ACCESS - Current Edition - Editorial

Access, Vol. 36, Issue 2, 2022, pp. 5-6.

Lee FitzGerald, Editor

Welcome to the June Issue of ACCESS. I hope you find it useful and interesting. Highlights include

these articles:

  • Well-being and the Teacher Librarian, by Madison Dearnaley, who presented a well-attended webinar for ASLA on 6th April on this topic.
  • Heroic Inquiry at Blancheland College, Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK, by Darryl Toerien.
  • Harry Potter, 25 Years On, by Amanda Beckett 
  • It Takes a Village to Raise a Teacher Librarian, by Kathy Talbot.


Dr Ross J. Todd, Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for International Scholarship

in School Libraries (CiSSL) at Rutgers University, has died after a short illness. Please read the In Memoriam for Ross from Rutgers School of Communication and Research - Ross was an academic at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) when many of the current (older) crop of teacher librarians were training. He was a gifted and inclusive teacher, capable of inspiring lasting passion for the world of school libraries, in particular focusing on increasing the impact teacher librarians make on teaching and learning. I met him first in the green carpeted halls of UTS Lindfield, in the late 1980’s, when he was teaching cataloguing (amongst other things!). Ross managed to engage us with the not very exciting, but necessary underpinning skill of our profession. I even managed a Distinction, because he was such an inspired teacher, making me recall one of my mother’s sayings, “He could make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!” (with apologies to the Dewey Decimal System and AACR2!) He moved to USA in January, 2001, to join Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, ultimately becoming Dean of that faculty, and setting up the Centre for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CiSSL).

Ross had a consuming passion for learning, and his ability to continue to inspire Australian TLs, even though so far away for so long, was legendary. I remember him as a kind host when I stayed with him in New Brunswick, and following behind him on the snowy footpaths to Rutgers, Ross walking very fast, and pointing out left and right “Black ice, Lee!” “Black ice again, Lee!” - sound advice for a novice on snowy streets! I remember him personally for guiding the Australian Quality Teacher research project I led in 2008 on Guided Inquiry; for the way he always had time to meet for dinner with Alinda Sheerman, Kasey Garrison and me when visiting Sydney; for the kind and perceptive way he wrote the introduction to my 2019 book, Guided Inquiry Goes Global: Evidence-based Practice in Action. The foreword to this book appears in this issue of ACCESS on page 27.

I remember many times being in his audience at presentations both here and in USA, when Alinda and I have looked at each other, and said, “There he goes, again!” And Ross would be firing up a whole new audience of teachers and TLs and playing that old black magic for us. “That old black magic had me in its spell, That old black magic that you wove so well.” (Arlen and Mercer, 1946). 

He has been my mentor as a Teacher librarian since the earliest times, and I will miss him deeply.


The survey that was in my editorial in the March issue did not have a big response, but these were the responses:

I hope you enjoy this issue.

Lee FitzGerald

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