Some appropriate targets:
Senator Christine Milne, Greens education spokesperson (from Tas.) email@example.com
Bob Brown, Greens leader firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Steven Fielding, Family First Senator.Fielding@aph.gov.au
Nick Xenophon, Independent contact form at http://www.aph.gov.au/SEnate/senators/homepages/contact.asp?id=8IV
Nick Minchin, Leader of the Liberals in the Senate online contact form at http://www.aph.gov.au/SEnate/senators/homepages/senators.asp?id=JX4
A sample message:
The Australian School Libraries Research Project, a joint initiative of ASLA, ALIA and Edith Cowan University, has shown that, of those schools that actually have libraries, most are older than 20 years and have less than the recommended space for student seating and ICTs.
In regards to staffing of those schools, 35% of Australian government school libraries have no teacher librarians. 50% of all schools have either no professional staff or less than one FTE working in their school library. 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.
If the greatest value is to be made of the governments BER infrastructure investment, then the Federal Government needs to ensure EVERY school library can be, and will be, staffed by a fully-qualified professional. These appointments need to be over and above a state’s particular staffing formula to ensure that the education of our students is in the hands of expert, library-trained teachers not clerical assistants or library officers.
The federal government needs to implement measures to free up access to university courses for the training of more teacher librarians, as has been done for childhood teachers. “The Government is … creating 1500 new places at Australian universities for early childhood teachers”. Julia Gillard , June 20, 2008.
21st century school libraries are of limited value without 21st century teacher librarians. If the education of our young is the key to the future, then it is a fully qualified teacher librarian who has the power to turn that key.
We ask you what you will do now and in the future:
- to assess the current quality of all school library staffing, funding, and scheduling?
- to tie funding so that states can and must adequately staff and fund school library programs and services?
- to ensure inclusion of the role of teacher librarians in all literacy, information literacy and quality teaching and learning policies and documents?
- to develop national school library standards?
- to increase teacher librarian training positions in university programs?
- to include an understanding of the collaborative role of teacher librarians in preservice teacher training?
If we are talking about improving literacy and information literacy, if we are talking about authentic, resource-based learning and quality teaching, if we are talking about equity, we must agree that ALL Australian students deserve professional school library services managed by professionally trained teacher librarians.