And so say all of us!

13 01 2008

I once mentioned a teeny criticism of Agnes Nieuwenhuizen, but I now sit here and implore her forgiveness.  Her most recent article appearing in The Age says it all.  The Hub can not put it any better. 

“Australia is sadly lagging in what is widely known internationally as reader development. Many countries have instituted national organisations to create and deliver innovative programs to foster reading and literacy….” 

Read the entire article for brilliant and inspired ideas for such programs, that really would bring about an education revolution in this country.

Please, please, everyone read this now.  Parents, teachers, principals, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, read this now.  ASLA, ALIA and our state organisations,  respond to this now.

The Hub says that it offers a more collective approach to advocacy for teacher librarians, and here is an opportunity (and not just TLs either, anyone can join in!)

1.  Print Agnes Nieuwenhuizen’s article, attach a short note, and send to

The Minister for Education, The Hon. Julia Gillard MP
PO Locked Bag 14
Werribee Vic 3030 

If you don’t have a printer, a stamp, or access to a post box, then email to

Then send us a quick note to tell us that you have done it. Based on the response to our informal and completely unscientific survey undertaken last year(200+), our current blog stats (approx 60 a day) and the unfortunate likelihood that many of our readers are off on a nice holiday, I challenge the TL community to get 100 copies of this to  our federal education minister by the end of the week.  YOUR letter could make the difference to this goal.

2. Send a letter to The Age in response to this article.  They will certainly be hearing from us, but a few more letters will always help. 

Send your letters to:
Fax: +61 (0)3 96012414
Snailmail: 250 Spencer Street, Melbourne 3000

All letters and email (no attachments) to The Age must carry the sender’s home address and day and evening phone numbers for verification. Letter writers who would like receipt of their letters acknowledged should send a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Ideally, letters will be a maximum of 200 words.




3 responses

13 01 2008
Dona Hartwich

I have just sent the article to Ms Gillard via email, along with the following comment.
I am a teacher librarian in a secondary school in rural Victoria. When I was first employed at this school five years ago, it was staffed by two full time teacher librarians. The student population and work load has increased but the staffing level has decreased to 1.4 teacher librarians. Please read the following article and then help fund school libraries!

13 05 2008

Liza Moss
TL Kotara High School wrote this letter to Agneson 12 Aug:

I can reassure Agnes Nieuwenhuizen that there are still people in schools whose job and privilege it is to encourage children and young adults to read. They are teacher librarians having both a knowledge and understanding of curriculum, and expertise in librarianship including children’s literature. The ability to match the right book to the child is still valued by teacher librarians if not the educational bureaucracies.

Last week three classes came to the library to select reading material, three classes with widely differing reading abilities and interests. For each class I created a book display. Each class had a different selection based on knowledge of the students. I highlighted Australian titles believing it is important that we see our own lives reflected in literature as well as vicariously living others’. Students chose what they liked (not limited to the books displayed) and most found something to interest them.

The sad thing is that teacher librarians are often not valued. Many Victorian schools have chosen not to employ teacher librarians despite research showing that a well-stocked school library with qualified staff has a positive effect on students’ academic results regardless of other variables. In my own state of New South Wales we still have teacher librarians but they have become subverted to provide relief from face to face teaching in primary schools and marginalised in secondary schools.

15 02 2009
Housekeeping, and some updates « The Hub

[…] And so say all of us! – This article generated more hits than anything else we’ve done, and it is still visited each day.  We didn’t reach our target of 100 letters by the end of last week, but we encourage you to still do it, and tell us about it. We don’t have a deadline. […]

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