Australian School Library Associations are joining forces with ALIA to form a new sector committee. I’d like to provide some background, along with more details, so that you can appreciate the direction SLANSW is taking in advocating for school libraries and school library staff.
History of ACSL
ACSL (or as it was previously known as the ‘School Library Coalition’) was formed following a meeting at ALIA House in Canberra in 2015 involving all the bodies that represent those working in school libraries in Australia. At this meeting, those attending agreed to form a coalition dedicated to raising awareness of school libraries across all sectors and thus engage in promotion and support for school libraries and the staff working in them. The coalition agreed to meet four times per year and collaborate on issues of national importance to school libraries. At a face-to-face meeting in Sydney in May 2023, it was agreed that the coalition be henceforth known as the ‘Australian Coalition for School Libraries’.
Goals of ACSL
The primary goal of ACSL is to be a united and professional voice to advocate for a stronger future for school libraries and school library staff in Australia in the interests of improved learning and wellbeing outcomes for children and young people.
The Australian Coalition for School Libraries (ACSL) provides a united and professional voice to advocate for Australian school libraries and school library staff. ACSL is committed to the goal of universal access for Australian students to well-resourced school libraries with qualified and supported staff.
Memorandum of Collaboration - The Relationship between ACSL and ALIA
ACSL is one of several ALIA sector committees appointed by the ALIA Board to represent the interests of the sector and provide input into strategic discussions. ACSL will work collaboratively with the ALIA Office and other ALIA Sector Committees and Groups when relevant. The following Committees or Groups are of relevance:
• ALIA Schools
• Australian Public Library Alliance
• ALIA Childrens and Youth Services
• ALIA Disability
• ALIA Graphic Novels and Comics
• ALIA Library Technicians
• ALIA Multicultural
• ALIA Rainbow
• ALIA Sustainable Libraries
Operational Terms and Membership
ACSL is a sector committee of ALIA. As a sector committee ACSL can also be a source of advice for the ALIA Board.
ACSL is a network of equals and the ACSL Committee is constituted by two representatives from each of the member Associations. The 2023/24 SLANSW Representatives are Di Laycock and Lyn Hay and they will liaise with ACSL and attend meetings on the behalf of SLANSW. In addition to SLANSW representatives, ACSL comprises representation from ALIA, Queensland School Library Association (QSLA); School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA); School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV); Western Australian School Library Association (WASLA); and the Australian School Library Association (ASLA). Each of these organisations play a unique and important role, and now, with communication channels strengthened and means of collaboration set in place, there is a focal point for research to take place and a platform for school library voices to be amplified in Australia.
The Management Committee and I are looking forward to this new era of collaboration and cooperation between the many Associations across Australia who wish to improve the position of school libraries and school library staff. I would value your comments and ideas about how SLANSW can advocate for you, our members, and your libraries.