Findings from the 2015 Softlink Australian and New Zealand School Library Survey are now available.
2015 was the first year the survey captured information from both Australian and New Zealand school libraries.
Softlink's Managing Director, Nathan Godfrey, said the survey gathers information on budgets and resourcing, knowledge and content delivery methods and preferred practices.
‘The annual survey has continued to highlight issues and trends facing school libraries. Incorporating New Zealand schools provides a broader regional perspective.'
The 2015 survey findings indicate a trend toward budget stabilisation for school libraries.
Nathan said it was encouraging that fewer school libraries were reporting budget cuts.
‘In 2015, fewer schools reported a decrease in budget, with more schools indicating that budgets had increased or did not change. The 2014 survey reflected a similar trend when compared to 2013 findings.'
The survey continues to link well-resourced school libraries to improved literacy through NAPLAN correlation from Australian schools respondents.
Nathan said school libraries need adequate funding to deliver valuable learning resources to students and school communities.
‘While budget stabilisation trends are encouraging, 48% of respondents still don't believe their school library is adequately funded.'
Additional findings from the 2015 survey indicate an increase in the take up of eBooks in schools.
‘The take up of eBooks is steadily growing with more than a third of respondents indicating they purchased eBooks for their schools in the past 12 months.'
There was also a significant increase in the number of schools that indicated their student population have access to a personal mobile device at school, with 64% responding that half or more of their student population have a personal mobile device, as compared to 43% in 2014.
The Softlink 2015 Australian and New Zealand School Library Survey Report is available for download now.
About Softlink: Softlink is a leading developer of knowledge, content and 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, provides school libraries with the platform they need to become a contemporary central hub for learning and resource management. Softlink is based in Australia, the United Kingdom, America and New Zealand. Softlink has supported the Australian and New Zealand education sector for over 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, with the inclusion of New Zealand for the first time in 2015, builds a critical reference point for understanding changes, impacts and trends over time. The results provide a solid basis for advocacy for school libraries.