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ACT Government to fund training for 50 teacher librarians

Up to 50 ACT public school teachers will have the opportunity to acquire additional training to become teacher librarians under an ACT Government scholarship program announced yesterday, 1 February.

The teacher librarian scholarship program will see 10 spots open to teachers each year until 2025 at a total cost of $888,000.

An election pledge taken to the 2020 Budget, Education Minister Yvette Berry flagged the program will receive funding in next week’s ACT Budget.

Teacher librarians are trained teachers with additional master’s qualifications in teacher librarianship.

Natalie Otten, teacher librarian at the new Evelyn Scott School in Denman Prospect, said her job is a multifaceted role that involves collaboration with school leadership and classroom teachers.

Natalie Otten ACT teacher librarian scholarship
Natalie Otten, teacher librarian at the new Evelyn Scott School in Denman Prospect, said her job is a multifaceted role.

“For future learning, information doesn’t just come in a book now, there are so many avenues for students to learn,” she said.

“The role of teacher librarians is to really support learners in identifying, being able to filter through that range of information and know what a reliable source is, and what is going to be the best source of information for whatever the task is.”

Minister for Education Yvette Berry said currently the ACT has a shortage of teacher librarians available with that additional master’s degree.

“Teacher librarians aren’t what many of us would have imagined in the past. It’s not about shooshing students anymore,” she said.

“There’s so much more that happens in libraries these days than they did in the past.

“A qualified teacher librarian supports students, classrooms and whole schools by enhancing digital and information literacy, resourcing the curriculum and helping students become critical, creative and collaborative thinkers.”

With next week’s ACT Budget seeing one dollar in four invested in education, Ms Berry stressed funding programs like this is pivotal as teachers are “the single most important factor to secure good educational outcomes for students”.

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