Victorian Teacher Librarian Campaign

We sent emails to as many candidates in the 2010 Victorian state election as possible. For their education as much as anything else! :-).
Now is the time to follow up and share their statements on where they stand.

One template letter can be found here.

Templates below can be used with elected members now.

You can find your member here:

You may also wish to write to:

Martin Dixon, Victoria Minister for Education
Rob Hulls, Victorian Shadow Minister for Education

Write a letter today and put the response on this VICampaign wiki. Let’s get every politician supporting the need for a teacher librarian in every school library now!

Further information on why students need TEACHER librarians can be found at our new My School Library site for parents.

Hi parents,
The benefit to a school in having a high functioning library, staffed by a fully qualified Teacher Librarian has been well documented.
Despite this, we still receive no government library funding at all and our library is funded only through the generosity and commitment of our school community.
Now is the perfect time to act. I have attached an email from Georgia Phillips which shows how we can do this. The action takes 10 minutes but the benefits can be huge!
Please take the time to visit the link and send a letter. I have attached a copy of the letter I have emailed to David Southwick, Sue Pennicuik - Greens and Jennifer Hupper - ALP.
Even if you email them, refer to my letter and advise them that you will be awaiting their response - that is action. Please support in whatever way you can.
Kind regards,

27 October, 2010

Dear Ms. Huppert,

Re: Library funding – ......Primary School

I am writing to raise the matter of library funding for our local public school, .... Primary, where my children attend. Currently our school receives no government funding for a range of resources because we have less than 200 students. This means no funding at all for library equipment, resources or staffing.

Studies over the past two decades have consistently highlighted the direct correlation between student achievement and well-staffed school library programs. Australian research has also confirmed that extensive use of the school library is associated with a significant difference in students’ literacy achievements. Qualified teacher librarians (T.L.s) staffing these libraries make a difference to student literacy and learning. Reading scores rise. Students read more. Their writing, spelling and vocabulary improve. Academic results improve regardless of socio-economic considerations. The national standard recommended by the Australian School Library Association is one T.L. per 318 primary students.

Considering this evidence, combined with the many submissions made to the Federal Inquiry into School Libraries and T.L.s and the much publicised emphasis on improving literacy levels in schools, it is hard to fathom why our school is not granted any government funding at all to support a school library or a qualified T.L. for even 2 days per week.

We run a very successful ..... program and I understand that ..... language development has been identified as a growth priority for schools. Surely ours would be a school to which you would like to attract students. How though, are we expected to compete for enrolments against other schools when we do not get funding for a resource that is so intrinsically linked to positive academic results? A library should not be regarded as a luxury – it is a necessary part of a school.

Currently our library is funded and supported entirely by Parents’ Club fundraising efforts and parent volunteers who recognise the importance of the library as the intellectual hub of the school. We work tirelessly to provide this for our children but this means that vital fundraising money is not available for “extras”. What we need is the government funding that will allow us to support our library and employ a qualified T.L. – something that is compulsory in New South Wales!
The Victorian government must take the initiative. If you truly care about improving literacy and information literacy, about authentic, resource-based learning and quality teaching, and if we are talking about equity, we must agree that ALL Australian students deserve professional school library services managed by professionally trained T.L.s.

Do you support the campaign for a qualified T.L. in every school?

How do you plan to support strong school library programs that are adequately funded and staffed with trained T.L.s in order to achieve the national goals for literacy and information literacy?

What will you do to provide equitable funding levels across all schools for resource purchase and T.L. staffing?

I thank you in anticipation of your support and plan to post your response for the consideration of other community members who agree that well resourced school libraries are a vital part of our children’s education.

Yours faithfully,

Dear …..
School libraries staffed by qualified teacher-librarians and technical staff are critical to the success of a school’s learning and teaching program. Australian research, supported by recent international findings, indicates that, ‘a strong library program that is adequately staffed, resourced and funded can lead to higher student achievement regardless of the socioeconomic or educational levels of the adults in the community.’ (Lonsdale, ACER, 2003)
Qualified teacher-librarians make a difference to student literacy and learning.
· Students’ digital literacy and cybersafety awareness improves.
· Students read more and their writing, spelling and vocabulary improve.
· Literacy scores rise.
· Students become effective, critical users and creators of information.
Victorian schools have benefitted greatly from the recent investment in building infrastructure including excellent libraries, yet many of these school libraries remain critically under-staffed, under-resourced and therefore under-utilised. Primary schools, in particular, urgently require increased funding to ensure that they are able to provide their learning communities with the advantages that an appropriately staffed and resourced school library can offer.
If we, in Victoria, want to see an improvement in literacy and student achievement, if we want to ensure the future of our young people as safe and responsible digital citizens, we must ensure that all Victorian primary and secondary school students enjoy access to an adequately staffed and resourced school library.

· How will you ensure that all Victorian students have access to adequate print and online learning resources and 21st century library programs delivered by qualified teacher-librarians and technical staff?
I look forward to your reply so that I can share it with my colleagues, my school community and members of the School Library Association of Victoria and the Australian Library and Information Association Schools Group.
Yours faithfully,