Canberra, 24 August: Today, on the inaugural Australian School Library Day, the School Library Coalition has sent a letter to Minister for Education the Hon Jason Clare MP calling for urgent support for the School Library Workforce.
Teacher librarians hold dual expertise and qualifications as both teachers and information specialists. They work with students, teachers and school management to provide whole-school leadership in literacy programs that foster and embed a reading culture and information literacy within a school community. Despite the well-documented benefits for students and educational outcomes, however, the number of qualified teacher librarians, librarians and library technicians in schools is at a critical level. Exacerbating an already dire situation, the demographic profile of teacher librarians is of an older, female-dominated workforce; a substantial proportion of which is expected to retire within the next decade.
The letter calls for:
● Support for teachers and library staff to obtain library qualifications and access training;
● Guaranteed resourcing for school libraries and school library staff; and
● Funding for a national census of school libraries and staffing to identify areas of need and support workforce planning.
You can read the full letter here.
School Library Coalition: