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Teacher Librarian Award - 2007

Australian Teacher Librarian Award - 2007

Pledger Consulting Pty Ltd (LinksPlus/WebLinks)

Helen Reynolds
The Southport School, Southport, Queensland

The Australian School Library Association Inc. (ASLA) and Pledger Consulting Pty Ltd (LinksPlus/Weblinks) have pleasure in announcing the winner of the 2007 Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year Award - Helen Reynolds from The Southport School, Southport, Queensland.

This national award recognises and honours an exceptional Australian teacher librarian in a school setting whose professional practice has a positive impact on student achievement and information literacy. ASLA describes the role of a teacher librarian as having three key professional specialisations: Curriculum leader, Information specialist, and Information services manager.

The Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year 2007 is awarded to a teacher librarian who demonstrates a high level of achievement in each of these three components of their role and thus provides a library and information service that improves student learning.

The 2007 Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year, Helen Reynolds , manages a diverse library service at The Southport School, Southport, Queensland. TSS is a large Anglican boys' school with students from prep to year 12. It includes a prep school (P-7) and a senior school (8-12). Helen is responsible for meeting the needs of all boys (boarders and day students), parents and staff of TSS.

Her Principal and colleagues comment on her abilities to meet the selection criteria of the award.

 "Ms Reynolds [is] operating at a world-class level in terms of information literacy, the Boys' Reading Program, and her dedication and enthusiasm in the professional development of colleagues - not only at The Southport School, but within Queensland and interstate as evidenced by her being regularly invited to other schools and to conferences to share her knowledge and experience" (Mr Greg Wain, Headmaster, The Southport School).

"Helen Reynolds is an effective leader in the senior library of The Southport School. Helen leads by example, where no task is beyond her ... she sets a positive, professional example for all staff who work in the library."

"The library, under Helen's leadership, is certainly the academic focal point of the school. It has regular displays which interest all stakeholders. Regular parent in-service courses are held to let parents become familiar with how their children are learning today. The library works closely with the boarding house to make sure that these students' needs are looked after fully".

"Helen has done an outstanding job in developing the information technology in the school. She is dedicated to the process and generous in her time. She is a very worthy contender for this award".

"Helen's reading program is astonishing. With clear guidelines for both staff and students we have a wonderful reading culture inculcated in all levels of the school".

"Helen coordinates Readers' Club. Further, Helen holds the Annual Readers' Cup, Writers' Club - a club where a group of students come together to develop and further extend their writing abilities. To engage and support literacy levels, Helen invites guest authors to the school to discuss their novels and writing experiences...Matthew Reilly, Archie Fusillo and James Moloney".

"The library at The Southport School is lead by a teacher librarian [Helen Reynolds] who creates a helpful learning environment - in every essence of the word - and is a haven for all school community members to celebrate learning".

The judges commented

"Helen's nomination provides evidence of a dedicated, passionate and professional teacher librarian who works hard to ensure that the library is the major focus for learning in her school. Her role in leading the integration of information literacy into school programs, in making the school a reading school, and the broad range of services provided have all contributed to the level of excellence. Her outstanding work with the whole school community, including both staff and parents, which has led to these achievements, is to be commended - a most worthy Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year."

This award carries a $ 1,500 cash prize from Pledger Consulting Pty Ltd and $ 500 Weblinks-LinksPlus products.

The award was presented at the Australian School Library Association XX Biennial Conference in Adelaide.

Helen's acceptance speech

Helen's acceptance speech, read by Deborah Schinckel, staff member of The Southport School.

"I am sorry I can't be here today to collect this wonderful award, but I am delighted that Deb has agreed to accept this honour on my behalf.

As a career choice, I am glad that I chose to be a teacher librarian. It has taken me to amazing places and I have met and worked with amazing people. The advent of both the information technology revolution and the golden age of Australian children's literature has ensured that my job has always been both challenging and rewarding. I have also been fortunate to have had over the years wonderful mentors to guide me. Vi Dirkin and Dawn Allen, who, in my first two Victorian technical school libraries, taught me by example just what a good teacher librarian should be and in later years Suzette Boyd and Elizabeth Kloeden continued to challenge me to achieve my best.

I would like to thank Paul Pledger of Pledger Consulting Pty Ltd (LinksPlus/Weblinks) and ASLA for this marvellous award. It is a real honour for me to be its recipient.

I would like to thank my headmaster, Greg Wain, for submitting my name for consideration for the award and also the teaching staff of TSS who supported his application. But, most importantly, I would like to acknowledge the staff of the Harley Stumm Centre Senior Library. I am particularly fortunate to work with an amazingly capable and dedicated team of people. Their constant support and continuing hard work ensures the ongoing success of the library program.

Thank you all once again."

We congratulate all the state and territory nominees for this award.

Carol Javes - Canberra Grammar School, Australian Capital Territory.

Anne Lockwood - Tara Anglican School for Girls, New South Wales.

Dr Christopher Riley - Elizabeth College, Tasmania.

Cathy Scott - Schools of Isolated and Distance Education, Western Australia.

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