As a teacher librarian, I was pleased to see Kevin Rudd launch his ‘education revolution’ in a school library earlier this week, however I would have been more impressed if he had mentioned why he chose a school library.
Would it be that he recognises the important role a school library and its teacher librarian plays in the education of our children?
Would it be that he is also concerned that there are no standards for resourcing and staffing a school library across Australia?
I hope so.
While there has been much focus on Labor’s desire to improve student access to computer technology, there has been no mention of how a student will gain the necessary skills to navigate their way through the myriad of information confronting them. This is a specialist skill of a teacher librarian.
Research here and overseas has shown a direct correlation between a student’s literacy levels, a well resourced school library and a qualified teacher librarian.
On Thursday, public librarians marched on the NSW Parliament House in a bid to focus attention on decreasing government funding to council libraries.
We are facing a shortage of qualified teacher librarians in NSW, while in Victoria many positions are being slashed due to economic rationalism.
Librarians and libraries play crucial roles in our communities.
I applaud the appointment of Julia Gillard as Minister of Education, but urge her not to apply the band aid solution in an effort to redress the inequities currently affecting the education of our children.