Australia's Great School Libraries - Honours List

Thursday, 17 March 2016

 

The Great School Libraries campaign

In October 2015, FAIR (Freedom of Access to Information and Resources) joined with library associations and EducationHQ to seek nominations of Great School Libraries across the nation.

We were looking for libraries that help children and young people find reliable information; use the information effectively; think critically; make informed decisions; work productively with others; build knowledge and understanding of the world; safely navigate the internet; communicate and share their ideas; and find great reads to meet personal interests and abilities.

Nearly 600 students, teachers, parents, principals, library staff and other members of the community nominated more than 200 school libraries across Australia. There was a good mix of government, Catholic and independent; K-12, primary and secondary schools, and supporting materials included drawings, stories, quotes and photographs showing how much these libraries are valued.

Download Summary of Survey Report 

Download the Education HQ Special Report

We asked nominators to respond to 10 questions and this is what they told us.

1. Is there a qualified teacher librarian managing the library?

The campaign was open to all school libraries but it was clear from the nominations that a qualified teacher librarian was an enormous asset. More than 90% of the nominations were for schools employing a teacher librarian.

 “Mrs X was my favourite teacher at high school. Honestly think I wouldn't have made to uni without her encouragement and teaching.”

“She is phenomenal. The reason this library is so successful is due to her efforts. She has made the space a warm and inviting learning hub for both teachers and students.”

“Not a single event happens at our school which does not have X's signature or touch on it. I have nicknamed her GLUE as she holds us all together. She is our Librarian as well as on the Executive team as a coordinator but she holds many roles, including support for our IT personnel.  She also manages the Gifted and Talented Program and so much more. She is irreplaceable.”

2. Is the library open whenever the school is open?

92% of schools were open for the same hours as the school and many libraries offered extended hours for use by students, teachers and the wider community. Some were open for up to 12 hours a day.

“We are open from 7.30am until 7.30pm Monday to Thursdays, and 7.30am until 5pm on Fridays. We also open on Sundays in peak senior exam periods.”

 “We often have kids and parents dropping in before or after school. The library is open every lunch time for reading, games and computer. We also have a chess club once a week.”

“It is used by the chess club, Minecraft club and early bird reading buddies, and volunteers tutor students with homework.”

3. Can students learn information skills in the school library?

95% of the nominated school libraries were said to support students learning information skills.

“The library staff run information skills lessons throughout their library program, including targeted programs for Year 11 students. They also have run great Professional Learning for staff.”

 “Our students are able to learn how to reference, how to use databases and how to find books. Essentially, they are taught the skills that they will need to become life-long learners and prepare for university. Additionally, the library has created an online resource to ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to find valuable sources.”

“The Librarian holds extra instruction classes in a number of areas to assist students, eg using technology, such as Google apps, study skills, research skills.”

4. Can students borrow the resources they need, when they need them?

96% of the nominated libraries had resources available for students at the time they needed them, often 24/7 for digital access.

“Our students can reserve and renew resources online 24/7 and have access to traditional as well as ebooks.”

“Students have the capacity to suggest new resources for the library. The resource is sourced, purchased, catalogued, processed and delivered to the student in the shortest amount of time possible.”

“So convenient!  If I need a book on a particular topic, I just go and borrow it any time.”

5. Can you borrow popular fiction without a long waiting period?

94% of nominated school libraries had sufficient popular fiction on the shelf to satisfy the needs of their students. Balancing the breadth and depth of the collection is one of the skills of the librarian, to ensure that keen readers have access to their favourite author, the next title in the series or the latest move tie-in.

“We have a wide range of popular fiction so even if a particular title is unavailable, books in the same series or similar can be borrowed.”

“The library has a large collection of current fiction as well as an extensive manga collection.”

 “Our librarians have their finger on the pulse and they really have a great list of popular books for the girls to borrow. And they are always open to suggestions for new items.”

6. Is there enough space for a whole class to fit into the library?

97% of the nominated schools could fit a whole class into their library, and in the case of one small school in regional WA: “On occasions we fit the whole school in!”

 “We can accommodate five classes, with additional tutorial rooms, casual areas, outside decking and a state of the art video conferencing facility.”

“It's just been refurbished and is colourful, vibrant, interesting, and encourages collaboration and experiences, not silent isolated working.”

“There are many different working areas in our Library, from study nooks, to booths which are great for discussion as well as tutorial rooms and open areas with couches and beanbags for reading periods.”

7. Is there high speed access to the internet?

Location and funding were the limiting factors for the 9% of nominated school libraries where there was not always high speed access to the internet.

 “This is an area that the school would like to improve as the library relies on technology and wifi can be an issue in ensuring lessons run smoothly. This is simply down to money!”

“But at peak times it can slow down. Hopefully the new server will address some of the issue. A full fibre connection is needed and hopefully will be funded by a future government to assist student access to information.”

8. Are students encouraged to use online resources?

This was said to be the case in 96% of nominated schools. Where there was less access to online resources, this was linked to funding and Department of Education security filters. Not only were students encouraged to use online resources, but many nominators commented on the role of the school library in promoting cybersafe practices.

 “My daughter was proud to tell me all about how she was learning to code (Year 3/4) using Scratch.”

 “Students access a wide range of online resources including websites, databases, Edmodo blog and Survey Monkey (to self reflect on students' learning).”

“100% Yes! The teacher librarian takes classes through school terms and guides students on how to access and use our schools database.   But it doesn't stop there, the library staff also assist students on how to use and access our online resources during recess and lunch, study periods, class time and whenever a student needs assistance.”

9. Are there special activities, for example Book Week, the Premier’s Reading Challenge?

Book Week celebrations, reading challenges, manga illustration sessions and author visits in 97% of the nominated libraries have generated publicity for the school and promoted books and reading. Minecraft, coding, Science Week, Library Hacks and similar tech-related activities have encouraged students who are less keen on reading to use the library and its resources. Events such as Grandparents and Special Persons days, NAIDOC Week, ANZAC memorials and charity fundraisers have enhanced the visibility of the library and its contribution to the wider community.

 “Book Week, Victorian Premiers' Reading Challenge, Student Book Clubs, Robotics Club, Chess Club, Lego Club, after school tuition support.”

“Also ... World Read Out Loud Day, World Dot Day, Indigenous Literacy, Maker days, Book Face Fridays, Book Speed Dating, Hour of Code, Robotics,  Tinkering activities and author visits.”

“The Staff encourage activities and displays from all areas within the school. Music Week had musicians in the library at lunchtime playing, maths teachers are encouraged to display work, and so on.”

10. Do students, parents and teachers think the library is AWESOME?

Nearly every nominated school library was described as ‘awesome’ (98%) for a variety of reasons – the physical space; the digital experience; the warm welcome for students, teachers, parents and the wider community; the print collections and electronic resources; the evolution of the library into a 21st century learning place; the ‘wow’ factor of a vibrant, quirky, well-designed, highly active, special space with library and information professionals who support students of all ages.

 “When parents are brought through the school for orientation, they are always blown away by our library space.”

“Students, parents and staff are impressed with the terrific and changeable displays and vitality. It is a learning exchange saturated in information and technology.”

 “Best staff in the library ever. So helpful. They are extremely professional.”

 

Honours List - Australia’s Great School Libraries 

By popular nomination, this is the list of 213 Great School Libraries for 2015.

ACT 

 

   

 

School

Location

Principal or Head of School

Library

Brindabella Christian College

Lyneham

Bruce Handley

Rachel Richards

Campbell High School

Campbell

Heather Paterson

Keith Mullumby

Curtin Primary School

Curtin

Merryn O'Dea

Jane Steinback

Lake Tuggeranong College

Greenway

Julie Murkins

Holly Godfree, Lori Korodaj

Latham Primary School

Latham

Liz Bobos

Heather Govender

Lyneham Primary School

Lyneham

Annamaria Zuffo

Olivia Neilson

Marist College Canberra

Pearce

Richard Sidorko

Tehani Wessely

Melrose High School

Pearce

Simon Vaughan

Ruth Mahon

St Anthony's Primary School

Wanniassa

Greg Walker

Danille Richardson

St Francis Xavier College

Florey

Angus Tulley

Bernadette Bradley

St Joseph's Primary School

O'Connor

Sue Dempsey

Catherine Parmenter

St Monica's Primary School

Evatt

Carmel Maguire

Rachael Hind

Trinity Christian School

Wanniassa

Andrew Clayton

Maree Crofts

NSW 

 

 

 

 

School

Location

Principal or Head of School

Library

Abbotsleigh

Wahroonga

Judith Poole

Bronwyn Foxall

Abermain Public School

Abermain

Ian Lamph

Amanda Craig

All Saints Catholic Senior College

Casula

David Fetterplace

Heather Jesuadian

Auburn North Public School

Auburn

Mark Harris

Catherine Clift

Avondale School

Cooranbong

David Faull

Sue Blyde

Belair Public School

Adamstown

Karin Hird

Nyssa Kelly

Beresfield Public School

Beresfield

Jonathan Ridgway

Karen Meyer

Bomaderry High School

Bomaderry

Jill Appleton

Marion Hing

Bonnyrigg High School

Bonnyrigg

Michael Bryce

Maria Sander Burns

Caddies Creek Public School

Glenwood

David Beggs

Jenny Scheffers

Callaghan College Jesmond

Jesmond

Allen Littlewood

Flavia Quintiliani-Johns

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School

Ewingsdale

Nerrida Johnson

Charlotte Jenkin

Central Coast Grammar School

Erina Heights

Bill Low

Gill Martin

Cerdon College

Merrylands

Patricia Baker

Nancy Sylaprany

Cessnock West Public School

Cessnock

Ruth McGlashan

Jae Rolt

Christian Brothers' High School

Lewisham

Paul Conn

Tanya Toohey

Clancy Catholic College

West Hoxton

Iris Nastasi

Alison Rooke

Clemton Park Public School

Earlwood

Angelica Lapi

 Mary Nikolakopoulos

Colo Vale Public School

Colo Vale

Jenny Quist

Anne Wood

Eden Marine High School

Eden

Ian Moorehead

Kaylene Taylor

Emmanuel Anglican College

Ballina

Robert Tobias

Victoria Maddock

Holy Spirit College

Lakemba

Raymond Martin

Caroline Vassarroti

Hunter Valley Grammar School

Ashtonfield

Paul Teys

Elaine Barker

Lapstone Public School

Glenbrook

Dianne Knight

Elizabeth McKintyre

Loreto Kirribilli

Kirribilli

Anna Dickinson

Judith Hurst

Loyola Senior High School

Mount Druitt

Catherine Larkin

Lynette Hodgson

MacKillop College

Port Macquarie

Mrs Anne O'Brien

Suzanne Penson

Marian Catholic College

Kenthurst

Jayne Campbell

Jody McDonnell

McCallums Hill Public School

Roselands

Georgia Constanti

Cathy Drury

Moss Vale High School

Moss Vale

Peter Macbeth

Katie Cripps

Mount Annan Christian College

Mount Annan

Nathan Gray

Jill Turner

Newington College

Stanmore

David Mulford

Yvonne Smith

Parkes High School

Parkes

Sandra Carter

Tracy Dawson

Queanbeyan South Public School

Queanbeyan

Adam Zanco

Sandy Swift

Shore Preparatory School

North Sydney

Nick Saunders

Margo Pickworth

Smith's Hill High School

Wollongong

David Deitz

Julie Farquhar

St Andrew's Cathedral School

Sydney

John Collier

Jenny Kemp

St Andrew's Primary School

Marayong

Michael Tonnet

Debbie Ross

St Edward's College

Gosford

Michael Slattery

Monica Mayer

St Felix Catholic School

Bankstown

Lisa Harbrow

Sylvia Braden

St George's Basin Public School

Basin View

Kathy Rembisz

 Anita Morgan

St Joseph's Catholic College

East Gosford

Tony McCudden

Karen Powers

St Joseph's Catholic High School

Albion Park

John Barrington

Frances Schneider

St Joseph's Regional College

Port Macquarie

Jim Dempsey

Karen Bale

St Margaret Mary's

Sydney

Kevin Mills

Michele Balogh-Caristo

St Mary's Primary School

Young

Louise Grant

Joanne Murphy

St Michael's Catholic Primary School

West Ryde

Brian Story

Josephine Celati

St Michael's Catholic Primary School

Belfield

Judith Gastin

Mary Hill

St Paul's Catholic College

Greystanes

David Bourne

Sharon Malcolm

St Vincent's College

Potts Point

Anne Fry

Suzana Sukovic

Stockton Public School

Stockton

Tracey Frazer

Cate Pearce

Sydney Grammar School

Sydney

John Vallance

 John Hughes

Tangara School for Girls

Cherrybrook

Katrina George

Gail Staples

Thirlmere Public School

Thirlmere

Lisa Whitfield

Gaby Gutjahr

Thirroul Public School

Thirroul

Gary Graham

Sharon McGuinness

Trinity Grammar School

Summer Hill

Milton Cujes

Stefanie Gaspari

Tyndale Christian School

Blacktown

Jack Joyce

Margaret Aitchison

Warners Bay High School

Warners Bay

Sharon Parkes

Liza Moss

Westdale Public School

Tamworth

Ben van Aanholt

Zoe Morris

Wiley Park Public School

Wiley Park

Rene Demos

Gillian Maugle

William Carey Christian School

Prestons

Keith McMullen

Dawn Smith

William Clarke College

Kellyville

David Raphael

John Stanton

Windang Public School

Windang

Alisa Mcdonald (relief)

Kylie McCarthy

Winmalee Public School

Winmalee

Sharon Gordon

Joanne Wilkinson

NT

 

 

 

 

School

Location

Principal or Head of School

Library

Marrara Christian College

Marrara

Andrew Manning

David Parkin

QLD

 

 

 

 

School

Location

Principal or Head of School

Library

Allenstown State School

Rockhampton

Jenny Archer

Tanya Gill

Alligator Creek State School

Mackay

Peter Stansfield

Sandy Amoore

Bribie Island State School

Bongaree

Paul Pickering

Karena Aczel

Browns Plains State High School

Browns Plains

Michael O’Connor

Fiona Campbell

Canungra State School

Canungra

Sheree Maksoud

Katherine Hodges

Chisholm Catholic College

Logan

Martina Millard

Monique McQueen

Fairholme College

Toowoomba

Linda Evans

Melanie Hassell

Faith Lutheran College

Thornlands

Anthony Mueller

Cheryl Kung

Gin Gin State High School

Gin Gin

Robin Rayner 

Glenda George

Glennie School Junior Years

Toowoomba

Wendy Ashley-Cooper

Marie Miegel

Home Hill High School

Home Hill

Frank Kingma

Lisa Todeshino

Indooroopilly State High School

Indooroopilly

Lois O'Reilly

Mirva Harrison

Iona College

Lindum

Michael Twigg

Carolyn Shaw

John Paul College

Logan

Peter Foster

Marilyn Fry

Kingaroy State High School

Kingaroy

Ashley Roediger

Judy Conomos

Kirwan State High School

Townsville

Meredith Wenta

Elena Hawkins

Lourdes Hill College

Hawthorne

Robyn Anderson

Noeleen Fleming

Mango Hill State School

Mango Hill

Tracy Egan

Suzette Holm

Marsden State High School

Waterford West

Andrew Peach

Jenna Cullen

Mary MacKillop College

Brisbane

Christine Clarke

Melinda Strickland

Marymount Primary School

Burleigh Waters

Greg Casey

John Jensen

Moreton Bay College

Manly West

James Sloman

Dajo Finlayson

Mount Alvernia College

Kedron

Kerrie Tuite

Helen Stower

North Rockhampton State High School

North Rockhampton

Janet Young

Barbara May

Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School

Caloundra

Andrew Oberthur

Keiran Chandler-Pennisi

Our Lady's College

Annerley

Paula Goodwin

Maureen Twomey

Queensland Academy for Health Sciences

Southport

Jane Sleeman

Helen Reynolds

Ravenshoe State School-Primary Campus

Ravenshoe

Henry Condon

Alita Stewart

Southport School Preparatory School

Southport

Jeff Symms

Deb Schinckel

St Andrew's Catholic College

Redlynch

Lee MacMaster

Verdi Reid

St Andrews Lutheran College

Mudgeeraba

Timothy Kotzur

Julia Boulton

St Anthony's School

Kedron

Vyvyen Menegon

Judy Blyth

St Eugene College

Burpengary

Jim Midgeley

Janice Chilcott

St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace

Spring Hill

Michael Carroll

Melinda  Egan

St Patrick's College

Mackay

Janelle Agius

Ms Jan Barnett

St Peters Lutheran College

Indooroopilly

Adrian Wiles

Jan Lewis

Swayneville State School

Sarina

Roslyn Waldron

Jacki Lamont

Trinity Anglican School

Earlville

Margaret Kennedy (acting)

Clare Minchin

Tullawong State High School

Caboolture

Debra Murphy

Lesley Grove

Warwick West State School

Warwick

Jason Calcott

Sue Higgins

Weir State School

Townsville

Jennifer Vanderjagt

Doug Croker

Wellington Point State High School

Wellington Point

Sue Dalton

Penny Westcott

West End State School

Brisbane

Judy Thompson

Tania Venuto

Yangan State School

Yangan

Ian Rathmell

Ann Smith

SA

 

 

 

 

School

Location

Principal or Head of School

Library

Aberfoyle Park Campus

Aberfoyle

Nigel Bennett, Shaun Coghlan, Greg Haynes

Jo Schenkel

Ardtornish Primary

St Agnes

Mark Hansen

Jane Moore

Cornerstone College

Mount Barker

Craig Fielke

Barbara O'Connor

Hawker Area School

Hawker

Beth Walsh

Sacha Uern

Kidman Park Primary School

Kidman Park

 John Clarke

Lois Burrow

Lake Windemere B-7 School

Salisbury North

Carmine Cafasso

Hajnalka Molloy

Marden Senior College

Marden

Mr Stephen Inglis

Sue Johnston

Modbury High School

Modbury

Martin Rumsby

Linda Guthrie

Open Access College

Marden

Julie Taylor

Sue Johnston

St Ignatius' College

Norwood

Shaun Fitzpatrick

Jane Moran

St Aloysius College

Adelaide

Paddy McEvoy

Carol Grantham

St Johns Grammar School

Belair

Cheryl Bauer, Frank Ali (Junior)

Shayne King, Jane Knox (Junior)

St Marys College

Adelaide

Eileen Young

Eileen McCabe

St Peter's Woodlands Grammar School

Glenelg

Christopher Prance

Annette Mesecke

St Monica's Parish School

Walkerville

Greg Parker

Debbie Lauder

Tenison Woods College

Mount Gambier

David Mezinec

Alexandra Nicholson

Thebarton Senior College

Torrensville

Eva Kannis-Torry

Wendy Rutten

Thomas More College

Salisbury

Andrew Balkwill

Frances Kranendonk

Unley High School

Netherby

Brenda Harris

Jenny Brisbane

Victor Harbor High School

Victor Harbor

Amanda O'Shea

Mandy Kerby

Westminster Preparatory School

Adelaide

Grant Bock

Julia Baldwin

Woodcroft College

Morphett Vale

Mark Porter

Tina Jameson

TAS 

 

 

 

 

School

Location

Principal or Head of School

Library

Aboriginal Education Service and English as an Additional Language Program

Hobart

Sally Duay, Richard Angus

Mary Blake

Albuera Street Prmary school

Hobart

Kerry McMinn

Veronica Brunton

Deloraine Primary School

Deloraine

Jeanagh Viney

Karen Groenewold

Devonport Christian School

Don

Melanie Woods

Karen Groenewold

Don College

Devonport

John Thompson

Felicity Sly

Guilford Young College

Glenorchy

Bobby Court

Linda Abblitt

Ogilvie High School

Hobart

Julie Bird

Isobel Williams

Riverside Primary School

Riverside

Jane Bovill

Roslyn Lippis

Rosny College

Rosny Park

Deb Day

Sally Ludford/Bronwen Sealy

Sacred Heart College

New Town

Craig Deayton

Dawn Price

St Brigid's Catholic School

New Norfolk

Joy Matar

Trudi Fielding

St Patrick's College

Prospect Vale

Simon Cobiac

Robyn McKenzie

The Hutchins School

Sandy Bay

Warwick Dean

Jill Abell

VIC

 

 

 

 

School

Location

Principal or Head of School

Library

Auburn High School

Auburn

Maria Karvouni

Bronwen Ch'ng

Buninyong Primary School

Buninyong

Bernie Conlan

Kathleen Cassell

Camberwell Girls' Grammar School

Canterbury

Debbie Dunwoody

Anne Devenish

Christian College Geelong

Highton

Glen McKeeman

Christine Lean

Craigieburn South Primary School

Craigieburn

Stella Garreffa

Elizabeth Andrews

Emmanuel College

Warrnambool

Peter Morgan

Margaret Sinnott

Fitzroy High School

North Fitzroy

Pauline Rice

Annie Durbridge

Genazzano FCJ College

Kew

Patricia Cowling

Susan La Marca

Gilson College

Taylors Hill

Mark Vodell

Zdenka Kukolja

Gippsland Grammar School

Sale

David Baker

Marianne Lee

Gleneagles Secondary College

Endeavour Hills

Sue Peddlesden

Lynne Moller

Haileybury College Castlefield

Brighton

Scott Doran

Susan Osborne

Hillcrest Christian College

Clyde North

Greg Weaver

Michelle Nye

Ivanhoe Grammar School

Ivanhoe

Gerard Foley

Wendy Logan

John Paul College

Frankston

Jane Tibb

Cairistiona Tait

Killester College

Springvale

Leanne Di Stefano

Faye Jamieson

Kilvington Grammar School

Ormond

John Charlton

Jane Viner

Korowa Anglican Girls' School

Glen Iris

Christine Jenkins

Linda Kolevas

Marian College

Sunshine West

Rita Grima, Ray Psani

Sharon Hayes

Mater Christi College

Belgrave

Mary Fitz-Gerald

Jennifer Cain

Mazenod College

Mulgrave

Christian Fini

Camilla Elliott

Melbourne Girls Grammar

South Yarra

Catherine Misson

Gabrielle Wong

Mentone Girls' Grammar School

Mentone

Fran Reddan

David Feighan

Mercy College

Coburg

Michelle Cotter

Anne Girolami

Mount Waverley Primary School

Mount Waverley

Greg Paine

Jacqueline Griffeth

Resurrection House

Essendon

Hermina Widlarz

Deann Keane

Sacré Cœur 

Glen Iris

Maureen Ryan

Sharon Roth

Shepparton High School

Shepparton

Phil Squire

Zarina Fleming

Siena College

Camberwell

Gaynor Robson-Garth

Vicki Hudson

St Francis Xavier College

Berwick

Vincent Feeney

Anne Fuller

St Helena Secondary College

Eltham North

Karen Terry

Sophie Blake

St Kevin's College

Toorak

Stephen Russell

Julie Pagliaro

St Leonard's College Junior School

Brighton East

Pat Kenny

Amanda White

St Martin of Tours

Rosanna

Patricia Stewart

Kim Yeoman

St Patricks College

Ballarat

John Crowley

Julia Petrov

Sunbury Downs College

Sunbury

Maria Oddo

Joy Burlak

Westbourne Grammar School

Truganina

Meg Hansen

Bronwyn MacDonald

Western Heights College

Hamlyn Heights

Ralph Shaw (Acting)

Kerrie Sirotich

Wooranna Park Primary School

Dandenong North

Ray Trotter

Debra Nugent

WA

 

 

 

 

School

Location

Principal or Head of School

Library

Chisholm Catholic College

Bedford

John Bormolini

Cally Black

Churchlands Senior High School

Churchlands

Neil Hunt

Sally Morris, Jane Price

Helena College Glen Forrest Campus

Glen Forrest

Ian Lyons

Rebecca Murray

Iona Presentation College

Mosman Park

Anne Pitos

Leonie McIlvenny

Lynwood Senior High School

Parkwood

Andrew Jack

Jennifer Currie

Mandurah Baptist College

Lakelands

Tracey Holmes

Lynne Sim

Mandurah Catholic College

Mandurah

Andrew Watson

Sarah Love

Methodist Ladies' College

Claremont

Rebecca Cody

Deborah Bourke

Ocean Reef Senior High School

Ocean Reef

Karon Brookes

Sarah Betteridge

Penrhos College

Como

Meg Melville

Amanda Stewart

Santa Maria College

Attadale

Ian Elder

Tracey Rouhiainen, Nicole Chandler

Sevenoaks Senior College

Cannington

Kath Partridge

Natasha Georgiou

St Hilda's Anglican School For Girls

Mosman Park

Kim Kiepe

Sandra Naude

St Mark's Anglican Community School

Hillarys

Cameron Herbert

Shirley McKibbin

St Norbert College

Queens park

Annette Morey

Maureen Smith

St Stephen's

Duncraig

Tracey Gray

Jo-Anne Urquhart

Tranby College

Baldivis

Clayton Massey

Louise Koch and Deborah Merrett

 

New report shows the impact of teacher librarians on student outcomes

At the same time as announcing the 2015 Great School Libraries, FAIR has published a new report on the impact of school libraries and teacher librarians, focusing on the three areas where libraries make a unique contribution – reading, digital literacy, critical thinking and research skills.

These three drivers represent vital elements of a student’s educational experience. They are building blocks for learning and underpin every aspect of the Australian Curriculum. However, Australia has a long way to go to ensure that all students benefit from these skills.

  • The Australian Early Development Census 2015 results show that nearly one in five five-year-olds in Australia are at risk of not achieving a good standard of reading.
  • The National Assessment Program – ICT Literacy Report 2014 found that 45% of Year 6 students failed to reach the proficient standard and 48% of Year 10 students. This was a drop in performance compared with the 2011 of 22 scale points for Year 6 students and 39 scale points for Year 10 students.

Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald on 18 November 2015, Dr Michael Phillips, lecturer in digital technologies in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, said, “One of the challenges for ‘general capabilities’ such as ICT is that all teachers in all subject areas are supposed to contribute to student knowledge and skill development. While this is a laudable objective, it does mean that the responsibility for teaching these digital literacy skills does not reside with an easily identifiable teacher or group of teachers as is the case for mathematics, English or science.”

FAIR proposes that school libraries and teacher librarians are perfectly placed to help instil these skills and further investment in school libraries and qualified teacher librarians is essential if Australian students are to fulfil their potential.

' The Impact of Great School Libraries Report 2016'

Impact of Great School Libraries Powerpoint

Staffing crisis in school libraries

FAIR’s newly released report on the impact of school libraries and teacher librarians includes further analysis of the Staff in Australia’s Schools survey from the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER), which shows 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 LOTE, 5% computing and 6% 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, “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.”

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.

For more information, contact fair@alia.org.au.

Call for government to endorse a teacher librarian for every school

FAIR’s sign off to its new report on the impact of school libraries and teacher librarians is a call for the Australian Government to endorse the goal of a teacher librarian for every school.

The report states, “Federal, State and Territory Governments’ acknowledgement of the vital role of school libraries in supporting reading, digital literacy, critical thinking and research skills, together with a strong recommendation from Education Ministers about the employment of teacher librarians and qualified library staff in schools within their jurisdiction, would be a significant step forward. Further, it would be of benefit to look for innovative ways of providing access to teacher librarians where there is not the critical mass to support a full-time appointment and to incentivise principals to employ teacher librarians where there is a large student body.”

FAIR and its library association partners will be pursuing this conversation with the Federal Government in the coming months.

Case studies

Examples of best practice from Great School Libraries.

Portfolio of Great School Libraries 

Check out all the great photos and videos in our portfolio.

Campaign partners

Joining FAIR to produce this campaign were:

Early campaign materials

This campaign is now closed but see the earlier published campaign material.