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Friday, May 24, 2024

More funding for teacher librarians in the ACT

The ACT Government has committed $8.9 million over four years to public schools to help them employ a qualified teacher librarian, building on a 2020 election commitment, education minister Yvette Berry announced.

“Qualified teacher librarians support students, classrooms, and whole schools by enhancing digital and information literacy and helping students become critical, creative and collaborative thinkers,” Ms Berry said.

The government aims to recruit 25 qualified teacher librarians by 2026. These positions are being introduced incrementally, and eight have already been appointed.

The Education Directorate is seeking expressions of interest from schools for the further 17 positions starting over the next two years.

Teacher Librarian scholarships are being offered to support teachers interested in retraining. The Teacher Scholarship Program provides 10 full-time scholarships per year valued at $22,000 each.

Anyone interested in applying for one of these future roles can contact [email protected]. Expressions of interest close on Monday 29 April.

The next round of scholarships will be offered later this year.

“Working as a teacher librarian is extremely rewarding,” Belinda Kowalski, a teacher librarian at Forrest Primary School, said. “Since starting in the teacher librarian role at Forrest Primary School this year, I have had the opportunity to help many students improve their knowledge and understanding of the world.

“Teacher librarians, with help from other library staff, provide specialist expertise in literature, information literacy and digital literacy, as well as maintaining a current and relevant library collection.

“School libraries are the heart of a school, and I would encourage anyone interested in becoming a teacher librarian to consider applying.”

Angela Burroughs, branch president of the Australian Education Union – ACT, said: “The AEU ACT has a long history of campaigning for greater investment in school libraries and teacher librarians. School libraries are at the centre of learning, and having a well-resourced library and a teacher librarian can improve literacy and numeracy outcomes for all students.

“While we welcome the ACT Government’s announcement, the union will continue campaigning until such time as every ACT public school student has access to a well-resourced school library run by qualified staff.”

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