Teacher-Librarians Taking Action


Holly Godfree and Olivia Neilson explain how AEU teacher-librarians are making a difference.

AEU teacher-librarians Holly Godfree (Hughes Primary) and Olivia Neilson (Lyneham Primary) write in the Australian School Library Association journal, Access, on their experience advocating for the role of TLs in our schools.

Read 'We are the Weather Makers' by Holly Godfree and Olivia Neilson

Olivia and Holly have been instrumental in organising ACT teacher-librarians and advocating for a simple but very important goal: - a qualified teacher-librarian in every school. Olivia and Holly write:

"Our message to you is this: Do something! Our experience in the ACT has been that when something happens to get advocacy started, further actions evolve and grow."

Through organising and advocating, Holly, Olivia and colleagues have achieved a great deal.

  •  Adoption of 'one qualified teacher-librarian per school' as AEU policy

  • Collection of data about staffing and funding of teacher-librarians in ACT Government schools

  • A lobbying flyer drawing on rigorous research on the benefits of teacher-librarians for student outcomes

  • Articles in the Canberra Times as well as the AEU ACT magazine (Teacher librarians crucial in info age)

  • Presentations to principals on the importance of teacher-librarians

  • Election promise from ACT Labor that tied grant funding for primary schools to the employment of a
    TL at the school

  • Teacher librarianship was made a priority area for professional scholarships o ered by the ACT Education Directorate

Holly and Olivia write:

"As people shared their concerns, the AEU staff suggested that we formulate some goals and said that our goals could become part of union policy.

This was really empowering for us and was a significant moment when we realised that we could tap into an organised structure that could help us take action. We were not on our own.

Looking back on it now, this support has been critical. Because the issues facing our profession are global, they can feeloverwhelming. It is the classic case of ‘What can I do? I’m only one person’. By tapping into the AEU as an active ally, we were filled with hope and possibility."

Congratulations to Holly, Olivia on the article and all AEU teacher-librarians on their successes and ongoing efforts. Your work is helping ensure every child gets a chance to develop essential skills in information literacy.

Read more:

'We are the weather makers', Holly Godfree and Olivia Neilson, Access, Vol. 28, issue, 2 2014

'Teacher librarians crucial in info age', Holly Godfree, Canberra Times, September 4 2012

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