Many thanks for your email about the article. I’ve received a large number from public librarians and others, but yours is the first from a teacher librarian.
There are some very useful references on your website. 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 sytem.
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.