Homework help offered via Library website

Ipswich City Council has agreed to continue to fund a homework help service for local students following the withdrawal of funding by the State Library of Queensland.

Tourism and Libraries Committee Chairperson Councillor David Pahlke said council had decided that it wanted to continue to support YourTutor and would now fund the service itself through to June 30 this year to allow local students to continue to access it.

The online YourTutor program, available through the Ipswich Library and Information Service, is designed to assist students from years four to 12.

Cr Pahlke said the program offered one-to-one academic support in mathematics, science, English, assignment research and study skills.

He said council had been advised by the State Library of Queensland in late December that it would no longer fund the YourTutor service offered by a number of Queensland public libraries, including Ipswich.

Cr Pahlke said the State Library of Queensland advice, dated December 22, 2009, advised that funding would cease on December 31 last year.

“The short notice provided by the State Library of Queensland and the cessation of the YourTutor service half way through a budget year has limited Ipswich City Council’s ability to forward plan.

“Libraries around Queensland have also expressed their dismay at the news received shortly before Christmas.”

Cr Pahlke said council commenced providing access to YourTutor through a State Library of Queensland consortia subscription and it had proven to be a very popular service locally.

“The Ipswich site was accessed by 375 students in 2008, the first year of operation in Ipswich, and served 810 students from years four to 12 in 2009.”

Cr Pahlke said the Ipswich Library and Information Service had been thrilled late last year to win a place in the Top 15 National e-Learning Leader Awards for YourTutor.

He said council had decided that it wanted to continue to support YourTutor and would now fund the service itself through to June 30 this year to allow local students to continue to access it.

Cr Pahlke said council would also pursue several options to determine how the service could be funded beyond June 30.

“We will be looking at whether council continues to fund it as part of the 2010-2011 Budget on its own or in partnership with some other local education providers.”

Cr Pahlke said YourTutor was available free to all members of the Ipswich Library and Information Service between 4pm and 8pm on weekdays.

He said the program was provided to the library by Tutoring Australasia, an Australian based and managed tutoring company.

“This program is currently used by hundreds of Australian libraries with more than 50,000 student users in schools and libraries across the country.

“Council is pleased to be able to offer this valuable service to Ipswich students and how it had been embraced by the local community.

“It gives students another way to access information to help them with their homework and assignments at school.”

Cr Pahlke said the program provided access to live tutors online who were experts in the subjects of maths, English, physics, chemistry, biology and science and were certified teachers, professional tutors, post graduates and advanced undergraduates from Australian universities.”

He said the program created an online classroom where students were connected to qualified, expert tutors for one on one help with homework, assignments, exam preparation and study questions.

“YourTutor is available for library members from home or in the library branches and can be accessed at http://library.ipswich.qld.gov.au/

“Simply log on to the library’s website during the yourtutor operating hours and click on the link to access the program.”

Further information about YourTutor is available by calling 3810 6772 or visiting the Ipswich

Library and Information Service’s website at http://www.library.ipswich.qld.gov.au/

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