Teacher-librarians: lost skills, lost resources, lost opportunities!
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 6, 12 August 2022, page no. 21
The QTU Executive recently approved the formation of the Union’s very own Teacher Librarians’ Special Interest Group (TLSIG), to encourage a broader awareness of the plight of some of the forgotten (some might say lost) supports within schools.
As teachers, we have all experienced excellent teacher-librarians (TLs) during our formative years and our teaching careers. Who can forget those short anecdotes or more extensive lessons that encourage a love of reading and support those quirky “special” interests that kids love?
Unfortunately, this is no longer the norm but an increasingly rare learning opportunity. In order to reverse this alarming trend and ensure this and the next generation do not lose the joys of having a teacher-librarian, this group has put their collective shoulders to the wheel.
The TLSIG is a platform for our membership to reclaim this ground and demonstrate the invaluable asset our teacher librarians are and can continue to be in to the future.
The TLSIG is an enthusiastic group of experienced educators with a love of the role and books. Most of all they “do it for the kids”. They are meeting regularly and there is an air of excitement and optimism. They have set a cracking pace with an agenda that would make any politician blush!
Some of the items TLSIG has identified are:
- educating people within the Union and teaching the profession about the teacher-librarian role
- conducting a survey to get accurate TL numbers/qualifications
- creating a “best practice” document in collaboration with the department
- establishing a joint working group with the department and other organisations
- expanding teacher-librarian networks across sectors
- Facebook/social media presence
- a role description review development
- QTU Non-Contact Time brochure update
- Teacher-librarian working conditions
- plus many more.
The QTU has encouraged and facilitated connections within the membership and with external organisations, including the department, to ensure a broad cross-section of teacher-librarian experiences are included in the expansion and development of these areas.
The Journal will continue to update members as to the work of the TLSIG and how to support their endeavours.
Acting Industrial Advocate
"I had the amazing opportunity to take on the role of teacher-librarian at my school in 2018. I absolutely love my job and would not trade it for anything. I believe that teacher-librarians, in addition to the other benefits we provide to our school communities, could be an important part of the solution to teacher workload issues. However, at the moment, the teacher-librarian role is undervalued, and in some schools the role has disappeared completely. I hope that the work of the TLSIG, with the support of the QTU and our colleagues, will be able to reverse this trend and ensure that all schools share the advantages of having a qualified teacher-librarian in the library."
Kelly Burrett, teacher-librarian