A Summer of Fire

7 01 2013

As temperatures soar to unwelcome heights and the smell of smoke is cause for alarm, The Hub would like to extend its best wishes to all our colleagues, their family and friends, and those we don’t know, who have been affected in any way by the fire monster. 

Our history and our nation are dotted with disasters, particularly cyclones, floods and fires and so few Australians would be immune to their effects.  But it is the burning or drowning of a school that always seems to draw the focus of the news crews, and yesterday, was no exception.  The Channel 9’s Today news crew was on scene at the remains of the Dunalley School on the Tasman Penisnula in Tasmania, filming from what was the library.  Now there are just rows of ash where the books had been and molten plastic lumps of what had been the computer centre.  Even in disaster, the library becomes the hub of the school.

Dunalley Primary, sadly, is not the first school to experience such destruction, and, sadly, nor will it be the last. But, once again, its restoration seems to be the spearhead of the recovery process and Fullers Bookshop in Hobart  
was co-ordinating an appeal to restock the library before the Red Cross launched its relief appeal. (Those of us interstate who wish to contribute by buying a book voucher can contact them on 03 6234 3800.)

One of the strengths of the TL community is its connectedness.  Even though we may be the only one of us in our schools, we connect through state, national and international listservs, blogs, nings, wikis, personal connections, Facebook and other social networking tools in a way that few other professions do, and it is those connections which enable us to spread the word of need and want with almost the speed of the fire or the flood.  Proof of that comes from the 5000 teddies collected within a month for distribution to Canberra children after the 2003 fires, and again after Cyclone Yasi and the Victorian fires of 2009; the quilts-for-kids for the 2009 Victorian victims; the snowflakes for the children of Sandy Hook and a myriad of others.

The library is the hub of the school and the TL is the hub of that.  So let’s use that leadership position to be pro-active in times of disaster.  Look for opportunities, or initiate them, to exploit our connectedness to help communities to heal.  With the Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecasting “treacherous fire conditions” at least once every four days for the next five weeks, sadly, the opportunity will arise for many.  Be the beacon to which others turn, and the rest of us can be the rocks on which you stand.

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3 responses

7 01 2013
Erica Jolly

May we also send money/cheque – I do not use the Internet for banking – to Fullers Bookshop to help them support the re-establishment of the library/resource centre by providing a book or books asked for by the school? I would need the postal address of the bookshop,
Erica Jolly
Graduate Women-SA

7 01 2013
barbara288

Erica, you will need to contact the bookshop for the answer to your queries. This post just passed on information given to the author. If you follow the link to the bookshop from the page, you will find their contact address and other information.

7 01 2013
barbara288

In response to Karelle Taylor’s message to OZTL_NET that she will hold a fundraiser to purchase a book voucher for the school, Kerry Neary has suggested that the 2013 Challenge (see previous post) could be a tie-in.

“This could also be a great opportunity to use the LMNET 2013 reading idea that Barbara posted, as a one-off event. (More on using it as an ongoing project at a later date, closer to the school year.)

Organise a Read 2-0-1-3 for Tasmania fund raiser. Everybody in the school stops and reads for 2013 seconds (33 min 33). Build in some sponsorship or a coin donation (to ‘pay for the time off’) and donate the funds to a school.”

If you have a suggestion that will place the spotlight on the TL’s leadership role, please share it.

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