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School library resourcing vital to improved literacy

Well-resourced school libraries are linked to improved literacy for students, according to a national survey by library management solutions provider Softlink.

Softlink Managing Director Nathan Godfrey said key findings of the 2014 survey, of 1,380 respondents from 1,267 schools, included the statistical linking of school library funding and the number of professionals employed within the school library and NAPLAN Reading Literacy results.

Godfrey said the results have been consistent over the survey’s five year history and reinforced industry research that continued to link well-resourced school libraries to improved literacy, and also indicated that school library budgets stabilised somewhat in 2014, with a smaller percentage of schools reporting a budget decrease.

“It’s encouraging that the survey results demonstrate some stabilisation of school library budgets in Australia,” Godfrey said.

“Budget allocations have stabilised, however we are not yet seeing any upward trends.

“Many school libraries are operating under lean conditions, which makes it difficult for them to introduce digital innovations and resources which can influence learning and literacy outcomes.”

According to Godfrey, school library staff are poised to take advantage of and manage digital resource practices which can “radically improve literacy and learning outcomes in their schools, but they can struggle to find the resources to implement them”.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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