National Week 2012

Students Need School Libraries Campaign Partnership

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This term we are thrilled to announce an exciting partnership between Syba Signs and the School Library Coalition on the all new Students Need School Libraries campaign.

Syba Signs is a massive supporter of school libraries so naturally we jumped at the opportunity to throw our support behind this campaign!

The Students Need School Libraries campaign is due to officially launch at 7.00pm (AEDT) on Tuesday 16th October, 2018! We urge you to get behind this campaign; mobilise your students, teachers, parents and your school and wider community. Every student deserves to experience learning supported by a qualified Teacher Librarian!

For a range of promotional materials to support the campaign visit

10% of all sales will be donated back to the campaign to further the work of the School Library Coalition on the Students Need School Libraries campaign!

For more information about this campaign we have asked Holly Godfree, Campaigner Coordinator, to share with you background to the campaign and a range of practical tips and calls to action!

From the Syba Team

Students Need School Libraries Campaign: Get on Board!

As you may be acutely aware, most school libraries in Australia (and around the world) have been on a downward trajectory for about 20 years. This means large numbers of the general public, students, teachers and principals have never experienced what a school library can and should be like.

Why, for many of us, does this situation warrant such deep distress and passionate desire to reverse it? Because we know that a strong school library run by a qualified team of staff is a huge part of the actual, practical answer to many of the entrenched problems facing young people and education systems today.

Why are School Libraries so Important?

  • Teaching ‘21st Century’ Skills for an Increasingly Competitive and Automated Future
    Many schools have students just using technology. Teacher librarians teach them to use it well.

  • Strengthening Critical and Creative Thinking Skills
    To research effectively is to be a critical and creative thinker. It is an exercise in problem solving. School libraries services are all about supporting research.

  • Reversing Declining Results in NAPLAN and PISA tests
    Strong school library services have a positive impact on every student and every teacher in every lesson every day.
    When people say the school library is the heart of the school, that is more than a cliche. What kind of difference would it make to teaching and learning to have that heart robust and healthy or sick and starved?

  • Reducing Teacher Workload
    Too many teachers are finding their own teaching resources for every lesson, every term, every year. A strong school library provides the best, current resources to be at your fingertips. This saves teachers time and energy that they can then spend focussing on pedagogy and other valuable areas.
    Teacher librarians also plan and teach collaboratively with classroom teachers, helping them with their core responsibilities and improving learning outcomes for students.

  • Individualising and Differentiating Teaching and Assessment
    The brief of school libraries is to personalise services to the school community as a whole and to the individuals within it.

We are about to enter a new phase in the history of school libraries, and, yes, you

guessed it, YOU, as an individual, have a stake in our success or failure.

Hundreds of interested individuals have been working for more than a year to create a national campaign called Students Need School Libraries. This campaign will target the general public, with a special emphasis on parents. Our ultimate goal is that all states and territories will require a teacher librarian and qualified library support staff for all schools.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Connect with us via Facebook, Twitter and our website, and subscribe to our newsletter).

  • Add momentum to our Twitterstorm launch on 16 Oct at 7:00 pm (AEDT).

  • Direct interested people to our website which will be filled with tools to support them to take action in their local communities.

  • Tell everyone you can about our campaign. We are targeting the general public. Most people have no idea about how important school libraries are for students’ lives (now and into the future). They also have no idea that most school libraries are not going well. To help engage them, view and share our 17 short documentary films about school libraries (the first nine of which will go public with the launch).

  • Talking Points about the Campaign: We must unify our message.

    Please see the FAQ on our website for more!

    Our campaign is focussing on the following areas of school library services (in priority order):

    • Priority 1 = Digital Literacy Skills
      If you have a person’s attention for 30 seconds and can only get out one idea, let that be “website evaluation”: Identifying trustworthy information and dealing with fake news and alternative facts. THIS is what will get people’s attention. THIS is the biggest concern parents have.
      If you have 60 seconds, also talk about helping students manipulate Google to get the best information quickly.

    • Priority 2 = Resourcing
      Saving teachers’ and students’ time and energy by having the best physical and digital resources at their fingertips. By reducing classroom teacher workload, we give them more time to create excellent, engaging lessons. By helping students keep organised and save time, they can put more energy into higher order thinking.

    • Priority 3 = Reading
      This is not our TOP priority because, whilst incredibly important, it does not get traction with most people. But, you can talk about the positive impact of reading on all learning; about developing empathy, compassion and a wider world view; about having a vibrant collection of new literature that will lure students away from flitting from site to site on screens.

    • Priority 4 = Relationships
      This resonates deeply with parents. We care. We provide a safe refuge for those who are struggling. We get to know individuals. We have a different kind of relationship with students than any other adult in the school.

    Making our Dream a Reality

    There are four practical components for this campaign idea to succeed in practice:

    • Choose the Right Person
      People in a strong school library are smart, motivated and very approachable.

    • Qualifications are Essential
      NOTE: studying on the job is fine. Right now, there are not enough qualified library staff to fulfill our mission. This is an opportunity. We’ll have a whole new generation of eager new professionals.

    • The Library Must Have a Team
      A teacher librarian on their own will not reach their potential. Qualified support staff are essential to keep ‘the wheels turning’ whilst the teacher librarian focuses on supporting teaching and learning.

    • Strong Services Take Time
      An amount of flexible timetabling is essential for collaborating with teachers and students and adequate administrative time is required to resource the curriculum.

    All of us in this campaign are people just like you. With your help, this can become a genuine grassroots movement creating meaningful change.

    Holly Godfree

    Campaign Coordinator

    Students Need School Libraries

    Follow us on: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


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