Information for all Teacher Librarians

Lunchtime and Recess

All Teacher-Librarians are entitled to a lunch break and recess - the same as all other teachers in the school.

Voluntary or Additional Duties

No Teacher-Librarian can be coerced into accepting voluntary responsibilities eg. Internet Coordinator, Year Adviser, etc.

Playground Duty

No one can be on duty in the library and doing a playground duty. The library would need to be shut if the Teacher-Librarian is doing a playground duty. Support staff are not to supervise students without a teacher present.


We support the Australian Library and Information Association's Statement on Freedom to Read.


The Australian Library and Information Association, believing that freedom can be protected in a democratic society only if its citizens have access to information and ideas through books and other sources of information, affirms the following principles as basic and distinctive of the obligations and responsibilities of the librarian:

  1. A  primary purpose of a library service is to provide information through books and other media on all matters, which are appropriate to the library concerned.
  2. A librarian must protect the essential confidential relationship, which exists between a library user and the library.
  3. The functions of the librarian include: to promote the use of materials in the librarian's care; to ensure that the resources of the library are adequate to its purpose; to obtain additional information from outside sources to meet the needs of readers; to cater for interest in all relevant facets of knowledge, literature and contemporary issues, including those of a controversial nature; but neither to promote or suppress particular ideas and beliefs.
  4. A Librarian, while recognising that powers of censorship exist and are legally vested in state and federal governments, should resist attempts by individuals or organised groups within the community to determine what library materials are to be, or are not to be, available to the users of the library.
  5. A librarian should not exercise censorship in the selection of materials by rejecting on moral, political, racial or religious grounds alone material which is otherwise relevant to the purpose of the library and meets the standards, such as historical importance, intellectual integrity, effectiveness of expression or accuracy of information which are required by the library concerned. Material should not be rejected on the grounds that its content is controversial or likely to offend some sections of the library's community.
  6. A librarian should uphold the right of all Australians to have access to library services and materials and should not discriminate against users on the grounds of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, economic condition, individual lifestyle or political or social views.
  7. A librarian must obey the laws relating to books and libraries, but if the laws or their administration conflict with the principles put forward in this statement, the librarian should be free to move for the amendment of these laws.

Adopted 1971 Amended 1979, 1986

Managing Technology

School libraries have embraced an enormous increase in technology. In some schools, Teacher-Librarians are responsible for training students in the use of networks, teacher and student Internet training and training in some software packages. These are professional teaching activities.

Many Teacher-Librarians manage the introduction, distribution and training in technology. They are not required to be network administrators or act as technicians. It is the responsibility of school management to provide personnel to maintain the school's networks.

Early Opening/Late Closing

Where arrangements are in place for the library to open before normal school starting time, close after normal school closing time, and the Teacher-Librarian has agreed to this, then time in lieu must be organised.

Reference must be made to the Award.The Teachers Salaries Award contains two clauses (15 and 17) which relate to such arrangements. Clause 15 refers to teaching hours for Years 11 and 12 in order to increase the delivery of Vocational Education and Training. Clause 17:Teaching outside normal school hours - applies to all schools

Reference may also be needed to Clause 18:Alternate Work Organisation if changes in school organisation affect the Library.

DET memo re Administration Time and other Teacher-Librarian issues

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