The Hub offers TLs a different approach to advocacy. We are opening an avenue of promotion that has been missing in our professional practice. We realise that many TLs are frustrated with the role of advocacy that has become part of the job description, and invite TLs from primary and secondary, government and private schools, to redirect some of their energies to a more collective effort that demonstrates what TLs offer.
Let The Hub promote you to your school community, and join your colleagues in advocating our profession to the Australian community. Dispel the myth that we all say “Shhhh!” and speak up for school libraries.
TLs are trained to be school leaders. They are often promoted to leadership positions, including principal positions. Anecdotal evidence was collected recently for the federal Inquiry.
Ten ways to advocate beyond your school walls
- 1. Support our letter writing campaign. See our “Action!” pages to see how you can encourage politicians and candidates to include quality, well-staffed school libraries in their education platforms. Here is a direct link to Sample Letters.
2. Promote this website. Put it in your school newsletter, website, staff bulletin or school intranet.
3. Contribute to this site – your stories both good and bad. Let us know about any relevant stories in the local news. Ask for contributions from your principal, staff, students and parents and send it all in to us through our Contact page.
4. Call in to talkback radio whenever education, literacy, technology or the internet comes up. Tell them quality school libraries make a difference to student literacy and student learning. Tell them information literacy and critical thinking are even more important than information technology.
5. Write letters to the editor in support of quality school libraries and qualified teacher librarians.
6. Do your own media releases. (Some tips are on our Action! page.) When successful reading promotion activities, such as the Premier’s Reading Challenge (NSW), are reported on, make sure the teacher librarian gets the credit. When guest speakers or excursions are organized by the teacher librarian, put out a media release with photo to the local paper, naming the organizer, not just the principal!
7. Communicate with your local politicians. (Here is an example.) Invite candidates and politicians to your library and prepare a statement they can use in a media release. Take a great photo for them to use.
8. Join your local teacher librarian network. Elect a representative to meet with MPs. Share the load. Organize a time to talk to them about the value of quality, well-staffed school libraries to student literacy and academic achievement. Once contact is established, make regular (at least annual) phone calls, emails, letters.
9. Ensure that a representation of teacher-librarians attend district union meetings frequently. Report issues to your union as frequently as they occur. They are democratic, and numbers matter.