Monday, 8 October 2012

Part B - Critical Reflection

My ETL401 journey began with the view that teacher-librarians were responsible for maintaining an excellent catalogue of books in the library for both teachers and students to use, and to encourage students of all ages to use the library and read.  I was unaware that my view was so narrow-minded. 

I began the semester reading the Australian Library and Information Association: Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians (ASLA, 2004).  I was stunned.  I read and re-read the standards to double check that I was reading the standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians.  I felt that some of the standards included in the document were present in my own current teaching practice and I felt that the standards were aligned with my own personal teaching philosophy of inclusion, engagement and achievement.  This document empowered me.  I felt that I was able to achieve those standards.  It instantly changed my view of the teacher librarian at my school, instantly made me wonder whether these standards were being met at my school and if they weren’t, what was the school doing about it?

The role of the teacher-librarian is as diverse as the school community to which they belong (Gardener, 2012a).  It is also one of the most important teaching positions in a school and for some the most undervalued.  One of my favourite readings this semester was Purcell’s “All Librarians Do Is Check Out Books, Right?  A Look at the Roles of a School Library Media Specialist”.  Purcell (2010) outlines the potential roles a teacher librarian has within a school and suggests that if the teacher librarian is doing their job well, “they will be making  difference to the way teachers teach and the way students learn” (Purcell, 2010, p. 30).  Her article gave me a pragmatic view of the roles of a teacher-librarian in a school and how the teacher-librarian manages to fulfil these roles effectively and left me feeling that there was something lacking in my own school library that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. 

Purcell’s (2010) thoughts made me consider the constructivist ideas of Carnell and Lodge (2002) in Herring’s (2007) article, suggesting that the way students learn in the library, will be influenced by the way students are encouraged to learn throughout the whole school.  This in-turn can be influenced by the way the school-librarian collaborates with classroom teachers to produce effective, interesting and relevant learning activities.  This is what is missing from my own school library.

The way students learn in the library and the library curriculum can be heavily influenced by the support of the school principal.  Reading Oberg’s (2006) article confirmed some of the suspicions I already had about the operation of the school library and it’s relation to the school leadership and the role of the teacher-librarian. The support of a school principal can make or break an effective school library program.  It is the role of the teacher librarian to develop a positive professional relationship with school leaders, advocating the learning experiences the library can offer and communicating the needs of the library to meet the information learning needs of students.  “The School Principal needs to share the same whole school learning vision as the teacher-librarian for any library programs to be considered in the learning curriculum of a school” (Gardener, 2012a).  However, the teacher-librarian needs to be motivated, determined and fearless as they share their passion for learning excellence with leaders and classroom teachers to position the library as the hub of the school. 

This semester I have discovered that it is imperative that the teacher-librarian communicates effectively with the School Principal and classroom teachers, developing effective collaborative relationships with classroom teachers and through advocating for the resources and services available in the school library.  Classroom teachers need to be made aware of the ways the teacher-librarian can support them, their learning curriculum and promote the development of information literacy skills.  (Gardener, 2012a)

Langford (1998), Herring (2005) and Herring and Tarter (2007) introduced me to the myriad of definitions for information literacy, encouraging me to consider my own definition of information literacy and the skills required for students to participate in the global community of ever-evolving literacies.  The complex nature of information literacy confirmed my belief that information literacy is more than a set of skills.  It is a combination of skills and processes that when combined and used to effect, empowers students, teachers and learners the world over to participate confidently in an information driven society (Gardener, 2012c).

Over the semester I have come to the conclusion that, “it makes good sense to teach students how to use the resources in the library.  It makes more sense for students to be able to use their skills within the context of a planned learning experience, collaboratively developed by the teacher librarian and the classroom teacher” (Gardener, 2012b).  I concur with Herring (2007) that the school library should be seen as a centre for learning with the teacher librarian at the helm, “fostering an environment where learners are encouraged and empowered to read, view, listen and respond for understanding and enjoyment, creating and nurturing an information-rich learning environment which supports the needs of the school community.




ASLA. (2004). Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians. Retrieved July 31, 2012, from Australian School Library Association:

Gardener, H. (2012a, September 24). The Teacher Librarian and the School Principal. Retrieved October 3, 2012, from Helen Gardener:

Gardener, H. (2012b, July 23). TL's, Libraries and Self-Promotion. Retrieved October 5, 2012, from Mrs Gardener: http://mrsgardener.blogspotcom

Gardener, H. (2012c, September 24th). Blog Task 3: Information Literacy Is More Than A Set Of Skills. Retrieved October 5, 2012, from Mrs Gardener:

Herring, J. (2005). A Citical Investigation of Students' and Teachers' views of the Use of Information Literacy skills in School Assignments. School Library Media Research, 9.

Herring, J. (2007). Teacher Librarians and the School Library. In S. Ferguson, Libraries in the twenty-first century: Charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga: Centre or Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Herring, J. E., & Tarter, A.-M. (2007). Progress in developing information literacy in a secondary school using the PLUS model. School Libraries in View, 23-27.

Langford, L. (1998). Information Literacy: A Clarification. School Libraries Worldwide, 4(1), 59-72.

Oberg, D. (2006, Feb). Developing the respect and support of school admnistrators. Teacher Librarian, 33(3), 13-18.

Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do Is check Out Books, Right? A look at the roles of a school library media specialist. Library Media Connection, 30-33.



Monday, 24 September 2012

Blog Task 3 - Information Literacy Is More Than A Set Of Skills.

Information literacy is more than a set of skills.  The definitions of literacy and information literacy lend themselves to a complex set of skills and processes that, when combined, empowers both students and teachers to participate confidently in the world of learning and information.

Every teacher has their own definition of literacy, and for many, this evolves with experience.  My early definition was brief and general, stating that literacy is the ability to read and write.  Through time and experience, my definition of literacy has evolved to include the ability to read, write, use numbers and, to communicate and make meaning using these skills.  Langford (1998) concurs that literacy is more than the ability to read and write and suggests that the purposes of literacy have broadened as society has placed more value on literacy and as the world has advanced in areas of learning and technology.

Information literacy is the ability to seek and find information, evaluate it and use it effectively.  Langford (1998) suggests that information literacy is ever evolving as the information needs of society expand.  As this occurs, the skills set of information literate people increases and the need to employ information literacy skills to effect becomes pivotal.  Without the ability to use the skills effectively, the information literacy skills set remains exactly that; a set of skills.

Teacher librarians are dedicated to teaching students skills to participate in an information literate world.  As technology advances, and as information becomes more readily available via electronic and printed resources, the acquisition of information literacy skills could be seen to be consequential, however, it is one thing to be able to use a computer, enter in a search topic and bring up topic related resources, but another to be able to search effectively for appropriate information, evaluate the information and then use the information to construct knowledge and form opinions based on the knowledge.  Kuhlthau (2004) found that to be literate wasn’t just to recognise the need for information, but also the ability to create knowledge and meaning from the information found, igniting lifelong learning skills through the success of the information process.  Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process supports the concept of information literacy being more than a set of skills and Doyle (1996) as cited in Kuhlthau (2004) acknowledges the importance of the attainment of skills in the information process.  Kuhlthau also refers to Eisenberg and Berkowitz’s (1990) statement that information literacy is not library skills or computer skills or even information problem solving skills, but these skills work together and are necessary enhancers of information literacy. (Kuhlthau, 2004)

Eisenberg (2008) writes “information and technology literacy is clearly the basic skills set of the 21st century”.  Basic computer skills and being able to use Google does not qualify you as being information literate.  Information literacy is not just a set of skills, but the way the skills are used to support each other and to achieve the information requirements of the user.  It is the application of the skills in partnership with one another that makes the user truly information literate.


Eisenberg, M. (2008). Information Literacy: Essential skills for the Information Age. DESIDOC Journal of Library and Information Technology, 28(2), 39-47.

Kuhlthau, C. (2004). Information Search Process. Retrieved September 1st, 2012, from Carol Collier Kuhlthau:

Langford, L. (1998). Information Literacy: A Clarification. School Libraries Worldwide, 4(1), 59-72.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Blog Task 2 - The Teacher Librarian and the School Principal

“No one in the field of education can dispute the effect a principal has on the school library media program” (Everhart, 2006, p.38).

Ask any teacher librarian in a primary school what their role is, and the answers you receive will be as diverse as the school communities to which they belong.  Purcell (2010) identifies five roles of a school library media specialist, including Leader, Program Administrator, Instructional Partner, Information Specialist and Teacher.  Herring (2007) includes eleven possible roles of the teacher librarian, including Fiction and Non-fiction Advocate and Budget and Staff Manager as other possible roles.  First and foremost for any teacher librarian is their role as a teacher and Purcell (2010) writes “if school library media specialists are doing their job well, they are making a difference in the ways teachers teach and in the ways students learn”.  It should be noted that the roles of the teacher librarian mentioned do not stand alone.  The roles rely on one another and when performed effectively and efficiently, make the role of the teacher librarian indispensable. 

It is my belief that the roles of a teacher librarian in any school setting are dependent on the support of the School Principal.  The School Principal needs to share the same whole school learning vision as the teacher librarian for any library programs to be considered in the learning curriculum of a school.  The School Principal needs to “explicitly support collaborative educational goals and ensure that adequate resources are available for their accomplishment” (Farmer, 2007, p.56).  The teacher librarian’s role as collaborative partner underpins the success of the school library program by bringing information literacy skills learning into the everyday learning curriculum of the classroom.  Herring (2007), suggests “how students learn in the school library will be influenced by how they are encouraged to learn in the school as a whole”, and I believe that this is directly affected by the learning beliefs of the leaders of a school.

Oberg (2006) suggests that the teacher librarian can gain the respect and support of the school principal in three different ways; “by building professional credibility, effective communication and by working to advance school goals”.  Each suggestion is both valid and achievable and will provide beneficial results to the school, teachers and students.  As mentioned in my first assessment Blog Task, the school library could be viewed as a small business.  For the business to attract attention, there needs to be effective advertising and in this case, effective communication with the School Principal.  This can be done through communication with school leaders, collection of data and effective use of the data to support the work of the teacher librarian.  Opportunities for teaching and learning in the library need to be highlighted throughout the school and, the teacher librarian needs to advocate their skills as an information and literacy specialist.  To involve the wider school community, the services available in the library need to be highlighted to all teachers, students and their families.  As with many things in life, effective communication provides a solid foundation for a synergistic relationship between the School Principal and the teacher librarian. 

A School Principal cannot be forced to embrace the innovative learning programs that a teacher librarian can implement in the school library, however, with effective communication it would be remiss of the School Principal not to take notice.




Everhart, N. (2006, July). Principals' Evaluation of School Librarians: A Study of Strategic and Nonstrategic Evidence-based Approached. School Libraries Worldwide, 12, 38-51.

Farmer, L. (2007). Principals: Catalysts for Collaboration. School Libraries Worldwide, 13(1), 56-65.

Herring, J. (2007). Teacher Librarians and the School Library. In S. Ferguson, Libraries in the twenty-first century: Charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga: Centre or Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Oberg, D. (2006, Feb). Developing the respect and support of school admnistrators. Teacher Librarian, 33(3), 13-18.

Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do Is check Out Books, Right? A look at the roles of a school library media specialist. Library Media Connection, 30-33.



Sunday, 5 August 2012

Is Your School Librarian 'Highly Qualified'?

Is Your School Librarian ‘Highly Qualified’?

“When teachers and library media specialists collaborate, differentiated instruction becomes more feasible, and student achievement rises” (Kaplan, 2007. P.300).

Kaplan’s article is a clear exposition of the skills a highly qualified teacher- librarian should have.

This is certainly one of the most thought provoking articles I have read to date. It has got me thinking about what the children at my school could be learning and how as a teacher I can begin this learning shift.

When I have finished this course, I will be proud to add “Teacher-Librarian” to my qualifications. It not only reflects the time and effort I put into studying and furthering my education and skills, it recognises the skills I have as a Teacher- Librarian.

The article posed four questions for me.

1. Are Teacher-Librarians really aware of their role (and their potential) in a school community?

2. Do classroom teachers know what the role of the Teacher-Librarian is in their school?

3. Do classroom teachers know about the skills a Teacher-Librarian has?

4. Is the Teacher-Librarian letting his/her colleagues know about these skills?

As I have mentioned in another post, being a Teacher-Librarian is not just about the books.  
The diagram below uses information drawn from Kaplan’s article (2007, p.301). 
This is a snapshot of the areas of responsibility a Teacher-Librarian has. Perhaps a fourth bubble could be added titled “communication specialist”, whereby the Teacher-Librarian needs to hold skills in communication, public relations and marketing.

The question is “Is your school librarian ‘highly qualified’? 

Does your school librarian/school library media specialist engage in the activities described above?

Research is telling us that if they don’’s time they did.


KAPLAN, A. G. (2007). Is Your School Librarian 'Highly Qualified'?. Phi Delta Kappan, 89(4), 300-303.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Website Evaluation

Evaluating Web Information
Ferguson, J. (2005). Why evaluate information found on the Web? Retrieved July 6, 2012.

The advent of the Internet has meant that not only is there information posted onto the web to advise, inform and entertain, there is also an abundance of misinformation that is available to anyone who has access to the web.  There is no ruling body or charter of standards to regulate the content that is posted to the web.  The World Wide Web is subject to national and international laws, but none specific to regulate content. Anyone can develop a website, put information up whether it is correct or incorrect.  This can also be done anonymously so that the source of the information, whether it is true or not cannot be traced. 
There are a substantial number of websites that provide reliable, accurate and up to date information.  There is also a number of websites that are untrustworthy, misleading and incorrect.  It is the users responsibility to use evaluation skills to determine legitimacy of websites and the information they display.  Ferguson (2005) lists 7 criteria to assist in evaluation;
1.    Author – the author of the website should be visible on the website as well as the qualifications he, she or they may have to support the information they have posted. The contact details of the author should be available.
“Remember to look for a physical address and phone number – a simple email address is not sufficient if you need to contact someone to verify information” (Ferguson, 2005).
2.     Publisher or sponsor – “It’s essential to identify and evaluate the credentials and motivations of the organization or people responsible for maintaining a website” (Ferguson, 2005).
3.     Inspect the URL – It’s a good idea to see where the information is coming from.  The URL can tell you whether the information comes from an educational institution, a network provider, a government agency, a non-profit organization or from commercial enterprise.
4.     Point of view/bias – it’s important to establish the point of view of the author of the website and whether their information is biased towards that point of view.  It is ok for a website to present information to reflect the point of view of the author, but it is up to the user to establish whether the information presented suits their research needs.
5.     Accuracy and Reliability – is the website well presented with information that can be verified?  Is the information presented using correct grammar and spelling?  The visibility and the reliability of the source of the information gives greater credibility to the website.
6.     Currency – Is the information as up to date as possible? Are there dates on the page?  Has the page been consistently updated?
7.     Intellectual Property/Copyright – “Copyright laws that protect intellectual property in the print publishing world also protect intellectual property in the virtual realm.  Most text and images that you find on the web are copyrighted” (Ferguson, 2005).

Testing the three-click rule.
Porter, J. (2003). Testing the three click rule. Retrieved July 6, 2012.

The three-click rule has long been talked about in relation to websites and finding information.  It has been said that,  “if users can’t find what they’re looking for within three clicks, they’re likely to get frustrated and leave the site” (Porter, 2003). 
I am of the belief that if the information on your website is pertinent and accurate, users will keep clicking.  There are some websites where 3 clicks is enough, and others where 3 clicks is just the beginning of an information odyssey.  If you are searching for information and the clicks you make are leading you in the right direction, keep clicking.

The Five W’s of Web Site Evaluation
Schrock, K. (2009b). The 5 W’s of website evaluation. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
Seeing Kathy Schrock’s Five W’s page excited me.  It is brilliant to see that Information Literacy skills can be so obviously connected to writing, reading and oral language.  It makes sense for everyone to be on the same page, and for classroom teachers and teachers to share the same language. 
If I was asking my class to write me a story, or recount the events of a weekend, these are exactly the terms I would use.
Who was there?”
What did you do?”
When did you do it?”
It also makes sense to begin teaching the children these skills while they are in primary school.  Teaching students effective learning habits, particularly when they are using the Internet, encourages self-directed learning and lifelong learning habits.


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Assessment Item 1- The Role of the Teacher-Librarian With Regard to Evidence-Based Practice.

Assessment Item 1
OLJ and Blog Task 1

The role of the Teacher-Librarian has changed considerably over the last 10 years.  The amount of information available to us at the press of a button, the ability to source resources at the press of a button and the ability to share these resources outside the traditional medium of print has revolutionized the way we find information and use the information to achieve outcomes in the school learning curriculum.

Todd (2008) suggests evidence-based practice has not just arrived in our school libraries.  He believes that many Teacher-Librarians already share the same beliefs.  He writes,
“The fusion of learning, information, and technology presents dynamic challenges for teachers, school librarians, administrators and students in 21st century schools.  Providing the best opportunities for children to learn and achieve in todays educational environment, and knowing that they have done well, is at the heart of quality teaching and learning and is the driving force behind evidence based practice”(Todd, 2008.p.39).

The role of the Teacher-Librarian is continually evolving as the information super highway expands and the need for information literacy skills becomes more apparent in our daily lives.   Also more apparent is the need to provide evidence to support the role of the Teacher-Librarian.

I believe a Teacher-Librarian needs to approach their library as a small business being run within the school community, within the constraints of the school budget.  Resources are purchased to link the library with the learning curriculum, “administrators need to see that the library budget is clearly connected to curriculum goals” (Langhorne, 2005. P.36).  The effectiveness of the resources isn’t measured by the number of students who come to the library or borrow the books, but rather by how the resources available in the library impact student learning and support instruction (Langhorne, 2005).
If the library collection is aligned to the teaching goals of the learning curriculum, more teachers will advocate for the availability of resources and administrators will see the evidence of the positive effect on the curriculum.

As with any small business, there is a certain degree of marketing that is required to make the services of the small business known.  The library is the same.  It is the responsibility of the Teacher-Librarian to let the community know what resources are available in the library, how students are being taught to use the resources in the library and what programs are used within the library to develop information literacy skills and encourage reading.  
“Evidence based practice emphasizes the actual work of the school librarian” (Todd, 2008. P.41). 
Reflective practices of the Teacher-Librarian are encouraged through the collection of data.  “By using and comparing data from a number of sources, you can develop stronger claims about your practice’s impact and outcomes” (Todd, 2008. p.40).  An efficient Teacher-Librarian will employ strategies and programs that work and produce positive learning results. 
Todd writes about a holistic approach to evidence-based practice where by evidence for practice, evidence in practice and evidence of practice combine to create “a dynamic, ongoing and integrative process that informs practice, generates new practices and demonstrates a practices impact on learning outcomes” (Todd, 2008. P.41).
As with the building of a successful small business, through the use of best practices, “practices that demonstrate tangible power of our contribution to schools learning goals” (Todd, 2003), and the “establishment of systematic approaches to locating and gathering evidence of achieving outcomes” (Todd, 2003), job satisfaction and the assurance of the important position of the library within the school community will be achieved and maintained.

In short, the role of the Teacher-Librarian, in regard to evidence-based practice, is to provide evidence to support the use of resources, planning and instructional programs that are implemented in the school library, and use the evidence to collaborative with classroom teachers to strengthen the skills of students to achieve learning curriculum outcomes.

  •   Langhorne, M. (2005). Show Me the Evidence!. Knowledge Quest, 33(5), 35-37.
  • Todd,  R. (2003). School Libraries and Evidence-Based Pracice: Dynamics,   Strategies and Outcomes. WA School Library Conference. New Jersey: Rutgers University.
  • Todd, R. (2008). THE EVIDENCE-BASED MANIFESTO. School Library Journal,    54(4), 38-43.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm.......

This is a reflective post.....not related to any reading as such.....just my own thoughts.  Some of them will be random, but some you just might identify with and might even have had yourself!  

I went to Uni in the early 90's and studied to become a teacher.  I had a great time.  I loved it.
I loved going on prac, I couldn't wait to have my own classroom, my own class and use my own lessons.  I couldn't wait to to teach the kids to read, write, add up, take away, learn about the world, play a game or two outside, sing some songs, eat lunch, teach the kids to be great learners and contributors to our community.  

In reality, it didn't totally turn out like that.
I didn't realise that I would need acting skills, people skills, medical knowledge, a psychology degree, a counselling degree, so much patience, so much organisation, be prepared for any parent's question, be creative, be open to criticism and all the while maintain a professional smile on my face.  Initially, there were just not enough hours in the day for me to be 'kicking goals' in every arena! (Note to is ok to say "I don't know" or "I can't manage that." and leave it at that!!!)

I am learning that being a Teacher-Librarian is a bit the same.  It is not just books.  It is not just re-shelving, it is not just finding information, it is not just teaching students how to find information. It's not just the Dewey system. 

The Teacher-Librarian reality for 2012 is advocate, advocate, advocate!!!  Market yourself, your skills, your resources, your need for funding so that not only the school administrators are on board, but so that teachers are on board and the students and parents are on board. Everybody should know what is happening in the library.  Administrators need to be aware of the progressive resourcing needs the library has and Teachers and Teacher-Librarians need to communicate so that the resources available in the library are appropriate for the learning needs of the students in the school.  There will be numerous members of the school community who would have no idea that the library has the potential to be a vibrant learning community.  It is THE place to be.

There will be administrators and teachers out there who will try to stifle your creativity, your determination and your enthusiasm.  Ignore them.  Let them rise to your level and they too will realise that greatness, success and immense satisfaction can be achieved when communities work together.


Monday, 23 July 2012

TL's, Libraries and Self-Promotion.

Joyce Valenza has chosen the ‘poster approach’ to let the school community and beyond know what a Teacher-Librarian teaches.  Research, evaluation, learning, creativity, reading are all happening in the library.  I am imagining that there are numerous classroom teachers out there, including myself, who would be surprised at the number of areas of learning and knowledge that are included on the poster.  My questions for our school librarian are, "When can we get together?" and "Can you extend our library time or slot us in for an extra lesson?"
This poster has sent me into somewhat of a flat spin over how I can use our library more effectively.  I wonder whether there are schools across the country that are unaware of the potential for learning greatness that is just a few steps away in the library.

Herring (2007) writes "the library and the teacher librarian are an integral part of the learning and teaching community".  The library should be seen as a hub of learning, information, creativity and activity.  The teacher-librarian is in the unique position of being able to encourage teachers to develop learning experiences that challenge students' learning and encourage students to use their information skills to develop life long learning strategies.  Herring also suggests that the "library should be seen firstly as a centre for learning and secondly as a centre for resources"(Herring, 2007. p.28).
Promoting the library and what can be found there should not be a solo mission for the Teacher-Librarian.  The library should be embraced as a vital part of the school learning community. Libraries are not places solely for silent reading or finding that perfect fiction escape, but a gateway to the world and beyond using effective research and enquiry skills and knowledge of information evaluation. School leaders, teachers, students and parents need to promote the use of the library and the resources found there.
If the key role of the library is as a centre for learning, Herring (2007, p.32) suggests the key role of the teacher librarian is to develop information literate students.  It makes good sense to teach students how to use the resources in the library.  It makes more sense for students to be able to use their skills within the context of a planned learning experience, collaboratively developed by the teacher-librarian and the classroom teacher.

It is only the beginning of the subject and I have already developed a greater appreciation of our own teacher-librarian, but my reading has raised some questions for me that I will be going into the library to find the answers for.  

Sunday, 22 July 2012

What Do TL's Teach - by Joyce Valenza

Joyce Valenza's 2011 What do TLs Teach? poster briefly outlines the roles and responsibilities a teacher-librarian has.  
TL's not only teach, but they model inquiry and research, they evaluate the resources for students to use so that the information they are accessing is credible and available in multiple formats and in turn, teach students how to achieve this themselves.  

As the digital age spreads across all fields of communication, it is vital that students are taught how to respectfully engage in its use and how to use technology as an effective resource as well as an outlet for leisure.

The teacher-librarian can also open the door to the creative digital world where your imagination is your only boundary.  Websites, animation, digital storytelling and publishing are just a few avenues that digital media can send you down.

Our TL module notes suggest we place a poster size version of this on our office door or noticeboard for all to see!  As the profile of the TL in schools is raised, those who read the poster will understand.
Joyce Valenza 2011

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Library - That's where I'll meet you!

ASLA - Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians

Reading this document both puzzled and excited me! 

I have worked in many schools during my teaching career, in both the city and the country. 
After reading the Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians document, I can honestly say that, in schools across the country, there are many types of Teacher-Librarian. 

In the extreme, there are Teacher-Librarians who are going above and beyond in their role as an information resource.  They actively advocate for the Teacher-Librarian to participate in the planning and programming of learning in their primary school.  They encourage the children to read, explore, research and grow through the acquisition of knowledge, skills and active participation.
There are also Teacher-Librarians who are just "checking out the books" and not promoting themselves as an active resource.  I wonder whether they don't have the knowledge, skills and confidence to be actively involved in the sharing of information and knowledge or whether they don't understand the importance of their role.  Perhaps the school hasn't encouraged the librarian to create and market the library as a learning hub.

I was excited by the responsiblities the Teacher-Librarian has in regard to learning, teaching and the curriculum.  I also began to understand why some Librarians are very protective of their domain!
The standards document was produced to "improve Teacher-Librarians professional practice and enhance student learning outcomes".  It will be interesting to find out how the meeting of these standards will be assessed and whether further professional development will be made available to Teacher-Librarians who are challenged on the information resourcing highway.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

"The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!" ~ Dr Seuss

...And so my learning journey continues.  I returned to study last year after 15 years.  Boy! was it a shock.  I originally enrolled in the Masters of TL, but at the last minute changed to Inclusive Ed.  I enjoyed the reading, and the learning and the sense of achievement that came with handing in assignments etc, but my heart wasn't in it.
I am excited to be studying Teacher Librarianship.  I am slightly overwhelmed by all the getting started bits and pieces, but am hoping it will all fall in to place any moment.

Good luck and enjoy!!