The school library is fundamental for students and staff to have equitable access to quality resources, skills and support. All schools should have a well-resourced library staffed by a specialist librarian to support the teaching and learning needed for student success. The review’s objectives of putting learners at the centre and providing barrier free access to learning are at the heart of school libraries.
Research in New Zealand and in many overseas studies, shows that having a school library staffed by a qualified professional librarian increases student achievement. The National Library of New Zealand states that, “the research into school library impact shows higher student performance (with) improved reading test scores, higher academic achievement, and positive attitudes towards learning.”
There are a number of challenges facing schools and school libraries including pressures of the funding model, lack of space, staffing and budgets. The review will be an important chance for our concerns to be considered as a stakeholder committed to all learners achieving educational success.
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.