Parliamentary Inquiry into school libraries and teacher-librarians

An update on The Parliamentary Inquiry into school libraries and teacher-librarians.

The School Library Association of Victoria have also been invited to provide further oral evidence at the hearing of the committee which takes place on Thursday 29 April (today) at Parliament House, Melbourne.

It is a public hearing – however if you are unable to attend, the hearing will be webcast live (audio only) on:

If you are unable to catch the webcast, the hearing proof transcript will be on the Committee’s website approximately a week after the hearing.  Submissions will also be published on the Committee’s website at some stage in the future.

Resources for the Australian Inquiry into Teacher Librarians

Thanks to a number of concerned school library supporters around the world, some excellent resources for addressing a response to the Australian Inquiry into Teacher Librarians have forwarded to Bright Ideas.

Submissions close on Friday 16 April.

The many and varied roles of the teacher librarian

Carl A. Harvey II is the library media specialist at North Elementary School in
Noblesville, Indiana.

Carl A. Harvey II, a library media specialist at North Elementary School in Noblesville, Indiana has developed a document on the expectations of teacher librarians/school library media specialists/school librarians.

Covering eleven points such as teaching, addressing new technologies, collaborating, leading, learning and innovation, this document is a great starting point for anyone who needs guidance about the diverse role of the teacher librarian.

Although US in origin, this document is relevant to Australian school libraries. However, one omission does seem to be the lack of acknowledgement of the contribution to reading programs and support.

Thanks to Keisa Williams for the heads up on this document.

TL Virtual Cafe

The TL Virtual Cafe wiki is the home of Webinar events for teacher and school librarians worldwide.

tl virtual cafe

These events are listed on the wiki and are free for anyone anywhere. As long as you have Java installed on your computer and you have a headset with microphone, you can be a part of the action via the Elluminate online conferencing platform. The events will be held on a monthly basis.

One nice little surprise is that these events are held out of school hours for US participants, which means they occur at around 12noon AEDT or 9am Perth time. The event held on 1 March (2 March in Australia)  – School Library Web Presence – had 177 participants and was extremely stimulating.

All  links for the Webinars are available on the wiki. Organisers are keen to have input on forthcoming topics, so stop by, join up and have your say.

IASL Conference focuses on role of school libraries in preparing pupils for the future

From the UNESCO site comes the following report from the IASL 2009 conference:

11-09-2009 (Padua)
UNESCO participated in the 38th Annual Conference of the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL), which concluded last week in Padua, Italy. This year’s theme, School Libraries in the Picture: Preparing Pupils and Students for the Future, highlighted the increasingly important role of school libraries to equip students in the 21st century with the abilities to use information effectively and develop critical thinking and life-long learning skills that are essential to responsible citizenship.
While the significant contributions of school libraries to student learning have been demonstrated over the years, in the rapidly changing and competitive environment of the 21st century, the role of school libraries has shifted from one of technical work to intermediation, from conservation to innovation, and from reactive user-trainer modes to proactive teacher-trainer modes.
IASL is a professional association that provides an international forum for those interested in promoting effective school library programmes as viable instruments in the educational process.

This was the main theme of this year’s Conference of the International Association of School Librarianship that gathered more than 300 school librarians, teachers, library advisers, educational administrators, students and others who are responsible for library and information services in educational institutes from around the world.

School librarians will therefore be increasingly contributing to UNESCO’s mandate for building knowledge societies. In particular school libraries will play a key role as catalysts for the introduction of media and information literacy policies in schools by engaging both students and teachers to acquire a combination of skills, competencies, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours.

The topics discussed at the Conference are closely connected with UNESCO’s work on a teacher-training curriculum for media and information literacy to be introduced worldwide. The curriculum aims to integrate media education and information literacy in the initial training of teachers at secondary school levels, and will be designed according to the needs of each country.

The current state of Australian school libraries

ASLA and ALIA have just released research findings on Australian school libraries and teacher librarians. A copy of the report can be accessed here.  Alarming trends regarding budgets and staffing, but many people already knew that from their own school circumstances.  As the ALIA website states, “School libraries are hovering on the poverty line.”

A similar tale in the May edition of the AEU News (Victorian branch). An article about teacher librarians is entitled “On borrowed time”. Read the article here.