Signing off (but not out)

13 12 2012

At a time when TL numbers had been seriously depleted in Australia, when thousands of schools and students were, and still are, without the advantage of a qualified teacher librarian (as high as 50% in some states) and as reading standards continued to fall, The Hub was born.  Seven years ago, July 2007, saw the beginning of this advocacy group and web blog.

In the beginning our only agenda was to respond where appropriate in the media, contact politicians with the research on the value of trained teacher librarians, and to urge our professional bodies to act.

In October 2009, The Hub launched an online petition to the then Minister of Education, Julia Gillard, for a federal review. The petition with 1600 signatures (now 3169!) was presented through federal MP, Sharon Bird, Chair of the House Education Committee in November. To our astonishment, the response was the funding of a Federal Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher Librarians which lasted until a Report was tabled in May 2011.

The Report stands as a detailed investigation of the role and status of teacher librarians and school libraries, of their proven value in student learning, of the need to reverse the decline in tertiary training programs, and of the catastrophic effects of school based management on TL staffing.

The juggernaut of SBM, nevertheless, continues, now in NSW. The attack on government school funding continues. The TL advocacy movement must keep building in every state and territory, working with parents, teacher educators, principals, politicians, teacher unions and the media at every opportunity.  Adequate government school funding will be the deal-breaker.

As for The Hub, it has tried to provide historical context, links to statistics and research, examples of advocacy and working with the media, letter templates, petitions, contacts, and news of related movements around the world.

It is now time for others to take the baton, and those already holding it, to carry on. 387 submissions and 13 hearing transcripts and the final Report provide evidence to support the struggle.  We hope The Hub has inspired, supported and contributed to teacher librarian advocacy which will eventually turn the tide for our nation’s students.

Thank you to the small group of dedicated critical thinkers who have formed The Hub Think Tank. Your ideas and words and thoughts and efforts cast and shaped it.  This site itself will stay up as long as it is seen to be useful.  Thank you all for your support, efforts and contributions.  It is a great profession to be working in and I am proud to have worked with you.

Long live the spirit of The Hub.

Georgia Phillips, co-founder

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12 responses

13 12 2012
Barbara Braxton

Thanks for all you’ve done for the profession, Georgia. You’ve left an amazing legacy and huge shoes to fill.

13 12 2012
hubinfo

Only supported by your writing and editing skills, BB, and clear thinking. Thank YOU and keep up your efforts.

13 12 2012
Toni Leigh

Georgia, you will be truly missed – thank you for your tireless devotion to the cause and selfless giving.

13 12 2012
hubinfo

Keep up the struggle in Queensland, Toni. You have a great association up there and well-informed leaders, such as yourself, to carry on. It has been an honour to work with you and SLAQ.

13 12 2012
David Linke

Georgia –

You might claim to be writing your last post… But something tells me you will write more. The sort of advocacy you’ve lead over the past 7 years isn’t something that you can just turn off.

Your work is truly outstanding, to get a Parlimentary Enquiry launched and then delivered is something truly amazing.

Some might claim that the Hub should have joined one of the existing associatations, but I truly believe that your work was invaluable. The school library industry should be forever grateful to you and the other Hubbers.

You are an amazing person.

13 12 2012
hubinfo

David, how great to hear from you. Thanks for the endorsement, but I had an “awesome” (this time, in the true meaning of the word!) team, who were always positive in their criticism, putting forward great ideas and willing to walk the walk, not just talk the same old… New blood needs to form new action teams, or maybe some of the other Hubbers will go on to do so. Thanks for getting us a logo and for the terrific posters and all of your ideas and support. Keep up your own energy and enthusiasm and I know Australian TLs will once again lead the world profession with advocates like you.

14 12 2012
Catherine Hainstock

Thank you Georgia for all your work and dedication to TLs across Australia. Your voice in the advocacy arena will be missed. All the best for whatever future plans you have.

14 12 2012
hubinfo

Keep up your great efforts, Catherine. And mentor the up and comers:-)

14 12 2012
M.Gray (@mtngry)

I think this is way too important to finish. You have become a go to site for TLs everywhere.

14 12 2012
hubinfo

Thanks, MG. The site will stay active and if other links, news, resources need to go up, perhaps you can let me know, if I am available to do it. It seems each state and territory must fight its own battle now, esp for the underpinning government school funding. Keep up the effort. gp

14 12 2012
Erica Jolly

Dear Georgia, Thank you for all your hard work. You are right. Every State and Territory needs to continue the fight. In SA some schools are not going down the path of what Henley High School, I believe, now calls its ‘digital resource centre’. I have visited a school where there is a strong commitment to the multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional, resource centre covering all forms of digital and non-digital avenues of learning for students at different stages of development and it has two teacher librarians, one able to work in the resource centre while the other supports students around the school in different areas. Once libraries are destroyed as was done by Henley High School, there is no going back for future students, parents and members of that school community. However, Schools of Education can re-establish courses for teacher librarians. While individual schools will suffer over time from such deliberate decisions that refuse to recognise that ours is not and should not be a totally digital world, and the e-books are an expensive option for the schools that have chosen this route – given local school autonomy – Departments of Education do not have to perpetuate that error of judgment for the other schools. I am glad the site will stay active. Once more, thank you, Georgia
Erica Jolly
Graduate Women-SA

16 12 2012
hubinfo

You have been such a strong spokesperson for learning and libraries, Erica. Thank you for all you do and here’s hoping SA will find its feet. There are great schools out there, as you say, to lead the way. Best wishes, G

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