Hub Sub

To the Australian Parliament House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training

16 April 2010

Submission from

The Hub: Campaign for Quality School Libraries in Australia https://hubinfo.wordpress.com

In particular, these members

Georgia Phillips (Stanwell Park, NSW), Barbara Braxton (Cooma, NSW), Sharon McGuinness (Thirroul, NSW), Leonie Paatsch (Lara, Victoria), Kerry Neary (Brisbane, Queensland)

Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools

to report on the role, adequacy and resourcing of school libraries and teacher librarians in Australia’s public and private schools.

Executive Summary:

This submission details the following issues:

Section 1: The current situation including

  • Brief history of the development of school libraries in Australia, Commonwealth grants 1969-1980.
  • Decline in teacher librarian staffing nationwide following state policies of school based management, 1989 to present.
  • And virtual disappearance of central state school library support services at the same time
  • Limited statistics on staffing and funding.
  • The National Curriculum and information literacy
  • BER and DER

Section 2: Libraries, literacy and learning

  • Why school libraries make a difference to learning and literacy
  • The research and what educators need to know about it

Section 3: Professional education

  • Workforce and training data needed
  • Teacher librarian training courses

Section 4: Building understanding

  • State school library support services
  • Role of AITSL in leadership training on school libraries and learning
  • Pre-service teacher training needs to include information literacy and TL collaborative teaching methods

Section 5: Digital literacies

  • What is digital literacy?
  • The requirements of students in the digital age
  • Digital literacies still depend on literacy. Digital libraries still need a librarian.

Section 6: Recommendations

Section 7: Appendices

Section 8: Bibliography

Note: Interspersed in this submission are comments from some of our 2233 petitioners (Appendix 1)

1498  Christine  Hornby

More important than learning, is learning how to learn. More important than learning to read is learning to love reading. This is the vital role of the teacher librarian. Our kids are disadvantaged when they do not have access to well equipped, resourced and professionally run libraries. Comment from Petition

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To improve literacy and learning for all Australian students:

  1. School communities need a qualified teacher librarian in every school. Such a teacher librarian holds qualifications in both teaching and librarianship, usually at the post-graduate level.
  2. School communities should be able to provide equitable access for all students to recreational reading materials, information and information technology. Equitable school library budgets need to be able to provide this access.

1. The impact of past and recent policies and investments on school libraries and their activities

1.1 Impact of past policies and investments: Commonwealth School Libraries Program

Federal funding sparked development of school libraries in Australia in the 1970’s.  In the twelve years 1969-1980, it is suggested some $200 million of federal government funds were spent on school libraries.

About 1200 new secondary school libraries were built by 1977. By 1978 there were some 3500 qualified teacher librarians in Australia, all of whom having at least the equivalent of one term full-time training in school librarianship. However, 5000 more were needed to meet the standards outlined in the Australian Schools Commission’s standards, Books and Beyond: Guidelines for Library Resource Facilities and Services (Canberra, 1977).

For a more detailed history see APPENDIX 2

1.2 The School Based Management and Rationalization Years

An excellent account of economic and political forces which affected schools and school libraries in the 1990s can be found in the “Teacher Librarians and School Library Policy” of the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Education Union (2008). Commonwealth school library grants ceased.  State school library subsidies were redirected to general school funds. The increasing acceptance of School Based Management meant school staffs were rationalized, and, in most states, teacher librarians were counted as part of the teaching staff, not extra to it. The large central departmental school library services which had overseen development of guidelines, handbooks, policies and training were rationalized or restructured. Information technology was seen by many principals as a panacea. We now see tertiary training courses have been cut from 15 to three – in Western Australia, Queensland , and NSW, with one in Tasmania running in partnership with WA’s Edith Cowan University. (More on this in Section 3).

The impact of School Based Management, now included in National Partnership Agreements, has meant that:

  • In Tasmania, after the CRESAP Report, schools became more self-managing as the Education Department increasingly devolved responsibility to the schools. In 1991, as a direct result, secondary school teacher librarians lost their separate staffing entitlement (primary school teachers suffered this fate some years earlier).
  • In Victoria, Schools of the Future (1993), Kennett’s version of SBM, has seen the loss of at least 35% of qualified teacher librarians, some surveys go as high as 87% in Melbourne primary schools.
  • In the ACT, School Based Management began circa 1997. TLs have been lost in several schools since then.
  • In NSW, various attempts at SBM have been opposed by the NSWTF. Currently a trial in 47 schools, under the National Partnership Agreement, encourages principals to use school based management.  Two teacher librarian positions have been traded for non-teaching deputies and for a computer teacher (Loftus PS and Cringila PS). One school, while a BER library is being built (not in trial), has traded TL time for NAPLAN tutoring. (More on this in 1.3)
  • In Queensland’s version of SBM, Focus on Schools (1990), central office was restructured with staff reduced by 50% by the end of 1992. Support for SBM continues to affect school staffing.  At present, for example, seven high schools on the Gold Coast have no teacher librarians.

While there is no convincing evidence to justify school based management on the basis of improved educational outcomes (Lindgard, 2002), across the nation, the policies of SBM have nevertheless had a significant impact on the staffing of school libraries with a qualified teacher librarian.

No comprehensive national data exists on Australian school library staffing. An unofficial survey by Phillips in 1998 (see Appendix 3) shows the decline in the 1990s. The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the Australian School Library Association (ASLA), trying to fill this gap, have undertaken a project with Edith Cowan University to gather statistical data (Combes, 2008). The Australian School Libraries Research Project (ASLRP) survey found that 35% of Australian school libraries that responded had no professional staffing (Many more without staff would not have even responded.); 50% of all schools have either no professional staff or less than one Full Time Equivalent (FTE) working in their school library. The NT, ”Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria have the lowest number of TLs employed. Instead there are high numbers of library technicians in Tasmania and Victoria and library officers in Western Australia” (Combes, 2008). And there are no TLs in 95% of NT schools (the remote ones).

This research goes on to show that one third of Anglican schools have 2 or more teacher librarians. Anglican and Christian schools have overall more full time professional staff in their libraries, with TLs receiving higher salaries than TLs in other school types.

2168 Dianne Lewis Leading independent schools, which regularly top VCE results, have well-staffed school libraries. Why should government schools be forced to short-change their students through lack of funding? Comment from Petition

The Australian Education Union of South Australia collected statistics in 2002 which reported, “Research shows that students perform better where there is collaboration between teachers and teacher librarians. Despite this, more and more schools in South Australia are inadequately staffed with qualified teacher librarians” (Spence, 2002). It was also found that “89% of South Australian state secondary schools were understaffed by the Department’s own staffing formula. Even worse, staff without teacher librarian qualifications filled forty percent of all positions” (Spence, 2005).


Previous state surveys illustrate the downward slide. A discussion paper from the State Library of Tasmania noted a decline of nearly 50% in the number of teacher librarians in Tasmanian schools in the period 1996-2000. (“Enhancing Student Outcomes with Improved Information Services and Provisioning”, 2000).

A position paper by the AEU Tasmanian Branch noted in 2000 that teacher aides were increasingly replacing teacher librarians, with one third of schools surveyed not having professional TLs. (“Leading the way: The changing role of the teacher librarian”). The ASLRP survey now places this at almost 50%.

While the ASLRP survey shows Victoria employs TLs in 65% of its schools, figures for Melbourne metropolitan primary schools may be even lower.   Reynolds and Carroll in 2001 found  that only 13% of primary schools had teacher librarians.

As Dr. Michelle Lonsdale stated in her literature review of 2003, the “devolution of financial management to schools means that funding for school libraries relies on the resource allocation priorities established by the school community, which might or might not place a high priority on the need for a well-staffed library system.”

The pressure continues in all states for devolution, “flexibility and choice” in school staffing. Teacher librarians, where they have existed, are often being “cashed in” for classroom or other specialist teachers, or pushed increasingly into the classroom themselves. As one Victorian principal commented on our Hub petition, “I am a school principal and a qualified teacher librarian.  I know the difference the TL makes and hate the fact that I cannot provide one to my very disadvantaged school community due to $$$$!!!!” Of the over 3000 new BER libraries, how many will be without teacher librarians to manage their service?

As Mark Moran wrote on Forbes.com recently, “Many absolutely clueless administrators still believe that a search engine is an adequate substitute for a trained research teacher.” (Moran, 2010)

The future divide in Australian education will not be digital, it will be between the schools which can afford one or more teacher librarians, and those where students have to rely on Google.


School library funding

The Digital Education Revolution has funded much needed IT, but often to the detriment of the remainder of school library resource budgets.

Without the strong state school library services which existed in the 1980s, state and national statistics are hard to obtain. The ASLRP survey (Combes, 2008). tells us that the situation in many, if not most, government schools is dire.

75% of Australian government school libraries have annual budgets of under $20,000, with half of these under $5000, and one in six under $1000 per year for books, magazines and digital resources to support teaching and learning (Combes, 2008).

Meanwhile, 3/4s of Anglican school libraries have budgets over $20,000 (10% over $100,000!). 65% of Christian schools have budgets over $20,000. Almost 50% of Catholic schools have budgets over $20,000 (10% over $50,000).

Unpublished data for the NT showed that, in 2006, 29 of 42 primary schools surveyed (70%) had budgets of under $500. In three cases nothing or less than $250 had been spent in the past year on their libraries (unpublished dataset, in Combes, 2008).  In multi-campus schools, 30% spent less than $500 and half less than $1000. In total in the NT, 55% of schools are spending less than $500 per year on library resources. (Average cost of a book, 2007, $15 paperback fiction, $20 paperback non-fiction.)

Other informal surveys show even greater inequities. An unpublished Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) survey done in 2010 with 624 responses shows a range of library budgets from between $0/student (22 schools) to over $300/student (further details in the CBCA submission).

Of 87 schools responding to a survey conducted by The Hub in 2007 (unpublished):

  • Government primary schools (29 schools) varied from $1 per student to $53 per student
  • Government secondary schools (27) varied from $7 to $60
  • Independent primary (7 schools) $21 to $71
  • Independent secondary (9 schools) $3 to $106
  • Catholic primary (5 schools) $11 to $46
  • Catholic secondary (10 schools)  $25 to $96

An Illawarra, NSW, survey conducted in 2008 (Sharon McGuinness, Illawarra School Library Association, unpublished) indicated a range of budgets from $0 to $35/student, with an average of $16/student (20 schools)

The majority of schools seem to have budgets less then those in the 1970s, in real terms. And most troubling are the number of schools without any funds at all to spend on their libraries.

These surveys can give only unofficial glimpses. Comprehensive data is needed to give us an accurate picture of funding across our nation’s school libraries. Further in Section 1.2.

Recommendation 1: tie grants funding so that states must adequately staff and fund school library programs and services

Should the federal government choose to influence state staffing, one avenue would be through a grants program whereby schools receiving federal monies must undertake the employment of qualified teacher librarians. For example, in the US, the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act (SKILLs Act). http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-3928 has been reintroduced into the House.  It authorizes appropriations … “for the Improving Literacy through School Libraries grant program. It requires local educational agencies (LEAs) that receive school improvement funds, including building maintenance, to ensure, to the extent feasible, that each of their schools receiving such funds employs at least one state certified school library media specialist.” Certified school librarians become indirectly mandated in all schools.

1.2 Lack of statistics available from our state and federal government education bodies on school libraries

In 1992 it was noted “There is a pitifully poor supply of statistics available on school libraries. Jim Dwyer, former Superintendent of Studies, Education Department of South Australia, made a valiant attempt to better the situation by undertaking to collect school library statistics on a national basis for the years 1983, 1984 and 1985 – There is no co-ordinated collection of library statistics for private schools.” (Bryan, in Bundy, 2002.)

“It appears, from Edward’s survey [completed in 2000 for ALIA], that only the Catholic system in Australia has good school library statistics. Given the importance of teacher librarians and school library resource centres to effective student learning, literacy and information literacy, this is a national disgrace. It suggests

  • teacher librarians themselves are not being proactive individually and collectively about the issue, and benchmarking in particular or
  • school systems and individual schools are too embarrassed to reveal the level of support of their libraries or
  • they do not see the contribution of teacher librarians and library resource centres as central to teaching and learning or
  • they are not willing to be publicly accountable for expenditure of public funds, in both state and private schools” (Bundy, 2002).

Recommendation 2: collect national data on school library staffing, funding, and scheduling, through requiring thorough and consistent collection by states

Recommendation 3: collect national workforce data on current and past TL graduates or fund a body such as ALIA to do this regularly

Recommendation 4: fund investigation into the demand and supply of qualified teacher-librarians in Australian government primary and secondary schools, taking into account the graying of the profession, the inadequacy of current levels of staff provision, and the effect of promotional opportunities on wastage rates.

Models of Data Collection

The American Association of School Librarians has published its third annual report on staffing, use, collections and budgets of US school libraries of almost 7000 schools in its survey.  The three reports, School Libraries Count! 2009, 2008 and 2007, can be found at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/researchandstatistics/slcsurvey/slcsurvey.cfm . This is one model for the type of data which could serve decision makers in Australia.

Another model would be from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics. If annual surveys are developed, they are best looked at in the international context.

The National Centre for Education and Training Statistics in ABS and the National Schools Statistics Collection should be able to collect this data or outsourced to a teacher librarian related agency.


1.3 National Partnership Agreements

Without information about NPAs of other states (where TL staffing levels are already so low, it may not be an issue), we refer to the situation in NSW. In NSW we have had teacher librarians, many part time, in all schools since the 1970s. Yet a trial of 47 schools with National Quality Teaching funding has meant the loss of TLs this year under SBM. We do not oppose the National Partnership agreements which are bringing much needed funds into the most needy schools. The conditions of the NPA on Quality Teaching, however, must be changed to ensure that specialist teachers, such as teacher librarians, staffed outside of the establishment, cannot be lost, as they have been in other states.

NSWTF has stated the “decision [of some schools in the NSW NPA pilot to use SBM] undermines the provision of Teacher Librarians to NSW public schools and denies the right of all students to be taught by suitably qualified specialist teachers. In this 21st century age of ever advancing knowledge, information and technology, it is unacceptable that the Department would allow a specialist teacher position such as Teacher Librarian to be unfilled” (Zadkovich, 2010).

NSW DET has yet to state what educational improvements are expected to result from this trial.  On the contrary, we know research tells us that qualified teacher librarians help improve student literacy and achievement.  In NSW this has been acknowledged with DET sponsorship of TL training and staffing of school libraries outside of the established classroom staffing. NSW has been a model in this regard internationally.

The NPA states, “The Improving Teacher Quality National Partnership (NP) aims to deliver system-wide reforms targeting critical points in the teacher ‘lifecycle’ to attract, train, place, develop and retain quality teachers and leaders in our schools and classrooms. It also has a specific focus on professional development and support for principals.”

But the real bottom line looks like dollars.  It is the price of a teacher and the cost of a position which will increasingly determine the mix, as it has under School Based Management in other states. As part of the Leadership Program, no PD for principals has focused on supporting school libraries or the development of excellent TLs to improve student achievement. No recent federal program has examined staffing, training needs, or use of teacher librarians to improve student literacy and learning, as yet. No summary of the international and national research on best practice in school libraries has been made available to school leaders for SBM decision-making, as yet.

In the face of the research on the benefits of qualified TLs to student literacy and learning, under SBM which can trade their positions away, NSW students can only lose.

They can lose trained, collaborative professional collection development.  They can lose reading promotion across the curriculum. They can lose collaboratively developed research programs which incorporate information literacy outcomes. They can lose knowledge of virtual resources and how to evaluate them.  They can lose training in copyright, intellectual property and ethical use.


Recommendation 5: adjust the conditions of the NPA on Quality Teaching to ensure that specialist teachers, such as teacher librarians, staffed outside of the establishment, cannot be lost.

Recommendation 6: through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership develop leadership programs in best practice in administering school library programs and developing excellence in teacher librarians.

Recommendation 7: provide research funding and report on the effect of school library programs and teacher librarians on literacy and learning;

1.4 National Curriculum

1.41 Information Literacy Skills

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (Australia. MCEETYA,2008) underpinning the national curriculum proposes that it will develop the following:

  • A solid foundation in knowledge, understanding, skills and values on which further learning and adult life can be built
  • Deep knowledge, understanding, skills and values that will enable advanced learning and an ability to create new ideas and translate them into practical applications
  • General capabilities that underpin flexible and analytical thinking, a capacity to work with others and an ability to move across subject disciplines to develop new expertise.

“The Australian Curriculum also pays attention to how 10 general capabilities … contribute to, and can be developed through, teaching in each learning area.   The 10 general capabilities are: literacy, numeracy, information and communication technology, thinking skills, ethical behavior, creativity, self-management, teamwork, intercultural understanding and social competence.” (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2009).

These capabilities largely include information literacy, the thinking skills of finding, evaluating and using information to create knowledge.

Information literacy is somewhat confused in the document with “information management.”

Managing information is organizing and building systems of classification and access to information, quite separate from information skills of users, the location, selection, synthesis, critical appraisal, and creation of new knowledge. These are the “learning skills” which are addressed in an integrated fashion in the Literacy section of the English curriculum and the Skills section of the History curriculum.

There is a need for inclusion of information literacy as a cross-curriculum learning area in the National Curriculum.  This must go beyond the “communication skills” and ICT skills outlined to a deeper understanding of guided inquiry and information fluency, an expertise of the qualified teacher librarian.

As Alan Bundy stated in his 2001 ASLA conference paper, “Essential connections”, “Recognition is now needed that information literacy, not information technology, is the main requirement for an informed citizenry.”

Information literacy is incorporated into the draft National Curricula as English literacy, History research skills. Science inquiry skills and Mathematics problem solving and reasoning skills.  There is an embarrassing lack of currency apparent in the curricula, however, in regard to contemporary research into the information search process (ISP) and critical thinking processes.  For example, the term “library skills” probably has not been used in teacher librarianship courses since the 1970s.  Current literature examines the process of achieving information fluency through all sources of information found in libraries these days, in print and digital. There is also an apparent lack of awareness of libraries’ inclusivity in regard to resource provision. For example, distinguishing something called “library skills” from online search skills and the use of databases is a furphy.There is an obvious lack of contribution to these curricula by any expert in information literacy, a serious and noticeable deficiency.

Therefore, special attention must be made to examine the cross-curriculum skills of information literacy in light of current pedagogy from the information studies professional community. The hierarchy (a spiral and reiterative one) must be acknowledged as a continuum of building upon skills from basic to advanced. Work in the TL profession on describing and assessing these skills is ongoing.

One starting place would be the Virtual Inquiry website

http://www.virtualinquiry.com/index.htm created by Danny Callison and Annette Lamb. Another would be the observational research of Carol Kuhlthau.on the Information Search Process http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~kuhlthau/information_search_process.htm.

New guidelines developed by the American Association of School Librarians were introduced in fall 2007. These new standards are known as the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. See Appendix 4.

These have been followed with Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action (2008) which provides practical applications and benchmarks.

The American guidelines for school library media programs, Empowering Learners (2009), addresses the immense changes in school library programs with information technology and evidence-based practice. It is guided by the standards above. The American School Library Association statement of support for school libraries in Australia in Appendix 5 provides its school library mission statement and statement on the role of teacher librarians.

Our own Australian standards found in Learning for the Future 2nd ed. (ASLA, 2001) are currently being renewed by the Australian School Library Association.

Recommendation 8: develop a National Curriculum cross-curricular dimension which integrates the literacies of information and ICT.

Recommendation 14: develop national school library standards and teacher librarian qualifications and role statements in accord with the professional teacher librarian community

1.42 Resourcing the National Curriculum

Another consideration in the National Curriculum must be resource provision for new content.  This will have a direct impact on school libraries. The services offered by the WA, NSW and Queensland curriculum directorate school library support services, which contribute to the national Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS) database, are vital here. Every state should have such a support service. Funding could be tied to staffing conditions.

Recommendation 9: establish grant programs for school libraries to fund resourcing of the National Curriculums.  Have TLs seconded to review, select and cite recommended resources.

Recommendation 16: ensure that every state education department have at least one high level school library advisor and preferably a team

1.5 New BER libraries

The government’s BER National Coordinator’s Implementation Report (2009) states that 3089 new libraries have been or are being built under the government’s economic stimulus plan.  It is likely that many of these, especially in Victoria, Tasmania, WA and the Northern Territory will not have qualified teacher librarians to manage them, under the present School Based Management regime. An opportunity has been lost to tie these projects to mandatory staffing. However, tied grants to resource them would be one avenue for ensuring adequate staffing of professional teacher librarians and support staff, along with ongoing monitoring.

In addition, library design has been very ad hoc, often without reference to teacher librarians’ knowledge of design needs or the professional literature.

It is presumed that library officers or technicians or clericals who are in charge of many school libraries, are saying what they want in consultation with executive. In the past, the advisors in the state school library services were consulted by the architects with new library plans.

The UK Ofsted report Good School Libraries: Making a difference to learning (2006) is one example of review and monitoring.

Recommendation 1: tie grants funding so that states must adequately staff and fund school library programs and services.

Recommendation 10: investigate research on best designs for 21st century school libraries, develop and publish guidelines


1.6 Digital Education Revolution

The federal government has initiated an impressive program for the Digital Education Revolution.  How can we make sure students can use computers effectively for research and learning? The role of TLs in overseeing use and maintenance of computers, instructing students and organizing teacher inservice can not be overestimated. The impact of the DER on teacher librarian time has been significant. It is timely that their role, particularly in information literacy, be investigated and advocated, and a National Curriculum cross curricular statement be developed to bring together the literacies we aim to develop in Australian students.

MCEETYA Performance Measurement and Reporting Taskforce defines ICT literacy as being able to “access, manage  and evaluate information, develop new understandings, and  communicate with others in order to participate effectively in society” (Statements of Learning for ICT, 2006).

The Council of Australian University Librarians defines information literacy almost identically: “an understanding and set of abilities enabling individuals to recognise when information is needed and have the capacity to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information” (CAUL, 2005).

Bringing these literacies together should be an aim for MCEEDYA. See Reynolds (2005) APPENDIX 7 for an example matrix. A National Curriculum cross curricular learning statement on information and ICT literacy should be supported by a national statement on the role of teacher librarians, teachers and principals in creating information literate school communities.

Recommendation 8: develop a National Curriculum cross-curricular dimension which integrates the literacies of information and ICT.

Recommendation 15: develop national school library standards with teacher librarian qualifications and role statements in accord with the professional teacher librarian community


2. The future potential of school libraries and librarians to contribute to improved educational and community outcomes, especially literacy

In the UK, as early as 1966, “Joyce Morris found a direct relationship between the existence of an area within the school specifically for use as a library, and the overall reading attainments of the pupils” (Cohen,1972).

60 studies have shown that free voluntary reading is at least as effective as conventional teaching methods in helping children to do well on standardized tests. Reading for pleasure “provides a great deal that these tests don’t measure. Study after study has confirmed that those who read more know more”. Their vocabulary increases and grammar and spelling improves (Krashen, 2006).


Empirical research since 1990 has shown that best practice engagement of qualified teacher-librarians in curriculum delivery has the potential to improve outcomes in achievement generally and literacy in particular.

A comprehensive summary of the research from 1993 to 2008 and its findings, is contained in the Scholastic Research Foundation paper School libraries work!: updated 2008, at: http://www2.scholastic.com/content/collateral_resources/pdf/s/slw3_2008.pdf .

(Note: Throughout this report, the American terms ‘School Library Media Specialist’ and ‘Library Media Specialist’ are used instead of the Australian term Teacher Librarian.)

The literature survey by Australian academic Dr Michelle Lonsdale, gives a more academic summary of the research (1990 to 2003).  See http://www.asla.org.au/research/Australia-review.htm for the full report.

Both of these documents should be read as contextual background for this inquiry, if time permits. If not, at least the first should be; and then note taken of these sections in the second: Executive summary; Conclusions; and References (which gives an indication of the extent of the research conducted in this field).

In condensing the findings of all of the research it sampled, School libraries work!: (2008) makes these salient points (pp. 4-6):

  • SCHOOL LIBRARIES ARE CRITICAL FOR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
  • SCHOOL LIBRARIES HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN TEACHING
  • SCHOOL LIBRARIES ARE LEADING THE WAY FOR TECHNOLOGY USE IN SCHOOLS
  • SCHOOL LIBRARIES INSPIRE LITERACY.

But these are only potential outcomes because:

  • SCHOOL LIBRARIES DON’T MATTER WITHOUT HIGHLY QUALIFIED LIBRARY MEDIA SPECIALISTS.

The broad conclusion drawn from this large body of research shows

  • SCHOOL LIBRARY PROGRAMS INFLUENCE LEARNING OUTCOMES AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT WHEN:

v  Library media specialists collaborate with classroom teachers to teach and integrate literature and information skills into the curriculum.

v  Library media specialists partner with classroom teachers on projects that help students use a variety of resources, conduct research, and present their findings.

v  Library media specialists are supported fiscally and with programs by the educational community to achieve the mission of the school.

Here are some of the specific findings from some of these studies, especially with regard to reading literacy:

Iowa: Reading test scores rise with the development of school library programs. The relationship between library program development and test scores is not explained away by other school or community conditions at the elementary level (Rodney, Lance and Hamilton-Pennell, 2002).

Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) reading test scores rise with the extent to which the state’s school library programs are headed by certified library media specialists (Rodney, Lance, and Hamilton-Pennell, 2003).

Minnesota: Twice as many schools with above-average scores had full-time library media specialists (Baxter and Smalley, 2003).

Oregon: Whatever the current level of development of a school’s library program, these findings indicate that incremental improvements in its staffing, collections, and budget will yield incremental increases in reading scores (Lance, Rodney, and Hamilton-Pennell, 2001).

Pennsylvania: For all three tested grades, the relationship between adequate school library staffing and Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) reading scores is both positive and statistically significant (Lance, Rodney, and Hamilton-Pennell, 2000).

Ontario, Canada: Schools with professionally trained school library staff could be expected to have reading achievement scores that were approximately 5.5 percentage points higher than average in grade 6 EQAO results (Klinger, 2006).

Illinois: Increased library staffing is linked to higher reading performance for all grade levels (Lance, Rodney and Hamilton-Pennell, 2005). (These seven examples taken from School Libraries Work!, 2008.)

Australia: “Extensive use of the school library can increase literacy achievement by as many as 27 points “(Masters and Forster, 1997).

Australia: Responses acknowledged the important role of the school library in providing students with the intellectual scaffolds necessary to facilitate informed inquiry (Hay, 2005).

In each instance, the caveat is applied: these potentials are not reached unless a school has qualified teacher-librarians in charge of quality library-based curriculum delivery with the support of school administrators makes a positive difference in student achievement.

As life-long learners, students need to be information literate. Teacher librarians specialize in teaching information literacy.

Information literacy includes critically reading print, graphics, video, and all learning objects to build knowledge. The information literate seek diverse viewpoints. Information literacy includes the ethical use of information and responsible use of social networking tools.

What is the future potential of school libraries and librarians to contribute to improved educational and community outcomes, especially literacy [including language literacy, information literacy, learning technology literacy, computer literacy and social literacy]?

Let’s consider what a school and its students – novice learners, not proficient end-users – lose without a professionally qualified Teacher Librarian:

  • a trained professional who develops a targeted collection of print and digital resources to support teaching and learning and puts in place easy-to-use procedures that allow staff and students to access that collection.
  • a teacher who can coordinate a whole school approach to developing student information literacy skills
  • a specialist in children’s literature who can excite and encourage the development of a reading culture
  • an information specialist who can provide IT, literacy, information literacy, copyright and ethical use advice to teachers
  • a specialist staff member who research has shown can make a difference to student literacy and learning.

View YouTube video “What does a teacher librarian really do?” (UTLA, 2010).

And read the excellent submission from Dr. Stephen Krashen to the Obama-Biden Education Policy Working Group, December 2008 on The Case for Libraries and Librarians attached in APPENDIX 6.

Recommendation 6: develop leadership programs through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership in best practice in administering school library programs and developing excellence in teacher librarians

Recommendation 7: provide research funding and report on the effect of school library programs and teacher librarians on literacy and learning in Australia;

Recommendation 10: ensure that literacy and ICT programs and policies and national curricula explicitly recognize the central role school libraries have in student achievement, literacy attainment, and preparation for post-secondary success

Recommendation 11: fund programs similar to the US Improving Literacy Through School Libraries grants program.

3. The factors influencing recruitment and development of school librarians

The number of secondary schools with 1200 or more students has doubled from 1986 (from 95 to 190), while the total number of secondary schools has increased by only 8.6% (210) over the same period. The number of primary schools with 600 or more students has increased by 56.7% (178 schools) from 1986, while the total number of primary schools has decreased by 2.9% (229 schools) over the same period. (ABS, 2006)

The growth in size of individual schools must impact on school library staffing significantly and is yet another indication of the need for an increase in teacher librarian training numbers.

Yet, teacher librarian training programs have decreased in number from 15 to 3 in the past two decades. Courses to train teacher librarians no longer exist at the University of South Australia, Monash University, Kuringai CAE, RMIT, University of Canberra, University of Melbourne, Macquarie University, Ballarat CAE, Gippsland CAE, Tasmanian CAE, University of NT. Courses remain at Charles Sturt University, Queensland University of Technology and Edith Cowan University. There is also a University of Tasmania partnership program with Edith Cowen. Details of ALIA recognised courses can be found at http://www.alia.org.au/education/qualifications/teacher.librarian.html

Possible factors which influenced the decline in training programs are the decrease in demand as a result of School Based Management staffing decisions; no promotions pathway for teacher librarians and disregard of a primarily female profession.

We have no national data on teachers undergoing teacher librarian training or on graduates, past or current. [ALIA has suggested that we should only count graduates – as many people enroll and then drop out of courses.]

The “NeXus2 workforce planning study: the institutional picture – final report “ (ALIA, 2009) included 11 schools. The major Issues preventing the replacement of the knowledge, skills and leadership qualities of departing professional staff were budget restraints, lack of succession planning strategy, inadequate recruitment strategies, restricted recruitment policies, and an inadequate pool of qualified candidates.

With a significant number of teacher librarians retiring each year, this means there are only x number of graduates each year to staff Australia’s 9529 school libraries (assuming each school has a library).

The Australian government funded national survey of teachers (McKenzie, 2008) indicated teacher librarians are one of the shortage areas for primary specialist teachers.

It would be of interest to know if COAG has now considered and recommended on the need for better data on teacher librarians as part of its workforce data collection (Gillard Letter to Sharon Bird, 20 March 2009, for G. Phillips).

It is also worth considering that the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Agency (incorporating the National Curriculum Board and National Schools Assessment and Data Centre?) investigate the staffing or lack of staffing of qualified teacher-librarians in Australian government primary and secondary schools, taking into account the graying of the profession, the inadequacy of current levels of staff provision, the effect of the lack of promotional opportunities on wastage rates, and the use of less expensive, less qualified staff. Assessment and reporting procedures for individual schools on the contribution of school libraries to student outcomes should also be investigated and developed.


Recommendation 3: collect national workforce data on current and past TL graduates or fund a body such as ALIA to do this regularly

Recommendation 12: increase teacher librarian training positions in university programs, including sponsorship of university tuition fees to qualified teachers wishing to retrain as teacher librarians. (See the NSW DET sponsored retraining in teacher librarianship https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/employment/teachnsw/retrain/teacherlibrarian.htm)

Recommendation 13: re-introduce undergraduate teacher librarianship programs in Australian universities through the sponsorship of positions in those Bachelor of Education programs that offer teacher librarianship as a teaching specialisation

Recommendation 14: develop school library evaluation and reporting procedures for individual school reports

4. The role of different levels of government and local communities and other institutions in partnering with and supporting school librarians

4.1 Departments of Education, federal and state

There is a need for national coordination and leadership to bring together and improve overall the disparate policies on school libraries of the states and territories.  There exists little equity between the quality of and support for school libraries in the large and smaller states and territories.  A national review of systemic policies is needed with a view toward national standards, role statements and qualification requirements.

Recommendation 15: develop national school library standards and teacher librarian qualifications and role statements in accord with the professional teacher librarian community

State school library services

Centralized school library services have formed a major support for the initial and continued development of school libraries and teacher librarians in every state in Australia. They have taken a role as leaders, administrators, consultants, trainers of teacher librarians and of library assistants, disseminators of information, producers of inservice resources, course materials, bibliographic resources, publications on programming, selection, cataloguing and circulation systems, building design, shelving, layout and organization, equipment and furniture advice, and organizers of conferences and seminars for teacher librarians, teachers and school administrators.

They have formed taskforces for disaster reclamation, major renewal, new school library establishment, integration of collections when schools combined and computer systems design.

They have, and those that still exist do, provide central cataloguing services, and contribute to ASCIS (SCIS), and printed subject headings lists. They selected, purchased, and catalogued basic collection for new libraries (WA even did end processing).

They ran extension services such as the Small Schools Box Library, central reference libraries, a professional collection, branch collections (SA);

Queensland pioneered a copyright clearance unit.

They advised and ran in-service training for regional advisers, liaised with publishers, secondary schools boards, booksellers, CBCA, LAA, ASLA, other professional associations, authors, illustrators, children’s literature critics, tertiary institutions.

They developed state and regional policies and implementation strategies, reports and reviews and coordinated research and statistics on school libraries

What happened to these services?

As a former school library adviser in NSW both at the state and regional level, I have seen directly the value of such a service to the development of school libraries, to school leaders, to students and to departments of education.  This is an unofficial summary, which I believe justifies the need for further investigation and recommendation.  Georgia Phillips

NSW Library Services in 1980s had 10 education officers, 4 librarians and 8 support staff, in addition to the Small Schools Box Library personnel. It produced the School Library Handbook in 1986, the policy Libraries in NSW Government Schools, 1987, and an Information Skills policy in 1989. But no official role statement has yet to become policy.

Under “Schools Renewal” central services in NSW were reduced considerably. Teaching Resources and the State Film and Video Library, at the peak of its efficient delivery service, were closed down. By 1992 most regional school library consultancies were gone.

In the present, School Libraries and Information Literacy unit has a limited staff as part of curriculum support, advising on policy, teaching ideas, resource reviews, PD and SCIS and SCAN. There has been a Manager and a Review Coordinator, SCAN editor and 3 librarians and 2 technicians for cataloguing contribution to SCIS. They have updated the policies and handbook developed in the 80s. SCAN remains the only state teacher curriculum support journal because it is self-supporting. Some restructuring may yet again be going on as part of a physical relocation.

Queensland has no school library advisor. Education Queensland’s library service provides curriculum support and SCIS support thru resource reviews, advice on stocktake and auditing, guidelines for joint-use libraries, collection development and management, censorship, copyright, systems with reference to ALIA and other professional organisations for further information. The last position of Education Officer-Curriculum Resources who had liaised, monitored and contributed to policy in all resource service matters in schools is gone.

WA has no school library service as such. In the 1970s, the WA Library Services Branch consisted of Library Advisors (Teacher Librarians), a Library Materials Evaluation Section (Librarians), Interlibrary loans, an Integrated Resource Collection and the Hadley Traveling Library. At this time, schools were all issued with uniform resources evaluated and deemed suitable by the Evaluation Section and paid for by the Department.

In 1987 the Better Schools program was adopted, the hallmarks of which were devolution and school-based decision-making.  Each school was given a grant for library resources and the selection of these resources was left to the professional judgment of teachers in their respective schools.

In 1990 Library Services Branch was renamed Curriculum Materials Information Services and restructured. As members of staff were replaced, teacher librarians replaced librarians as Evaluation Officers (who became Curriculum Officers).  As so few primary schools have TLs, support was provided for primary schools and for curriculum priority areas as identified by Central Office and Curriculum Council projects.  An ordering system for primary schools still remains as part of the annual Primary Focus project.

CMIS has recently been moved out of the Department of Education and into the Department of Training and Workforce Development, and contracted out to DoE.  It provides an excellent resource review service(7 positions), cataloguing service, contracted to SCIS (6 officers), and resource publication service with library support on copyright and PD when asked. 1.5 support officers assist. CMIS offers school library support through their website, phone advice, blogs and tweet. Many of their services are used by teacher librarians in other states.

ACT had a Library Support Service of two and has a central information and resource centre. There now is no school library advisor or support service for government schools.

South Australia has no support in head office, no regional advisory people and TLs are dependent on professional associations for training and PD. There is no TL role statement, state school library policy or information literacy policy which have been adopted by DET. One officer has been managing the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Victoria’s Schools of the Future ended TL separate role statements.  Teacher librarians are counted as part of teaching staff with each school describing their job brief. Many primary schools in particular lost their teacher librarians. Where TLs were put backing the classroom, teachers in 1989 rotated annually to look after the library.

Many secondary TLs were given classroom teaching as well.  Central support services ceased.  Support was given to the volunteers in the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) by subsidizing an Executive Officer. SLAV, not the Department of Education, does any curriculum support reviews needed and training.

Tasmania has one automated systems advisor and a website with school library guidelines and links to a TL self-support listserv. The professional association organizes professional development when possible.

Northern Territory. There is no longer any central support service for school libraries in the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory Library provides some advice and support.

Even the few state school library “advisors” remaining are encouraged not to be critical, especially of rationalisation of school libraries and staffing

Where do these services come from now?

Well, they don’t. As a result of rationalization of staff under School Based Management polices, with the exception of WA and NSW to the extent possible, professional associations have had to assume the majority of professional development. They write the standards, role statements, information literacy policies even the handbook in Victoria. Dependence on these volunteers can not be assured. The ASLRP survey (Combes, 2008) found that only 50% of teacher librarians belong to ASLA or ALIA. Newly appointed untrained school library staff are often dependent on local teacher librarian networks for their training.

We have no current national government standards for school libraries to guide their development. Historically they did exist (Books and Beyond: Guidelines for library resource facilities and services. Canberra: Schools Commission, 1977, 2nd ed. 1979). We do have standards published by the Australian School Library Association, Learning for the Future. 2nd ed. (2001).

According to Lingard (1998) “with the down-sized and restructured bureaucracies of the State Departments of Education in the late 1980s, federal Labor had argued that national collaboration in schooling towards national approaches was a more efficient usage of schooling expenditure.” Yet nothing replaced the central school library services at national level, nor have “national approaches” yet been undertaken.

At the same time states were to provide data for national statistics on “program output and outcome.”  This has never happened, as yet.

Canada’s School Library Crisis

In the case of Canada, a national report on The Crisis in Canada’s School Libraries: The case for reform and re-investment (Haycock, 2003) makes 13 recommendations to provincial ministries of education. These include making data available, appointing at least one advisor, funding research, developing consistent approaches to funding, providing leadership for “connected learning communities,” addressing the problem of deteriorating collections, developing standards and dedicated funding, supporting Canadian book selection, revising policies based on best practice, mandating minimum TL qualifications recognizing the “key elements of effective school libraries” on achievement, ensuring at least one tenured TL position in education faculties and ensuring “preparation of teachers and administrators in the effective use to teacher-librarians and school libraries.”

Many of these recommendations are being adopted across Canada’s provinces.

There has not been a review of school libraries in Australia since the federal programs to build, staff and resource school libraries in the 1970s. With the devolution in education, there has been an erosion of the ‘people assets’ in Australian school libraries, in the number of teacher librarian training programs, and in centralised school library services and policy advisors.

With virtually no school library advisory bodies in state departments of education, careful consideration must be made of who can provide the expertise to investigate, advise and report. In the past, overseas experts have been funded. For example, Fenwick came on her six months study on a Fulbright Scholarship. Meanwhile, leadership can be taken by the federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations in addressing the need for national standards, policies, role statements and statements of qualifications.

Recommendation 16: ensure that every state education department have at least one high level school library advisor, and preferably a team of advisors.

State curriculum support, as with the National Curriculum, needs to be professional in each state. Too many NSW Board of Studies syllabi resource lists remain embarrassingly unprofessional. They frequently list out of print items, dated, without complete bibliographic data. Syllabi, and national curricula, should be supported by professionally reviewed and cited source lists done by teacher librarians.

The small staff in the NSW School Libraries and Information Literacy Unit does its best with selected syllabi content areas. Its review database includes reviews of books, sound recordings, videos (including DVDs), electronic resources such as CD-ROMs, computer software and websites. Reviews state curriculum relevance, user level, KLA and publishing details, and computer hardware requirements as appropriate. All syllabi, and curriculum, writing should engage the services of a qualified teacher librarian for resource support  and to examine in depth the inclusion of cross curriculum teaching of information and critical thinking skills.

Recommendation 16: ensure that every state education department have at least one high level school library advisor, and preferably a team of advisors.

State libraries in most states support schools, especially in senior studies. Eg. Resource Guides for Legal Studies and English which can be freely subscribed to through the NSW State Library.  The State Library of Victoria offers online tutorials on research, essay writing and study skills through Ergo, as well as VELS support for teachers.

4.2 National government agencies

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

As Julia Gillard has stated, “A key element of the National Partnership on Improving Teacher Quality is to deliver world leading professional development and support which will empower school leaders and principals to better manage their schools to achieve improved student results and higher quality” (Letter of Expectation, 2009). The beginning place for leadership in developing quality teacher librarians and school libraries are the Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians (ASLA/ALIA, 2004).

This body would be an appropriate one to engage in best practice research in the teaching of information literacy and collaborative teaching with teacher librarians. Since there are no state school library advisors, as such, tertiary institutions training teacher librarians would be appropriate collaborators for the development of leadership programs for administrators in developing best practice in their school library programs and excellence in their teacher librarians.

This body would also be an appropriate one to look at inclusions in teacher preparation programs on information literacy and effective use of school libraries and collaboration with teacher librarians for student achievement

Agencies which also support schools with resources and information are the Curriculum Corporation, the ABC, the National Library of Australia, the Education Network Australia, the Australian Council for Educational Research, and many others.

4.2 Local govt agencies

Public libraries often are left to serve the needs of students when school libraries are underfunded and understaffed. When there are teacher librarians it is common for children’s librarians and teacher librarians to work together on reading promotion programs and resource sharing. Teacher librarians train students in information literacy which they then can apply to using public and tertiary libraries. When TLs are absent the lack of training is noticed. (eg. University of Wollongong outreach to high school librarians to coordinate IL programs.)

4.3 Tertiary Institutions

Teacher education–and beginning teacher programs –  need to explicitly embed an understanding of the information process and how inquiry based learning is enabled through the school library.

Pre-service Teacher Education

Today’s professionally trained teacher librarians support all teachers in meeting syllabus outcomes. Through direct collaboration in planning, teaching and evaluating resource-based, constructivist enquiry learning activities, they are able to mentor pre-service teachers in collaborative approaches to teaching, in effective student group work and in the use of, and teaching the use of, information and technology.

Teacher education institutions require information on the modern role and standards for professionally trained teacher librarians.  The Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians (Australian Library and Information Association and Australian School Library Association, 2004), available at http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.htm would be a possible starting place.

New teachers need practical guidance in the assessment of a collaboratively planned, taught and assessed units of work integrating information literacy and ICT literacy outcomes. These are outlined the NSW Department of Education Information Skills in the Schools policy (1987, rev. 2007) available from this page    http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/index.htm,

And illustrated in the NSW Board of Studies Information Skills in its Integrated Units http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/linkages/IntegratedUnits/TeacherLibrarians/librarians_skills.html

The Centre for Learning Innovation provides a guide for teachers on using Web2 tools in the information skills process. http://lrrpublic.cli.det.nsw.edu.au/lrrSecure/Sites/LRRView/10457/10457_00.htm?Signature=(a18b56ff-6418-44bd-b7e2-651fbe23f672)

NSW DET. School Libraries and Information Literacy gives examples of resources to support collaborative teaching http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/teachingideas/index.htm

The requirement to develop skills in collaboration, understanding of information literacy and its integration into units of work, and develop knowledge of the modern role of the teacher librarian must become part of the teacher education requirements.

In addition, the teacher librarian may come to be seen as an additional mentor and support for pre-service and novice teachers.

Liaison with Schools of Information Studies  which run courses for teacher-librarians would seem appropriate and useful.  Charles Sturt University currently has the contract to provide the extra training required by NSW DET, above that of teacher training, for employment as a teacher librarian.  (See http://www.csu.edu.au/handbook/handbook14/postgraduate/GCTeacherLibrarianship.html)

The work of Canadian academic Marlene Asselin is highly recommended on the need for pre-service teacher training in information literacy See some of her works listed in the bibliography.

Recommendation 16: ensure, through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, inclusions in teacher preparation programs on information literacy, effective use of school libraries and collaboration with teacher librarians for student achievement

TAFE courses

Trained support staff relieve teacher librarians of basic information management tasks to fully utilize their teaching skills in working with curriculum implementation and collaborative teaching of information literacy. It is recommended that there be an investigation into school library support staff, workforce needs, and an increase in library technician programs in technical colleges.

Recommendation 15: develop national school library standards and teacher librarian qualification and role statements, with support staff standards, in accord with the professional teacher librarian community

Recommendation 18: increase library technician programs in technical colleges

4.4 Professional Associations

Australian Library and Information Association and the Australian School Library Association and state branches have increasingly taken up the role of departmental agencies in continued professional development and policy and standards writing.

Support should be given to these associations to assist with the implementation of recommendations in this submission.

Other supportive agencies are Friends Of Libraries Australia, the Children’s Book Council of Australia and the newly formed Australian Children’s Literature Alliance.  Their submissions are sure to include valuable information on the preservation and promotion of Australian cultural values and identity through Australian children’s publishing.

Recommendation 19: develop programs to support Australian children’s literature and non-fiction publishing

5. The impact and potential of digital technologies to enhance and support the roles of school and librarians.

Changing technologies over the last twenty years have impacted on libraries generally, but teacher librarians often play a crucial role as a link between innovations in technology and the teachers and students within their school. A professionally qualified teacher librarian has the skills to lead the way through the complexities of digital information and digital resources which are expanding exponentially. As we rely more on digital information, our need for the school library as a flexible learning space which caters for a variety of informational and recreational needs increases as we equip students for life beyond the classroom.

The ways in which information is packaged and delivered has meant that teacher librarians have had to adapt and reinvent themselves to maintain their relevance to trends in education and  the needs of their students. Librarianship was amongst the first professions where technology first made an impact. The development of library software systems were used to circulate and catalogue material. Reliance  on information in printed form alone decreased many years ago, with CD-ROM and online access to databases dictating change. Access to online databases remains problematic for schools due to the cost of subscriptions. Primary schools in particular have less access due to inconsistent annual budgets. Only Queensland has negotiated a subscription for one children’s literature subject guide, The Source, for their schools.

Digital literacy

Information literacy and digital literacy now merge to incorporate those critical thinking skills necessary to understand, select, evaluate and apply information in its changing forms.. So called digital natives, however, still run into problems reading from computer screens.

John Stanton, Head of Library Services, William Clarke College, has observed the problems of comprehension of students reading screens: “This generation” are often not actually (or accurately) reading any information on screen at all. In both of my year 7 classes, there is an on-screen activity that students complete, in which they are presented with two websites about a particular topic. Their task is to decide which of the two is more “reliable” – i.e. a better, more accurate source of information. One of the websites is completely bogus: full of completely off-the-wall suggestions, idiotic information, and a disclaimer which declares the bogus nature of the site. “

“Interestingly, when students compare this with a genuine website from a reliable source, MORE THAN HALF of the students in both classes chose the BOGUS site as the one to rely on. On probing further, NONE of the students who made that choice had actually read any of the content of either site: the judgement was made entirely on the visual elements, the banner/headline information, and the assumption that if it’s on the net, then it must be OK. Needless to say, I was both shocked and quickly illuminated as to the fact that there IS a problem with kids reading screens.” Posted on OZTLnet listserv, 5 Nov 2009.”

The results of people doing research into digital literacy, such as Barbara Combes, are greatly needed.

TLs Use Social networking

Many teachers t still lack the confidence and competence with regard to incorporating ICT into their teaching. Teacher librarians have the capacity to lead and mentor staff in the acquisition of these skills and in the knowledge and understanding of both digital technologies and digital culture. There needs to be time allocated to enable the qualified teacher librarian to assist in structured professional development of teaching staff.

Teacher librarians  are often the ones on staff comfortable using the tools of social networking and web 2.0: blogs, wikis, twitter and social bookmarking. Here are some examples:

Ruth Buchanan’s ‘Skerricks’ http://skerricks.blogspot.com/ accessed 12/4/10

Bright Ideas http://slav.globalteacher.org.au/ accessed 12/4/10

Hey Jude! http://heyjude.wordpress.com/ accessed 12/4/10

TLs Teach Digital Literacy Skills

Within the school environment, the teacher librarian is often the one professional who provides that essential link between the changing technologies and their staff and students. Teacher Librarians working with classroom teachers are already providing fundamental professional development to staff simply by planning and teaching units of work collaboratively. The teacher librarian is the one professional who has contact with all students and staff within the school, at least on a weekly basis.

TLs Use Digital Technology to Support Teaching and Literacy

Quality information exists in many formats including e-books, online databases, via  websites, wikis, blogs, journals and hard copy. There is less control over the content of digital information, however professional teacher librarians are trained to evaluate, select, purchase, organise, manage and guide access to information and fiction in all its forms not only for the students, but to provide teachers with the best resources with which to teach. This is the teacher librarian’s role in collection development and improving literacy.

As examples, see the following links to Teacher Librarian websites which support their school’s curricula:

Sue Lacey’s ‘Interlace’ http://members.ozemail.com.au/~slacey/ date accessed 12/4/10

Jackie Miers Resources http://teachers.ash.org.au/jmresources/default.htm date accessed 12/4/10

Mrs Mac’s Library Site http://sites.google.com/site/smclibraryshaz/ date accessed 12/4/10

TLs Use Digital Technology in Their Own Teaching

Teacher librarians recognise the impact of 21st century digital technologies and are already enhancing their own teaching through its use. They are in the best position to transfer that knowledge and expertise to other teaching staff and the students within the school.

As examples, see the following links which illustrate how teacher librarians proficient in digital literacy are using digital tools to engage and motivate their students, to challenge and develop their critical thinking skills:

Our Favourite Books Voicethread http://voicethread.com/#q.b583260.i0.k0 date accessed 12/4/10 (Jenny Power, Teacher Librarian)

TPS Blog http://tpsblog1.edublogs.org/ date accessed 12/4/10 (Sharon McGuinness & Jane Pretty, Teacher Librarians)

Bear & Chook Book Rap for Stage 1 http://rapblog6.edublogs.org/2009/08/31/welcome-intro/#comments date accessed 12/4/10 (Jenny Scheffers & Ian McLean, Teacher Librarians)

Teacher Librarians have well established, regional, online networks across Australia, which enable them to maintain currency in worldwide trends  not only  in education and librarianship, but digital technologies. Teacher librarians can lead the way in Australian education in enabling students to access the world through a variety of worldwide projects such as:

Mystery Penpals http://dyna-ed.net/id2.html date accessed 13/4/10

Flat Stanley Project http://www.flatstanleyproject.com/ date accessed 13/4/10

GiggleIT  Project http://www.iasl-online.org/sla/giggleIT/index.htm date accessed 13/4/10

.

The Digital Education Revolution can provide teacher librarians with further opportunities to make a difference to the learning outcomes of their students. Anecdotal evidence tells us, however in primary schools, access to computers and therefore digital technologies is lacking, as compared to secondary schools. Not all schools have dedicated computer labs, or pods of laptops in classrooms or even shared computer access in their school library. We need more information regarding the level of access to digital technologies in primary schools. The new BER libraries only provide the data outlets for the provision of computers. There is certainly more to teach than how to search with Google and it is recognised that the skills of critical thinking are paramount to a student’s lifelong learning. How can this be undertaken when access to computers is still so inconsistent within primary schools?   Both the DER and BER are excellent projects, but we still have a way to go regarding the staffing of the new BER libraries and  the professional development of teachers in regard to DER laptops. This is where the expertise of a qualified teacher librarian can make a difference in both primary and secondary schools.  It remains to be seen how governments, education departments, principals and schools take advantage of their expertise to effect the academic achievement of all Australian students.

Recommendation 20: facilitate licensing of appropriate online databases to make them affordable for all school libraries, perhaps through support of the National Library of Australia project, Electronic Resources Australia

Recommendation 21: coordinate the collection and analysis of data on computer access within primary schools in each state, with the findings and recommendations to be published


Lastly, to increase awareness of parents and citizens of the importance of information literacy and school libraries in this digital information age:

Recommendation 22: declare a national school library day.

This would best be in conjunction with International School Library Day on the fourth Monday in October each year.

Recommendation 23: declare a national information literacy awareness month

One example is Obama’s declaration of national information literacy awareness month in the US in October of 2009.

SUMMARY

While funding is primarily at the heart of the steady decline of Australian school libraries, it is a profession that has also struggled against an historical stereotype of being a silent book repository, staffed by humourless spinsters.  The school library of the 21st century has little in common with this image.  Modern school libraries are vibrant centres of learning and exploration, of imagination and adventure, and even fun and frivolities. Today’s teacher librarians welcome their school community into this space, and act as guides in the learning journeys of each and every student, and as professional development leaders for their teaching peers.  A school without an open, professionally staffed library has lost its hub, its heart, its central place where all things meet.

In summary, we turn to our UK colleagues, who are also striving for a national standard for school library services provision.  The CILIP Manifesto is a succinct statement of the international vision of best practice for school libraries, and we can not put it better.  See APPENDIX 8.

” Throughout their education, children are entitled to (a) safe and secure library environment for learning during and outside school hours….There is a common misconception that school librarianship is simply about the provision of books and equipment. In fact, good school libraries are an integral part of the teaching and learning process in schools and make a vital contribution to delivering the national curriculum. However, far too often school library development plans detail the space and resources to be provided but fail to give similar attention to the skills required of library staff. Research in this area has clearly shown that schools with a qualified librarian and a good school library achieve better results than those without. ”

The research is done, the evidence is in.  School libraries make a difference.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Federal government should:

  1. tie grants funding so that states must adequately staff and fund school library programs and services;
  2. collect national data on school library staffing, funding, and scheduling, through requiring thorough and consistent collection by states
  1. collect national workforce data on current and past TL graduates or fund a body such as ALIA to do this regularly
  2. fund investigation into the demand and supply of qualified teacher-librarians in Australian government primary and secondary schools, taking into account the graying of the profession, the inadequacy of current levels of staff provision, and the effect of promotional opportunities on wastage rates.
  3. adjust the conditions of the NPA on Quality Teaching to ensure that specialist teachers, such as teacher librarians, staffed outside of the establishment, cannot be lost
  4. develop leadership programs through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership in best practice in administering school library programs and developing excellence in teacher librarians
  5. provide research funding and report on the effect of school library programs and teacher librarians on literacy and learning;
  6. develop a National Curriculum cross-curricular dimension which integrates the literacies of information and ICT.
  7. establish grant programs for school libraries to fund resourcing of the National Curriculums.  Have TLs seconded to review, select and cite recommended resources.
  8. ensure that literacy and ICT programs and policies and national curricula explicitly recognize the central role school libraries have in student achievement, literacy attainment, and preparation for post-secondary success;
  9. provide grants for improving literacy through school libraries;
  10. increase teacher librarian training positions in university programs, including sponsorship of university tuition fees to qualified teachers wishing to retrain as teacher librarians. (See the NSW DET sponsored retraining in teacher librarianship https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/employment/teachnsw/retrain/teacherlibrarian.htm)
  11. re-introduce undergraduate teacher librarianship programs in Australian universities through the sponsorship of positions in those Bachelor of Education programs that offer teacher librarianship as a teaching specialisation
  12. develop school library evaluation and reporting procedures for individual school reports
  13. develop national school library standards and teacher librarian qualification and role statements, with support staff standards, in accord with the professional teacher librarian community
  14. ensure that every state education department have at least one high level school library advisor and preferably a team
  15. through the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership ensure inclusions in teacher preparation programs on information literacy, effective use of school libraries and collaboration with teacher librarians for student achievement
  16. increase library technician programs in technical colleges
  17. developing programs to support Australian children’s literature and non-fiction publishing
  18. support the National Library of Australia project, Electronic Resources Australia, to facilitate licensing of appropriate online databases to make them affordable for all school libraries;
  19. coordinate the collection and analysis of data on computer access within primary schools in each state, with the findings and recommendations to be published
  20. declare a national school library day.
  21. declare a national information literacy awareness month


APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1

Petition to Australian Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, for a national review of school libraries from 2160 petitioners with comments

APPENDIX 2

The Commonwealth Grants program for school libraries in Australia: a brief history

APPENDIX 3

Phillips, G (1998). Special Report: The status of teacher librarians in Australia: An unofficial overview. Access 12(1).

APPENDIX 4

American Association of School Libraries (2008) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action Chicago: AASL.

APPENDIX 5

Statement of Support from the President of the American School Library Association

APPENDIX 6

Krashen, Stephen, The Case for Libraries and Librarians. Invited paper, submitted to the Obama-Biden Education Policy Working Group, December 2008

Retrieved from http://www.sdkrashen.com/articles/case_for_libraries/index.html

APPENDIX 7

Reynolds, J. (2005, May). ICT: integral to the curriculum. Scan 24(2). 4–7, 18–21. Retrieved through http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/resources/pubfront.htm )

APPENDIX 8

UK Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Manifesto 2010 Supporting Paper 1 on Statutory School Libraries

APPENDIX 1

Electronic Petition To the Honorable Australian Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard

A Qualified Teacher Librarian in Every School

Published by Georgia Phillips , 19 Oct 2009to 13 April 2010

Found at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/a-qualified-teacher-librarian-in-every-school.html

Background (Preamble):

According to a recent survey of Australian school libraries, 35% of Australian public school libraries have no professional staffing. Tas, WA and Vic had the lowest number of teacher librarians (TLs) employed.

Yet, “a strong library program that is adequately staffed, resourced and funded can lead to higher student achievement

regardless of the socioeconomic or educational levels of the adults in the community” (Lonsdale, ACER, 2003).

Petition Text:

We, the undersigned, 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, they 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.

All Australian students deserve 21st century schools staffed by 21st century professionally qualified teacher librarians.

Signed by 2233 petitioners with comments appended at the end, pp. 104-184.

PLEASE DO READ AS MANY OF THESE COMMENTS AS YOU ARE ABLE TO. THEY tell the story even better than this sub.

See PDF file Appendix 1, attached to email.

APPENDIX 2

Commonwealth School Libraries Program

Further detail

Federal funding sparked development of school libraries in Australia in the 1970’s.

In 1965 McGrath states that it was Departmental policy in all states ‘that all school librarians in primary and secondary schools shall be trained teachers” (Central library services of the education departments of the Australian states,   p.67).

The Library Association of Australia (now ALIA) commissioned the Fenwick Report, School and Children’s Libraries in Australia (1966), and published Standards and Objectives for School Libraries in 1966.

A plan of action presented to the Prime Minister in 1967 by LAA included the establishment of a relevant federal body and advisory committee, recruitment of an overseas advisor, establishment of demonstration school libraries, teacher librarian training, and then a grants program to all schools.

At the same time, the Australian Library Promotion Council (ALPC) commissioned Margaret Trask’s School Libraries: a Report to the Nation (1968), which highlighted how shocking school library funding was in Australia.

Roy Lundin’s history of the development of school libraries in Australia (1978?) goes on to say, the breakthrough came in 1968 when the then Federal Minister for Education and Science, Malcolm Fraser, implemented Commonwealth grants that saw $57 million spent on buildings, furniture, equipment and resource materials relating to secondary school libraries, government and non-government, from 1969-1974.

He also appointed a Commonwealth Secondary Schools Libraries Committee which produced Standards for Secondary School Libraries, which guided spending. However, there was little funding for primary schools and very little for training TLs, only short one to two-week crash courses.

The newly formed Australian School Library Association (ASLA), LAA, ALPC, state government and other groups and individuals made further submissions. Research on the effects of the grants on school education and a Report to the Nation (Cohen, 1972) on primary school libraries, caused both major parties to promise in the 1972 election year to fund grants to primary schools.

The newly elected Labor government did act on the recommendations of the Australian School Commission and granted further funds for secondary libraries in 1974-5, for staffing and for training teacher librarians and for the establishment of a primary libraries program which began in 1974.

“One of the main concerns of the [Karmel Report]  was its attempt to meet the needs of disadvantaged students, and in making the above recommendations the Interim Committee stressed the importance of a variety of good school library materials for children ‘in whose homes there is no access to books and where the level of literacy is relatively low” (Schools in Australia [Karmel Report], 1973  p. 82).

The Commonwealth Secondary School Libraries Research Project (CSSLRP) in evaluating ;the Secondary Schools Libraries Program, concluded “the Grant [made] available a greatly enriched stock of facilities which are supporting and making possible, if not coercing, new patterns of teaching and learning.  These new patterns include more individualisaton of instruction, more opportunities for the learners to participate in their education, to be enthusiastic about it, and to be responsible for their progress” (CSSLRP, 1972).

In the twelve years 1969-1980, Lundin suggests some $200 million of federal government funds were spent on school libraries. State and local spending probably matched that.

About 1200 new secondary school libraries were built by 1977, still often the most luxurious facility in many schools.

A survey of all state and territory supervisors of school libraries, found that by 1978 there were some 3500 qualified (at least the equivalent of one term full-time training in school librarianship) teacher librarians in Australia, although 5000 more were needed to meet the standards outlined in the Australian Schools Commission’s standards, Books and Beyond: Guidelines for Library Resource Facilities and Services (Canberra, 1977).

From 1969-1975, approximately $3/secondary student was spent in grants for resources and equipment. State grants varied between $8/student in Victoria in 1975 to $15/student in NSW for materials. By 1980 all states had central school library services and the Australian Schools Cataloguing Information Service (later SCIS) was born, initially on microfiche. Thus school library staff were “freed from time-consuming tasks associated with …cataloguing of library materials”, effort duplicated in every school (Lundin, 1978, p.12).

Campbell’s The Effect of Comonwealth Libraries Upon Academic Motivation (CSSLRP, 1973) concluded “it would appear that the new strategies of learning and teaching, which seem to be a consequence of Commonwealth libraries, are beginning to be reflected quite strongly in the academic motivation of students” (p.23).

Also an evaluation of the Secondary School Libraries Programme by Lundin, never published, concluded that “the increased availability of materials has had a positive impact on student satisfaction, motivation and achievement” (1975, p.116).

The first report on primary school libraries (Lundin and McArthur, 1975) concluded that primary school libraries were “a major area of disadvantage”. It found that “less than 29% of government primary schools would have library space provision near, at, or above Guidelines for Library Services in Primary Schools (Schools Commission, Primary Libraries Committee, 1974) standards. Staffing was improving, with full-time teacher  librarians in all Queensland government primary schools of 450+ and in Victoria for enrolments of 200+. It concluded that “school libraries still needed to be singled out ‘as an educational facility needing special attention’, for ‘only about a quarter of the primary schools were being served by reasonably adequate libraries’ (Lundin and McArthur, p.31).

From 1969-1975, approximately $3/secondary student was spent in grants for resources and equipment. State grants varied between $8/student in Victoria in 1975 to $15/student in NSW for materials (Lundin, 1978).

“In the intervening years [since the primary library funding programs started in 1973] the injection of federal funding has transformed libraries in schools across the country, greatly assisted in the training and employment of professional and ancillary staff and provided opportunities for vast changes in teaching and learning practices” (Dwyer, 2009).

Thus the efforts of the many groups involved came to fruition.  School libraries were established with trained teacher librarians to oversee their management which changed teaching practice and inspired education practice internationally.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Campbell, W. (1973.) The Effect of Commonwealth Libraries Upon Academic Motivation. CSSLRP, No.4.. Brisbane: Department of Education/University of Queensland.

Cohen, David (1972). Primary school libraries: A report to the nation: ALPC: Melbourne.

Commonwealth Secondary Schools Libraries Committee (1971) Standards for Secondary School Libraries. Canberra: AGPS.

Commonwealth Secondary School Libraries Research Project (CSSLRP) (1972). Secondary Schools Libraries in Australia: a report on the evaluation of the Commonwealth secondary Schools Libraries Program. Brisbane: Department of Education/ University of Queensland.

Dwyer, J. (2009). Federal aid to school libraries – A perspective.   Archival Briefs. Number 7, July. Australian College of Educators. Retrieved from http://austcolled.com.au/archival-briefs

Interim Committee of the Australian Schools Commission (1973). Schools in Australia report. Canberra, AGPS (The Karmel Report)

Library Association of Australia. Children’s Libraries Section. Committee of School Libraries (1966). Standards and Objectives for School Libraries: a guide to minimum standards and suitable objectives…. Melbourne: Cheshire for the LAA.

Lundin, R. and Marsh, D. (1978). An educational growing point: a review of studies, surveys and reports relating to school libraries in Australia, 1935-1976. Brisbane: Kelvin Grove CAE.

Lundin, R. (1981). “School library development in Australia,” in Cook, J. ed. School librarianship. Pergamon: Sydney, pp.1-21.

Lundin, R. (1975). An evaluation of the Australian Secondary School Libraries Programme: A summary report of findings, 1970-1974, CSSLRP Paper No.9, January, 1975

Lundin, R and McArthur, J. (1975) Primary school libraries in Australia: A statement of provisions and needs,

McGrath, L 1965 Central library services of the education departments of the Australian states, Occasional Papers In Librarianship No. 2, Adelaide, Libraries Board of South Australia.

Schools Commission, Primary Libraries Committee 1974 Guidelines for Library Services in Primary Schools, Canberra, Schools Commission.

Trask, Margaret 1968 School Libraries: a Report to the Nation Australian Library Promotion Council

APPENDIX 3

Phillips, G (1998). Special Report: The status of teacher librarians in Australia: An unofficial overview. Access 12(1).

See PDF file Phillips98.pdf attached to email

APPENDIX 4

American Association of School Libraries (2008) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action Chicago: AASL.

See App4_AASL LearningStandards.pdf attached to email

APPENDIX 5

American Association of School Librarians Statement of Support

On behalf of the American Association of School Librarians, I am pleased to submit the following statement on the importance of the role that school librarians** and school libraries play in the education of our children.

Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs, released in April of 2009, are the national guidelines established by the American Association of School Librarians and what every school library program should strive to reflect.  The mission statement set out in this document states that:

The mission of the school library media program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information.  The school librarian empowers students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information by:

  • collaborating with educators and students to design and teach engaging learning experiences that meet individual needs.
  • instructing students and assisting educators in using, evaluating, and producing information and ideas through active use of a broad range of appropriate tools, resources, and information technologies
  • providing access to materials in all formats, including up-to-date, high quality, varied literature to develop and strengthen a love of reading
  • providing students and staff with instruction and resources that reflect current information needs and anticipate changes in technology and education
  • providing leadership in the total education program and advocating for strong school library media programs as essential to meeting local, state, and national education goals

A school librarian is absolutely essential to making the school library program a dynamic learning center where students are given instruction in multiple literacies including information literacy, technology skills, critical thinking and problem-solving.  School librarians work closely with classroom teachers to design and deliver effective instruction that integrate subject content with these skills.  With the help of a school librarian, students learn to maneuver through a vast world of information while practicing safety and applying ethical standards to their research and sharing what they have learned.

School librarians provide up-to-date, relevant and enticing books that encourage students to read.  Students who have access to a wide range of reading materials with plenty of time to read not only become better readers but become life-long readers.  The library program is at the center of learning in a school, and school librarians who excite students to read and teach a variety of 21st century skills, are an investment in the success of our children.  Therefore, we fully support the efforts to improve school library funding and staffing in Australia.

Sincerely,

Cassandra G. Barnett

2009-2010 President, American Association of School Librarians

12 April 2010

**School Librarians refers to state-certified school librarians.   They have coursework and/or experience with both librarianship and teaching.  The title used in Australia is Teacher-Librarian, but the expected experiences and training would be the same.

APPENDIX 6

Krashen, Stephen, (2008 December). The Case for Libraries and Librarians. Invited paper, submitted to the Obama-Biden Education Policy Working Group,

Retrieved from http://www.sdkrashen.com/articles/case_for_libraries/index.html

The Case For Libraries and Librarians

“When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.” (Isaac Asimov, from his autobiography I Asimov)

The case for libraries is very strong.

Research shows that better public and school libraries are related to better reading achievement. The reason for this is obvious: Children become better readers by reading more (Krashen, 2004), and the library is a major source of books for children. (1)

Better Libraries > Better Reading Achievement

Study after study has shown that library quality (number of books available or books per student) is related to reading achievement at the state level (Lance, 1994), national level (McQuillan, 1998), and international level (Elley, 1992; Krashen, Lee and McQuillan, 2008), even when researchers control for the effects of poverty.

The library is especially important for children of poverty, because they have very little access to books at home (Feitelson and Goldstein, 1986), at school, and in their communities. The library is often their only source of books. Unfortunately, children of poverty are the least likely to have access to quality libraries (Smith, Constantino, and Krashen, 1996; De Loreto and Tse, 1999; Duke, 2000; Neuman and Celano, 2001).

Librarians

Providing access to books is necessary but is not sufficient: Not all children who have access to libraries take full advantage of them (Peck, 2000, Celano and Neuman, 2008). Keith Curry Lance’s studies confirm that the presence of librarians and overall staffing contributes to reading achievement independent of other measures of library quality. The most obvious way librarians contribute is helping children find books, in addition to selecting books and other materials for the library, and collaborating with teachers.(2)

Children of poverty are less likely to attend schools that have libraries with credentialed librarians (Celano and Neuman, 2001).

If America can increase funding for libraries and librarians, I can only think that America has found one important way to rebuild itself.

NOTES

(1) There is consistent evidence that children and adolescents get a substantial percentage of the books they read (from 30 to 99%) from classroom, school or public libraries (studies reviewed in Krashen, 2004).

(2) According to the recent Scholastic’s 2008 Kids and Family Reading Report, when asked who gave them ideas about what books to read, forty-eight percent of the youngsters polled (ages 5 to 17) mentioned librarians. (Teachers, 57%, moms, 65%, dads, 43% and friends, 61%, were mentioned more frequently, and TV shows, the internet, other family members, and magazines were mentioned less frequently.) For a recent case history, see Adriance and Linder, 2008)

References

Adriance, L., and Lindner, E. 2008. Shameless! School Library Journal, September, 53-54.

Celano, D. and Neuman, S. 2008. When schools close, the knowledge gap grows. Phi Delta Kappan 90 (4): 256-262.

Di Loreto, C., and Tse, L. 1999. Seeing is believing: Disparity in books in two Los Angeles area public libraries. School Library Quarterly 17(3): 31-36.

Duke, N. 2000. For the rich it’s richer: Print experiences and environments offered to children in very low- and very high-socioeconomic status first-grade classrooms. American Educational Research Journal 37(2): 441-478.

Elley, W. 1992. How in the World do Children Read? Hamburg: The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

Feitelson, D. & Goldstein, Z. (1986). Patterns of book ownership and reading to young children in Israeli school-oriented and nonschool oriented families. The Reading Teacher, 39, 224-230.

Krashen, S., Lee, SY, McQuillan, J. 2008. Is the library important? Presented at the 37th annual meeting of the International Association of School Librarianship, Berkeley, CA.

Lance, K. 2004. The impact of school library media centers on academic achievement. In Carol Kuhlthau (Ed.), School Library Media Annual. 188-197. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. (For access to the many Lance studies done in individual states, as well as studies done by others at the state level, see http://www.lrs.org/data-tools/school-libraries/impact-studies/).

McQuillan, J. 1998. The Literacy Crisis: False Claims and Real Solutions. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Neuman, S.B. & Celano, D. (2001). Access to print in low-income and middle-income communities: An ecological study of four neighborhoods. Reading Research Quarterly, 36, 1, 8-26.

Pack, S. 2000. Public library use, school performance, and the parental X-factor: A bio-documentary approach to children’s snapshots. Reading Improvement 37: 161-172.

APPENDIX 7

Reynolds, J. (2005, May). ICT: integral to the curriculum. Scan 24(2). 4–7, 18–21. Retrieved through http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/resources/pubfront.htm )

See App7_reynoldsICT24-2.pdf  attached to email

APPENDIX 8

UK Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Manifesto 2010 Supporting Paper 1 on Statutory School Libraries. See http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/advocacy/manifesto/pages/default.aspx

CILIP MANIFESTO 2010

Supporting Paper 1: Statutory School Libraries

GOVERNMENT MUST MAKE SCHOOL LIBRARIES STATUTORY AND DEVELOP AN ACTION PLAN FOR BRINGING THIS ABOUT WITHIN THE LIFETIME OF THE NEXT PARLIAMENT

1.         Throughout their education, children are entitled to

  • A safe and secure library environment for learning during and outside school hours
  • High quality and wide-ranging library and classroom resources to support their curriculum
  • Support from designated library staff with extensive knowledge and experience to advise, encourage and inspire wider reading and reading for pleasure
  • Access to professional librarians with the responsibility and time to help children foster the skills needed to become lifelong learners and independent thinkers.

2.         There is a common misconception that school librarianship is simply about the provision of books and equipment. In fact, good school libraries are an integral part of the teaching and learning process in schools and make a vital contribution to delivering the national curriculum. However, far too often school library development plans detail the space and resources to be provided but fail to give similar attention to the skills required of library staff. Research in this area has clearly shown that schools with a qualified librarian and a good school library achieve better results than those without.

3.        School teaching teams benefit from access to library staff and library professionals who are an integral part of the school and who

  • Understand the curriculum and pastoral needs of teaching staff and who will support these with managed resources;
  • Collaborate with staff on curriculum planning and become involved in teaching;
  • Develop partnership working with other key organisations within and beyond the school

4.         Qualified school librarians help ensure that pupils receive training in information literacy so that they can become increasingly independent in their learning. The government’s vision for the future of education is to develop lifelong learners who are confident and capable users of information. Qualified school librarians also help ensure that pupils receive adequate encouragement to read for pleasure with its inbuilt personal and psychological benefits. A love of reading has been found to be a more accurate indicator of success and life chances than socio-economic grouping (UNESCO, 2004). A higher profile needs to be given to reading for pleasure. Librarians are uniquely placed to help teaching colleagues refresh their own knowledge of literature. All this enables young people to be roundly and well equipped to participate fully in the 21st century.

5.         A school library with qualified library staff is as much part of a child’s entitlement to a decent education as a school curriculum with qualified teaching staff. But, less than a third of secondary schools have a trained librarian. Just as it is a statutory duty to employ qualified teachers and deliver the national curriculum, so it should be a statutory duty to provide school libraries with qualified librarians as an essential part of every child’s entitlement to a decent education.

6.         CILIP, however, recognises the scale of achieving statutory school libraries, which is why the Manifesto calls for an action plan to bring them about during the lifetime of the next Parliament. One important aspect of this will be a workforce development programme. This is where some substance has to be given to “skilled library professionals”. As CILIP we would expect to promote the value of the CILIP professional qualification. At the least we need to be very clear about the skills mix of a school librarian and how that will be accredited. It will take time to build up the current school library workforce.

7.         Some relevant work is already under way. The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the National Literacy Trust have established a School Library Commission, with Estelle Morris as Chair, to examine the future of school library provision in England. The Commission only came into being in January 2010 but is likely to asking what needs to happen to create a sustainable and valued school library and school library service in the next ten years.

CILIP

March 2010

BIBLIOGRAPHY

American Association of School Librarians (2007). Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Chicago: AASL.

American Association of School Librarians (2009). School Libraries Count! 2009, 2008 and 2007. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/researchandstatistics/slcsurvey/slcsurvey.cfm

Asselin, M. (2004, April). Guiding the inclusion of information literacy. Teacher Librarian, 31(4).

Asselin, M. (2005). Preparing pre-service teachers as members of information literate school communities in Henri, J and Asselin, M (eds) The Information literate school community 2: Issues of  leadership (pp187-201). Wagga Wagga: Charles Sturt University, Centre for Information Studies.

Asselin, M. and Doiron, R. (2003). An analysis of the inclusion of school library programs and services in the preparation of pre-service teachers in Canadian universities.  Behavioral and Social Science Librarian 22(1),19-32.

Asselin, M. and Lee, E. (2002). I wish someone had taught me: Information literacy in a teacher education program. Teacher Librarian 30(2),10-17.

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) (2009). Australian Curriculum Consultation Portal. What makes the Australian Curriculum a world-class curriculum?  Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/home/question/3

Australian Library and Information Association (2009). The neXus2 workforce planning study: the institutional picture – final report. Retrieved from  http://www.alia.org.au/employment/workforce/

Australia. Ministerial Council for Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA). (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Retrieved from http://www.mceetya.edu.au/mceecdya/melbourne_declaration,25979.html

Australia. Ministerial Council for Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) (2006) Statements of Learning for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Retrieved from http://www.mceetya.edu.au/verve/_resources/SOL_ICT_Copyright_update2008.pdf

Australian Schools Commission (1977). Books and Beyond: Guidelines for Library Resource Facilities and Services. Canberra: Schools Commission (2nd ed. 1979).

Australian School Library Association and Australian Library and Information Association (2001). Learning for the Future: Developing information services in schools. 2nd ed. Carlton S, Vic: Curriculum Corporation.

Australian School Library Association and Australian Library and Information Association (2004). Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians Retrieved from  http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.htm .

Australian Education Union Tasmanian Branch (2000, March). Leading the way: The changing role of the teacher librarian A position paper. Hobart: AEU.

Australian Education Union Tasmanian Branch (2008). AEU Teacher Librarians and School Libraries Policy. Retrieved from http://aeutas.org.au/fileadmin/user_upload/Policies/AEU_Teacher_Librarians_and_School_Libraries_Policy2008.pdf

Bundy, A. (2002). ALIA conference proceedings, Best value:Libraries. Retrieved from  http://conferences.alia.org.au/alia2000/proceedings/alan.bundy.html

Bundy, A. (2001). Essential connections: School and public libraries for lifelong learning. Paper presented at the Forging future directions conference of the Australian School Library Association, Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, 30 September – 4 October 2001. Retrieved from http://www.alia.org.au/publishing/alj/51.1/full.text/essential.connections.html

Building the Education Revolution: National Coordinator’s Implementation Report (2009). Retrieved from http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/BuildingTheEducationRevolution/Pages/National_Coordinators_ImplementationReport.aspx

Callison, D and Lamb, A. (2009). Information Age Inquiry website Home Page http://www.virtualinquiry.com/index.html

Council of Australian University Librarians (2005). Information literacy. Retrieved from http://www.caul.edu.au/info-literacy/

Cohen, David (1972). Primary school libraries: A report to the nation: ALPC: Melbourne.

Combes, B. (2008). Australian School Libraries Research Project: A snapshot of Australian school libraries, Reports 1 and 2. Australian School Library Research Project, ASLA, ALIA & ECU. Retrieved from http://www.chs.ecu.edu.au/portals/ASLRP/publications.php

Fenwick, Sara (1966) School and Children’s Libraries in Australia: A report to the children’s Libraries Section of the Library Association of Australia. Melbourne: Cheshire for The Library Association of Australia.

Gillard, J. (2009) Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Limited. Letter of Expectation 2009-2010. Retrieved from

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Hay, L. (2005). Student learning through Australian school libraries Part 1: A statistical analysis of student perceptions Synergy 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.slav.schools.net.au/synergy/vol3num2/hay.pdf

Hay, L. and Foley, C. (2009, May). School libraries building capacity for student learning in 21C. Scan 28(2). Retrieved from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/Schoollibraries21C.pdf

Hay, L. and Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: the conversation begins. Scan 29 (1). Retrieved from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/21cexsum.pdf

Johnson, D. and Erikson, R. (2008). Imagining the Future School Library,” DesignShare:Designing for the Future of Learning, November, 2006 Retrieved from http://www.designshare.com/index.php/articles/school-library-future

Johnson, V. (2007). Life after Fenwick. Adelaide: Auslib Press.

Krashen, Stephen (2006, 1 Sept.) Free reading. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6367048.html.

Krashen, Stephen (2008, December). The Case For Libraries and Librarians

Invited Paper, Submitted to the Obama-Biden Education Policy Working Group. Retrieved from http://www.sdkrashen.com/content/articles/case_for_libraries.pdf

Lingard, B. (1998). Federalism in schooling since the Karmel Report (1973), Schools. In Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), “Schools in Australia: 1973-1998 The 25 years since the Karmel Report (Conference Proceedings)” Retrieved from  http://research.acer.edu.au/research_conference_karmel/1

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Lonsdale, Michele (2003). Impact of school libraries on student achievement: A Review of the research. Camberwell, Vic: ACER. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/research/Australia-review.htm

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Phillips, G (1998). Special Report: The status of teacher librarians in Australia: An unofficial overview. Access 12(1).

Reynolds, J. (2005, May). ICT: integral to the curriculum. Scan 24(2). 4–7, 18–21. Retrieved through http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/resources/pubfront.htm )

Reynolds, S and Carroll, M. (2001, May). Where have all the teacher librarians gone? Access 15(2), 30-34.

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Spence, S. (2005). Teacher Librarian Toolkit for an Information Literate School Community in The Information literate school community 2: Issues of  leadership (pp135-140). Wagga Wagga: Charles Sturt University, Centre for Information Studies.

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Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act (SKILLs Act). http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-3928

United Kingdom Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) (2006). Good School Libraries: Making a difference to learning. Retrieved from http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Publications-and-research/Browse-all-by/Education/Leadership/Governance/Good-school-libraries-making-a-difference-to-learning

United Teachers Los Angeles Library Professionals Committee (2010) What does a Teacher Librarian Really Do? YouTube video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPF12jD6F-s 6 min. 40 sec.

Zadkovich, G. (2010). The devolution pilot trades off colleagues’ positions. Education Online. Retrieved from http://www.nswtf.org.au/edu_online/134/pilotrade.html

2 responses

15 04 2010
Robyn Watson

From this submission one can see the calibre of just a few of the many professional people who are continuing to pursue excellence in teacher/librarianship. My view is that many principals in their pursuit of ´quality teaching´ have overlooked that it already exists within the school library. When such people control the budget (as has been explained) the outcomes in terms of literacy and information literacy may be compromised. The introduction of the relief from face to face role for Primary School teacher librarians has certainly undermined what can be achieved.

15 04 2010
hubinfo

Yet, Robyn, we have kept TLs in NSW. Could RFF be one reason? This, from a person, who, of course, is familiar with the work of Joy McGregor and others on the educational advantages of flexible scheduling. Just playing devil’s advocate here. GP

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