As a member of the School Library Coalition, SLANSW is one of the leading organisations that supports and funds the national Students Need School Libraries Campaign. At times we call upon our members to proactively engage with SNSL initiatives, and this is one of those times!
Last term, Holly Godfree, SNSLs Campaign Leader called for representatives from each state and territory to take on the role of Petition Coordinators. Gina Krohn, a primary TL who works in two public schools volunteered to take on the NSW coordination effort to lobby the NSW Government to provide greater support for school libraries in the NSW public school system. Please note that the NSW petition is actually an ePetition which requires NSW residents to ‘sign’ this partition by going online and submitting a simple form.
The title of the ePetition for NSW is ‘Students need school libraries: for improved academic outcomes, access to a qualified teacher librarian and a well-resourced library is a must’.
Why support such a petition?
Petitions allow members of the public to directly place their issues before the NSW Parliament. A petition helps raise awareness of an issue within our community and lets Members of Parliament know what action the community wants the NSW Parliament to take to address the issue. The Students Need School Libraries ePetition will be presented at the Legislative Assembly in early 2021 and SLANSW is calling on our members to try to spread the word about this ePetition far and wide into communities across NSW.
What is the focus of this petition?
This ePetition is targeted at citizens of New South Wales to help bring to the attention of the NSW Legislative Assembly the pressing issue that not all NSW public school students have access to a qualified teacher librarian and well-resourced library. As SLANSW members, we know there is significant evidence from Australia and internationally that demonstrates that students with access to qualified teacher librarians can achieve better academic outcomes. While previous advocacy initiatives have not resulted in great gains we desperately need as a profession, this ePetition could potentially become the initiative that provides us with that leverage.
Politically, what is most significant for us in NSW is the fact that the Legislative Council unanimously supported David Shoebridge (MLC)’s motion on the 25th of February 2020, that all NSW public school students have access to a qualified teacher librarian in a quality school library.
While all petitions signed by 500 or more persons requires Ministers to lodge, with the Clerk, a response to a petition (which is reported in the House and published in the Votes and Proceedings and Hansard), an ePetition with 20,000 signatures or more actually results in the issues raised in the petition being scheduled for debate in the NSW Parliament House. Ultimately, we would like to see this happen!
This ePetition asks the NSW Legislative Assembly to:
1. Acknowledge the evidence and support the appointment of qualified teacher librarians and support staff.
2. Ensure that NSW public schools use their allocated departmental funding to fill the specialist teacher librarian role.
3. Strengthen and value teacher librarians by ensuring they are used in the capacity for which they were employed, allowing their expertise to benefit NSW public school students.
Please take the time to ‘sign’ this online petition now at Students need school libraries ePetition, and encourage as many of your family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues who live in NSW to go online and sign it too!
The closing date for signing this ePetition is the 22nd of January, 2021.
As of the 1st of December 2020, we have had 940 people sign this petition.
To reach the 20,000 signature target we need SLANSW members to disseminate this link Students need school libraries ePetition to as many NSW residents as possible within the next few weeks.
An easy way of doing this is to add the link to the ePetition to your email signature. Just copy and paste the details (provided below), and share via your social networks on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Please take action now!
Dr Lyn Hay | Vice President – Operations
Help spread the word by adding this to your email signature:
Calling all NSW residents – have you signed the Students Need School Libraries ePetition?The closing date for this ePetition is 22/01/2021.
We need your help in supporting the future of school libraries in all NSW public schools.
Please sign this ePetitionand encourage all your family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues who live in NSW to sign it too!