ALIA calls for more teacher librarians following flat NAPLAN test results

Wednesday 3 August 2016 Canberra: The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is disappointed to see the flat results in the 2016 NAPLAN national test results.

The results show that from 2015 to 2016 there has been no significant change in literacy and numeracy results, with results plateauing.

Sue McKerracher, Chief Executive Officer of ALIA said: 'School libraries and teacher librarians are well placed to contribute to improving student skills in reading, digital literacy, critical thinking and research skills. However we see only a small number of teacher librarians on staff compared to other specialist teachers in schools.'

A recent report (Staff in Australia's Schools survey from the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER)) on the impact of school libraries and teacher librarians,  showed that in 2013 only 4-5% of primary teachers and 2-3% of secondary teachers were working in a library role. This compared with 5% of secondary teachers involved in Languages Other Than English, 5% in computing and 6% in special needs.

The ACER findings suggested that fewer early career teachers are entering library roles in schools and more than a third of primary teachers and a quarter of secondary teachers in a library role had not undertaken any tertiary study in library and information science.

It also shows that the students who most need teacher librarians are the least well served. The report notes that between 2010 and 2013 there is evidence of a greater number of teachers in library roles in high socio-economic (SES) schools and correspondingly fewer in low SES schools.

Ms McKerracher said: 'From these statistics, it is clear that there needs to be a significantly increased emphasis on attracting, training and employing qualified teacher librarians in primary and secondary schools if the desired student outcomes are to be achieved.'


About the Australian Library and Information Association

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector. With 5,000 members across Australia, we provide the national voice of the profession in the development, promotion and delivery of quality library and information services, through leadership, advocacy and mutual support.



Heather Wellard, Communications Manager: | 02 6215 8225 | 0409830 439


Wednesday 03 August 2016 3:15pm