Canberra, 28 March 2023: ALIA today joins with other Australian School Library Associations and the Students Need School Libraries Campaign to publish the joint statement on school library inclusion in the National School Reform Agreement (NSRA).
With tens of thousands of Australian students not reaching basic levels of literacy and numeracy every year, Australia cannot afford the continued decline in student access to school libraries. The evidence is clear that access to a school library run by qualified staff improves student outcomes, and yet across the country that access is not guaranteed, with students in regional and low-socio economic areas least likely to have access to a well-resourced and staffed school library.
The statement calls for clear and achievable action to arrest this decline and set our children up for success.
1. A target being set for every Australian school student to have access to a well-resourced school library with a qualified teacher librarian and qualified support staff.
2. A support measurement to be implemented against this target for each state and territory to collect and report annually as to: a. The percentage of schools that have, and students that have, access to a school library 5 days a week.
a. The non-capital resourcing budgets for school libraries
b. The provision of qualified and other staff in school libraries.
3. Support of national collaboration and bilateral agreements to reinforce innovative programs through school libraries.
Read the full statement here.
The Statement has been sent through to the Federal Minister for Education, Minister Clare, and ALIA looks forward to further positive engagement on this matter.