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ACCESS - Editorial

ACCESS - Current Edition - Editorial

Access, Vol. 35, Issue 4, 2021, pp. 3-4.

Lee FitzGerald, Editor

It looks like we’ve reached the end of 2021 – Thank God! The Charles Dicken’s quote seems apt about 2021 Australia:

“It was the best of times, it was

the worst of times, it was the age

of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief,

it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of light, it was

the season of darkness, it was the

spring of hope, it was the winter

of despair.”

(A Tale of Two Cities)

With this issue, I’ve come to the end of one year editing ACCESS. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience and continue to be amazed at how easy it is to find writers for the journal! I hope you’ve enjoyed it too and will continue to help me publish timely and engaging articles for the journal next year, too. My thanks to Deb Wilkes, of Little Design Farm, whose editorial eye is keen and whose flair for design is essential for ACCESS. And thanks to the ASLA Board, who have supported me so much as I learnt the ropes.

This issue carries three advocacy-based articles about the role of the Teacher Librarian (TL) and the central place of the school library to the learning and well being of the school community. Holly Godfree writes on progress of the Students Need School Libraries campaign since 2014; Wendy Rutten, South Australian ASLA Board member, writes on the potential vs the reality for school library spaces in her state, and Anne Girolami, ASLA TL of the Year, 2021, looks back on her career in school libraries, isolating three key themes to the healthy continuance of school libraries: evidence, qualifications and a clear idea of the essential elements of the TL role. Three essentials to being a TL are raised in these articles – the continuing need for advocacy, for clear TL role descriptions, and for prioritising the many aspects of our role. All three writers express a passionate commitment to teacher librarianship.

In Literacy, we have an article from Sigy George, who presented at the ASLA 2021 conference, Keys to Learning, about the status of school libraries across two countries. Sigy’s article is about literacy, illiteracy and aliteracy (lack of a wish to read) in her home country, India. It also presents a picture of the state of school libraries in India, which might make us feel our school libraries are in a pretty sound condition. Margaret Merga’s article, Books offer a healing retreat for youngsters caught up in a pandemic, which was published in The Conversation, is republished in this issue, and followed by two practitioner articles from a primary and a secondary TL (Lizzy Martin and Jade Arnold) who loved literature in lockdown.

Following that, two inquiry learning articles, one from Kath Murdoch, education and inquiry learning consultant, which is about the art of inquiry teaching, (accompanied by a review of her engaging picture book, The wonder of Winsome); and the other from Leslie Maniotes, of Guided Inquiry Design, which discusses an interview with one of the early respondents in Professor Carol Kuhlthau’s 1985 research on information seeking and use, about the impact that internalising the Guided Inquiry Design process (originally the Information Search Process) has had on his life.  This inquiry learning section is completed with a practitioner article from Noni Harrison and Leanne Morgan about zones of intervention with students experiencing inquiry.

The beautiful artwork on the cover and back page of this issue is provided by Myke Mollard, whose book, An A-Z of Australian Bush Creatures has just been updated and published by Woodslane Press.

My favourite image from this year of working for ACCESS is this one below – And such are my wishes for you for Christmas, 2021.

Lee FitzGerald
Editor, ACCESS