Teacher Librarian of the Year

8 11 2012

Congratulations to the Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year, Alinda Sheerman.

She is in charge of Broughton Anglican College Information Resource Centre.

Alinda states on her school library blog, “It was announced yesterday that I was the Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year 2012 What an incredible honour and privilege!”

Illawarra Media Coverage for TLs

3 03 2010

The Illawarra Mercury has responded to our media release concerning the NSW pilot trial of no teacher librarian at Loftus Public School.  Their reporter, Emma Shaw, has interviewed two Hubbers, a TL and principal, a parent and the president of our local school librarians’ association. We thank them all for their contributions and enthusiastic support.

We’d like to know your reaction to the coverage, so we can improve future releases.  Please comment below.

Illawarra Mercury 2 March 2010 Illawarra Mercury 2 March 2010 page 2

Illawarra Mercury 2 March 2010

Can a teacher librarian be seen as a good teacher?

22 10 2008

YES! If we can judge by a recipient of this year’s NSW Quality Teaching Awards.  It is our very own Hubber, Sharon McGuinness, Thirroul Public School, Wollongong.

Teachers' gongs

Teachers' gongs


This award in funded by the NSW Minister for Education and Training and assessed by the Australian College of Educators, NSW Branch.

It recognises teachers who are outstanding in their chosen field in a government or non-government school.

The process is intense.  Three referee reports and a portfolio with three year’s evidence of pedagogy, curriculum content, assessment and reporting, professional values, learning and development and how each relates to the nominee’s teaching. 

Sharon prepared the portfolio as a webquest on its own website, entitled “Just how much quality is there in Mrs Mac’s teaching?” This provided links to both learning activities she has designed plus other sites and supporting documents and readings. She also had documentation in hard copy in a folder. Sharon says, “I tried to push the message of information literacy and the important role that libraries and, in particular, TLs play  in the lives of our students throughout the portfolio.”

After the portfolios are submitted, a shortlist of candidates is prepared and then a site visit by two assessors is conducted. The nominee is observed teaching at least two classes, and focus group discussions are held with members of the school community. Then a recommendation is made which goes to a committee for final assessment.

Here’s the link to the awards. 

Sharon stated, “I hope the award will help to focus attention on the work of a teacher librarian and the important role a school library AND a qualified TL  plays in the education of all children.”

She is only too happy to discuss the process with interested NSW TLs and hopes many more become nominated! You can contact Sharon through our Hub email address, hellohub@gmail.com 

Congratulations, Sharon, for demonstrating the successful teaching role of a committed teacher librarian!

Hubcat has been found!

23 09 2008

Remember Hubcat, whom I met at the IASL conference last month in Berkeley? Well, he’s been in touch and has started a blog.  You can read about his time in quarrantine and plans for the future here!

We look forward to a long and prosperous association with Hubcat, feline champion of Australian school libraries.  We’ve let him know that both Sunrise and Today Show are filming in Geelong this week, if he’s out of bed in time.

The Hub in print!

17 05 2008

Read all about us!! Those of you with the latest edition of Magpies magazine (Vol. 23) might like to turn to page 8-10 to read about The Hub.  A big thank you to Australian children’s literature bibliographer, Kerry White, and Rayma Turton (Magpies editor), both of whom compile The Source. Dr. White has assembled our varied scribblings into an engaging and provocative article about The Hub. Here is the first page. The Hub article

Also in print this month is Hubber Sharon McGuiness, with a piece in Incite (Vol. 29 Issue 5, May ’08) entitled, “Book Raps : Linking learning, literacy and technology”.  In fact, many of our Hubbers get in print:  Margaret Spillman in Knowledge Quest; Kerry Neary in the Queenland primary principals journal, and, of course, the unquenchable Peter Macinnis.  So, a pat on the back to all, but, more importantly, encouragement and inspiration to all TLs to get out there publishing for principals, teachers, and parents.  It is up to us all to send the message that school libraries make a difference!

Behind the blog

6 04 2008

I thought it a good time to add a friendly reminder that there is a website behind this blog, which explains why this group was formed last year.  Have a look around our pages. 

Teacher librarianship seems to be a bit of a mystery to the general public, and even some teachers and principals.  We hear stories from so many TLs that they are understaffed and struggling with insufficient budgets, while at the same time read about massive philanthropic programs overseas aimed at building libraries to improve people’s lives (to be featured in next blog entry).  Even ignoring all the evidence (yes, it’s all here under “the research”) that supports our claim that well staffed and funded libraries improve education, isn’t it just common sense?  If you love to read, then don’t you learn forever? 

Teacher librarianship isn’t a simple job to explain.  It’s about encouraging a love of reading by matching the right books to readers, but it’s also about providing access to a wealth of information, and teaching our students HOW to define what it is they want to find out, and the best way to discover the answers.  We don’t feed students, we teach them to fish.

I find this story about our Federal education minister Julia Gillard heartening. 

Gillard says mortgage stress is real

Ms Gillard said on Sunday there were many statistical measures of mortgage stress.

“But the measure I use is I talk to people,” she said.

It’s time we talked to Julia too. We have the research, but let’s get the stories to her too. All schools may have libraries, but too many have locked doors.  

Do you want your story to be personally delivered in the next Hub Hamper?  Then click here and send it to us.  Anonymity guaranteed if requested.   We want the good news and the bad.   What great things have you achieved in your role that you couldn’t do as a classroom teacher?  What has happened to your staffing levels and budget in the past few years?  Tell us in 100 words or 1000.  Let’s get “school libraries” into the federal vocabulary. That’s the aim behind the blog.

All entries will be bound into a lovely book, which we will match with the right reader.

You learn something new every day

3 03 2008

Jennifer Watts, NSW Teacher Librarian and member of the Hub Think Tank, has been presented with the 2008 ASLA NSW John Hirst Award for outstanding service to teacher librarianship, school libraries and teacher librarians.

Congratulations Jennifer!!

As a Victorian, I didn’t know much about this award, so I checked out the ASLA NSW website to find out more.

John Hirst was instrumental in establishing the New South Wales School Library Association.   The John Hirst Award recognises exceptional excellence in leadership and/ or service to the profession in New South Wales school libraries.

While perusing former winners, I discovered that hubber Georgia was presented with this same award in 2002.  It seems I am in illustrious company. I’m sure if investigated, I might discover a few more accolades amongst our group.  As for me, I was my school’s Year 9 spelling champion in 1985.  No certificate given, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Patience requested

10 02 2008

There’s some restructuring going on here, so if not all the page links work at the moment, don’t be frustrated!  It will all be working again soon.

Housekeeping, and some updates

22 01 2008

It’s quiet.  Too quiet…….

I’ve been working on a little Hub project here, thus the silence for the past few days.  Tomorrow looks like the day I’ll be able to report.  Until then, here are a few things I’ve been meaning to tidy up.


We had a small problem with our subscriptions, so changed the feed.  While updates should still work, it would be really helpful if anyone who subscribed in 2007 could unsubscribe and re-subscribe.  Thanks.

Updates on previous posts

All I want for Christmas – Did I get “The Uncommon Reader” for Christmas? I did.  I finished it that day.  I’m not a reviewer. I either love a book or don’t love a book, in which case I try to appreciate why other people might like it.   This is a book I loved.  I had to reflect on the conclusion for a while before I decided I did like how it finished up.  This also happened to me when I read Mitch Albom’s “For one more day”. It took me quite a while to calm down and admit it really was quite clever.

Australian School Libraries Research Project – 8 days left until this survey closes.  Speaking of extensions, the call for papers for the IASL conference in August has been extended until the end of the month, in case you were thinking you had missed the deadline.

Sentimental journey – I have received notice of my twenty year high school reunion in October.  I look forward to checking out the library and report on how much it has changed in the past two decades.  She couldn’t STILL be there, could she?

New Years Resolution – We did go to see the bugs and spiders at the museum and were there for hours.  As expected, great resources were found in the museum shop, including a “how to draw bugs” book that has been a big hit.  On the way home, a very happy girl told me, “I want to find out everything about frogs”.  Sigh. Only 7 more sleeps until school starts, then it is time for MY holiday.

And so say all of us! – This article generated more hits than anything else we’ve done, and it is still visited each day.  We didn’t reach our target of 100 letters by the end of last week, but we encourage you to still do it, and tell us about it. We don’t have a deadline.

A TL by any other name – Thanks to all who have suggested alternative names for a teacher librarian. We’ve had some duplication, so a few more would be useful. 

Off I go to the beach for the day.  No doubt we’ll be looking for crawly things in the sand.

A most prestigious and coveted award

10 12 2007

The Hub Advocate of the Month award mentioned previously was, believe it or not, invented at the same time I typed the very words. But now it’s official!  Each month we will announce the winner of this most prestigious and coveted award, for promotion of teacher librarians and/or school libraries to the public. 

December is going to be tough.  Initially, Sharon McGuinness looked a likely winner, for her letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, but now she has some competition from author Libby Gleeson and Sarah Mayor Cox, lecturer at the School of Education, La Trobe University, for their calls to Radio National’s “Life Matters” programme, discussing children’s books. After what seemed an eternity of discussing children and reading (it was actually about 39 minutes) FINALLY we rated a mention from Libby Gleeson.

 “…nobody has mentioned the teacher librarians, and it’s not just the people in the bookshops and the public libraries, as good as they are, it’s also the person in the school who has specialist training in this area who knows the kids well because they’re dealing with them regularly, and I think it’s just tragic that in some states in the country, the teacher librarian is disappearing, and if government is serious about literacy levels and so on, then they should be investing more money into teachers who have library training”.

This was followed up minutes later by a call from Sarah Mayor Cox.

“…Libby really hit the nail on the head, it’s all about having mediating adults in the lives of children and for school children they are librarians and I was thrilled to hear that…..all these kids were going to get new computers but part of my heart sank and  I thought, “Julia, give every school a trained teacher librarian and……..Australia will shoot to the head of the….world league tables in literacy levels”.”

Richard Aedy  “really?  you think that will make a massive difference?”

Sarah Mayor Cox “Absolutely, the research shows it….”

Soon after, Sarah commented on the recent drop in our OECD literacy rating.

“In Australia,we used to lead the world in terms of literacy, Victoria especially, and the funding has just not been there and if you don’t put money into infrastructure…..I’ve just heard the most shocking stories of schools saying we don’t need libraries.  A recent educational architect who has got a huge tender in Australia telling librarians, “kids don’t need libraries becuase they don’t read books anymore” Now how did he get the job?  That’s frightening.”

It certainly is. 

You can listen to the entire 55 minute segment here.  I have always loved how Agnes Neiwenhuizen speaks (and writes) about children and books and reading, but once again I was disappointed that teacher librarians did not rate a mention from her, except to comment on Sarah Mayor Cox’s “absolutely fabulous idea” of putting a librarian into every school.  

I believe the actual suggestion was to put TEACHER librarians into every school.