Key findings include the statistical linking of school library funding and the number of professionals employed within the school library and NAPLAN Reading Literacy results.
Softlink's Managing Director, Nathan Godfrey, said these results have been consistent over the survey's five year history and reinforce industry research that continues to link well-resourced school libraries to improved literacy.
Additional findings indicate 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,' Nathan 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.'
Findings from the 2014 Softlink Australian School Library Survey Report reveal that school library staff are interested in implementing technology to enable eResource access, Aligning Australian Curriculum and developing information literacy programs.
Nathan said 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.
The 2014 survey received its largest response yet with 1380 respondents from 1267 schools across Australia making their voice heard.
The Softlink 2014 Australian School Library Survey Report is available for download from the Softlink web site softlinkint.com – news menu.
Direct link to Softlink 2014 Australian School Library Survey Report
Softlink is a world-leading developer of knowledge, content, library management solutions, supporting more than 10,000 education, government and public organisations and libraries across 108 countries. Softlink's leading education solution, Oliver v5, is an integration and functionally rich, fully customisable platform for digital and physical learning asset management, discovery and delivery. Softlink is based in Australia, the United Kingdom, America and New Zealand. Softlink has supported the Australian education industry for 30 years.
The purpose of the survey
School libraries are thriving centres of learning both in the physical library space and in the virtual classroom and Teacher Librarians enrich school teaching and learning programs through their specialist role.
In 2010, the Australian Federal Government requested submissions to the ‘Inquiry into school libraries and Teacher Librarians in Australian schools'. Softlink undertook a survey of Australian school libraries to provide data for an informed response to the Inquiry.
Since then, Softlink has continued to survey Australian schools annually in an effort to understand the issues facing Australia's school libraries and report on the findings. Continuing the annual survey builds a critical reference point for understanding changes, impacts and trends over time. The results provide a solid basis for advocacy for school libraries.