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ACCESS - From the President

ACCESS - Current Edition:

From the President

Access, Vol. 35, Issue 3, 2021, p.2.


President, Natalie Otten

Welcome to the latest issue of ACCESS. This issue includes an update from our Executive Officer, Judy Thompson, who presented at the National Education Summit - Capacity Building For School Libraries - in Brisbane. The theme of her presentation - ‘Boldly moving forward’- is the focus of the work of the ASLA Board in 2021. With Board members representing each State and Territory of Australia we are well placed to support and advocate for Teacher Librarians (TLs) across the nation. Judy’s presentation outlined some of our initiatives and future direction for the Board. You will be hearing more about these wonderful initiatives in the coming months.

Margo Pickworth shares the exciting project that was undertaken with a grant from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. I’m sure you will enjoy reading about how author Tim Harris was involved in this project.

With ongoing uncertainty around the situation with COVID19 and many lockdowns, it continues to be vital that we support each other in whatever way we can. The ASLA Board is keenly aware of the struggles faced by many of our colleagues around Australia when engaging in online learning. I encourage you to visit the ASLA website and take advantage of the free member resources that are available to support you.

Advocacy is a key focus of the ASLA Board. In addition to supporting the Students Need School Libraries Campaign, we engage in many different opportunities to highlight the role of TLs and the importance of school libraries. On behalf of our members, we submitted a group response to the review of the Australian Curriculum. This response outlined the role that TLs play in supporting the teaching of the Australian Curriculum and in particular the General Capabilities.

We are in the process of forming a Special Interest Group to focus on Advocacy which will be led by myself and the president of the School Libraries Association of Australia (SLASA). A huge thank you to all those who have indicated their interest in participating in this group.

In conclusion, I would like to highlight some research conducted by ASLA’s patron, Dr Margaret Merga. This research report was co-written with a number of authors including Professor Chin Ee Loh who presented at the ASLA conference in April. The research article is titled ‘Revisiting collaboration within and beyond the school library: New ways of measuring effectiveness.’ This is a fantastic article to share with your school leadership team and begin or continue a conversation about effective collaboration and the role of the TL.

I hope you enjoy this issue of ACCESS.

Natalie Otten
President, ASLA.

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