RN Life Matters on the Value of Teacher Librarians and Their Dwindling Numbers

11 10 2019

Lyndell Sellars, head of learning resources at Cairns State High School
and Dr Margaret Merga, senior lecturer and library researcher at Edith Cowan University interviewed on ABC RN Life Matters


“School libraries hit by the loss of a dying breed as teacher librarians enter ‘survival mode'”

15 09 2019

By Rebecca Carmody, ABC News

“Researchers have reported an “alarming” loss in the number of qualified teacher librarians in schools, warning student literacy will continue to suffer if the trend is not reversed.

Key points:
There are concerns the number of teacher librarians has fallen to a critical low
Experts say they are vital to school literacy outcomes and should be mandatory
Education officials say library staffing in government schools is up to principals”

Full article here.

The evidence persists

6 03 2019

Keith Curry Lance and Debra Kachel have an excellent summary of the research on the value of trained teacher librarian staffing in Phi Delta Kappan (26 March 2018) Why School Librarians Matter

Ten ways teacher librarians improve literacy in schools

19 01 2019

Margaret Kristin Merga, Senior Lecturer in Education at Edith Cowan University, reports on her research into the relationship between staffing of qualified teacher librarians and student literacy in The Conversation, 18 January 2019.
Ten ways teacher librarians improve literacy in schools.

New School Library Campaign Hitting Mark?

18 10 2018

Some great responses to Cook’s article in The Age, “Extending the shelf life of the school library in the internet age.” and in the Sydney Morning Herald.

In praise of the library SMH 18 Oct. 2018

A school library is more than a storeroom for books (“School libraries’ shelf life in the balance”, October 17). It is at the centre of thinking and imagination within the school community.

As with all aspects of learning, this is best guided by a trained teacher. In this case a teacher librarian, who can connect young minds with the diverse thoughts of others in ways that are engaging, relevant and reflective, – Philip Cooney, Wentworth Falls

Having had the opportunity to work in and visit high schools across the state, I would assert that if you were required to make a quick judgment of the educational effectiveness of such an institution you could do no better than visit the library.

State high schools, in the main, have had the great benefit of reasonably resourced and committed, future-oriented, well-trained librarians.

To suggest that these engines of education be cut back rather than enhanced is blind and ignorant. – Gus Plater, Saratoga

In 2010, a national inquiry was conducted into school libraries resulting in several recommendations being made. In the eight years since that inquiry, none of the recommendations have been implemented, in fact the position of school libraries and teacher librarians has worsened.

One of the roles of a qualified teacher librarian is literature specialist, which enables them to select the best quality material, as well as being able to place the right book in the hands of their students. All we hear is children need to read more, but if you visited a school with a qualified teacher librarian and a well-resourced library, you would see students engaged in their reading. – Sharon McGuinness, Thirroul

Sadly, it is not just school libraries facing these issues but public libraries, special libraries (government departments, corporate and law firms), technical and university libraries too. Librarians are massively unacknowledged – their skills and knowledge base built up over years discarded by administrators across all levels of society. The myth that everything is on the internet is all pervasive. The results are there for all to see – a society believing fake news encompassing large numbers of citizens who have no ability to think critically or analyse information for evidence. They are easy targets for conspiracy theories and outright lies.

Our children deserve better if they are to grow up and develop the skills to be able to evaluate the information that is widely disseminated. – Wendy Cousins, Balgownie

New campaign launched for school libraries

17 10 2018

Australian library and school library associations have joined together to launch an Australian wide campaign to reaffirm the value of school libraries for student learning and literacy. Read The Age article by Henrietta Cook.

Go to their information packed website, Students Need School Libraries, to see what action you can take.

“Advocacy is not enough, we need power”!

13 09 2018

A great blog post from Nadine Bailey on Infoflight, 2017. Spot on!.

Fake news and the TL

12 09 2018

Think before you re-post or otherwise pass on FB posts, Snapchat, Twitter and emails. CHECK YOUR FACTS. How to Fact Check. Click here.
The teaching of digital literacy is part of the teacher librarian’s role.
In these days of 24/7, profit driven news, teacher librarians are needed more than ever. The Western Australian School Library Association has provided TLs with this excellent guide, Fake News, Information Literacy, Digital Literacy and Media Literacy by Sarah Beteridge.

Parents and teacher librarians can make reading fun

9 09 2018

Margaret K. Merga, Curtin University, and Holly Godfree, Canberra teacher librarian, on ““How to make reading as fun as watching TV”

UK authors demand halt to decline in staffing of school libraries

15 06 2018