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ASLA September 2021 E-Newsletter

ASLA September 2021 E-Newsletter


Dear Members,

September has arrived with many of you still experiencing lock down. The ASLA board are keenly aware of the work that you are doing in your schools to support teaching staff while preparing lessons and providing resources for online learning. Please continue to reach out to the board for support. I recently presented on a panel of a Raeco webinar focusing on the impact of COVID19 on libraries. My contribution focused on the anecdotal evidence that ASLA has collected over the past 2 years from members. It was a productive discussion and the keynote prior to the panel was very interesting. I encourage you to watch the recording if you are able. The link is below. 

The newly formed special interest groups have begun meeting over the past month. 

Literacy SIG

The Literacy SIG will have their first meeting on Wednesday 8 from 7-8pm. If you are interested in attending this meeting please contact the ASLA Vice President via email vicepresident@asla.org.au.

Research SIG

The first meeting of the ASLA Research SIG is occurring by GoToMeeting on Monday 6 September at 5.30-6.30pm. All participants who expressed an interest in joining this SIG have received an invitation letter and a one-page synopsis of Dr Margaret Merga’s recent research.

Behind the scenes, Kerry Pope and Robin Zeidler have met online to discuss the format and structure of the evening meeting. This will include an opening and introduction of participants, their interest in joining the Research SIG and an outline of the BUPA research findings into School Libraries and Student Wellbeing. How does research in school librarianship and student literacy evolve?  

The remainder of the meeting will focus on discussion of the Term 4 meeting with the thought that participants may highlight an area of research which each person has an interest in sharing with the group. The idea is to develop a small repository of research titles which could be advertised and viewed by ASLA members. Kerry will discuss one of Dr Merga’s articles at the end of Monday’s session. 

ASLA members who have not registered for the first meeting, are very welcome to join the Term 4 Research SIG meeting. We’ll be discussing possible initiatives and projects for the group and introductions etc.

Advocacy SIG

The Advocacy SIG met on 10 August with discussion focused on ASLA's role as the national representative for School Libraries. The importance of gathering data that is relevant to the advocacy work was discussed with some ideas to be developed in the coming months. This work is ongoing and members are always welcome to join and contribute. 

The ASLA September webinar Strategies to engage reluctant readers presented by Libby Baker. Libby shared research based strategies for engaging reluctant readers. This webinar was attended by more than 130 attendees and feedback from this event identified how relevant this webinar was to the work of Teacher Librarians and library staff across Australia. If you missed this webinar, you can purchase it on the ASLA website. If you require teacher identified hours for registration, we encourage you to view the webinars for sale on our website. 

Our upcoming webinar on 6 October  will be presented by Judith Barker. Judith will present 'How to support literacy with phonemic awareness'. Judith's book 'The OO in Uluru' won The Speech Pathology (Australia) children's book of the year in 2019. With learners of all ages struggling with literacy including our EAL/D learners, this webinar is not just for the early years. 

You can register using the link in this newsletter.

Each month I would like to introduce you to one of the board members who work tirelessly behind the scenes for our members. Please reach out to the board member in your state our territory. We are more than willing to chat or support you in any way we can. This month is my turn. I am the board member in the ACT and have the privilege of working in a network of highly skilled and dedicated teacher librarians and library staff. 

September has arrived with many of you still experiencing lock down. The ASLA board are keenly aware of the work that you are doing in your schools to support teaching staff while preparing lessons and providing resources for online learning. Please continue to reach out to the board for support. I recently presented on a panel of a Raeco webinar focusing on the impact of COVID19 on libraries. My contribution focused on the anecdotal evidence that ASLA has collected over the past 2 years from members. It was a productive discussion and the keynote prior to the panel was very interesting. I encourage you to watch the recording if you are able. The link is below. 


The newly formed special interest groups have begun meeting over the past month. 

Literacy SIG

The Literacy SIG will have their first meeting on Wednesday 8 from 7-8pm. If you are interested in attending this meeting please contact the ASLA Vice President via email vicepresident@asla.org.au.


Research SIG

The first meeting of the ASLA Research SIG is occurring by GoToMeeting on Monday 6 September at 5.30-6.30pm. All participants who expressed an interest in joining this SIG have received an invitation letter and a one-page synopsis of Dr Margaret Merga’s recent research.

Behind the scenes, Kerry Pope and Robin Zeidler have met online to discuss the format and structure of the evening meeting. This will include an opening and introduction of participants, their interest in joining the Research SIG and an outline of the BUPA research findings into School Libraries and Student Wellbeing. How does research in school librarianship and student literacy evolve?  

The remainder of the meeting will focus on discussion of the Term 4 meeting with the thought that participants may highlight an area of research which each person has an interest in sharing with the group. The idea is to develop a small repository of research titles which could be advertised and viewed by ASLA members. Kerry will discuss one of Dr Merga’s articles at the end of Monday’s session. 

ASLA members who have not registered for the first meeting, are very welcome to join the Term 4 Research SIG meeting. We’ll be discussing possible initiatives and projects for the group and introductions etc.


Advocacy SIG

The Advocacy SIG met on 10 August with discussion focused on ASLA's role as the national representative for School Libraries. The importance of gathering data that is relevant to the advocacy work was discussed with some ideas to be developed in the coming months. This work is ongoing and members are always welcome to join and contribute. 


The ASLA September webinar Strategies to engage reluctant readers presented by Libby Baker. Libby shared research based strategies for engaging reluctant readers. This webinar was attended by more than 130 attendees and feedback from this event identified how relevant this webinar was to the work of Teacher Librarians and library staff across Australia. If you missed this webinar, you can purchase it on the ASLA website. If you require teacher identified hours for registration, we encourage you to view the webinars for sale on our website. 


Our upcoming webinar on 6 October  will be presented by Judith Barker. Judith will present 'How to support literacy with phonemic awareness'. Judith's book 'The OO in Uluru' won The Speech Pathology (Australia) children's book of the year in 2019. With learners of all ages struggling with literacy including our EAL/D learners, this webinar is not just for the early years. 

You can register using the link in this newsletter.


Each month I would like to introduce you to one of the board members who work tirelessly behind the scenes for our members. Please reach out to the board member in your state our territory. We are more than willing to chat or support you in any way we can. This month is my turn. I am the board member in the ACT and have the privilege of working in a network of highly skilled and dedicated teacher librarians and library staff. 


Raeco webinar - panel including ASLA President

Kind regards,

Natalie Otten

ASLA President


Upcoming Events



October 6 Webinar


Register here!

Partnership with IASL

ASLA is a proud partner member of the International Association of School Libraries. All members of ASLA are individual partner members of IASL, with access to;

  • IASL listserv
  • IASL Newsletter online
  • School Libraries Worldwide journal online
  • reduced fees for conferences and publications
  • participation in Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and committees 
  • access to the members-only area on the IASL website 
IASL RESOURCES


Seeking content for ASLA Members Lounge!


Do you have a story or idea to share with ASLA members? We are seeking content for our members lounge. 

Keep your submission to no more than 2 pages and include photos as high resolution images.

Topics could include:

* Book Week ideas

* Digital Technologies

* Secondary school library displays

* Engaging with leadership

Please send your ideas to the ASLA Executive Officer Judy Thompson at asla@asla.org.au


ACT update from Board member and President Natalie Otten

The past month has seen the ACT enter lockdown for the first time in 12 months. We have been sheltered from cases for such a long time and have not had to experience ongoing remote learning as other states and territories have. 


As is the case in many places around Australia, there is not a teacher librarian or trained library staff in every school library. In fact some schools do not even have a dedicated library staff. With staffing cuts some school leaders have chosen to collapse these roles or place teachers in these roles who do not have the dual qualification.


At the beginning of 2021 the ACT government announced the introduction of scholarships to create new teacher librarian positions in ACT schools over the coming 5 years. This is exciting news and definitely a positive step. The work continues however with the SNSL campaign and the teacher librarian network in Canberra working actively to continue this momentum. Developing strong partnerships amongst organisations and with school leadership is key to continuing this movement.


With the pivot to remote learning there has been a plethora of ideas being shared on the local and national network levels. This shows the calibre of our teacher librarians and library staff to work in collaboration with others. Although we are a small network, we have some amazing talent in our midst. This has been showcased recently with webinars hosted by Libby Baker and Mali Jorm who are both ACT teacher librarians. 


I am privileged to be the teacher librarian at Canberra's newest school in Denman Prospect. Evelyn Scott School opened in February with learners in years P-5. We will expand to Year 6 next year followed by years 7-10 in 2023. I work with an amazing group of educators who are dedicated to Future Focused Learning. I am currently working in a temporary library space while my library is completed. This is an exciting time and the opportunity to be involved from the beginning is amazing. 

I find my role on the ASLA board is rewarding and supports my teaching role through allowing me opportunities to network and contribute to school libraries across Australia. I encourage you to consider if this is an opportunity you would like to consider. 





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