What’s Happening with School Libraries?

20 04 2017

Rick Susman, Managing Director of the Booklegger and founder of the Book Bank Initiative, is interviewed by Jon Faine and Sally Warhaft. (Broadcast Wednesday, 26 April on ABC Melbourne 774 Morning show.)  Catch up online.

Teacher Librarians: A Dying Breed?

11 06 2009

NSW Children’s Book Council President, Carol Keeble, has written a fine editorial in this month’s newsletter urging all who value books and literacy to lobby local, state and national legislators about the need for teacher librarians and school libraries.  We post it here with permission.


Teacher Librarians: A dying breed?

Teacher Librarians: A dying breed?


Click here for a sample letter with current correspondence with the Shadow Education Minister, ChristopherPyne.

Behind every great man….

25 05 2008

Australia’s first lady, Therese Rein, get’s two thumbs up from the Hubbers for her recent patronage of the Indigenous Literacy Project. (Click here to read report)

“Sharing stories is such an important part of creating a shared culture,” she said.”It is easy to take access to the written word for granted.

“Not everyone has access to a library.”



Spot on, Ms Rein.  Well said.   Literacy is a great social equaliser.

This project is a crucial step in improving literacy rates in our indigenous communities, but it’s important to note that libraries are not just for achieving literacy levels, but to be a constant source of reading and information throughout one’s education.  

Last week I had a visit from an old friend. Her oldest son, Jack, in year 5 and a constant reader, heard us talking about libraries and told me that his school used to have a “library teacher”, but when she left, she wasn’t replaced.  The library is now used as a regular classroom, and he only has 30 minutes a week to select new books and check them out, a task which is done by a teacher who is,”okay, but isn’t a real library teacher, you can tell”.  When I asked him how he selects his next  book, he told me he looked for books from the authors he liked.  When I asked what happened when he ran out of books by these authors, he didn’t know what he would do.

A few days later this was followed up by a conversation with a fellow TAFE student whose ten year old nephew is struggling at school. He’s not a particularly sporty kid, but loves to read. He would like to go to the library during lunchtime, but other than his brief weekly class visit, the door is always locked.   It’s not about a boy who is antisocial, and doesn’t play with other kids,  he just loves reading.  An open library could bring all the readers together in this school and provide a great social experience for them.  Remember that earlier quotation?

“Not everyone has access to a library.”

I would like to send a message to Therese Rein that even though Australian schools have libraries,  it doesn’t mean our students have library access.   Please Therese, help us unlock our libraries!