Establishing a National Dialogue

7 06 2011

The Report of the Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher Librarians, while not directly addressing these three issues  (see last three blog entries), recommends instead that a national dialogue be established by MCEECDYA on the role and training needs of teacher librarians. “This should include an examination of the adequacy of the pathways into the profession and ongoing training requirements.”

But any dialogue must go much further into the role of the 21st C TL in literacy and learning.  It needs to bring out the research, promote our own Australian based research, look at performance evaluation of TLs through appropriate professional standards. It should look at the TL’s role in the National Curriculum with resourcing, curriculum design and assessment and whole-school information literacy and literacy programs. Such a dialogue must include school principals, teachers, education and literacy academics, authors, parents and citizens.

Recommendation 11 also recommends MCEECDYA “discuss ways to enhance partnerships with state and territory and local levels of government to support school libraries and teacher librarians.”  These government education agencies also need to be included in the national dialogue.

Adequate funding needs to support this dialogue, with a secretariat, appropriate social networking discussion sites and forums, regular symposiums, seminars, webinars, workshops and conferences.  This dialogue must result in actions to reverse the decline of qualified teacher librarians in our nation’s schools. All of us concerned with the improvement of student learning and literacy must unite in this aim.

One way to begin this dialogue is to visit the sites recently set up by the Australian School Library Association and the Australian Library and Information Association to begin a national campaign:  School Libraries 2011  for action ideas and a campaign Facebook page to contribute your thoughts and suggestions.

Or put your comments and suggestions below.  How could a genuine national dialogue be established?

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