Teacher librarians could soon be left on the funding shelf

14 10 2012

Opinion piece in today’s SMH by Anna Fienberg

October 15, 2012

The library is a magical place, inhabited by a cast of invisible people who conduct their lives off stage, yet when introduced to us can transform our world forever.

The library is the heart of the primary school, and it is the teacher librarian who brings it alive.

Yet a slow erosion of this position is under way and a permanent loss of such a fundamental person in our primary schools would have devastating consequences in the lives of our children. Originally a full-time position, regardless of the size the school, the days worked by teacher librarians are now dictated by the number of students.

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28 10 2012
Erica Jolly

Dear Georgia, I have just returned from WA where I visited Warnbro Community High School and saw the joint community / school community library. It was providing wonderful resources for the school where a third of its 1500 students need some kind of extra or special support. The failure of guaranteed support by departments of education throughout Australia for libraries means that some schools will have nothing – like Henley High here – and, once this additional alternative, interdisciplinary avenue is gone it is may be considered too expensive to re-establish when the serious cost of its loss is realised down the track, This development in SA is good. DECD is to be congratulated but there are schools which will fulfil SHerry Turkle’s prediction in ‘Alone Together: When we expect more from technology than each other’. She is a Professor of Social studies in and of the Sciences at MIT. A fearsome prospect. There, in this instance, is recognition of the value of this investment. But it is not only for primary schools. Secondary schools need the same. Erica Jolly Education/health liaison GW-SA

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