Thursday, March 18, 2010

Julia Gillard has requested an Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools.

 I have posted this really important update from Georgia with Barbara's encouragement.

From Georgia Phillips on behalf of The Hub, Campaign for Quality School Libraries in Australia

"I am pleased to announce that your efforts have been successful!!

Julia Gillard has requested an Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools.  See

In this election year, the timeframe is all too short. One month!!  SUBMISSIONS MUST BE IN BY APRIL 16.  Nevertheless this is our opportunity for the federal government to look at possible recommendations on school library funding and staffing, the first review since the 1970s.

Terms of Reference
To inquire into and report on the role, adequacy and resourcing of school libraries and teacher librarians in Australia’s public and private schools.

Specifically, the committee should focus on:
·         the impact of recent policies and investments on school libraries and their activities;

·         the future potential of school libraries and librarians to contribute to improved educational and community outcomes, especially literacy;

·         the factors influencing recruitment and development of school librarians;

·         the role of different levels of government and local communities and other institutions in partnering with and supporting school librarians; and

·         the impact and potential of digital technologies to enhance and support the roles of school libraries and librarians.

As a result of submissions, the committee can recommend those things stated in the petition that so many of you signed

These are ... that the government:
·         collect national data on school library staffing, funding, and scheduling;
·         tie funding so that states can and must adequately staff and fund school library programs and services;
·         require that literacy programs and other national curricula should explicitly recognize the central role school libraries have in student achievement, literacy attainment, and preparation for post-secondary success;
·         develop national school library standards;
·         increase teacher librarian training positions in university programs.

The brief is quite broad and can accommodate these issues and more, such as special grants for
·         Improving Literacy through School Libraries,
·         collection of information on TL training programs and numbers enrolled,
·          make recommendations on inclusions in pre-service teacher training on IL and TL collaboration
·         development of a national IL curriculum
·         nominating a National School Library Day, and much more.

We hope that you will assist the associations you belong to to make considered submissions within this short timeframe. Guidelines for submissions can be found at

Individual submissions will also help the House Education and Training Committee members understand our dreams and the reality.

This is an valuable first step in improving school library funding and staffing in Australia for the 21st century.

Thank you for your time and support and congratulations on all your efforts so far"

Georgia Phillips  posted by Barbara Braxton, Teacher Librarian (with permission)
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