ROZ Foyer pens an excellent article on paying women fairly that I would concur with completely ("It’s time to pay women fairly. So let those wealthy bosses foot the bill", The Herald, September 1). One of the issues that Ms Foyer hasn’t really addressed is the sheer ridiculousness of defining certain roles as “women’s work”.

In a modern society there is only work, although there are certainly historical problems with the lack of women in certain industries. The construction industry has moved forward with females picking up apprenticeships and I believe manufacturing has too.

In my previous life with the drinks industry we had almost no pay disparities between men and women. Indeed over the past 40 years the rise of women in senior roles has been increasing year on year.

My view was always to view candidates' suitability on their ability to do the job. No other reason makes sense. Certain jobs still seem to attract more women than men or vice versa but it should never lead to any disparity in pay.

John Gilligan, Ayr.

Librarians should watch their backs

I WAS sorry to read your report on the Glasgow School Library Outreach Service ("Shock as city council closes ‘essential’ library service for schools and nurseries", The Herald, September 1, and Letters, September 2). It was familiar to me as I worked in the similar service in Argyll and Bute until it was closed down as being "an old-fashioned way to deliver services", and I was told that no-one needed more than one shelf of books. Unfortunately we were working to management who seemed to have never used a library and rarely read a book.

Like the Glasgow SLO we provided most of the services referred to, with orders possible by phone or personal visit. Deliveries were made on a termly basis, so we had particularly busy times, but still managed to get out to help schools organise their own libraries. Deliveries were made using the Mobile Library, which gave children a taste of library provision, something often lacking in their areas. They could choose their own books and keep them until the next visit as well as enjoying the books already selected by their teacher. One service we provided not mentioned was to record schools radio programmes for rural schools which could not get reception. Obviously that will have changed.

All of this was done in a rural and island setting with a lot of good will on both sides. After all this time, I still meet former teachers who regret the loss of the service, but no-one had asked their opinion, it was just a fait accompli.

In a later post I accompanied a teacher to choose appropriate books for schools, and was surprised how easy I found it compared with her. I knew stock, publishers and authors and swiftly made my selection while she pored over each book to make sure it was what she wanted, proving to me what I hadn't considered; that librarians do have an expertise and a knowledge not always equalled or appreciated by others.

Argyll and Bute has now lost its secondary school librarians as a cost-saving exercise, despite the recognised value of librarians within the school. Glasgow school librarians (if there are any) should watch their backs.

Dorothy McLennan, Dunoon.

Read more: Western economies must act to end the slaughter in Ukraine

GPs and the PSA test

HEALTH Correspondent Helen McArdle provides a helpful, cogent summary of the current state of increasing diagnoses of prostate cancer ("Prostate cancer: The risks and symptoms", The Herald, August 31).

Recently, Doug Maughan (Letters, August 26) complained about a few recalcitrant GPs failing to recognise their role in early detection of prostate cancer. He is right to be concerned if patients are not offered a consistent approach to such risks, but it remains complex territory for all. We are still some way off having sound evidence to support creating a national screening programme.

In GP consultations, best evidence will be available to inform the discussion and that should be provided to the patient in as clear and balanced a way as possible. What follows is generally referred to as shared decision-making and many tools exist to take patients through that process. It takes time.

Interestingly and exceptionally, the PSA test has been the subject of two UK-wide shared decision tools, distributed to all GPs in folders, some 35 years ago and again in the early 2000s. Sadly, not all of us kept these paper folders to hand and made use of them. Of course, nowadays the internet provides ready information for patients and their families whether from NHS websites or patient organisations. For instance, an NHS website on PSA testing suggests that "GPs should use their clinical judgment to manage asymptomatic men and those aged under 50 whom they consider to be at increased risk of prostate cancer".

Prostate Cancer UK offers: "Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk continues to increase as you get older. But because you have a family history of prostate cancer, we strongly recommend you speak to your GP about your risk from the age of 45." This is information which I would have used with my patients, rather then a reported statement from a specialist.

Having one or more relatives with prostate cancer causes concern but the increased risk label is based on those relatives being diagnosed at under 60 years of age. This is the sort of information which GPs can provide and factor into the discussion and if a recommendation is asked for (What would you do, doctor?), then that advice may be not to have a PSA test.

Philip Gaskell, retired GP, Drymen.

Murder on the Aussie express

REGARDING the recent correspondence on Taggart (Letters, August 24 & 26): some years ago my husband and I went on a trip to Australia. One night we travelled on a suburban train in Melbourne. It was dark outside. A man sat behind us and a woman sat further down the long carriage. The man lent forward and asked if we came from Glasgow. On hearing we were he asked if my husband would say "there's been a murder".

My husband did so in a raised voice, much to the pleasure and enjoyment of the man. The woman, however, turned round, extremely alarmed.

Helen Maule, East Kilbride.