August 4, 2021

Australia: Teacher Librarians Could Soon Be Left on the Funding Shelf

From an Op/Ed by Anna Fienberg appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald:

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.

Read the Complete Op/Ed

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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