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

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