We are at a crossroads – either we do something now to save our school libraries or our children may lose one of the most vital and valuable resources available to them. With libraries in some schools already under threat, the Australian Library and Information Association last month launched the Students Need School Libraries campaign to make sure that school libraries are not only well resourced but run by qualified staff.
Their mission: to ensure student access to high quality school library services, essential in ensuring that students are equipped with the digital, research, and literacy skills they need throughout their life. Their vision to is ensure that every student has access to a dynamic, well-resourced school library led by a qualified teacher librarian alongside qualified library staff.
The ease of access to technology, abundance of online sources, and rampant fake news, increases the need for libraries and teacher librarians who can teach all students the necessary research, online safety, and information literacy skills, as well as instilling a love of reading.
‘Ultimately, we want every state and territory to ensure that every student has a school library run by a team of qualified library staff led by a teacher librarian,’ said Holly Godfree, campaign coordinator
With these tools and resources, the school library empowers children and gives them the freedom to explore books as they want to – following their own natural lines of interest and with the resources to support them on their journey.
There has been a lot of support for the campaign to date including from high profile children’s authors Tim Harris, Morris Gleitzman, Jackie French, Mem Fox, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Tim Harris has written a fabulous and exclusive short story for the campaign that you can read here.
To find out more about the campaign you can visit the Students Need School Libraries website here. You can also find resources to start your own awareness campaign in your local area and see what others are doing to create awareness.
If you want to find out more about the research that has been done on the impact of school libraries on children’s literacy levels please take a look at reports listed on the Literacy Matters website here.
Here’s what you can do to help:
- Connect with the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
- Sign up for their newsletter on www.studentsneedschoollibraries.org.au.
- Share news of the campaign with everyone who cares about young people’s future.
- Help ALIA make noise on key dates to come
This is an important campaign to follow and support so make sure you take a look at all the information and spread the word.