School Libraries Matter!

In the face of Australia’s falling ranking in educational outcomes among OECD countries and rapidly changing expectations for the future workforce, a coalition of Australian school library associations has formed to advocate nationally for the reinvigoration of school libraries.  We believe that all children need excellent school library services delivered by qualified staff to get the digital and information literacy skills required to succeed in the 21st century.

The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) is partnering with Australian school library associations to advocate for school libraries. The associations are working on the School Libraries Matter campaign to engage parents with the goal of informing them about school libraries and sparking them into action to advocate at their child’s school. We plan to launch a national campaign in March 2018. 

 Members of the School Library Coalition:

  • Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
  • Australian School Library Association (ASLA)
  • School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA)
  • School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV)
  • Queensland School Library Association (QSLA)
  • Western Australian School Library Association (WASLA)

We are focussing our message strongly on the detriment to research skills and digital literacy caused by resources being stripped from school libraries. We believe this erosion is of high concern to parents, and particularly if it includes a specialist teacher librarian.  The skills taught by the teacher librarian include:

  • Searching effectively online
  • Taking and making notes
  • Evaluating websites
  • Thinking critically about information
  • Managing your digital identity
  • Operating safely and with well-informed restraint with social media

Qualified library staff also assist with:

  • Encouraging reading for pleasure
  • Assisting with reading for information
  • Ensuring equitable access to resources (physical and digital)
  • Collaborating with teachers to improve their information and digital literacy skills (thereby positively impacting all their students)
  • Creating a library collection that is personalised for each school community’s needs
  • Establishing the library space as a social learning hub for the whole school community

How you can help:

  • Use your social media platforms to promote the launch (and continuation) of our campaign.   
  • Pass on this information to other individuals and/or local, state, national and international organisations who may be interested in supporting this worthy cause.
  • Share ideas with us for creative ways to reach out to parents.
  • Join our advocacy group.  We have 120+ people from around Australia.  We communicate by email listserv and use Google Drive for shared documents.  There are lots of small groups working on different projects.  You can choose to join one of these groups or just simply be on the list to keep in the loop. Please complete this form in Google Documents or email Pru Mitchell to be added to this group. 

Please join our list of supporters working to provide opportunities and protect the well-being of our children.

This article was published in Issue 1, March, 2018 for Access e-journal.
The missing piece of the education puzzle by Holly Godfrey and Olivia Neilson 
Last updated: 3/23/2018 4:51:02 PM