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By Dr Susan La Marca   

In April, the School Library Association of Victoria was invited to take part in the Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher-librarians in Australian Schools. We had the opportunity to answer questions from the committee conducting the inquiry in Melbourne. This invitation was the result of our excellent formal submission to the inquiry which can now be read here http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/edt/schoollibraries/subs/sub114.pdf. This submission was ably prepared by our Executive Officer, Mary Manning, with the support of SLAV’s Committee of Management. Dr Ross Todd reflects upon the submission in his regular section ‘Reflections and Actions’ in this edition of Synergy. It is worth looking at the SLAV submission if you have not done so already. To prepare such an overview, it was necessary to report on what we do, how we do it and why we do what we do, as both a profession, and as individuals. Such review and reflection is powerful. It makes one revisit the very nature of the profession, to justify to those you are writing for your very reason for existence, a valuable and useful exercise. I challenge all of you to read the SLAV submission and assess how well you are performing the role described.

The written submission is one way of holding a mirror up to our profession; we continue to do this in a variety of ways. In Synergy we aim to discuss best practice, new ideas and views, in the hope that what is published will impact on practice. Our aim is to be both a mirror for our profession and a conduit for sharing how to fulfil our potential.
In this particular edition we investigate new ways of reading and interacting with information in a variety of different articles. Judy O’Connell investigates the kindle ebook reader, Wilma Kurvink reports on her school’s extensive research into the ebook phenomena and Dr Carol Gordon looks at the different ways we read in the technology enabled world and what that means for learning and teaching. All three commentators offer very interesting insights and helpful advice that I know readers will find useful.
In her regular section ‘Learning Landscapes’,  Camilla Elliott continues to engage with the role of the teacher-librarian in our ever-changing, digital learning environment and Pru Mitchell continues this discussion about the nature of school libraries in her article ‘The school library is open’, while Cathy Oxley shows us what these theories can look like in practice in her exploration of the newly-built library at Brisbane Grammar School.
This is not all that we have in this issue; we also look at resourcing the national curriculum, a view on cataloguing in a digital environment from the U.S. and the impact of quality teaching with an interesting article from Professor Steven Dinham.
To celebrate SLAV’s 50th year, the Synergy Board thought it was important and relevant to provide an historical, academic perspective on the association. It was decided that we would reprint short extracts from the Housden lectures, a series of lectures given between 1969 and the early 1990s. The extracts make interesting reading and will hopefully encourage you to think about our history and engage with the other celebrations planned for SLAV’s 50th year. When one reads both the Housden lecture extracts and the recent SLAV submission to the Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher-librarians in Australian Schools, it is clear that we have a lot to celebrate and much worth fighting to retain.
Dr Susan La Marca