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At the end of 2010, Mary Manning retired from the position of Executive Officer of the School Library Association of Victoria. Mary gave the Association over 15 years of dedicated, professional service and was instrumental in SLAV’s growth and expansion. During a time of great change, Mary was there at the inception of Synergy. In 2003, when Synergy began as a print journal, and then in its journey into the online realm, Mary was a member of the Synergy Board. In this role, and as Executive Officer of the association, Mary’s professional, practical and intellectual support contributed to the journal’s life. Her support of the journal has been unwavering and immeasurably valuable. Her contributions to Synergy will be missed.
Another important project which Mary was heavily involved in was the SLAV submission to the Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools. I expect many of you may have already read the submission. If not, it can be found here: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/ee/schoollibraries/subs/sub114.pdf .
The submission is well worth reading as it serves as a summary of much of what SLAV has been, and hopes to be, for the education community. Revisiting such documents reminds us of our core goals, and challenges us to remain focused on achieving our aims.
The result of all of the submissions to the inquiry was the report tabled in parliament recently titled ‘School Libraries and Teacher Librarians in 21st Century Australia’; the full version of this report can be found at: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/ee/schoollibraries/report.htm .
This report summarised a large body of information – 387 written submissions and the evidence of over 110 witnesses - and makes 13 recommendations. It is vitally important that we all work diligently to ensure that these recommendations result in positive improvement to all facets of school librarianship. Many organisations, including SLAV, are working on responses and actions to follow up on the good work that has already been done. I encourage you to do what you can to inform yourself of the issues and to be involved. As a profession, we must not miss this important opportunity to influence decision makers.
This edition of Synergy, the first for 2011, contains a range of excellent articles that once again celebrate best practice and pose thought-provoking ideas. Professional support material, offered by outlets such as Synergy, can play an important advocacy role for the profession at this important time. Sharing positive stories of best practice, supportive research evidence, and examples of our broad impact on education, can all play important roles in garnering support from those outside of our profession.
The contents of Synergy can also be the impetus for professional dialogue on issues of relevance to the educational community.
I hope this issue, and previous issues, in conjunction with SLAV’s other publications and professional development program, enable you to advocate effectively for our profession by providing examples and evidence of best practice.
Dr Susan La Marca