5,000 signatures reached
To: Ministry of Education
Save our school libraries
Dear Minister of Education,
School libraries transform, this to us is not a catch phrase, it is a reality.
Te Mana Whakaaweawe o Te Wharepukapuka - The influential power of the library.
We as school librarians know the transformative power our mahi accomplishes. We know that because of our work students gain higher academic results in NCEA. We know library users have higher literacy rates. We know our spaces provide manaakitanga. We know the community that a library provides enables our students to flourish. We have multiple stories across Aotearoa where we have seen our libraries be a haven, a place of solace, but also a busy place of noisy learning, quiet reading and a supportive community.
School Libraries Transform!
Many of us face budget cuts, we have had our rooms taken from us, we have had hours of work reduced. We do not want that because we know what we do has the power to transform our tamariki in their learning and well-being journeys.
We ask that the Ministry of Education mandate every student to have access to a school library staffed by specialist school librarians and funded by the Ministry.
Why is this important?
The School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA) is launching a nationwide campaign to highlight the plight of our school libraries.
SLANZA is deeply concerned about the demise of school libraries in Aotearoa. It is estimated that of the 2500 schools in New Zealand only 900 have a library. Stuart McNaughtons recent report entitled “The literacy landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand” states that 52% of 15 year olds only read if they have to and 28% think reading is a waste of time. Yet his report did not mention School Libraries once and we know from international research that schools with a well-resourced library and specialist library staff positively impacts learning outcomes across all year levels.
Our libraries are being closed, relocated to hallway cupboards, are having budgets slashed. We have low decile high schools trying to raise literacy rates but can only fund their library $1000.00 a year to operate and are buying books from Op Shops to stock the shelves. These stories are not acceptable in New Zealand.
SLANZA believes that all school students in New Zealand, at every level of their education, should have access to effective school library services that will support their reading and learning.
We plan to promote the value and necessity of every student having access to a school library, supported by a specialist librarian with a budget and hours to provide a high-functioning learning environment within all school communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Ministry of Education will mandate every student to have access to a school library staffed by specialist school librarians and is Ministry of Education funded.
We know school libraries make a difference for our students for their well being, hauora, their learning outcomes, their ability to critically analyse and their growth in empathy.
School libraries transform and we in this campaign will be informing our nation of the lack of funding, space and staffing within our school libraries.
We want the government to listen and to act, so our school libraries can be resourced fully to continue to transform the lives of all of our students.
Our campaign will be launched on September 1st and is called “School Libraries Transform.”
Please refer to our website for further information pertaining to our campaign. http://www.schoollibrariestransform.org.nz/