Results of our letter writing

19 08 2010

Some 30 messages were received back from the couple of hundred or so emails sent by the Hub to major party candidates, and forwarded to me by others.

Here is a break down:

Coalition: 10 replies

  • Form letters: 6, including Tony Abbott
  • Shadow Ed Minister, Chris Pyne, 2 sentences, including “I will certainly give the report close consideration when it is released by the House of Representatives Committee on Education and Training.”
  • Will give more flexibility to principals in staffing: 1 Nationals Federal Secretariat
  • “It’s a state responsibility” letter: 1

And this well considered one from Malcolm Cole, LNP Moreton Qld

“I am a little shocked to learn of the disparities across the nation in this area….I can give you my commitment that as a Member of Parliament I would take up these causes inside the Parliament and inside the Government should the Coalition be elected on August 21. Further, I would always be a passionate advocate for literacy. As a person who enjoyed the benefits of excellent librarians and teacher librarians, I do not need convincing of the importance of these roles.”

Labor: 14 replies

  • Early form letters: 5
  • Later form letter acknowledging value of TL, stating state responsibility but looking forward to Inquiry report: 5
  • Happy to raise this matter and pursue: 3, including 1 asking for more on the research
  • One complete support as was on Cttee.


“the Greens unequivocally support the continuation of the House of Representatives Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher Librarians in Australian Schools after the election. We will monitor the outcomes with interest and support recommendations that we consider are well targeted to improving educational outcomes, especially literacy. Until all evidence to the inquiry has been assessed and the inquiry has reported, it would be premature to make any more specific commitments. “

1 Independent: “I am supportive of there being qualified teacher librarians in all schools.”

Democrats National Campaign Director

“We … indicate support for your campaign.”

Family First 1 (NSW Senate candidate)

“You can be assured that  if elected I will place pressure on the government to complete the Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher Librarians in Australian Schools and to act on the recommendations.”


3 individual and mostly well considered responses.

The entire letters are available at the Hub Campaign wiki site.

While these letters indicate quite a range of interest, we do learn who will be our supporters. And it is unlikely to be an Abbott government.

Town Hall Debate? Ask Tony and Julia about school libraries

16 08 2010
Better Schools Need Better School Libraries

So there’s going to be one or two more debates.  Ask Julia and Tony about Better Australian School Libraries.

Australia’s public schools have lost over one third of their qualified teacher librarians (TLs) in the last 15 years (See state by state statistics). 3200 new or refurbished BER libraries are great. But they are only warehouses without qualified staff. Technology is great. But worth little without qualified TLs helping teachers and students to find and analyze deep web information to build new learning.

What can a federal government do?

Collect the needed workforce data. Tie technology and resource grants to appropriate staffing. Fund tertiary training programs and sponsor places. Develop national standards. Highlight international research linking well-staffed and well-supported school libraries with student literacy and learning in the National Curriculum. Develop leadership programs so school leaders can build and evaluate effective school library programs.

Australian research has found a direct connection between well staffed and resourced school libraries and NAPLAN reading results. International research shows student test scores are higher where their libraries are more fully staffed and where teacher librarians work collaboratively with classroom teachers.

Ask the candidates what they will do to increase student literacy and learning through support for a qualified teacher librarian in every school.

Candidate replies

24 07 2010

We are keeping track of candidates’ replies at a Hub Campaign wikispace. So far letters have been sent to every Liberal/National Party candidate, Independent candidates, the Greens education spokesperson and leader, incumbent Labor candidates and the Democrats.  Many more candidates to contact. Our letter to Labor candidates.

Candidates are more likely to give considered responses to their own electorate constituents, so please write to members in your electorate now. Here is one letter to use or change as you wish. You can find your electorate here and find your candidates here.

Write a letter today and put the candidate response on the Hub Campaign wiki.  Let’s get every political candidate supporting the need for a teacher librarian in every school library now!