|Dear Supporter of Quality School Libraries in Australia
It has been two years since we started petitioning the government to arrest the decline in school library staffing in Australia. Thanks to you, we successfully initiated the House Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher Librarians in 2010. Thanks to you, the newly formed Gillard government tabled the Inquiry Report on May 23rd 2011.
We need your help once again.
The government must now be urged to respond to that report THIS YEAR. The last House sitting is the 24th of November.
Ring your local federal member right now.
You can find your electorate here and find your local federal member here.
Ask your local federal member (their staff officer in your local electorate office can pass on your message) to urge Julia Gillard to respond to the Report of the Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher Librarians in 21st Century Australia now.
Or for an email, you can use or adapt the following:
I call on the federal government to ensure that all Australian primary and secondary students have access to a school library and a qualified teacher librarian.
As it has done in the past, the federal government is in a position to influence state school library funding and staffing. To do this, it can:
- collect national data on school library staffing, funding, and scheduling;
- tie funding so that states can and must adequately staff and fund school library programs and services;
- require that literacy programs and other national curricula should explicitly recognize the central role school libraries have in student achievement, literacy attainment, and preparation for post-secondary success;
- develop national school library standards;
- increase teacher librarian training positions in university programs.
The eleven report recommendations are not costly nor difficult and aim to advance student literacy and learning through the collection of data including a workforce gap analysis, extending programs for the training of teacher librarians, supporting Australian research similar to that overseas which has demonstrated the link between school library staffing, funding and scheduling with student achievement and literacy, lowering the cost of online databases for schools, and development of a national policy on information and digital literacy.
I would also like a body be set up to formulate up-to-date guidelines for school library staffing and funding as asked for in many of the 387 submissions. The government should also fund the placement of teachers in teacher librarian programs to meet the severe decline in numbers in most of our states and territories.
Lastly I ask you to show your commitment by signing the School Library Service Declaration at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/school-library-service-declaration.html
It is the responsibility of federal and state and territory governments to maximise educational outcomes for all Australian students through quality school library services with qualified staff.
Thank you for your consideration and support,
And for your assistance, the Hub thanks you.
Georgia Phillips, co-founder The Hub: Campaign for Quality School Libraries in Australia
A Qualified TL in Every School petition
My School Library site for parents
Teachers, Principals and Teacher Educators Connecting with Teacher Librarians