ASLA Australian Teacher Librarian Award 2021

By Kerry Pope

Congratulations to Anne Girolami, Learning Leader – Information Services, Mercy College, Coburg, Victoria.

Anne Girolami was announced as the winner of Australian School Library Association (ASLA) Australian Teacher Librarian of the Year for 2021 by Kerry Pope, ASLA Vice President, on 13 April at the ASLA/SLASA National Conference. The presentation was made by Caroline Hartley, the Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS) manager. SCIS is the proud sponsor of this prestigious award.

Anne’s passion for school libraries and teacher librarians has been a driving force in her career and she has devoted many hours to this cause. She has more than 30 years’ experience as a teacher librarian in school libraries and loves sharing her knowledge and expertise with colleagues.

Anne’s work at Mercy College in Melbourne has been exceptional. Anne is a key member of the Curriculum and Pedagogy Team and meets regularly with her school leaders. She works enthusiastically with the library team to deliver services and programs that are at the heart of learning and teaching and that adhere to best practice in library standards. She continually shares her love of reading and literature with her students. Anne works hard with staff to analyse data and identify student needs. She works closely with teachers and support staff to build their capacity to prepare students for life-long learning. Anne is highly respected and valued by her principal, the students, staff, parents and members of her school community.

Anne has made a significant contribution to ASLA over many years, as an active and committed member. She has served as an ASLA Board Director, presented at ASLA Conferences, reviewed policies and reported at ASLA Annual General Meetings.

Anne has led a number of joint working parties with ASLA and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), responsible for reviewing and writing national policies for teacher librarians. Anne was chair of the ASLA Policy and Advisory Project Team (PAPT) to produce evidence guides for teacher librarians in the areas of ‘Proficient’ and ‘Highly Accomplished’ accreditation to support AITSL’s Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. These documents have proved to be invaluable, and are referred to constantly by teacher librarians undertaking accreditation today. Throughout 2019 and 2020, Anne chaired the team reviewing and updating Table 6 in the combined ASLA/ ALIA publication, Learning for the future. Recommendations of minimum information services staffing were thoroughly researched and documented. With Anne’s calm, intelligent and thoughtful leadership approach, these working parties progressed diligently and consistently with the task at hand, resulting in the production of current, relevant and outstanding documents for Australian teacher librarians.

Anne is to be highly commended for her extraordinary and exemplary work in advocacy. She has been a Fellow of ALIA since 2020 and is a long-term convenor of ALIA Schools, working hard for the promotion and development of school libraries in Australia. She is an active member of the School Library Coalition and the FAIR Great School Libraries Campaign. Anne Girolami is an extremely worthy recipient of this Award for 2021.

Over the years, this national award has recognised and honoured Australian teacher librarians who have made outstanding contributions to the profession of school librarianship. Through their high level of achievement in professional knowledge, professional practice and professional engagement they have had a positive impact on teaching and learning in their schools. A special thank you to SCIS for their sponsorship of the award in 2021 and their ongoing support of school libraries and teacher librarians in Australia.

In Anne’s acceptance speech she made the following comment:

‘I would like to acknowledge Caroline Hartley, manager for the Schools Cataloguing Information Service, or, as we know it, SCIS. SCIS has been a wonderful sponsor of ASLA and school libraries. In particular, the service that it offers in having a centrally based cataloguing service has enabled many schools the opportunity to access catalogue records. This frees up time for school library staff to undertake other tasks that need to be performed in the school library. I have been a proud supporter of SCIS right from the beginning of my career. And it is wonderful that they are able to make this sponsorship available. I am grateful for their part of the prize for 2021.’


ASLA Australian Teacher Librarian Award winners since 2003:

  • 2021 – Anne Girolami, Mercy College, Coburg, VIC
  • 2019 – Holly Godfree, Lake Tuggeranong College, Tuggeranong, ACT
  • 2017 – Jane Viner, Kilvington Grammar School, Ormond, VIC
  • 2012 – Alinda Sheerman, Broughton Anglican College, Menangle Park, NSW
  • 2011 – Maureen Twomey, Assisi Catholic College, Upper Coomera, QLD
  • 2010 – Janice Wilson, Lake Tuggeranong College, Greenway, ACT
  • 2009 – Nareeda Tillman, Mindarie Senior College, Mindarie, WA
  • 2008 – Jan Radford, Delany College, Granville, NSW
  • 2007 – Helen Reynolds, The Southport School, Southport, QLD
  • 2006 – Carol Miller, Hamilton Secondary College, Mitchell, SA
  • 2005 – Jennie Bales, Summerdale Primary School, Summerhill, TAS
  • 2004 – Margaret Holman, Black Forest Primary School, Black Forest, SA
  • 2003 – Beverley Endersbee, East Para Primary School, Para Hills, SA

Kerry Pope

ASLA Awards Team Leader 2021