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John Hirst Award 2020

11 Feb 2021 7:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The recipient of the School Library Association of New South Wales John Hirst Award for 2020 is Lee FitzGerald. Lee is an Adjunct Lecturer in Teacher Librarianship for the School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

The John Hirst Award honours the memory of the Association’s founder, who had a vision and a passionate drive to establish the primary place of libraries in every NSW school. This award recognises excellence in professional leadership and/or service by an Association member who is either a teacher librarian or who supports school libraries in New South Wales. 

Lee FitzGerald has been engaged in the NSW Teacher Librarianship community since 1988 when she began working as a teacher librarian. She worked as a TL in a number of Sydney schools, with her longest role being Head Teacher Librarian at Loreto Kirribilli for 11 years, where she led a team focusing on inquiry learning and developing a love of reading.

Throughout her career as a TL practitioner, Lee has regularly published and presented on teaching and learning initiatives. Lee has authored and co-authored two professional books, as well as a number of journal articles based on her research and practice. Demonstrating the breadth of Lee’s reach in publishing across the profession in NSW and Australia, she has been the Editor of The NSW Department of Education journal, Scan, and is currently the Editor of the Australian School Library Association journal, Access.

Lee has presented numerous keynotes, workshops, and online professional learning sessions for NSW TLs and teachers. She has also contributed significantly to the tertiary training of teachers as teacher librarians in her work as a sessional lecturer and marker with the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University since the mid-2000s, and later as a full-time Lecturer in Teacher Librarianship. To this day, Lee continues working with CSU as an adjunct lecturer, where she teaches across the subjects, Introduction to Teacher Librarianship, Resourcing the Curriculum, Digital Literature, and Literature across the Curriculum.

Lee has been a proactive member of SLANSW’s Management Committee and demonstrated considerable leadership in service by leading the establishment of the Publications & Promotions Sub-Committee, the creation of the Members’ Blog, and expansion of the Association’s social media presence in 2020.

In the past 3 decades, Lee FitzGerald has been a TL leader of guided inquiry, evidence-based practice, and action research within the NSW teacher librarianship community and has been incredibly generous with her time and expertise in mentoring and supporting the professional learning and training of hundreds of TLs in NSW. Lee is a worthy recipient of the John Hirst Award 2020 and members of the School Library Association of NSW congratulate her on this achievement.

This award will be presented at The Laureate & The Literacy Leader Professional Learning Summit on March 13th, 2021.

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