Tag Archives: advocacy

ALA Presidential Task Force: Focus on School Libraries 2012

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

In the March 2012 issue of the journal ‘School Library Monthly‘ (Vol XXVIII, No 6), Susan D. Ballard (AASL President-Elect and Co-Chair of the ALA School Library Task Force) summarises the current state of school libraries in the United States, and details the focus of the ALA School Library Task Force, which “is charged with “leading a campaign addressing the urgent need for advocacy for school libraries, as well as the impact of the de-professionalization and curtailment of school library instructional programs on students and student achievement” (ALA 2011).

Photo: ‘Science in the stacks‘ by SpecialKRB on Flickr
 

This article outlines the 5 goals of the Task Force and the strategies and tactics devised to achieve each goal. The final section on the ‘Tipping Point’ details the implications for students and society if school age children do not have access to school libraries and school librarians based on ‘what we know’ from research regarding school libraries and student achievement.

Many of the recommended readings and points made can be utilised by the school library profession in other countries to support their own advocacy campaigns. This article is also useful reading for our new students entering CSU’s Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) course as they are exposed to school librarianship issues and trends in Australia and worldwide in the subject ETL401 Teacher Librarianship.

If you find any recent research evidence on the impact of school libraries on student learning, please recommend journal articles, research reports and websites to my curation site on Scoop It! http://www.scoop.it/t/student-learning-through-school-libraries. The more evidence we can collect and disseminate regarding the important and essential role of school libraries in school life, the better!

Concluding comments from Roy and others at the close of Library & Info Week

May 31 saw the close of another week of library advocacy in Australia hosted by the Australian Library & Information Association (ALIA). The theme for Library and Information Week 2009 was Libraries your passport to discovery!, which was a great opportunity for our information profession to promote the value of libraries in today’s society. I noticed Sue Hutley‘s (Executive Director, ALIA) statement that “libraries offer every Australian a chance to discover, access and connect to a much wider world – and in these tough economic times, it’s a lot cheaper too!”, was a message that resonated through a number of comments in the media this week, including those of Robert McEntyre (Public Libraries NSW Metropolitan Association Executive Director) in the Herald article Book now: libraries are top shelf in family attractions by Rachel Browne (on May 31).

It was also great to see  the words of Roy Crotty (fellow studentslearn blogger, President of ASLANSW and Associate Lecturer with us at the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University – love the concluding quote in the article Roy:

“If anything, the digital era has made a teacher librarian’s job even more relevant.”

The ALIA media release highlights the cultural, educational and economic benefits to society afforded by libraries and information agencies, noting that each year “Australia’s 1,500 public libraries lend over 178 million items to 12 million registered borrowers” which is over half of Australia’s population. Additional figures quoted by Sue Huntley provide the public with an idea of the breadth of library services across the nation including “approximately 9,000 school libraries, 42 university libraries, 387 TAFE campus libraries, and thousands of health libraries, law libraries and other special libraries.” In addition, the Herald article Students can borrow to boost chances outlining public libraries’ support of school children’s reading habits through the provision of multiple copies of books on the Premier’s Challenge reading list each year, demonstrates how public libraries are ‘switched on’ to the needs of kids and in supporting school libraries to resource public programs that can sometimes be beyond the capabilities of an individual school library’s budget. 

Sherman Young’s article Is the book dead? published on ABC’s Unleashed on May 26 and National Simultaneous Storytime on May 27 capped off a busy week for libraries, authors, publishers and booksellers in promoting the value of libraries, books, reading and literacy for all Australians.

An interesting antidote to the good work presented in the media this past week about the value of libraries in Australia, can be found in ABC’s Unleashed article The vulgar modernisation of our libraries (published at the end of April) is you missed it. Love to hear your feedback on any or all of the above!

Effective TLs as mavens, connectors & salesmen… which one are you?

In his book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), author Malcolm Gladwell identifies three types of people who can make a difference: mavens, connectors, and salesmen.

US school library media specialist, Peggy Milam Creighton builds on the ideas of Gladwell in her School Library Media Activities Monthly article, Impact as a 21st-Century Library Media Specialist (2008).

She explores Gladwell’s 3 types in terms of the qualities and behaviours of exemplary teacher librarians.  Creighton’s article also challenges TLs to harness a range of Web 2.0 technologies to leverage themselves as ‘mavens, connectors and salesmen’. How do Creighton’s ideas inform your vision of what a teacher librarian ‘looks like’? 
To which do you aspire?

School libraries: The power of student voice

School students know what they want from their school library. Just ask 11 year old Jamaican student, Daniella who wrote a letter outlining why her school library needed to be the winner of a $100,000 donation from a local bank. This story is a great example of the use of ‘student voice’ as advocates of change with regard to the resourcing of school libraries to support student learning.

This is supported by recent research such as the Ohio Study (by Todd & Kuhlthau (2004) and the Australian replication of this study by Hay (2006). Based on over 6, 700 student responses to the Australian School Libraries Supporting Student Learning survey from 46 primary and secondary schools, my article in Scan (Vol 25, No 2 – May 2006) presents the findings of this research project, and concludes that students want their school libraries to be “flexible and dynamic learning laboratories”. 

This Jamaican newspaper item demonstrates that Jamaican kids (just like Aussie kids) also have a vision of how their school library can contribute to their learning. School Libraries Work (3rd ed, 2008) states, “A school library program that is adequately staffed, resourced, and funded can lead to higher student achievement regardless of the socioeconomic or educational levels of the community.” (p.10). We look forward to hearing more stories about students who become advocates of change for their school library and student communities.