New School Library Campaign Hitting Mark?

18 10 2018

Some great responses to Cook’s article in The Age, “Extending the shelf life of the school library in the internet age.” and in the Sydney Morning Herald.

In praise of the library SMH 18 Oct. 2018

A school library is more than a storeroom for books (“School libraries’ shelf life in the balance”, October 17). It is at the centre of thinking and imagination within the school community.

As with all aspects of learning, this is best guided by a trained teacher. In this case a teacher librarian, who can connect young minds with the diverse thoughts of others in ways that are engaging, relevant and reflective, – Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls

Having had the opportunity to work in and visit high schools across the state, I would assert that if you were required to make a quick judgment of the educational effectiveness of such an institution you could do no better than visit the library.

State high schools, in the main, have had the great benefit of reasonably resourced and committed, future-oriented, well-trained librarians.

To suggest that these engines of education be cut back rather than enhanced is blind and ignorant. – Gus Plater, Saratoga

In 2010, a national inquiry was conducted into school libraries resulting in several recommendations being made. In the eight years since that inquiry, none of the recommendations have been implemented, in fact the position of school libraries and teacher librarians has worsened.

One of the roles of a qualified teacher librarian is literature specialist, which enables them to select the best quality material, as well as being able to place the right book in the hands of their students. All we hear is children need to read more, but if you visited a school with a qualified teacher librarian and a well-resourced library, you would see students engaged in their reading. – Sharon McGuinness, Thirroul

Sadly, it is not just school libraries facing these issues but public libraries, special libraries (government departments, corporate and law firms), technical and university libraries too. Librarians are massively unacknowledged – their skills and knowledge base built up over years discarded by administrators across all levels of society. The myth that everything is on the internet is all pervasive. The results are there for all to see – a society believing fake news encompassing large numbers of citizens who have no ability to think critically or analyse information for evidence. They are easy targets for conspiracy theories and outright lies.

Our children deserve better if they are to grow up and develop the skills to be able to evaluate the information that is widely disseminated. – Wendy Cousins, Balgownie




One response

18 10 2018

I understand the focus is on providing teacher librarians, but I also feel strongly that having a qualified Librarian who is passionate, has a commitment to professional development and is keeping abreast of current educational strategies is surely better than no one…..

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