Sunday, 7 April 2013

Part B - Reflective Journal Blog Task

A school library is the central learning district in a school.  The leader of this centre for learning is the Teacher Librarian.

After completing Part A of Assignment 1, my thoughts on leadership have evolved.  Leadership in the school library should be a partnership of theories that is open to innovation, communication and collaboration… most importantly, communication.

When I first began thinking about leadership, I hadn’t done any professional reading on the topic.  At first I thought of the leaders of the schools in which I work and the positions those leaders hold in the school hierarchy.   Leadership doesn’t rest solely with the Principal.  The more I thought about it, I discovered that leaders are found in the library, the learning support team, the sports office, at reception, in the sick bay and even down at the school crossing.  My initial thoughts on leadership didn’t include all these smaller groups that unite to achieve the shared vision of the school. 

Don Tapscott (2012) suggests that collaboration needs to be enabled and this can be achieved through openness, or communication.  Openness to share information, encourage learning and empowerment to share knowledge and skills.  As a teacher, who is often puzzled by the communication protocols within the schools I work in, I think that above anything else, the ability to communicate effectively, i.e positively, respectfully and efficiently is the most valuable skill any leader should have and should utilise. Openness cannot be achieved without communication.  Trust cannot be built without communication and an effective team cannot work collaboratively without communication.

To build an effective team, the Teacher Librarian needs the classroom teachers and, to achieve excellence in the learning curriculum, the teachers need the Teacher Librarian.  Aguilar (2012) suggests that a good team knows why it exists and is united by the achievement of a common goal.  She also suggests that within a good team there is a certain degree of healthy conflict.  Team members should be able to share their thoughts and opinions without judgement or criticism.  Team members should be able to comfortably and safely disagree with ideas and opinions so that the team can grow, challenge thinking processes and resolve issues intelligently.  While communication is a two-way street, the Teacher Librarian should at all times be communicating with staff, students, parents and other leaders of the school about what is happening in the library, how the library can complement the classroom learning curriculum and how the library, with the support of the classroom teachers, is one of the greatest resources the school has. 

The Teacher Librarian should lead by example and communicate what is happening in the library, share opportunities with teachers and students to be a part of the library and to encourage collaboration to achieve the shared vision of the library.  Without communication, how will staff, students and the wider school community know that the library is not just for books?  Osmosis is not a valid theory!


 Aguilar, E. (2012, November 28). Effective Teams: the key to transforming schools. Retrieved January 28, 2013, from Edutopia K-12 Education & Learning Innovations with Proven STrategies that Work.:
Tapscott, D. (2012, June 10-14). Four Principles for the Open World. Edinburgh, Scotland. Retrieved from




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