School Libraries Matter!

School Libraries Coalition
In the face of Australia’s falling ranking in educational outcomes among OECD countries and rapidly changing expectations for the future workforce, a coalition of Australian school library associations has formed to advocate nationally for the reinvigoration of school libraries.  We believe that all children need  excellent school library services delivered by qualified staff to get the digital and information literacy skills required to succeed in the 21st century. 

The Queensland School Library Association (QSLA) is partnering with other Australian school library associations to advocate for school libraries. The associations are working on the School Libraries Matter! campaign to engage parents with the goal of informing them about school libraries and sparking them into action to advocate at their child’s school. We plan to launch a national campaign in March 2018.

Members of the School Library Coalition
•    Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
•    Australian School Library Association (ASLA)
•    School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA)
•    School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV)
•    Queensland School Library Association (QSLA)
•    Western Australian School Library Association (WASLA)

We are focussing our message strongly on the detriment to research skills and digital literacy caused by resources being stripped from school libraries. We believe this resource erosion is of high concern to parents, and particularly if it includes a specialist teacher librarian. The skills taught by the teacher-librarian include: 
•    Searching effectively online
•    Taking and making notes
•    Evaluating websites
•    Thinking critically about information
•    Managing your digital identity
•    Operating safely and with well-informed restraint with social media

Qualified library staff also assist with: 
•    Encouraging reading for pleasure
•    Assisting with reading for information
•    Ensuring equitable access to resources (physical and digital) 
•    Collaborating with teachers to improve their information and digital literacy skills (thereby positively impacting all their students) 
•    Creating a library collection that is personalised for each school community’s needs
•    Establishing the library space as a social learning hub for the whole school community

How you can help:
•    Use your social media platforms to promote the launch (and continuation) of our campaign.   
•    Pass on this information to other individuals and/or local, state, national and international organisations who may be interested in supporting this worthy cause.
•    Share ideas with us for creative ways to reach out to parents.
•    Join our advocacy group.  

We have 140+ people from around Australia.  We communicate by email listserv and use Google Drive for shared documents.  There are lots of small groups working on different projects. You can choose to join one of these groups or just simply be on the list to keep in the loop. Please join our list of supporters working to provide opportunities and protect the well-being of our children. Please fill out this form ( to be added to this group.

The QSLA Advocacy Group

To keep moving forward with the plan to create a marketing strategy for QSLA and our members, we have facilitated a group of passionate professionals who want to promote a strong, positive image for teacher-librarians. Discussions and planning take place by teleconference once every month.  

We need to move as quickly as possible, as talks for “awards modernisation” are already underway. If you would like to contribute or for further information, can you please contact the Secretariat on

The Forum Report: 20 October 2014

We are hopeful that the meeting of QSLA with QTU and QIEU on 20 October 2014 has begun a process of conversation that will assist to clarify and promote the role of the teacher-librarian in our schools. Following are the documents and notes from the meeting:

Union Contacts

Queensland Teachers' Union

21 Graham St, Milton Q 4064
PO Box 1750, Milton BC Qld 4064

Phone: 07 3512 9000
Fax: 07 3512 9050

Dr Paul Giles
Assistant Secretary/Treasurer
Independent Education Union of Australia-Queensland and Northern Territory Branch

346 Turbot Street, Spring Hill Q 4000
PO Box 418, Fortitude Valley Q 4006

Freecall: 1800 177 937
Phone: (07) 3839 7020
Fax: (07) 3839 7021

Previous Research

What perception do Queensland school principals have of teacher-librarians?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

QSLA is pleased to release the findings of a joint research project with the Queensland University of Technology Children and Youth Research Centre, 'School libraries, teacher-librarians and their contribution to student literacy in Gold Coast schools'.

QSLA-funded research Gold Coast school libraries project:

  • Hughes, Hilary, Bozorgian, Hossein, & Allan, Cherie (2014) School libraries, teacher-librarians and student outcomes: Presenting and using the evidence. School Libraries Worldwide,20(1), pp. 29-50.

  • Hughes, Hilary E., Leigh, Toni, Osborne, Marj, Fraser, Sally, Kahl, Christine, & Reynolds, Helen (2013) School libraries, teacher-librarians and literacy at Gold Coast schools: Research findings. Synergy, 11(2).