This post title is attributed to a quote from from the Manager Library Services, Ed QLD (http://hubinfo.wordpress.com/ Post titled BER in Queensland: New Libraries But No Books or TLs? ) So who will determine what the role will be like in the future and how can teacher-librarians contribute to these determinations?
The Hub also reports: … 35% of government school libraries have no teacher librarians. Approximately two thirds of all schools have either no teacher librarian or less than one Full Time Equivalent (FTE) working in their school library. After the Northern Territory (5%), Tasmania (50%), Western Australia (almost 60%) and Victoria (65%) have the lowest number of TLs employed K-12 across all sectors. Instead there are high numbers of library technicians in Tasmania and Victoria and library officers in Western Australia. http://hubinfo.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/action-needed-at-asla-conference/
These are very challenging times for teacher-librarians. Unfortunately, not all Principals or Education Departments are supportive of the ideals of teacher-librarianship, but neither are all teacher-librarians. Similarly, the low level of teacher-librarian staffing at Australian schools should be promoting discussion about where school teacher-librarianship should be heading in the future. Efforts to connect with employers on this topic need to continue.
An example of this was the “Creating Future Libraries” Conference, an
initiative of the Brisbane Central West / Brisbane North Future of Libraries reference group.
This was a one day professional learning event designed for teacher librarians on October 19, 2009 at the State Library of QLD. The event involved presentations and discussion starters from Education Queensland eLearning Branch, the Brisbane Regional Office, State Library of Queensland staff presenting new initiatives of the State Library, and SLAQ and ASLA representatives discussing National Standards. The day was designed to have important future perspectives information about the teacher librarian as the information, knowledge and media specialist, positioning the library as a vibrant learning hub of any school, and all teacher librarians from State and Independent schools were invited, though the invitation to private schools was quite late.
However, this event was somewhat “one way” with teacher-librarians who attended largely present in a listening capacity. ASLA is certainly making efforts to promote two way dialogue, as is The Hub blog with its Campaign for Quality School Libraries in Australia. However, they require support and contribution from the teacher-librarian profession if we see our role as essential for a quality education for Australian students. And this includes support from those of those of us fortunate enough to work at supportive schools, like All Hallows’, who value teacher-librarianship and school libraries.
However, there also needs to be realisation that there is a vast difference in the resource capacities of schools across the education sectors and across Australia – so how can teacher-librarian skills be accessed by all students? This may mean quite radical “new technology” solutions.
Read more at:
AEU Teacher Librarians and School Libraries Policy 2008 http://aeutas.org.au/fileadmin/user_upload/Policies/AEU_Teacher_Librarians_and_School_Libraries_Policy2008.pdfASLA. (2009). Letter to the Rudd Government. Retrieved December 12, 2009, from ASLA: http://www.asla.org.au/advocacy/government/letter241109.htm
Broady-Preston, D. J. (2009). The information professional of the future: polymath or dinosaur. Retrieved December 12, 2009, from Caval: http://www.caval.edu.au/assets/files/CHRG/People_Conference/Session_C_Room_1/Broady_Preston_the_information_professional_of_the_futuremel.ppt.
Oxley, C. (2009). Diminishing respect for teacher- librarians. Retrieved December 12, 2009, from Discovery 2.0: http://cathryno.globalteacher.org.au/2009/09/30/diminishing-respect-for-teacher-librarians/
BER- about buildings –
Parker, M. (2009). Writing on the wall for library revolution. Retrieved December 12, 2009, from Daily Telegraph: http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/maralynparker/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/new_libraries_but_no_promises_on_who_will_run_them/desc/#commentsmore
The Australian School Libraries Research Project http://www.chs.ecu.edu.au/portals/ASLRP/publications.php
The Hub blog – member contributors. (2009). Retrieved December 12, 2009, from The Hub-Campaign for Quality School Libraries in Australia: http://hubinfo.wordpress.com/ http://hubinfo.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/action-needed-at-asla-conference/