A Dying Profession?

28 04 2010

Dr. Jensen, Deputy Chair of the House Standing Committee on Education, at the Inquiry committee hearing in Sydney yesterday, bluntly stated he sees us as a dying profession. That’s what the stats tell him.

The new manager for NSW School Libraries and Information Literacy unit was embarrassing in his ignorance.  Poor Colleen Folley. There won’t be a unit for much longer under such “leadership.”

And the committee more or less implied that if  parents aren’t  concerned, why should they be? They were, however, well informed and sympathetic and insightful.

Where are the parent subs from Tasmania, Victoria, ACT, WA, NT where they don’t have TEACHER Librarians mandated, as in NSW?  5 weeks, including school holidays, was a bit quick for their submissions, but they certainly can still make their voices heard.  In the media, with letters to local members, with letters to the House Committee and to Julia Gillard.

But do parents know the difference between a volunteer library lady and a TEACHER LIBRARIAN? Have you told yours?

In NSW it feels like we are at the barricades in fighting the federal government NPA agreements for funding which don’t preserve the staffing of TLs!  Qld and SA are already losing the battle, with TLs increasingly being put in the classroom in high schools. A former NSWTF officer just told me it will happen here.

If TLs aren’t out there in front of Parliament House in Melbourne today and in Hobart on Friday with placards letting the public know TEACHER LIBRARIANS MAKE A DIFFERENCE, then public school TLs might as well close up the shop.

OR you can contact your local media now.  They are on to the story.  Tell them why we need TEACHER librarians.

You might want to listen to  yesterday’s Canberra Drive program with Louise Maher interviewing GP.

I note no regional TL groups, nor the Vic teachers union nor parent groups are appearing at the Melbourne hearing today.  And the Victorian Dept of Ed refused to appear.

That says a matzah.



2 responses

3 06 2010
Elli Klajn

As a concerned parent I would like to lend my full support to the petition for qualified teacher librarians in every school library. The state of NSW performs better in NAPLAN tests than any other state in Australia and only NSW legislates that every school should have a teacher librarian. I feel that we in Victoria are being left behind.

I am associated with a school where 60% of the non-fiction collection is more than 30 years old. Only 5% is less than ten years old. These children are being disadvantaged through learning with obsolete innacurate resources. Wealthy private schools generally have teacher librarians and excellent resources.

Google is not a substitute for a Teacher Librarian. The information is not child friendly and the children have little option but to plagarize. What sort of thinking or ethics does this teach.? While many state school libraries remain third rate, the gap between rich and poor will widen.

Libraries are an essential component of a democratic free society. We need citizens who can think rather than be brainwashed. Libraries do not look after themselves. Maintaining and managing a library and supplying appropriate resources to students and teachers is a huge task. It cannot be expected of volunteer parents.

In conclusion, I strongly support the speakers on this site who underline the importance of staffing every school library in Victoria with a teacher librarian.

Yours sincerely

5 06 2010
Brian Abrahamson

I am a case-hardened academic now living in retirement, and I am writing to express my strong conviction that the whole trend of modern schooling is via the use of the internet for obtaining access to information. To be useful, the internet must be backed up with help from staff who are trained in both arts, teaching and librarionship, who can encourage the students to work purposefully and efficiently in searching the available resources.

The alternative is for the students to teach themselves, or teach each other, which works in a sense but is unguided.

My strong suport goes therefore to the use of teacher-librarians as a key element of the modern school.


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