replies:

- It is no secret what the Liberals have done, and thought.

But now the matter must be prepared further here in the government office before we can put forward proposals about this.