Report on school libraries and an iris

The big happening this week in Australia was the issuing of the report of the Federal Government’s inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians. The report provided a number of recommendations about providing databases to all schools (something which has been urged for some time by TL leaders), a policy statement on digital literacy for teachers and principals; more statistical evidence of the numbers of TLs; reading promotion; school libraries and student achievement; and providing support for school libraries. Some people had high hopes for this report e.g. in relation to the guaranteed provision of teacher librarians in all schools – but this was never likely to happen. The report is potentially useful to the TL profession in Australia but it is also fairly predictable and very general. There appears not to be much forward thinking in the report.

Late spring is when the irises in my garden appear. These tall, elegantly stemmed plants produce exquisite flowers of yellow, white and purple. They sway gently in the wind. Their height gives them a superior manner, reinforced by the fact they do not appear until all the daffodils and tulips have long faded. For a short while, they dominate the garden and attract all the attention. What’s interesting when you go close up to irises – see picture below – is the complexity of the flower, and the raindrops emphasise the sharp colours. Close up, they are more abstract. The only pity is that they don’t last long, so you need to really appreciate them when they bloom.

An iris - close up

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