YOU HAVE DONE IT!!
1846 of you (now 2025! 27/3/10), so far, have signed the petition for a federal review of school libraries and the government has responded!
In this election year, the timeframe is all too short. One month!! Nevertheless this is our opportunity for the federal government to look at possible recommendations on school library funding and staffing, the first review since the 1970s.
Terms of Reference
To inquire into and report on the role, adequacy and resourcing of school libraries and teacher librarians in Australia’s public and private schools. Specifically, the committee should focus on:
- the impact of recent policies and investments on school libraries and their activities;
- the future potential of school libraries and librarians to contribute to improved educational and community outcomes, especially literacy;
- the factors influencing recruitment and development of school librarians;
- the role of different levels of government and local communities and other institutions in partnering with and supporting school librarians; and
- the impact and potential of digital technologies to enhance and support the roles of school libraries and librarians.
As a result of submissions, the committee can recommend those things stated in the petition
that so many of you signed, that the government:
- collect national data on school library staffing, funding, and scheduling;
- tie funding so that states can and must adequately staff and fund school library programs and services;
- require that literacy programs and other national curricula should explicitly recognize the central role school libraries have in student achievement, literacy attainment, and preparation for post-secondary success;
- develop national school library standards;
- increase teacher librarian training positions in university programs.
The brief is quite broad and can accommodate these issues and more, such as special grants for Improving Literacy through School Libraries, collection of information on TL training programs and numbers enrolled, make recommendations on inclusions in pre-service teacher training on IL and TL collaboration, development of a national IL curriculum, nominating a National School Library Day, and much more.
Our thanks, especially to Sharon Bird, MP for Cunningham, NSW electorate and chair of the House Standing Committee on Education and Training for her efforts in getting this inquiry.
This is an valuable first step in improving school library funding and staffing in Australia for the 21st century.