I have always wanted to work in the school library. I used to work in the Co-op Bookshop during my undergraduate degree. After I graduated I continued to work there full-time. While I completed my Diploma of Education I only worked there on weekends. People used to talk to me about books and I knew every title and author off-by-heart. I am also a big gadget person. I embrace technology and in my teaching I always tried to keep up-to-date and encourage other teachers to do so. To combine these two and work in the school library seemed logical to me.
When I began this course, my interpretation of the role of the teacher librarian (TL) was mainly administrative. Keeping collections up-to-date, helping students seek information and an Information Technology role in the school. In ten years of teaching I have never worked collaboratively with a TL. I did not know this was available to us. This is the occupational invisibility that Hartzell and Oberg speak of. (Hartzell, 2002) (Oberg, 2006) ‘Principals understand teachers and teaching, having worked in classrooms themselves, but they are largely unfamiliar with and misunderstand what it takes to run a library.’ (Hartzell, 2002 p.94) In my blog post and comments on forum I included two recommendations:
- Attend various faculty meetings and promote the role of the library working collaboratively with teachers; and
- Get a Student Helper program under way. (Young, 2013, March 22)
Point number one will promote the role of the TL to other teachers and point number two will promote the role with the student body. This is why when asked what sort of role do you see yourself fulfilling as a TL, I concurred with Annette Lamb because of her emphasis on the ‘people’ role of the TL. (Lamb, 2011) (Young, 2013, March 22) I had never seen a document which described the role of the TL such as the Australian Library and Information Association’s Standards for professional excellence for teacher librarians. (ALIA, 2004) The schools I have worked in have not, to my knowledge, had any kind of documentation regarding the role of the TL.
The next focus of this course was on blog task one and assignment number one. Since I have not written an academic essay in over ten years I needed time for both of these tasks. For Blog task one I got it all wrong. It was good to get the feedback and to see where my errors were so that I could improve for assignment one. When asked ‘what was the link between constructivist learning and the Australian Curriculum’, I did not see the link. Having the link pointed out to me I understand. (Young, 2013 March 19) My writing improved for the assignment and I was happy with my grade. The assignment, ‘The teaching role of the TL’, demonstrated my new understanding of this topic.
The course then turned to the role of the TL in regards to Information Literacy (IL). IL is a concept I had never really used in my teaching. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) high school teacher of languages I have only minimal inclusion of research assignments. Cultural assignments are not assessed. ‘The main focus of the course is on language acquisition and development of language skills’ (International Baccalaureate, 2013 p.1)
This area was new to me. I hope that I can include this in my teaching upon my return to work and use these new skills I have obtained from this course by working collaboratively with the teacher librarian. I do not believe that the school where I work has an IL policy. I would have been very interested in seeing feedback to my blog task two. I answered the question: ‘What is the role of the teacher librarian with regard to assessing information literacy and inquiry learning?’ (Young, 2013 April 29)
The Blog task three (Young, 2013 May 13) as well as the assignment two have helped me to understand IL and information literacy models. I have seen posters in libraries before but never really known of a particular information literacy model. Guided Inquiry confused me. Was it a new version of Kuhlthau’s Internet Search Process (ISP) or was it a new model altogether? Reading the forums I had this clarified to me. (White, 2013) I am confident I have understood IL models and am keen to talk to my TL or principal about the introduction of one of these into our school.
Recently, the local high school asked me to come in as a relief teacher for one week teaching SOSE. Each class had an inquiry unit of work. They had to formulate a question based on the work they had done in class and research this question. I was able to work with the TL at this school and saw all the study we had done on IL come to life. I really enjoyed it!
Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), (2004), Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians, retrieved from http://www.alia.org.au/standards-professional-excellence-teacher-librarians.
Hartzell,G. (2002) The Principal’s Perceptions of School Libraries and Teacher-Librarians. School Libraries Worldwide, Volume 8, Number 1, p.92-110
International Baccalaureate (IB) (2013) Language B subject Outline. Retrieved from www.ibo.org/diploma/assessment/…/d_2_ablan_gui-out_1102_1_e.pdf
Lamb, A. (2011). Bursting with potential: Mixing a media specialist’s palette. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 55(4), pp. 27-36.
Oberg, D. (2006). Developing the respect and support of school administrators. Teacher Librarian; 33, 3; ProQuest Central pg. 13
White, P. (2013, May 2) Group 8. Online Forum Comment. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL401_201330_W_D/page/a8049058-9750-444e-8054-0966873990f5
Young, S. (2013, March 19) Comment on the role of the Teacher Librarian (TL) in practice with regard to constructivist learning and the Australian curriculum. Web Blog Post. Retrieved from https://shelleeyoung.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/comment-on-the-role-of-the-teacher-librarian-tl-in-practice-with-regard-to-constructivist-learning-and-the-australian-curriculum/
Young, S. (2013, March 22) 2.1 Weekly post. Web Blog Post. Retrieved from https://shelleeyoung.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/2-1-weekly-post/
Young, S. (2013, April 29) What is the role of the teacher librarian with regard to assessing information literacy and inquiry learning? Web Blog Post. Retrieved from https://shelleeyoung.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/what-is-the-role-of-the-teacher-librarian-with-regard-to-assessing-information-literacy-and-inquiry-learning/
Young, S. (2013, May 13) Information Literacy (IL) is more than just a set of skills. Web Post Blog. Retrieved from https://shelleeyoung.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/information-literacy-il-is-more-than-just-a-set-of-skills/