The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) is honoured to announce the winner of the ASLA Citation Award for 2009 and to commend and give recognition of services rendered to the profession.
This citation, awarded biennially at the ASLA National Conference, is given for outstanding leadership in promoting and developing teacher librarianship in one or more of the following fields:
- Policy formation
- Program implementation
- Administration of the Association
In 2009 ASLA recognises the contribution of a national leader who has dedicated a career to ensuring Australian school libraries are dynamic and innovative learning communities.
The recipient of the 2009 ASLA Citation has given outstanding service and leadership to school libraries in Australia, and receives this award particularly in the areas of policy formulation, administration, education, publications and innovation. Her vision and ideals as both an educator and administrator can be seen in the ongoing work of ASLA and school libraries throughout Australia.
Anette Ainsworth: Recipient of the ASLA Citation 2009
Anette’s commitment to school libraries can be seen in her own career development. She started teaching in 1973 as a primary school teacher and began working part-time in a primary school library in 1991 which motivated her to acquire a Graduate Diploma of Applied Science (Teacher Librarianship) in 1992, graduating in 1994. Anette has worked in various Department of Education primary school libraries until 1999. This period involved the automation of several primary school libraries and the introduction of the internet to those schools’ information services. Technology was also becoming an integral part of information literacy programs and Anette soon became a leader within the school to implement the use of technology.
In 1999 Anette began working in the private sector of education at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School in the library and ICT department as Assistant Head of Department, in particular focusing on the primary area in a school of 2000 students.
Currently she co-ordinates Library and Information Services at John XXIII College, a Catholic Education K-12 co-educational school with 1500 students. The library department has a staff of eleven which includes teacher librarians, teachers, library technicians and library officers.
Anette became a member of the Western Australian School Library Association (WASLA) in 1999 and in 2000 became a committee member. In 2001 Anette was asked to take on the role of Vice President of WASLA and therefore became the national councillor of the Australian School Library Association (ASLA). Anette became President Elect of ASLA in 2004, moving to ASLA President in 2005, holding the position until 2008, reverting to Immediate Past President for 2009.
Anette’s contribution to libraries and librarianship in both Western Australia and Australia has been significant.
It is all the more remarkable that all this has been achieved by a person who has throughout this time remained a full-time school-based practising teacher librarian in leadership positions in very large K-12 schools, and been situated in Western Australia with its particular challenges of distance and time zones.
To state her many contributions would take many hours probably the same amount of selfless hours she has dedicated back to all her roles. In outlining some of Anette’s roles she has been
- Involved in establishing a review of ASLA’s policies that were examined by various groups under the direction of the ASLA Executive.
- A contributor to ASLA’s Access journal on the topics of literature, leadership, teaching and learning, and management. Also contributed to Access on the relationship of ASLA and the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA).
- Involved in the initial discussion for a new publication or series of publications for ASLA titled “Learning in a Changing World”.
- Has been involved with the planning and implementation of professional development including state level school library conferences in conjunction with AISWA Library network.
- Involved in the development of the Western Australian College of Teaching (WACOT) Standards for Teachers.
- Directly involved or represented at numerous meetings of professional organisations related to school libraries. As ASLA President was often involved in preparation of responses to these organisations and working in collaboration with them -
Peak Bodies Forum,
National Education Forum and
- Involved in the organisation of two ASLA national conferences - 2007 in Adelaide and 2009 in Perth. Chair of the program committee for ASLA XXI.
- “During Anette’s presidency ASLA’s links with ALIA were strengthened and ASLA is still benefiting from this stronger alliance” Sue Johnston SLASA Secretary and ASLA Councilor.
Anette’s innovative work has seen her involved with
- The implementation of Curriculum Framework and Student Outcomes in Western Australia through the delivery of professional development to various school library communities such as WASLA, AISWA Library network and the Junior School Heads Association Primary Library Network.
- The development of a network of teacher librarians in the process of including year seven students into middle schools and having dedicated year 7 libraries or incorporating the year level into existing school libraries.
- Employing the latest technologies and incorporating them into school library programs, e.g. use of technology including Web 2.0, introduction of interactive whiteboards school wide including selection and providing professional development and incorporating them into class and library areas and teaching programs.
- Devising innovative programs for student education along continua so they are able to gain skills and use them throughout their lifelong learning. Have shared these programs with teacher librarians through various school library networks.
Anette has been an outstanding leader in the field of teacher librarianship and her contribution to the profession is acknowledged in the referee statements supporting Anette’s nomination for the ASLA Citation Award.
“Following several years of activity as committee member and Vice-President of WASLA, Anette joined ASLA National Council as WA Standing Committee member and national councillor in 2001 - at a very difficult point in the association’s history. Bringing with her a passion for school libraries plus previous experience of national association work, she worked quickly on becoming an active and informed member of National Council. Her commitment and support was very much appreciated by those of us on ASLA executive at that time.”
“Throughout the period of her national president’s role from 2004-2008/2009 as President Elect, President and Immediate Past President, Anette has undertaken an outstanding range of leadership activities. The lengthy period is a testament in itself of the respect of member associations for her ongoing leadership role. The activities range from research and innovation, policy formulation processes to effective implementations, sound and sustained national administration of the association and inspiring writing and publication.”
“Throughout her presidential term she brought a professional, rational and decisive approach to Council and association activities. Providing clear leadership and ensuring internal organisational practices were sound, Anette made it a priority to build ASLA’s relationships and reputation with external bodies.”
Projects planned and implemented by Anette succeeded because of her ability to network people and encourage participation. Anette has made a great impact on and mentored a huge number of teacher librarian colleagues around Australia over a long period of time.”
“Anette has been a provider of professional learning and a consummate networker through ASLA and WASLA and further a field in school library communities and the wider education profession.”
And finally as acknowledge by the citation panel of judges :
“Anette has significantly contributed to the development of school libraries through her efforts in policy formulation, innovation and education from the grass roots level as a TL practitioner in a number of school library teams through regional, state and national levels.”
“Under her presidency the association’s policies were updated and the association moved into Web 2.0 formats. Although this may seem insignificant to those not involved in the changes it required a great deal of leadership and negotiation. Anette ensured that significant partnerships with other peak bodies in Australian education and leadership were made. These strong ties continue to endure as a result of the solid and determined work Anette undertook. The profile she adopted through ASLA’s Access journal ensured that teacher librarians throughout Australia were aware of her leadership and inspiration. Anette also ensured that international school library partnerships were strengthened.”
Presentation of this award is an opportunity for her peers and colleagues to acknowledge her commitment to the profession and it is with honour that we bestow the ASLA Citation Award 2009 to Anette. This award was presented to Anette at the ASLA XX1 Conference, Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, Perth, Western Australia. Congratulations Anette.
[Anette Ainsworth accepting her award from Rob Moore, ASLA President]
Anette’s acceptance speech
Thank you for presenting me with the Australian School Library Association Citation Award. It is a great honour and I am thrilled to be the recipient of such a significant award in school library and education circles. Receiving the award is proof that somebody who works at a grass roots teacher librarianship level can achieve a significant honour. I feel really fortunate to be part of an esteemed group of people who have contributed to national leadership of teacher librarianship and been previous recipients. I sat with Bev Blackwell when she was announced as the recipient in Canberra in 2005 and presented Lay Hay with her award in Adelaide in 2007. I could not have imagined that one day I would be awarded the ASLA Citation.
I love the work that I do and have done since I first started working in a school library in 1990. That first year was enough to inspire me to further studies to gain my teacher librarianship qualification. After working in several government primary school libraries, I went to work at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School which is where my involvement with school library associations started. Fortunately, I worked with Pru Mitchell, who I consider a mentor and I felt guilty that she was Vice President of the West Australian School Library Association and I wasn’t a member. After joining I later became a committee member, Vice President and President of WASLA which ultimately led me to be the WASLA National Member Association representative, which started my involvement with Australian School Library Association.
After becoming ASLA President Elect then President I learnt so much and met many amazing people. It would be hard to summarise the range of activities and tasks that are undertaken in those roles but the basis for everything that I ever did in this capacity was based on a love of what I do as a teacher librarian and a belief that the profession is so worthwhile. The profession needs to be at the forefront of teaching and learning and it also needs to be recognised by other educators, bureaucrats, parents as being important to student’s education.
Not long after I became President of ASLA, the forerunner to Teaching Australia was formed and I represented ASLA at the inaugural meeting of NIQTSL. This was the start of a very productive and long lasting relationship between the two groups where it is clearly evident that ASLA is respected and considered a leader in many areas. I am also very proud of the building of an excellent relationship with the Australian Library and Information Association during my time leading ASLA. It is very important that the key stakeholders in Australian libraries are working in conjunction with each other so that libraries, including school libraries, remain relevant in an ever changing world. Being involved in the organisation of two national conferences has also been something I have believed is hugely important to the professional development of those who work in school libraries.
A continuing and constant role leading teacher librarians and school libraries is advocacy. This can be through contacting politicians, writing articles, contacting people in key areas of education, attending meetings, seminars, conferences and always pushing the school library barrow. Whilst much has been done there is still a disappointment that heads of education do not place more value on having all school libraries staffed by qualified teacher librarians and have the resources that give all students equal and great opportunities.
Thank you to those who nominated me for this award and those who provided supporting information. I am very grateful to you and that you believed I have contributed to teacher librarianship. Also thanks to the panel who were involved in the selection process for the citation. Thanks to all those who have worked with me along the way on WASLA, ASLA and numerous other committees. I am fortunate to have a wonderful Learning Area Co-ordinator of Library position at John XXIII College which allows me to continue having the best job in the school.
Thank you also to my family and friends for their understanding of the love I have for the work that I do and my deep belief in wanting to promote the profession. My son feels he is getting his mother back now I am retiring from a few commitments, my daughter shares my love of reading and education and my husband has been an amazing support and offered great encouragement along the way.
Best wishes to those who continue to work on behalf of those working in school libraries. Keep believing that what you do is important for all students and that you make a great contribution to education.