Why Mentone Grammar is so fortunate to have Teacher-Librarians

A joint statement about school libraries signed by the presidents of the AEU, ASLA and ALIA: issued June 14, 2012.

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 online 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.

A joint statement about school libraries signed by the presidents of the AEU, ASLA and ALIA: issued June 14, 2012.

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 online 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 – AEU (Australian Education Union)

Vanessa Little
President – ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association)

Isobel Williams
President – ASLA (Australian School Libraries Association)

It’s hard to believe that this is true –

There are many schools in Australia that have no qualified library staff in them. No teacher-librarians, no librarians, no library technicians.

But it is true.

The support for the Library and its staff at Mentone Grammar from the Principal, the teaching and support staff, the students and the parents is fabulous. Not all schools are so fortunate.

We give thanks.

Advertisements

About mgslibrary

What we do, how we do it, and what's coming up in the world of books and information. View all posts by mgslibrary

2 responses to “Why Mentone Grammar is so fortunate to have Teacher-Librarians

  • Belinda Grey

    What do the teacher-librarians do for students with learning disabilities?

    • mgslibrary

      Hi Belinda. The teacher-librarians work with the Learning Enhancement teachers to provide resources – for example, audiobook or large print versions of English texts (if they are available). The Learning Enhancement teachers advise us on resources for particular students.

Talk to us! We love to hear what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: