Thanks to Karen Bonanno, Executive Officer, Australian School Library Association Inc. http://www.asla.org.au/ for permission to post the following information she posted today to oztlNET:
A quick update on the status of the School Library Inquiry now the election has been called. As of Monday this week the House Standing Committee on Education and Training was disbanded. Subsequently, the Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher Librarians in Australian Schools is in “limbo.” The last public hearing was in Perth (13 July) and all transcripts are available at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/edt/schoollibraries/hearings.htm
But, the final report is now “on hold” until after the election. So, what is likely to happen? After the outcome of the election –
Option 1: the Inquiry will be re-instated
Option 2: the Inquiry will be re-instated, but with different terms of reference
Option 3 – the Inquiry will not continue. All options are dependent on the political party elected to govern and the Minister of Education of the governing party.
Where to from here? Effectively, we have between now and 21 August to keep the “spirit of the Inquiry” alive in the minds of MPs so option 1 can be a reality.
So, here are some suggestions.
A. Go to the transcripts from the public hearings (http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/edt/schoollibraries/hearings.htm) and select the one from your state/territory. Capture some “quotable quotes” of the MPs.
B. Check out the research (http://www.asla.org.au/research/ and http://hubinfo.wordpress.com/background/research/) – there is likely to be duplication at both of these sites but the locations should provide some content that you can use.
C. Check out the Australian School Libraries Research Project reports: Snapshot of Australian School Libraries and Snapshot of Australian Teacher Librarians (http://www.chs.ecu.edu.au/portals/ASLRP/publications.php) and grab some statistics.
D. Go to the ASLA School Libraries web page http://www.asla.org.au/schoollibraries/ and check out the policy statements, media statements, media coverage during the Inquiry.
Using any of the above (or a combination of 1 to 4), access the resources provided by ALIA on the Federal Election 2010 http://www.alia.org.au/election2010/ You will find the Campaign Kit very, very useful. For example, the Action Plan:
1. Find out more about your local candidate (the kit provides the web links)
2. Write a letter to your MP and candidates (ALIA provides template letters)
3. Make an appointment to meet your MP and/or candidate
4. Attend election events and be ready with your key message and questions (10 starting questions have been provided in the ALIA Campaign Kit – Suggestion: have this in written form in case you do not get the opportunity to speak – hand it to one of the staff and request it be passed on to the MP / candidate)
5. Vote for the candidate that best represents your interests
Also, sample letter template here http://hubinfo.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/31-days-to-lobby-for-teacher-librarians/ specific to the recommendations they hope to see come out of the Inquiry from Georgia Phillips.