Media Statement from the School Library Association of New Zealand in response to TVNZ report: Overcrowding Forces 178 NZ Schools To Go Without A Library
“Figures released under the Official Information Act show more than a hundred schools in New Zealand don't even have a library.”
The School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, SLANZA, are seriously concerned at the announcement of closures of school libraries to accommodate the growing rolls within schools in New Zealand.
We believe the school library is a fundamental resource for students and staff and we strongly believe all schools should not only have a library, but that it be staffed by a specialist librarian.
Research in New Zealand and in over sixty overseas studies, show that having a school library staffed by a qualified professional librarian increases student achievement. (I Love Libraries, 2015), (National Library of New Zealand, 2010).
“There are 178 New Zealand schools that don't have a dedicated library, while 330 schools have less library space than they're entitled to.”
The Ministry of Education is required to provide enough classrooms for schools who have increasing rolls; it is a dire predicament when schools are forced to use other facilities such as their libraries to cope with the demand for space. SLANZA questions the Ministry’s attitude to these space issues and indeed their attitude to school libraries.
School libraries and librarians have a huge impact on the educational quality of a school. SLANZA presumes that principals, teachers and parents are voicing their outrage that government policy is not responding to the growing school rolls and supplying adequate building funds. SLANZA stands alongside parents, teachers and principals to promote the positive educational outcomes that a school library and a suitably qualified school librarian make in every school. We support the right for every student in New Zealand to have access to a school library and school librarian.
I Love Libraries. (2015). Student Success. Retrieved from http://www.ilovelibraries.org/school-libraries/school-libraries-and-student-success
National Library of New Zealand. (2010). School Libraries and learning. Retrieved from http://schools.natlib.govt.nz/school-libraries/effective-practice/school-libraries-and-learning-research
TVNZ. (2017). Overcrowding forces 178 NZ schools to go without a library. Retrieved from https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/overcrowding-forces-178-nz-schools-go-without-library
Sandi Faulconbridge Dip ILS
Library Manager | Taradale Primary School
SLANZA President | PD Team Leader