Hub Friends

Friends of The Hub is a coalition of individuals and organisations

who support The Hub’s campaign for quality school libraries.

It is a collective voice calling for quality libraries for all Australian schools.

If you would like to be listed as a member of FROTH,

 click here to send us an email, or leave your statements of support below.  Venceremos!

35 responses

9 04 2008

Libby Gleeson, author and past chair Australian Society of 

Dear Leonie,

Thank you for your email and response to my comments. I must 
say I am stunned at the absence of the TL community from the 
literacy debates that are ongoing in the community. You do 
have supporters out there in the writing world,especially among 
those who write for kids. The Australian Society of Authors 
is very willing to join in advocating for you. All your professional 
body needs to do is ask and we will join any attempt at advocacy.

All strength to you! Libby 

14 04 2010
Angelo Loukakis

To reinforce Libby Gleeson’s comments here, the Australian Society of Authors will be making a formal submission to the forthcoming Inquiry and urging government to commit additional resources and finds new ways of supporting and enhancing the work of school libraries and teacher librarians. To that end, information and research on this site has been invaluable in preparing our submission.

Angelo Loukakis, Exec. Director ASA

15 04 2010

Thanks, Angelo. We have really been putting it all together for almost three years!! Georgia

9 04 2008

Dr. Alan Bundy, President, Friends Of Libraries Australia

Clearly school and public libraries both need better investment to 
enable them to work together to help produce literate, reading, 
information literate and questioning young people… and that 
requires much more than ill-directed and often wasted expenditure 
on a pc for every student (I sometimes wonder if any educational 
and other bureaucrats have ever read (or can read texts like 
Professor Larry Cuban’s fairly recent and persuasive book 
Oversold and underused: computers in the classroom).
Yes, I’m well aware of the Colorado and other studies which 
validate the real return on investment in decent school libraries, 
and in teacher librarians,at the very time we are seeing static 
or declining investment in them. So strength to your arm, 
and you have my personal support 
and that of Friends of Libraries Australia (FOLA). 

You and your colleagues may be interested to know that  
FOLA’s vision is ’Better, more accessible, libraries for all 
in Australia’. Although its focus is on public libraries, 
in February 2007 we wrote to John Howard 
and Kevin Rudd about library issues. Our letter concluded 
with ’It is also a concern that public libraries are needing to help 
students more because of poorly resourced and staffed 
school libraries, particularly those in the government sector.

FOLA therefore would like you to consider including in your 
educational policy, a commitment to two complementary, or 
possibly integrated, reviews
1 A national review of the Australian public library system.
2 A national review of school libraries’ 

We are continuing to pursue those issues with the Rudd government. 
With all best wishes for your endeavours in 2008. 

9 04 2008

steve herrick, author, poet and 
Australian Literacy Ambassador

As an author who visits over one hundred and fifty school per 
year, I spend a lot of time in school libraries. They are 
colourful, stimulating, tolerant and calming environments. 
It’s where the nation’s children feel at home; where they are 
encouraged, entertained and educated by teacher librarians 
and teachers together.

A nation that supports school libraries nourishes its soul.

from Rhyming boy

My earliest memory.
I was four years old and Mum had taken me to the local library. 
I walked down aisles forest-tall with books. I opened a 
picture book. Monkeys swung from tree to tree; tigers prowled
through tall grass; baby elephants stamped dust and chased 
each other around a waterhole.

I cried when we had to leave. I screamed loudly, over and over, 
until the nice lady behind the counter let me choose five books to 
take home. I could keep them for two weeks. 

I hugged the lady around the legs. She smelt of musk. From that day, 
I’ve loved the smell of musk. And books.

9 04 2008

Rick Susman, Managing Director, 
The Booklegger bookstore, Melbourne

I’m thrilled to support you – I’ve been saying for quite a while now 
that the myth of the “bookless library” may well become a 
self-fulfilling prophecy without T/Ls. 

29 05 2008

Di Bates, author

The heart and soul, the very basis of literacy in a school, is its library. Without a well-resourced library – and this includes an enthusiastic, trained, full-time teacher-librarian – a school can only be a shell of what it ought to be and can be.
Di Bates

4 07 2008
Margaret Simkin

I believe that a strong curriculum means a sound education and a well staffed school library is at the heart of a good curriculum. I fully support the work of The Hub in advocating our behalf of school libraries and those who staff them.

21 08 2008
Clenda Wockner

Do whatever you can to hold onto Teacher-librarians in schools. In many schools in New Zealand, the staffing in libraries is librarian, head of library, library manager rather than teacher-librarian. That means that we can be paid as support staff, despite whatever fancy title they endow us with, and not as teachers regardless of our training or background.
To make it worse, support staff are paid out of the operational grant which has to cover all support staff including teacher aides and admin, and also toilet paper and consumables! As my principal said to me, the reality is that when things get tight, staffing is often the only area that can be cut. And that’s in the schools lucky enough to get library staff!
Still love the work though!

28 07 2011
Shirley Klinge

Well said. Need to get in touch
Shirley Klinge Faith College Plainland Australia

31 07 2011

Yes, Shirley?

27 01 2009

from Susanne Gervay, author:

School librarians are the heart of a school providing a hub for teachers, students, parents, creating a home for literature, subjects, thoughts and ideas.

School librarians are the vital friends of kids and Australian children’s and young adult authors bringing them together – to explore our culture, promote independent thought and create a vibrant community.


12 02 2009
Lesley Abrahams

Hi Georgia,
I am very excited by the prospect of more appropriate primary school libraries being built for our schools, and keen that they are also appropriately staffed by trained Teacher-Librarians.
Keep up the good work, and as the other comments above show, there is support everywhere, but sometimes the road seems difficult.
Literacy and Numeracy are recognised as important programmes, we have to show how we can augment them.
Best wishes,
Lesley Abrahams
Teacher-Librarian, Macquarie Anglican Grammar School, Dubbo NSW

15 02 2009

Hi Lesley. Thanks for your words of support. Now if we can just get everyone contacting their local federal and state members, as so many seem to do in the US, perhaps we can also stop trends like the downgrading of TL positions to clerical or technical. Get everyone you know to write, email or phone now! Cheers, Georgia

27 02 2009
Gabrielle Wang Author and Victorian Premiers Reading Challenge Ambassador

Teacher librarians are vital to our schools.
When my children first started primary school they had a wonderful TL who instilled in them a passion for books and reading. Half way through their primary schooling, however, the old principal retired and a new one was hired. He obviously did not value the role of the teacher librarian because he took her out of the library and moved her to the computer lab – a dark, cubby hole of a place from which she soon retired. Overnight the heart of the school disappeared. The library wasn’t the vibrant place it used to be. No longer was there a TL to decorate it with projects and posters or recommend new books to the children. It became dull and drab and dusty. What message was the principal sending to the children? That books are not important, of course. Libraries are the portals to other worlds through which children can travel. They must always be nurtured.

10 06 2009

Carol Keeble, President of the NSW Branch of the Children’s Book Council, writes in support of teacher librarians. See her column in Volume 2, 2009, News & Views, their newsletter.

5 08 2009

Marj Kirkland, President of the Childrens Book Council of Australia, and Board member of the newly formed Australian Children’s Literature Alliance writes to Julia Gillard about the decline in school library staffing:

The Honourable Ms Julia Gillard
Deputy Prime Minister
PO Box 6022

19 May 2009

Dear Ms Gillard,

Congratulations on the Government’s recent decision as part of the ‘Primary Schools for the 21st century’ scheme to provide financial provision for the establishment and refurbishment of primary school libraries. It is now of prime importance to stress the staffing of these libraries with trained personnel.

As yet, no such assurance of staffing has been given by the Government. Yet with teacher-librarian numbers dwindling, we believe that school library staffing is indeed an issue for public debate. Throughout Australia, the number of trained teacher-librarians in school libraries is diminishing to critical levels for several reasons such as the restructuring of schools (including the devolution of decision-making from central offices to principals), the absence of a government policy spotlight on reading as an agent for social change, lack of funding for professional retraining and the ageing of the teacher-librarian profession.

Over sixty studies in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. have provided strong evidence that well-resourced school libraries with professionally trained teacher-librarians are a key predictor of student academic achievement. To ensure that teachers are able to deliver a quality curriculum and that students develop the skills which will enable them to function independently in the 21st century, there needs to be a qualified teacher-librarian in every primary and secondary school in Australia.

• provide leadership in curriculum development and delivery;
• as the literature specialist, implement and promote reading programs throughout the school as well as individual free voluntary reading;
• develop a print and online resource collection that meets the needs of staff, students and the curriculum;
• teach information literacy skills in collaboration with classroom teachers so students can manage the information world with confidence and competence;
• fulfil the many other responsibilities of the qualified teacher-librarian. (See National Standards for Excellence in Teacher-librarianship:

The future of Australia lies in our commitment to build a smarter next generation. Yet recent statistics show that Australia’s literacy rating is falling in comparison to other western nations. Teacher-librarians play an integral role in educating today’s youth through reading and literacy promotion. This role is far too important to lose.

Yours sincerely

Marj Kirkland
National President, The Children’s Book Council of Australia
Australian Children’s Literature Alliance Board Member
Teacher-librarian, Aquinas College, Southport

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” Walter Cronkite

30 09 2009

From Gary Pike, Principa, Leighland Christian School, Tasmania

As Principal of my school and as an English teacher I would like to add my support for the work teacher librarians do! Our teacher librarian was at Leighland since I started here in 1993 and her knowledge about supporting teachers and students has been a major factor in the educational services we have been able to provide to both students and staff. I appreciate what she does to go the extra mile to provide a wonderful library that in usually full of activity from 11/12 students in one area and a primary class in another area. To me a library is the central place in the school. Our TL Mrs Bev Clarke is on LSL overseas so I thought I would take the opportunity to broadcast what a great job she does and how important her role is!

30 01 2010

Count me in as an Australian children’s author ready to join in the battle to save Australian school libraries. Many of us campaigned in the recent fight to protect Australian stories against Parallel Importation of Books and this battle against on-going attacks on school libraries deserves support as well. I echo Gabrielle Wang’s comments above.

From my experience in the SAVING AUSSIE BOOKS campaign – parents and grandparents of young readers are the key to making politicians take notice. And lots of well-known authors speaking out in the media adds to the mix as well.
Sheryl Gwyther

17 02 2010
Christopher Cheng

Chris Cheng
Where is the heart beat of the school?
Who is the heart beat of the school?
It has to be the library and the person is the teacher librarian.

The school librarians are vital to Australian authors and illlustrators but even more so to the schools and the community they lovingly serve.

Who is able to match the child to the appropriate book?
Who is able to say to the child I know you will love this book – I’ve read it too?

And what about the classroom teachers who need the support material for their lessons – who do they turn to?
The teacher librarian – who knows the books, who has been scouring the web for the programs and resource material that will enhance their classrooms.

And what about the parents who need support … they can turn to the teacher librarian who will show them the latest kids books, books to read to their child, or the age appropriate book to be reading to their child, or who can lend to the parents books on parenting that are held in the library. And those preschoolers and parents, where can they go while waiting to pick up their child after school – the LIBRARY and who do they talk to the TEACHER LIBRARIAN of course.

A brighter, smarter, literate Australia needs school teacher librarians.

Christopher’s blog is at

18 02 2010
Karen Robertson

Our Teacher Librarians are a treasure. They bring books to life for kids and excite them about all the possibilities in print – from facts to faraway places. There is just no substitute for this invaluable resource in schools and our kids deserve them!

18 02 2010
Prue Mason

English teachers teach the delights of English, Maths teachers teach the wonders of maths, Sports Teachers teach the thrill of sports and Teacher Librarians teach the love of books. That’s why TL’s are an integral part of a well rounded education in EVERY school.

23 10 2010
Coralie Ross

As a retired TL and enthusiastic member of the Children’s Book Council(Qld),Book Links and May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust I echo your comments Prue.I’ll never forget a long ago pupil who,two years after leaving our primary school, brought one of his high school friends to meet me because this boy had never had a story read to him. I wonder how many young people out there are like this

18 02 2010
Wendy Blaxland

I would not be who I am today – passionate reader and writer of books – if it hadn’t been for the librarians who nurtured me. The first librarian who recommended books to me, asked me my opinion when I returned them, and then suggested others, helped me fall in love with books.

Going to the library made my heart best faster, carrying out the precious heavy treasure was unbearably exciting. Oh the utter joy of being gently guided and then let loose to discover the Narnia series, all the Andrew Langs, and so many other books which are the moral bedrock and frame of my soul.

My children were lucky enough to have wonderful teacher-librarians who expanded their horizons. My son would not have survived and completed school without the library to retreat to when he needed understanding librarians to provide a quiet safe space, a haven from the hurly-burly of the playground.

A school without a library is a school without one of its chief treasures for kids: that magic portal where anyone who can read or listen or look can step through to hear the whispers from all those invisible voices of everyone who has ever written or illustrated or photographed or helped make a book. Every book is the door to a magic world waiting to delight, inspire, shock, awe, excite, inform…

A school without a teacher librarian is a school without the wise counsellor who can help guide children to unlock those doors, without which they might be like Alice down the rabbithole outside Wonderland, peeping through the keyhole-or worse still, never even knowing what worlds of delight lie behind the locked doors of books.

Of all places to resource a school, the library is paramount. Computers are vital too; I work at my beloved computer every day. But they can never replace books. Their shape, their heft, their feel, their smell: ah the history in even the most dog-eared, meanest paperback book!

Sadly, in a school without a teacher-librarian, with no-one to love the books and care for them, and help students to come to know them, the library will become dusty, unattractive, wither and die like an unwatered garden. This has happened in America, where I read of a principal deciding to sell all the library’s books because ‘no one takes them out ‘. Without a teacher-librarian to guide the students, sadly, I can imagine this happening here.

Oh yes, fund our libraries, thank you, but please, also fund the teacher-librarians with their invisible magician’s cloaks who help children learn to wield their own powerful wand of literacy and keep the heart of the library alive!

19 02 2010
Oliver Phommavanh

I remember as a kid (and as a teacher today) those funny book posters like ‘fall into a book’ and so on…I have many fond memories in libraries, discovering new worlds and having kind and passionate librarians helped a lot.
Librarians are essential for kids who love books. I’m ashamed to say that there are many teacher librarians who double up as computer teachers because the computers are in the library. Library time should not be ‘computer time’ with 4 seconds for borrowing a book, but sadly this is the case. The library program needs a revamp and maintaining the high quality of teacher-librarians is the key!
Maintain the passion!

19 02 2010
Wendy Orr

Wendy Orr, Author and Victorian Premier’s Reading Ambassador

If we’re serious about promoting literacy in children (and how can we be serious about any education without literacy?) then it should be obvious we need school libraries staffed by teacher librarians – people whose own choice of career makes them uniquely qualified to introduce children to the books that will stimulate their curiosity and imagination, broaden their view of the world, and lead to a lifelong love of learning.

3 03 2010
Sue Lawson

School librarians are vital – simple as that. School librarians inspire, educate and inform.
As an author, I find them to be supportive and passionate, and as a teacher, they are the first person I turn to when I need information.
If we are serious about increasing children’s literacy skills, we need to ensure every school has a librarian.

12 04 2010
Deborah Abela

I’m lucky enough to work in a public school library one day a week alongside a full time, dedicated Teacher/Librarian…the mix of kids and books is a natural…and there is nothing like chatting to my Book Club about their latest fav book, suggesting new ones to other book lovers or helping that reluctant kid agree to take home a book only to have them run into the library the next day wanting more.

The link between illiteracy and people in prison is undeniable. The link between literacy and achieving good results across the curriculum is irrefutable. The library is a place to make sure reading is not only enjoyed but treasured and the teacher librarian, with their flare for creating enticing spaces, is the keeper and giver of all that gold, which not only enriches those kids, but flows on to create a smarter, more enlightened Australia.

Let’s hope the Rudd government not only provides money for the building of modern school libraries but equips them with the professionals to make sure they send kids into their futures filled to the brim with ideas, imagination and knowledge.

14 04 2010
Sheryl Gwyther

Well done, Hubbers! Your support for children’s books, through the school libraries, and the jobs of your fellow teacher-librarians is heartening to see. Aussie children’s authors salute you!

4 07 2010

On behalf of SAVING AUSSIE BOOKS Re-visited CAMPAIGN, I’ll be appearing at the Public Hearing when it comes to Brisbane tomorrow – July 6th 11am-12 noon, at Parliament House in the Undumbi Room, Level 5, Parliamentary Annexe.

22 08 2010

Tehani Wessely to me

As a teacher librarian, teacher, reader, publisher and literacy advocate, I think it’s great that The Hub are providing a unified voice to support the fight for teacher librarians in schools. I’ve been in schooling systems in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory and can without reservation say that schools with qualified and committed teacher librarians are better resourced, with more opportunities for encouraging a love of learning and literacy (of all kinds), than schools without. Keep up the great work!

Tehani Wessely

28 12 2011
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… | Sheryl Gwyther – author

[…] organisations like Friends of The Hub – Campaign for Quality School Libraries in Australia. This site provides sample protest […]

10 02 2012
Rajesh Badiger

Hi iam Rajesh Badiger working as a Teacher Librarian in India .iam really surprised by the attempts made by yourself .keep up the great work .We librarian fraternity always support you.

12 02 2012

Thanks so much for this message of support, Rajesh. Please tell us more about teacher librarian staffing in Indian government schools!

10 06 2013
Author supports school libraries in new Authors journal | The Hub

[…] Friends of the Hub […]

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