The School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA) is launching a nationwide campaign to highlight the plight of our school libraries.
The campaign will be launched on September 1st and is called “School Libraries Transform”
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 paid librarian. Stuart McNaughtons recent report entitled “The literacy landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand” states that 52% of 15 year olds only read if they have too 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.
We know school libraries make a difference for our students for their wellbeing, 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 our students.
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.
The GOAL of the campaign is that 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.
Please refer to our website for further information pertaining to our campaign. This will be live on Tuesday http://www.schoollibrariestransform.org.nz/