In Australia, the federal government has set up an inquiry into school libraries. The inquiry will look at:
the impact of recent policies and investments on school libraries and their activities;
the future potential of school libraries and librarians to contribute to improved educational and community outcomes, especially literacy;
the factors influencing recruitment and development of school librarians;
the role of different levels of government and local communities and other institutions in partnering with and supporting school librarians;
and the impact and potential of digital technologies to enhance and support the roles of school libraries and librarians.
This has caused much excitement in the school library community and a wide range of submissions is expected. Let’s hope that the inquiry results in some positive policies for school libraries, especially on staffing.
Staying in Dubai on the way to Australia, I was able to see the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. It is an amazing sight, partly as you have to crane your neck in order to see the top. It is very difficult to take a photo of the whole building without lying down on the ground, trying to keep your camera steady, and generally looking extremely stupid. Thus the top half photo below. Now, it being the world’s tallest building is an excellent engineering achievement – but is it any more than that? Is it aesthetically pleasing? Does it remind you of a film set where you expect Superman to fly by, looking for someone to rescue? This depends on your view of what constitutes the finest modern architecture. Judge for yourself.