Illawarra TLs speak out

20 06 2014

Illawarra Mercury article June 20 2014TLs defend role in digital age





NSW Teachers Union negotiates to save specialist teachers under LSLD guidelines

2 06 2014

The NSW Teachers Federation has successfully negotiated with their state department of education for principals to be able to use Gonski funding to retain specialist teachers, such as teacher librarians.

“Federation successfully advocated that schools should use this funding to create whatever new staffing positions they sought, rather than trade off existing positions and jeopardise the overall entitlement in the future. If a school demonstrates that they can do away with an assistant principal, head teacher or teacher-librarian position today, why would Treasury in the future continue to fund the existing number of positions? As evidenced in Victoria, this reduction in provision is what the devolution agenda is all about.”

While devolution in staffing decisions has meant the trade off of some teaching positions for others, to the long-term detriment of these positions, this does not have to happen in NSW. See full article at “New policy to determine staff mix in schools” by Gary Zadkovich (Education newsletter of the NSW Teachers Federation, 2 June 2014)





No TLs, fewer kids learning to read?

16 02 2014

Schools are failing to teach children to read

Read what authors and educators are saying is behind lower reading results





New promotional video clip

6 02 2014

Promoting your school library

“This short promotional film, developed by ALIA Schools, is for principals, school communities, teacher librarians, library staff and teachers and can be used to help promote the important role school libraries and teacher librarians can play through contributing to student success in learning in both primary and secondary school settings.”

At last, something worth posting:-)  Well done ALIA!

PS

Check out these other clips on YouTube:

21st Century School Libraries (Sioux Falls Schools, 2012) (28 minutes)

Teacher Librarians at The Heart of Student Learning (Washington Library Media Association, 2013)) (5 min)





Vote for the full Gonski

3 09 2013

A vote for the full Gonski has the best chance of increased funding for government schools. Cash-strapped principals can retain specialist teachers, such as teacher librarians, and resource iCentres/libraries to support quality teaching and learning.

Check out the stance of Labor, Liberal and Greens at http://igiveagonski.com.au/ to see the difference in their support for education.  Make your vote count for our children and students.





To the federal candidates

26 08 2013

After 13 hearings in major Australian capital cities in 2010 and 2011, a bi-partisan House Committee of Inquiry published its Report School libraries and teacher librarians in 21st century Australia (March 2011).

Few of its 11 Recommendations have been implemented, and none which bears upon the essential problem of the demise of a profession and its impact on declining student literacy and learning.

Of the government’s response in November 2011, crucial concerns remain unaddressed:

Still no government staffing statistics.

Reporting on the number and training of specialist staff is still to be included in My School information. As yet, no hard data has been collected by the government on the number of schools without professionally qualified teacher librarians.  The closest related data, in the 2010 report on Staffing in Australia’s Schools includes principal reporting on unfilled positions. This is meaningless when most states do not require libraries to be staffed by qualified teacher librarians and budget-constrained principals are forced to view teacher librarians as a luxury.

The question remains, how many schools do not have at least one full-time equivalent teacher librarian?

The last survey to address this question, indicated that at least a third of government schools did not (and one third of Anglican schools have two or more librarians) (Australian School Libraries Research Project, 2008). Yet the government workforce data is skewed to show only 190 unfilled positions in 2010.

This brings us to the second crucial problem.

Insufficient training places.

The federal Labor government has worked a miracle in upgrading school infrastructure.  Almost one third of Australia’s schools now have new BER libraries, 3177out of 9427 schools.  This is wonderful!

But without qualified TLs, these are woefully underutilized facilities, too often closed or used as another classroom.

Better Schools money will mean that many of those budget-restricted principals will be able to professionally staff their libraries, AND be able to resource them with up-to-date digital book collections, databases, e-magazines, library apps for smart technology, resources which qualified teacher librarians can collaboratively integrate into teaching and learning encounters.

BUT, where will principals find these qualified teacher librarians? With only three tertiary teacher librarian courses, how many new TLs can be trained? Certainly not the thousands which seem to be needed. Unfortunately, universities are being stripped of funds to finance the Gonski reforms.  Robbing Peter to pay Paul will not help our TL shortage.

So we must ask federal candidates of all parties:

  1. What will you do to collect useful government data on teacher librarian staffing? 
  2. What will you do to increase tertiary education programs to ensure every school can have a qualified teacher librarian?

The government inquiry acknowledged the work of teacher librarians in respect to eLearning, literacy and leadership in their schools.  What will you do now to see that that role is filled to support quality teachers and support our students in reading and learning?

 

Further information for teachers, principals and teacher educators on the role of teacher librarians in learning can be found at my website connect2tls.info. For parents at My School Library. GP

 





Next to last Australian school library support service to go

23 08 2013

As of 27 September, Western Australia will lose its last 15 officers who have supported school libraries in that state and around Australia. Formerly Curriculum Materials Information Services (CMIS) and more recently rebadged as E-Schooling – Evaluation and E-Schooling – Cataloguing, staff have been handed their redundancy notices.

No more links to review sources, resource price guides, and guides to selection and managing unique targeted collections.  Fiction Focus, Primary Focus, and the CMIS Resource Bank already had met their demise…all helping to resource the curriculum…and the National Curriculum, digital and non-digital.

Only NSW retains its school library support service. (Queensland does have support provided through its state library, but no dedicated departmental unit.)

If you believe in quality school library and learning centres to promote the best for student reading and learning and give teachers the resource support they need on a daily, accessible pre-selected basis, and if you are in WA, ring your local state member now.

Express outrage. Teacher librarians (and especially the many non-professional staff managing libraries in WA) require quality professional support in their efforts to broaden children’s reading experience (raise NAPLAN scores) and support digital teaching and learning and future workplace skills of collaboration and critical thinking.

How will they know if you don’t tell them?








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