(a) Selection criteria and selection aids

TLs need a systematic way of deciding what to include in a collection. The most commonly used approach is known as ‘selection criteria’. There are three main types, broad, general and specific selection criteria. (Fitzgerald, 2014a)

While both the Hughes-Hassel Mancall and the Port Lincoln Primary School general selection criteria (Fitzgerald, 2014a) seem good there are some features lacking. In Port Lincoln the emphasis is printed format, which eliminates much material. The Hughes-Hassell and Mancall model entirely leaves out cost. Unfortunately, budget management is an important issue for TLs to consider. (Kennedy, 2006)

The selection criteria from the Western Australia Department of Education website are a good set of criteria to follow. (Government of Western Australia, 2014) It is not only a general selection, but a specific selection criteria model.

To find out about available resources TLs use selection aids. They can fall under a number of categories including promotions from suppliers, recommendations from colleagues and users, bibliographic services and reviews. (Fitzgerald, 2014b)

In considering potential resources, the assignment used by the History teachers has been included in the appendix. This creative response has been used by the teachers for the last two years with good results and student interest. It demonstrates ability to show historical knowledge in a creative context.



(b) Annotated resource list

As stated earlier in this paper, in creating resources for the Vikings unit as a part of the Australian Curriculum focus will be given to purchasing information books including textbooks and information websites which can be used in the school environment.

1. Addison, P. Et Al. (2011). Pearson History 8. Port Melbourne, Vic: Pearson Australia. ISBN 9781442523388 $55.95

As stated in Part A of this paper, Namadgi School has decided to purchase printed text books for as many of its courses where the textbook can be used for the entire subject. This is a major budget outlay and it is expected that these textbooks will be used for the whole History course, not just the Vikings unit, for several years to come. To find this resource a search of ‘Australian Curriculum History 8’ was conducted. Several items appeared. To further narrow this down, a conversation was begun on the ACT online TL forum. A neighbouring TL informed that their school was using and was happy with the Pearson edition. Trove (NLA, 2014) had a listing for this text. After visiting another school to see these texts, it was decided to buy two class sets. These texts met with many of the selection criteria for school libraries Western Australia including, supporting the curriculum framework, is sturdy construction and attractive presentation. It has appropriate language and level of work for the students and is value for money as it will be used for the entire history unit for a number of years to come.

2. De Petro, Kaye Et Al (2012) Pearson History 8 Teacher Companion. Port Melbourne, Vic: Pearson Australia. ISBN: 9781442523401 $180.00

While not for student use, it would be a good idea to purchase this text as a teacher resource. The reason for this is that having outlaid a significant sum on the textbook, one copy of this would be purchased for the teachers’ staffroom. The reasoning behind this is that many of the teachers are new to teaching the Vikings and this text contains teaching ideas and sample lesson plans. The Australian Curriculum for History is also a new document and this sets out for teachers what elements need to be covered. This would ensure correct teaching and ideas so that the students can be better prepared from their lessons before they begin their inquiry task. This book and the information contained in it was advertised on the Pearson website. (Pearson Australia Group, 2014)

3. BBC. (2014) Vikings Web quest. Retrieved from:

Given that the assignment associated with this unit is mainly an inquiry task regarding the journeys the Vikings made, this web quest is a great introduction for the students. This web quest was mentioned on the Scootle website (Scootle, 2014). It is created by BBC which has a good reputation for Educational soundness and authority. It is available to play in schools, however, it cannot be played on an iPad as it requires Flash to run it.

It is appropriate as it supports the understanding of the user. It is easy to load and use and keeps the students engaged, therefore fitting with the selection criteria for electronic resources.

4. British Museum (2014a) Vikings from the British Museum. United Kingdom, Motion Picture distributed by Sharmill Films

Screening at Dendy Cinemas Canberra (Dendy Cinemas, 2014)

There is a movie about to be released into cinemas in Australia called Vikings from the British Museum. Completing a Scootle search (Scootle, 2014) for Viking entries there was a link to the British Museum which is hosting an exhibition about the Vikings. This then linked to a movie and the trailer for this movie. The trailer appeared well-produced, a highly professional production. It showed artefacts from that period. This is good for the associated assignment where students have to consider what the Vikings would have taken on their voyages. It has a PDF (British Museum, 2014b) along with it for teaching ideas. Within were some very good ideas teachers might like to try.  

It meets the audio visual specific criteria for clarity, story reading and dramatized version. It has accompanying notes that are appropriate, useful and relevant. Purchasing the DVD post this documentary being in the cinema would be an important consideration.

5. Deary, T. (2007) Horrible Histories: Vicious Vikings. London: Scholastic

(Printed text, Kindle edition and Audio book) Book – ISBN: 9781407135793 $9.95 Kindle $6.17, Audiobook – $16.99

This title was found using an SCIS (SCIS, 2014) search for Vikings. It does contain fun facts and gruesome details about Viking life and journeys presented in a humorous way. It has several formats: a printed book; a kindle edition to be placed on the school iPads; and can also be downloaded as an audiobook from iTunes Store. Having previously used audio books alongside a printed text before for students with learning / reading difficulties, this was found to be an extremely positive learning situation. Librarything (Librarything, 2014) reviews encourage TLs to consider this text for students. Some Horrible Histories stories also have clips on YouTube.

The Horrible History series are well known amongst children. They are very visual, contain cartoons and are not text heavy. They are humorous and appeal to the young boys market. The texts are small in size. They are also very affordable.

This series satisfies general selection criteria as it purpose is appropriate for students and enriches the curriculum, it has good readability characteristics including a range of formats, the information is accurate and educational soundness is learner focussed. Mostly students like reading them. Just to be careful that it does stereotype the Vikings as uneducated and ruthless – a theory that is in dispute amongst academics at the moment.

6. Allan, T. (2010). Vikings: The battle at the end of time. London: Duncan Baird Publishers.

ISBN 978-1903296622. $15.50 + $19.00 postage from Abe Books

This sturdy information book contains manageable chunks of information with beautiful visuals. It has pictures of mostly primary sources that the Vikings would have used on their voyages and where they went to. It seems that this book could capture the attention of a student just by flicking through it. If they wanted clarification on any of the pictures they could read the text.

This book was found when doing a search on SCIS (SCIS Catalogue, 2014). There were not any reviews on any of the regular websites, but a search of the ACT public library had a copy. This was ordered and inspected and deemed to be a quality book.

It meets browsing and scope and reference criteria and it has good readability. The information is accurate and up to date. The information is well-laid out and the illustrations include maps and diagrams supported by text. The thematic structure of the book means that students can access relevant sections for assignment and it can supplement the Pearsons text for the teacher.



7. Oliver, N. (2012) Vikings. eBookretrieved from

JB hifi $12.99

Neil Oliver is very reputable historian and presenter in numerous BBC documentaries. His book presents the facts about how Viking societies developed and evolved during the Viking era. This eBook is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date available. It is very international in its perspective, looking at both Western and Eastern expansions of Viking civilisations.

This book was retrieved using SCIS (SCIS Catalogue, 2014) as a search. As many history teachers are aware of Neil Oliver and his work that was a good place to start searching. There is a five star rating for this book on Librarything and good reviews on Goodreads (Goodreads, 2014). This review rates the comprehensive nature of the journey the Vikings took to Russia so would be well worth reading for students wishing to look at the journey to Russia as a part of their assignment.

It meets the general selection criteria for educational soundness, authority, appropriateness and format as it comes in a standard book format as well as an eBook. The book is a companion to the television series and this could be purchased as well.

8. French, J. (2005). They came on Viking Ships. Australia: Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9780207200113 $15.95 Dymocks

To vary this collection, a copy of the above book would be an addition for those who prefer to read historical fiction. This young adult fiction is about a Scottish girl and her dog, whose lives are altered by the arrival of the Vikings and are put abroad Viking ships to go to the new lands. The book includes footnoting for the Viking terms used throughout. It has its basis in history, but has the added appeal of being a fictional story.

This book could be tied in with an English literature unit to create cross-curriculum ties. A class set could be purchased and studied in English alongside Humanities, as was done with ‘The boy in the striped pyjamas’ (Boyne, 2007) It was found on the website ‘Inside a Dog’ (State Library of Victoria, 2014) and further researched on Goodreads website. (Good Reads Inc, 2014) It states that it is aimed at the Year 7 to Year 8 cohort.

It satisfies the general selection criteria for educational soundness, physical format, cost, and availability. For the specific fiction print resources criteria this book satisfies purpose, readability, language and curriculum relevance. It appears to have a Kindle edition also if this is a consideration in broadening the school’s collection.

9. Williams, G. (2011). Eric Bloodaxe. Retrieved from

A major part of the assignment that goes along with this unit is looking at the journeys of Vikings and a good way to do this is to look at a case study of one Viking: Eric Bloodaxe. This website studies this Viking, from his youth to how he became a king. His gruesome past will appeal to most of the students in the class. Students could complete a timeline of his life and a map of how his life spanned from Norway to England. The BBC website is an excellent source of Information for students and given the nature of the BBC, the information contained is accurate and based on the latest historical theories.  The selection aid to find this resource was Scootle (Scootle, 2014). Upon viewing this website, the information seemed very accurate and included illustrations. If desired, the teacher could print out this website in a booklet fashion for student to read. The general selection criteria it satisfies includes educational soundness, arrangement of material, appropriateness, availability and authority. 

10. Brown, N. (2007) The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman. Florida: Harcourt Inc. ISBN: 9780151014408 $US27.67 + $19.00 postage Abe Books

When dealing in middle-age history it is very rare to source a book dealing with women as the heroes. One of the features of Viking history is that women were right amongst the men leading the way to the new lands and this book deals with this accurately. Brown has done her research and her fieldwork, and the result is a brilliantly written account of the life of Guidrid Far-Traveler (yes, spelt with one L), set against current Viking scholarship. The patriarchal nature of Viking society means that men dominated most events and this book redresses this problem. Remembering that half the class are girls.

While this might be a bit of a challenging read for some Namadgi students it is broken down into thematic chapters if a student were wishing to research a particular element of Viking women’s life. The greatest criticism of this book is that it is mostly text and very few pictures. It does include maps of the voyages. The selection aid used was Goodreads (Goodreads Inc, 2014) and it would satisfy the general selection criteria for its educational soundness, authority, physical format, arrangement of materials and availability.

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