Australia: Teacher Librarians Could Soon Be Left on the Funding Shelf
The library is the heart of the primary school, and it is the teacher librarian who brings it alive.
Yet a slow erosion of this position is under way and a permanent loss of such a fundamental person in our primary schools would have devastating consequences in the lives of our children. Originally a full-time position, regardless of the size the school, the days worked by teacher librarians are now dictated by the number of students.
The growing emphasis on the teacher librarian as resource technologist, together with the push towards libraries becoming more ”streamlined” – devoid of a human presence in favour of the digital processes of information-seeking – work against the traditional role of teacher librarian as initiator into the world of literature. And with the NSW [New South Wales] government proposing that principals make their own decisions on funds allocation, a principal with no particular passion for literature may decide the library and its computer already exists, and so let the specialist go.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.