Friday, 14 October 2011

Task C

ETL401 Portfolio Task C


My initial view of the role of Teacher Librarian has changed significantly since commencing this subject. My earlier views were coloured by my own work experience over ten years and my limited observations of other work places. Many of the changes in my opinions have come about as a result of the readings I have undertaken in ETL 401, participation in the forum discussions, subscribing to OZTL_Net and writing my own blog as well as reading the blogs of fellow students. In particular areas of interest I have noted are, the importance of collaboration with others to assist in promoting the library, and also the multidimensional role as highlighted by Herring (2007) and Purcell (2010). As a Library Technician I have great experience in all the manual duties that are performed within school libraries from covering and accessioning of books and materials for the library to assisting with circulation duties. I have always considered keeping up with emerging technology to be a priority and could see ways that it could be effectively utilised within a library setting. If students are using these resources outside the school to not offer them access to these in the library is “to expect them to de-skill when they come to school.” (Considine, 2008, p.18). I am working towards an understanding that the teaching of information literacy is of great significance, as well as the need for the Teacher Librarian to be a leader within the school particularly in the area of curriculum.

I have assumed, in the past, that collaboration with teachers was as simple as providing the resources after the teachers had informed the library of their topics for the term. I was initially horrified when our forum chairman suggested that 40% of a Teacher Librarian’s time should be allocated to collaboration (Winzenried, September, 2011) but upon reflection and in discussion with others it came to be identified as a valuable use of time. As Haycock (2007) states as Teacher Librarians we “need to be educated and trained in effective collaboration and develop professional and personal commitments to teacher partnerships (Haycock, 2007, p.32). As a result of further reading I believe that in Australia with the phase-in of the new National Curriculum it is an opportune time to not only work towards partnerships but to take a step beyond and work towards developing Teacher Librarians as leaders. As Moore (2009) states Teacher Librarians can look upon this as “Opportunity. I believe there is a convergence in the Australian education landscape that has the potential to empower Teacher Librarians.” (Moore, 2009, p.3). Moore and Gillepsie (2009) also cite the way this can lead to further interactions within the school “Teacher librarians can ensure that in collaborative teaching and learning activities the input of the teacher librarian is measurable and observable in the assessment strategies.” (Moore and Gillepsie, 2009, p.16).

Another area of changing opinion for me was also reading the articles by Herring (2007) and Purcell (2010). Both authors recognise the many individual roles and responsibilities that can be distinguished as falling under the umbrella of the job description “Teacher Librarian”. It has been a valuable exercise to pull apart and classify all the roles and the different hats we wear as library workers. Indeed the time study as recommended by Purcell (2010) was an application with surprising results for me. It has motivated me to examine how efficiently I can use my time, and are there duties that can be delegated? As effective Teacher Librarians we “need to ensure that our valuable time is achieving positive results for the entire school not just the library.” (Blog, September,2011 )

My learning journey as a Teacher Librarian has commenced in a subject that has been rich in food for thought and has greatly broadened my understanding. It has highlighted the importance of the changing role of the Teacher Librarian and the need for prioritising duties within the library, collaboration with others and the active promotion of the library to all. The challenge is to look forward to and welcome change, to grow within this course, our profession is a relatively new one with the first tertiary trained graduates qualifying in the 1960s (ASLA), the role of the Teacher Librarian needs to continually evolve to keep pace with ever expanding ways of presenting and accessing information then we in turn can keep pace with this.

Word count: 778


Considine, T. (2008) ‘Technology and learning: demystifying Web 2.0 technologies’. Scan 27(1), pp. 16-19.

Hay, L. & Todd, R. (2010) ‘School libraries 21C: the conversation begins’. Scan 29 (1) 30-42

Haycock, , C. (1991). Resource-based learning: a shift in the roles of teacher, learner. NASSP Bulletin. 75(535). Pp.15-22

Harris, F. (2011) ‘The school librarian as information specialist: A vibrant species’. Knowledge Quest: Turning the page in Minneapolis 39(5), pp. 28-33.

Herring, J. (2007) ‘Teacher librarians and the school library’ in Ferguson, S ed, Libraries in the 21st century: charting new directions in information services. Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Johnson, D. (2005) ‘Building indispensability: the virtual librarian and other new roles’. Access 15-17

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2008). School library media specialist 2.0: a dynamic collaborator, teacher, and technologist. [Article]. Teacher Librarian, 36(2), pp. 74-78

McKenzie, J. (2010) ‘Teacher librarians: leading, connecting and innovating’. Scan 29(1) 6-9

Moore, R. (2009) ‘Leading edge: a bright and busy future’. Access 3

Moore, R. and Gillespie, S. (2009). The early implications of the National Curriculum: the way ahead for teacher librarians. Access. 23(3) pp.16-18

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 29(3), pp. 30-33

Friday, 9 September 2011

40% Collaboration Time?

Arthur really introduced a hot potato when he stated that he expected his junior school TL to spend 40% of her time in the classroom. It seems a huge chunk of valuable time to be put on collaborating with other stake-holders within the school, but is it a waste?

Earlier this semester the forum was alive with students sharing stories of TLs in their schools who hid away in the library, working their way to retirement. Surely by actively participating in the learning environment of the school is one way to ensure that the TL does not become an individual within the school.

As we have identified in our readings so far this semester, there are many ways of classifying and naming the roles that we fulfil but we also need to ensure that our valuable time is achieving positive results for the entire school not just the library.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Reflection of Topic 3

Fantastic! The pressure of Assignment 1 is behind me, I have pressed the submit button and sent it off into the clouds somewhere.

My own teaching degree is still fresh in my mind so revisiting Topic 3 was like being back at uni again (oops I suppose I am!) The constructivist theory, Bloom's taxonomy, all old friends.

I still can not help but make comparisons with what is being offered to the students in the school I work at and what they should be receiving. Library lessons are more than sharing a book and a colouring in!

Library lessons are more than just offering teachers release time, they should be a valuable learning experience for all students.

August 8, 2011

Leaving behind all the theory and discussion of the forums and discussion boards, today I had a wonderful reminder of why I am undertaking this journey. We were setting up for a shared Prep and Grade 1 lesson so there were 120 children sitting on the mat. Blindly grabbing a book to give the other teachers time to organise last minute bits and pieces I launched into a reading.

It is so easy to communicate a love of reading and books. I revel in it. Today it was one of those magic moments when you just know that you have every child there engaged. The book helped, it was the right book for the right occasion, not too long and unusual enough to make a difference.

I understand that my ideal job is more than simply reading picture books to young children but it’s a wonderful springboard. Sharing reading and providing a little entertainment can demonstrate that reading can be a pleasurable activity.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

July 2011.

And so, the journey continues.  It seems that for the last twelve years I have been moving forward from one qualification to the next.  Initially I needed a career change after having my three children and after much thought I decided to follow my dream and work towards gaining my Diploma of Library and Information Studies.  I was lucky enough to gain two positions from my two professional placements in this course.  I enjoyed working as a Library Technician with both the University of Tasmania and a growing Catholic Primary School in Hobart's Northern Suburbs. I was encouraged to start working towards my Bachelor of Education whilst working and in 2010 I qualified with a teaching degree.  Most people would stop hee, right?

No! Here I am undertaking another learning journey.  It seems that every time I reach my destination I move the finishing point.........