Hazel Edwards OAM is an author, educator and grandmother who reads on Facetime nightly with her 7 year old grandson. Librarians and Antarctic expeditioners are her heroes. In that order.
It makes economic sense investing in teacher-librarians.
If we don’t, the later prison costs and loss from the entrepreneurial businesses NOT started, will cripple our Australian economy. It’s all about timing. A little now may save millions later.
Librarians are the lynchpin of ideas, readers, books and acquiring problem-solving skills.
‘Try this…’ at the right moment, can spark a lifetime of interest in how things work, why people acted in that way, Antarctica, dinosaurs or funny stuff.
Idea-dating you might call it. Putting the right book or idea in front of a receptive mind at just the right moment.
A child needs and wants to be enthused by an idea, at the right time for them. So does an adult.
It’s all about strategic timing.
Easy access is vital. With enthusiasm. And the person who does the introduction, needs to be able to select that idea from a range of possibles. They need to have already sifted from their library of experience.
The book or resource needs to be there.
So does the enthuser.
The person who is in love with ideas and words might be a parent, teacher or librarian. Or even an author.
Some children are lucky enough to have resident ideas people in their own homes. Parents or family who are enthusiastic about words, ideas, science or nature.
Those who use the Socratic Method even if they don’t know that label.
‘And why do you think that might be so?’
‘Maybe we can find out…’
Others don’t have that luxury.
In a school, the enthusiasm for learning matters more than the size of the budget, but if library staff are not IN that budget, we all lose. Skilled educator-librarians who speak the language of their students are the best investment against boredom which subsequently destroys community property and lives.
The danger is when there are too many rules. Or it’s too hard to get hold of the resource which shows how someone else did it or solved that problem.
Teacher librarians can introduce fiction for diverse readers ‘Try this, the character has an issue like yours’ or ‘This is one of my heroes. She started a hospital for women….’, but also provide tools for tackling the unknown.
A closed Library door. Only available from 12.05 until 12.25 pm doesn’t work.
Avoid barriers of big words like pedagogy.
‘Try this…’ is simple and effective.
A library is an ideas hub. But it doesn’t work unless there is a widely experienced and well read ideas person who is enthusiastic and not exhausted from doing all the other jobs in the school too.
We need to encourage young problem solvers who ask ‘Why? And then Why Not?’ We don’t want to BORE them with bureaucracy. And if we don’t provide solutions at crucial moments, we’ve lost them forever.
Try this…can open a mind to possibilities
- Sifting skills
- The right moment.
But we need teacher-librarians in schools to enthuse and skill our youth when those significant moments arise.
It’s an economic investment. Cheaper to invest in libraries than prisons.
Hazel Edwards OAM
Working together to ensure student access to high quality school library services.
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