My Take on School Library Story and Advocacy

School Library Story from joyce valenza on Vimeo.

As one might expect from an advocacy-oriented video, Valenza (2013) seems to me to present information relating to an ideal, perhaps even mythical, school library. I must admit that I have a hard time believing that school libraries and teacher librarians that meet all of those criteria all of the time exist. If they do, I find it hard to believe that those are the institutions losing out to funding cuts.

I think it is important to have media that promotes the cause of the school library and presents its strengths and potential and relationship to student achievement, creativity and wellbeing. Having access to propaganda such as Valenza’s video is useful, but I think that, as Todd (2015) points out, it is important to link those broad, sweeping generalities of information with real, relatable, local evidence. If you played that video for the parents at the school where I do most of my work and they started asking about the ability to borrow digital equipment or about 24/7 access to virtual library space, you would have a lot of quick-talking and backtracking to do! Valenza is a passionate advocate for school libraries, but she is American. Teacher librarians and school libraries in Australia need advocacy materials that ring true to an Australian context.


Todd, R.J. (2015) Evidence-based practice and school libraries. Knowledge Quest, 43(3), 8-15.

Valenza, J. (2013) School library story [Video file]. Retrieved from

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