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.

True literacy bubbles and froths with joy

4 02 2008


Accolades to our very own “feral word herder” and Hubber, Peter Macinnis, who has extolled the role of libraries and especially teacher librarians as a part of his latest Ockham’s Razor contribution. He ends his talk, “Is the book as we know it dead,” with the following:



The vapid politicians who carry on about Australian history, meaning dead-white-male history, are also the ones who most commonly bleat about “literacy”, which means simplistic reading and writing skills that can be tested.  These enemies of education with their foolish lists are yesterday’s men.  True literacy bubbles and froths with joy, even when a dead political hand is placed on it, and the new literacy will, teachers willing, sweep their foolishness away.


But who will teach this new sort of literacy?  Not the teachers of English, computing or science: they lack the skills and the time.  Among the professionals of education, only one group can do it.  Oddly enough, they are the very people most at threat from those who say the Book is Dead.


Some call them school librarians, but they’re really teacher-librarians, people trained both as teachers and as librarians.  Rather than getting rid of them and their libraries, we need to fund them better, far better.  We need more, not fewer, libraries, more, not fewer, teacher-librarians.


I care about remembering and transmitting Australia’s story.  The explorers weren’t the sort of people who learned lists of dates, they were people who questioned things and chased a brighter future.  If Australia is to have a future worthy of the explorers, we must educate our young.


Testing doesn’t improve literacy, teaching does, and our teacher-librarians sit at the heart of inspirational teaching. Politicians who don’t understand that are selling us all short.


Click Here to hear the entire program or read the transcript. 


Click Here for more on Peter’s exciting book on the truth of Australian explorers,

 Book cover

Australia’s Pioneers, Heroes and Fools (Pier 9, 2007).