Star your school library on social media

Has your school library gone all out for Book Week this year? Is the library a place of wonder and new educational experiences for your students?

Either way, show it off on social media this Wednesday, 24 August, as part of the first Australian School Library Day and celebrate with Federation all that is unique about our public school libraries.

The union warmly welcomes the inaugural Australian School Library Day as part of The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book Week festivities this year and invites members to share photos of their school library on social media on Wednesday.

This year’s Book Week theme is Dreaming with eyes open”and is a fitting reminder of all that our school libraries have to offer.

Federation is very proud that one of our members, primary school teacher, author, illustrator and proud Darug woman Jasmine Seymour designed the theme.

An adequately resourced and staffed school library plays an important role in supporting student wellbeing beyond their academic success. School libraries keep students safe in the following ways:

  • Cybersafe: digital literacy and citizenship
  • Playground safe: different spaces for different students, a chance to keep away from other students that may seem threatening
  • A safe place to try out new skills in the context of maker spaces and the ability of these spaces to build critical thinking, problem solving and self-confidence. Students can also shine in roles of responsibility as a library monitor, taking on shelving duties, or being the ‘IT troubleshooter’ for other students.”

(Lori Korodaj, The library as ‘third space’ in your school: Supporting academic and emotional wellbeing in the school community”, Scan, Vol 38, 2019)

However, a well-resourced school library must also have a qualified teacher-librarian, with the appropriate resources and time to perform their critical specialist teaching role.

According to the NSW Department of Education.

Teacher-librarians build effective library and information management services in schools by working collaboratively with teachers to help students access and utilise information.

Teacher-librarians are highly organised resource managers, information specialists and resource-based learning specialists. They teach students how to access and utilise information, and provide them with quality reading experiences by recommending literature that students will enjoy.

Teacher-librarians also have comprehensive knowledge of how technology can be used to engage students and enhance their learning experiences.”

These specialist teachers help students access reading materials suited to their ability, their age and interest, including supporting individuals who are struggling with reading and those for whom English is an additional language or dialect.

Teacher-librarians also maintain library collections that reflect the diversity of experience and perspectives within their school community as well as beyond, helping students to break down negative stereotypes and developing empathy in readers.

Federation encourages all members, not just teacher librarians, to take the time to mark Australian School Library Day and celebrate your school library and all it has to offer!

Every school needs a school library and every school has a staffing entitlement for a permanent, dual-qualified teacher-librarian, a position that cannot be deleted or filled by an unqualified staff member on a temporary or permanent basis.

Make sure when you are sharing a picture of your school library on social media that you tag NSW Teachers Federation and use the hashtag #ASLD2022.