Please share these films to paint a picture about what school libraries can and should be like.

Thanks and acknowledgements

Why are school libraries so important?

Schools who treat the library as the hub of the school are happier, livelier and more fulfilled places. In today’s world, school libraries epitomise equality – everybody, anytime, anyplace can access information worth knowing. Teacher librarians ignite passion and direct students to resources to produce better grades and more well-rounded people. “A school without a teacher librarian is better than a school with no library … but only just.”

Featuring: Author, Harry Laing; teacher librarian, Amy Byrne; author/illustrator Michael Salmon; teacher, Betty Chau; author, Morris Gleitzman; and author Jackie French.

Teachers + Teacher Librarians = Better Learning

Teacher librarians and classroom teachers dovetail together to deliver the best quality learning outcomes for students. Classroom teachers need time and practical support to be creative and plan inspiring lessons. Teacher librarians ease some of that workload by providing a wealth of resources and collegiate collaboration.

Featuring: Teacher, Marina Fowler; principal, Julie Murkins; teacher, Kate Elliot; teacher librarian, Emily Squires; and teacher librarian, Holly Godfree.

The Pantry Analogy

A bowl of sugar isn’t enough to nourish a child, and a poorly resourced library isn’t enough to support a robust education. Students and teachers need a well-stocked library and a team of qualified library staff to assemble the components and to show them how to get the most from the available information. Parents know how important healthy eating is for children to have a healthy life. Now, dig into a well-resourced library for a healthy education.

Featuring: Teacher librarian, Holly Godfree; author, Jack Heath; and author, Jackie French discuss school libraries.

The Library Team

Too many school libraries are limping along with a solo teacher librarian or an individual support staff member. A functional school library needs a passionate team whose skills complement each other to provide the full range of services students need.

Featuring: Library assistant, Glenys Cooper; library technician, Kate Jones; teacher librarian, Holly Godfree; and teacher librarian, Olivia Neilson.

What do you learn in a school library?

School libraries support students and educators by providing stories, information and assistance just like they always have. Thriving school libraries utilise digital platforms and databases and save the precious time of students and teachers. Students learn to retrieve information faster with greater efficiency, to think critically and to evaluate authenticity of information. A highlight of this film is Kika’s grasp of Google’s Advanced Search features to dramatically increase her productivity.

Featuring: Teacher librarian, Holly Godfree; Teacher librarian, Emily Squires; student, Kika; and author, Morris Gleitzman discuss school libraries.

Fostering a love of reading

Fostering of a love of reading can be an end in itself, but it also impacts on students’ overall academic success. Hear from a range of passionate speakers about the vital role of school libraries in developing this fundamental lifelong skill.

Featuring: teacher librarian, Amy Byrne; author, Jack Heath; and teacher, Lance Yu.

Primary school libraries

The earlier children learn vital skills the better. So, why are so many primary school libraries so poorly staffed? This film articulates why, what and how strong school libraries can impact on our youngest students, thereby setting them up for a more successful future. “Schools without teacher librarians are doing kids an injustice” says Leonie Gracie, executive teacher.

Featuring: Executive teacher, Leonie Gracie; principal, Annamaria Zuffo; author/illustrator, Michael Salmon; teacher librarian, Amy Byrne; and student, Jamie.

School libraries are a safe place

Everyone has bad days. The school library is a vital part of the ‘safety net’ a school provides for when those days roll around. A well run school library is a welcoming, empathetic, comfortable space. School libraries fill the role of the ‘third space’ between school and home - students need them! “It’s a safe haven,” says Wayne Sloan, Nguru Program Outreach Officer.

Featuring: Teacher librarian, Lori Korodaj; school librarian, Ruth Mahon; teacher librarian, Amy Byrne; Nguru program outreach officer, Wayne Sloane; and student, Andrew.

Researching in the modern world

A primary purpose of school libraries has always been to connect people with resources and information. Today, this means teacher librarians teach students and teachers to use technology well (not just use technology). In an increasingly complex information landscape, digital literacy is a crucial skill set. Google hits display the most popular explanations not necessarily the most accurate. Perhaps counter-intuitively, teacher librarians are needed more now than at any other time in the past.

Featuring: Teacher librarian, Sue Martin; teacher librarian, Keith Mullumby; teacher librarian, Olivia Neilson; student, Jamie; and author, Jack Heath.

Using technology well

Sure, students know how to use technology, but the teacher librarian will teach them (and their classroom teachers) how to use it WELL. Jackie French talks about good data and “junk food” data and some impacts of a lack of critical thinking about online information.

Featuring: Teacher, Lance Yu; Nguru Program outreach officer, Wayne Sloane; parent, Emma Booth; author, Jack Heath; and author, Jackie French discuss school libraries.

The common room of knowledge

The library is a freely accessible space, the nucleus of every school community, the symbol and the hub of education. School library professionals help with differentiation, taking care of each student in an holistic manner, linking students and teachers to the resources they need and providing links to support services. They are “specialist generalists"!

Featuring: Teacher, Marina Fowler; teacher librarian, Lori Korodaj; executive teacher, Leonie Gracie; school principal, Julie Murkins; and author, Jackie French.

The importance of experts in schools

Why shy away from experts? A teacher librarian’s professional development focuses on research, literacy, literature and digital information. Principal Julie Murkins believes that the teacher librarians’ expertise seeps into the lives of everyone they work with.

Featuring: school principal, Julie Murkins; teacher librarian, Amy Byrne; teacher librarian, Keith Mullumby; and teacher librarian, Holly Godfree.

Teacher? Librarian? Teacher Librarian?

Classroom teachers, librarians and teacher librarians have unique skill sets and strengths. This film teases apart some of the differences and describes how these professionals can complement each other to provide what students need. Featuring:

Teacher librarian (former librarian), Sue Martin; teacher librarian, Amy Byrne; teacher librarian, Holly Godfree; student, Kika; and teacher librarian, Olivia Neilson.

Natural Digital Experts

Just Google it... No problem! No way! Jamie, a primary school student, explains “Just because we’re born surrounded by technology doesn't mean we know how to use it.” This film lays out why digital literacy must be taught, just as other critically important skills are.

Featuring: Primary school student, Jamie; teacher librarian, Keith Mullumby; school librarian, Ruth Mahon; and author, Jackie French discuss school libraries.

Better & Brighter Future

Educating young people is something we do that will impact the rest of their lives. School library staff and services are a vital component for setting people up to reach their best potential now and in the years to come. This uplifting film will give you a mountain of reasons why this is true.

Featuring: Author, Harry Laing; school principal, Julie Murkins; primary school student, Sohana; secondary school student, Jessica; and author, Jackie French.

Needle in the Haystack

Too much information freely available online is irrelevant, unimportant or inaccurate. Teacher librarians are the magnet, helping students find the proverbial needle in the haystack. School libraries are critical for students to learn 21st Century skills (Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration) which are essential to sift real knowledge from all the commercial and biased dross.

Featuring: School librarian, Ruth Mahon; primary school student, Sohana; author, Morris Gleitzman; and teacher librarian Keith Mullumby discuss school libraries.

Your Child's School Library

Is your child’s school library sick or ailing? Just a handful of parents are all it takes to get the ball rolling. Rally your school community to join you in being “that parent” that your kids need. This film will help you find the inspiration to fiercely protect your child’s education.

Featuring author, Morris Gleitzman; teacher librarian, Amy Byrne; Nguru program outreach officer, Wayne Sloane; teacher librarian, Holly Godfree; and teacher librarian, Lori Korodaj.

Film Credits

Videographer and editor

Andrew Ford

Andrew is a graduate from the 2017 class of Lake Tuggeranong College and is currently taking a gap year before attending the University of Canberra. He is a musician and a self-proclaimed geek and has hopes to one day be working on the set of the BBC’s Doctor Who. Andrew has been close friends with both Luke and Marcus since they attended High School and the three have worked on multiple media projects together. It’s his hope that they’ll do so again eventually.

Videographer and editor

Luke Marriott

Luke is a highly enthusiastic and outgoing student who graduated from the 2017 class of Lake Tuggeranong College. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Media Art and Production at the University of Canberra and already in his first year is receiving positive feedback on his progress. As well as participating in this project, Luke works closely with other individuals to create content for websites and marketing for businesses including Dominos Calwell and Created New. Luke endeavours to pursue his Media degree with hopes of one day collaborating with international filmmakers in the industry.

Videographer and editor

Marcus Sutton

Bio to come.

Executive Producer

Holly Godfree

Holly slid from the classroom into the school library in 2006 and completed her MEdTL in 2015. For years now, she has been very active in local and national efforts to advocate for improvements in school library resourcing. She is currently coordinating the Students Need School Libraries advocacy campaign.  She clearly remembers the meeting in 2015 when making these films was suggested as a wistful dream and is absolutely delighted that this fantastic team came together to make them a reality.


Stefan Kussy

Stefan is a teacher with many years experience teaching in the ACT, a media producer, photographer, film reviewer, and writer.  He authored the ACT’s first Media Studies course and contributed to every rewrite, including in his role as an industry practitioner. Stefan was a member of the successful team who received Commonwealth funding for a Multimedia Skill Centre at Lake Tuggeranong College and led the Education Directorate’s Media Production team. He has worked in the media industry with ABC radio, writes film reviews for a local newspaper, is a member of the Australian Society of Authors and runs a small media production business, including producing projects for Royal Life Saving Society Australia, Education Directorate ACT, ACT Health and the ACT government.

Music Credits


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