Diminishing Respect for Teacher-Librarians


Libby GleesonAt the ASLA Conference held in Perth, well-known children’s author Libby Gleeson spoke about the worrying trend in Australian schools of de-valuing the role of the Teacher-Librarian, and the practice of replacing TLs with Library Technicians or Library Officers.

Why is this happening? 

“Almost 30 years after the halcyon days, school libraries are again facing a crisis. Faced with global budgeting shortfalls, principals are forced to make cutbacks, and unfortunately, the library has often been the easiest place to do this. Anecdotal evidence tells us that library budgets have plummeted across the country. Staffing levels have also been greatly reduced in an effort to save money.”  (Leonie Paatsch & Georgia Phillips

Libby spoke about 5 aspects:

1.  The Hub – the school library is no longer the hub of learning within many schools – see The Hub blog – Campaign for Quality School Libraries in Australia  http://hubinfo.wordpress.com/ 

2.  Staffing Statisitcs – See Barbara Combes research at http://www.chs.ecu.edu.au/portals/ASLRP/report/teacher-librarians/profstaffing.html

3.  Advocacy – we need to be showing the change in learning outcomes a qualified Teacher-Librarian can produce

4.  Teacher-Librarians vs Library Technicians  -“35% of government school libraries have no teacher librarians.  Approximately two thirds of all schools have either no teacher librarian or less than one Full Time Equivalent (FTE) working in their school library. After the Northern Territory (5%), Tasmania (50%), Western Australia (almost 60%) and Victoria (65%) have the lowest number of TLs employed K-12 across all sectors. Instead there are high numbers of library technicians in Tasmania and Victoria and library officers in Western Australia” (Hubinfo)

5.  The Power of Literature – we are wired for story, for everyday narrative as we recount our own stories. Literature can move and touch us at the deepest emotional level.  We do children a disservice if we assume they are not deeply affected by what they read or by what is read to them.

CS Lewis:  “Through literature I become a thousand other people and yet remain myself”

Ernest Hemmingway:  “There is no friend as loyal as a book”

Libby Gleeson:  “The best books leave you wanting to talk about them”

Albert Einstein:  “The important thing is not to stop questioning”

Flaming Text

If you’re looking for some fast and easy alternative headings to Word Art, try using the Flaming Text website – http://www.flamingtext.com/. Once you have created the logos, R click to save them, then upload them to any program or application – eg PowerPoint, Moodle, Word or any web page.

                                                               Book Week Colour

                                                            Book Week Frosty

                                                              Book WSeek Blended

        Book Week Cool Metal

The site is very similar to the Cool Text site – http://cooltext.com/, but seems to offer a few more options with the types of fonts that can be selected.   You can create a variety of buttons, arrows and banners for your pages, as well as a very limited number of animations:

                                                                    Blue Divider 

                                                                    Stone Wall Banner

                                                                                 Helicopter Animation


Waybackmachine Logo

If you’ve ever been frustrated because a link to a site is broken, or a great site that used to be on the internet has now disappeared, try using the WaybackMachine website  –  an internet archive site which also archives moving images, live music, audio and texts.

From Wikipedia – “This service allows users to see archived versions of web pages of the past, what the Internet Archive calls a “three dimensional index”. Millions of websites and their associated data (images, source code, documents, etc.) are saved in a gigantic database. The service can be used to see what previous versions of websites used to look like, to grab original source code from websites that may no longer be directly available, or to visit websites that no longer even exist. Not all websites are available, however, because many website owners choose to exclude their sites.”

One of the aims of the site is to provide historical collections of archived sites for researchers, historians, scholars and anyone else who is intersted. Some of the archived collections  include:   Asian Tsunamis, Hurricanes Katrina & Rita and September 11.

To use the site, enter the web address of the site you are looking for, and the WaybackMachine will show you the sites that have been archived for that address, and the dates on which they were archived.