Australia’s new Children’s Laureate speaks up for teacher librarians and school libraries

10 03 2020

Ursula Dubosarsky on the importance of school libraries and teacher librarians.

NSW Teachers Federation takes up call for qualified teacher librarians in every school

8 03 2020

“Consistent with the 2019 Annual Conference decision, Guaranteeing the teacher-librarian role in schools, a Special Interest Group has been reestablished for Federation members who are teacher-librarians and a survey of teacher-librarians is being developed to further inform Federation about the extent to which the Department’s library policy and school librarian staffing entitlements are being applied.” See full article at :
New chapter for NSW Teachers Federation TL Special Interest Group

NSW Parliament passes motion in support of TL staffing

3 03 2020

The NSW Parliament has *unanimously* passed an Upper House motion from the Greens. It calls for quality school libraries and teacher librarians in EVERY public school. With the proposed demise of Local Schools Local Decisions, a policy which gave principals responsibility for staffing (with reducing budgets), there is the possibility that the long downhill road since 2011 could be reversed. Watch the literacy rates skyrocket! Congratulations to David Shoebridge and the NSW Greens. May other states follow suit.

Shoebridge letter

David Shoebridge, NSW MLC, followed up with questions to the Education Minister in Education Budget Estimates hearing.

Re-establishing the school library turns literacy results around

4 12 2019

Adam Carey, for The Age, reports on Melbourne high school principal who turned student results around by re-establishing their school library. Read Melbourne school turns its results around by reviving its dying library

Research Confirms Value of School Librarians

4 12 2019

Recently released review of the research confirms the value of school librarians. Article in American School Library Journal. November 26 2019.

RN Life Matters on the Value of Teacher Librarians and Their Dwindling Numbers

11 10 2019

Lyndell Sellars, head of learning resources at Cairns State High School
and Dr Margaret Merga, senior lecturer and library researcher at Edith Cowan University interviewed on ABC RN Life Matters

“School libraries hit by the loss of a dying breed as teacher librarians enter ‘survival mode'”

15 09 2019

By Rebecca Carmody, ABC News

“Researchers have reported an “alarming” loss in the number of qualified teacher librarians in schools, warning student literacy will continue to suffer if the trend is not reversed.

Key points:
There are concerns the number of teacher librarians has fallen to a critical low
Experts say they are vital to school literacy outcomes and should be mandatory
Education officials say library staffing in government schools is up to principals”

Full article here.

The evidence persists

6 03 2019

Keith Curry Lance and Debra Kachel have an excellent summary of the research on the value of trained teacher librarian staffing in Phi Delta Kappan (26 March 2018) Why School Librarians Matter

Ten ways teacher librarians improve literacy in schools

19 01 2019

Margaret Kristin Merga, Senior Lecturer in Education at Edith Cowan University, reports on her research into the relationship between staffing of qualified teacher librarians and student literacy in The Conversation, 18 January 2019.
Ten ways teacher librarians improve literacy in schools.

New School Library Campaign Hitting Mark?

18 10 2018

Some great responses to Cook’s article in The Age, “Extending the shelf life of the school library in the internet age.” and in the Sydney Morning Herald.

In praise of the library SMH 18 Oct. 2018

A school library is more than a storeroom for books (“School libraries’ shelf life in the balance”, October 17). It is at the centre of thinking and imagination within the school community.

As with all aspects of learning, this is best guided by a trained teacher. In this case a teacher librarian, who can connect young minds with the diverse thoughts of others in ways that are engaging, relevant and reflective, – Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls

Having had the opportunity to work in and visit high schools across the state, I would assert that if you were required to make a quick judgment of the educational effectiveness of such an institution you could do no better than visit the library.

State high schools, in the main, have had the great benefit of reasonably resourced and committed, future-oriented, well-trained librarians.

To suggest that these engines of education be cut back rather than enhanced is blind and ignorant. – Gus Plater, Saratoga

In 2010, a national inquiry was conducted into school libraries resulting in several recommendations being made. In the eight years since that inquiry, none of the recommendations have been implemented, in fact the position of school libraries and teacher librarians has worsened.

One of the roles of a qualified teacher librarian is literature specialist, which enables them to select the best quality material, as well as being able to place the right book in the hands of their students. All we hear is children need to read more, but if you visited a school with a qualified teacher librarian and a well-resourced library, you would see students engaged in their reading. – Sharon McGuinness, Thirroul

Sadly, it is not just school libraries facing these issues but public libraries, special libraries (government departments, corporate and law firms), technical and university libraries too. Librarians are massively unacknowledged – their skills and knowledge base built up over years discarded by administrators across all levels of society. The myth that everything is on the internet is all pervasive. The results are there for all to see – a society believing fake news encompassing large numbers of citizens who have no ability to think critically or analyse information for evidence. They are easy targets for conspiracy theories and outright lies.

Our children deserve better if they are to grow up and develop the skills to be able to evaluate the information that is widely disseminated. – Wendy Cousins, Balgownie