Friday, June 15, 2012

AEU, ASLA and ALIA statement about school libraries.

Below is the text of a joint statement about school libraries signed by the presidents of the AEU, ASLA and ALIA issued June 14, 2012 and kindly shared by Barbara Braxton.

In an increasingly information- and knowledge-based age, one of the many elements of a world class education for all Australian students is access to high quality modern library services through the provision of professionally staffed 21st century school libraries.

School libraries and teacher librarians make a significant contribution to school communities and student learning outcomes.

There is a strong relationship between the presence of a qualified teacher-librarian in an accessible well-resourced school library and student achievement.
The severe decline in the number of qualified teacher librarians staffing libraries, in the number of teacher librarian training programs, in school library funding, and in centralised school library services and policy advisers over the last several decades is incompatible with this important educational outcome.

Despite the demonstrated importance of teacher-librarians and libraries, library services have been seriously affected by budget constraints and changing funding and staffing policies and practices. This has undermined the capacity and quality of library services provided by schools; library staffing, resources, services, equipment and facilities.

Devolution of aspects of decision making and financial management to the local level means that funding for school libraries relies on the resource allocation priorities established at the local level, which might or might not place a high priority on the need for a well-staffed library service.

This has led to marked differences between schools where library funding and staffing is at the discretion of the individual school and there are competing budgetary demands within schools.

Without an appropriate funding formula and guidelines for school libraries, the existing
inequitable funding arrangements will continue. This will increase the marginalisation of some libraries through underfunding and neglect, while others are prioritised within their schools and are able to provide quality print and multimedia resources as well as access to emerging technologies, electronic databases, the internet and other on-line resources. This is a basic requirement for any school library and should be the norm rather than the exception.

Such marked differences between schools are incompatible with the stated commitment of
governments to provide a world class quality education for every Australian child. Equitable
access to an appropriately funded and well resourced school library and the services of a fully qualified teacher librarian is the right of all students and schools.

Angelo Gavrielatos
Federal President

Vanessa Little

Isobel Williams

Monday, June 4, 2012

More losses for our school communities

In relation to School Libraries support  it has been confirmed that the organisational chart published at this stage reflects:
·         no policy and curriculum support specific to school libraries, with implications, among other things,  for support for resourcing Australian Curriculum in schools by school libraries and teacher librarians
·         no Scan positions - though the functional descriptions document mentions Scan I can’t see the positions to produce it
·         no support for the kinds of resources etc as provided by our team members and online content, and things like Links4Learning
·         reduced SCIS cataloguing support (1 less librarian)

If you would like more information about the proposed restructure, you might like to go to you will need to access via the portal.
 If you look at ‘functional realignment’ in the left hand menu, you will get access to the organisation charts for what appears to be our new area, Learning and Leadership, including Early Childhood & Primary Education and Secondary Education. 
Apart from the cuts, English and Literacy will no longer be part of the one team and will soon be divided into primary and secondary teams – an odd decision given that we are now embracing a K-10 syllabus.
There is an email address (also available through the webpage above) for any interested person to ask for further information or express an The consultation period lasts until 10am on Thursday 7 June only.

National Year of Reading update

Sharing a National Year of Reading update. Support the National Year of Reading
We love hearing about how you’re celebrating the National Year of Reading – just let us know by emailing us on

Future of Reading
What do you think is the future of reading? Will it change? Will we move totally from books to electronic devices or something else? Will esteemed authors of the past be relevant to future generations? Will ereaders change the way kids read? Tell us your thoughts by contacting us on We’re writing a report for government at the end of the National Year of Reading and we’re looking for input from the public (bookclubs, writers, teachers, librarians, keen readers and people who have struggled with reading) on their views of the future of reading. Let us know your thoughts by the 20 July 2012.

The Reading Hour
Our next big event is The Reading Hour on the 25 August. We’re busy organising activities, the webpage and posters. What events and activities are you planning for The Reading Hour? Check out our wiki page where we’ll be loading lots of ideas and information over the next few months

 What ten books would get your vote?

To celebrate the National Year of Reading, ABC TV’s First Tuesday Book Club is looking for the 10 Aussie Books to Read before You Die – the great Australian reading list! Head to the website to browse the list and vote

The ABC would also love libraries and bookstores to promote this - so just visit our wiki to download the posters and media release.

We’ve also added a clip of Jennifer Byrne encouraging everyone to visit their library to vote – which is available to all libraries to use