To the Honorable Sharon Bird and Jennie George:
Congratulations on your recent win!
Prime Minister elect, Kevin Rudd, has provided an excellent opportunity for you to find out more about the relationship of information literacy to information technology. In launching his “education revolution” he has asked you to visit two schools your electorate. And he was standing in a Queensland SCHOOL LIBRARY for the announcement!
As part of Labor’s computer package it is vital to acknowledge these key points:
Information technology needs information literacy.
Teacher Librarians are information literacy experts.
Research consistently shows that libraries have an impact on student learning.
Too many school libraries across Australia are in decline.
For further information, go to The Hub now http://hubinfo.wordpress.com/ and read about the inequalities in school library funding and staffing.
When you visit a school library, here are a few questions you might ask:
1. Is the school library staffed by a professional teacher librarian with adequate time to work with students and teachers? Australian standards* call for a full time teacher librarian for 17 total teaching staff, two for 50.
2. Do clerical staff shelve and check out books? Clerical assistants can free teacher-librarians to work with students and teachers.
3. Is the school library open to students every day, all day? Many school libraries are closed on some days due to low staffing levels. Many are closed to others when teacher librarians take a teacher’s class for their release time. This is a serious block to collaborative teaching of information literacy skills.
4. What is the annual budget for materials, print as well as electronic? Australian standards* recommend 12-34 items per student depending on the school enrollment, with a 10% annual replacement rate.
5. Ask if the teacher librarian works with the class and teacher to assist students to learn to find, critically assess and use information effectively.
6. Is the Internet part of student library research resources? Does the teacher librarian help students make the best use of the web? Is there a school wide program to teach these and other information literacy skills?
Hoping you can assist us in getting answers to these vital questions throughout the state and country.
Quality school libraries make a difference!
Thank you for your time and consideration,