June 2015 archive

ETL503 Proposal for a model collection

Part C – Reflection

Proposing a model collection has been an extremely useful process in relation to my current role as a teacher librarian in an international school in Dubai. The school has rapidly expanded in the last five years and a new primary school library is being planned for within the next two years as part of the school’s expansion programme. In terms of future developments, this means it is essential to plan with the current physical space and demographics in minds as well as anticipating future demands for the collection.

Through my studies in this subject, I have developed my understanding about the issues associated with digital resources. Previously, the library has not utilised the e-reader platform Follett Shelf as it was not fully integrated into the library software. I have worked closely with the ICT team over the last few months and we are now in the position where students and teachers can log in remotely and access e-resources and their check-out records. The lack of physical space in our current library coupled with increasing demand for materials accessible remotely, necessitated prioritising digital resources as an area for development.

The importance of collaboration was highlighted through this process. Previously the ICT team’s involvement with the library was limited to performing software upgrades. However, by working together and sharing the vision for what we wanted to achieve, we were able to develop the necessary ICT infrastructure to enable the purchase of and access to digital resources. In a forum posting in this module I reflected on Shatzkin’s analysis of reading behaviours (Shatzkin, 2013) and stated “It might be that libraries find the right balance of providing different formats in their collection, rather than a switch from one format to another. As highlighted in the article, users/readers interact differently with different text types” (Riddle, 2015). When visualising the future collection, I thought deeply about these developing trends and how they would impact on the library’s future development.

One of the favourite parts of my job is developing the library collection. However, my focus has previously been on acquisition rather than evaluation. Weeding was mainly limited to books that were damaged and I had never paid serious consideration to the overall strengths and weaknesses of the resources available. I stated in a forum posting “ We had a lot of poor quality Arabic books with terrible illustrations and they were generally unappealing. I ended up weeding a lot of these books and buying lots of high quality books from an excellent publisher. As a result, though we had a smaller collection, the circulation of Arabic books increased dramatically” (Riddle, 2015). I was certainly aware of the benefits of this process but I had not developed any systematic, continual or formal policies around weeding.  My readings through this module provided me with a sound understanding on the importance of weeding and the CREW method has scaffolded my learning by breaking down the process into manageable chunks. Bishop (2007) helped to further develop my understanding on why procedures should be formalized and the importance of collecting data, statistics and facts to support collection development decisions (p. 142).

Further reading on analysis and presentation of data (Hart, 2003) made me think more clearly about what I would do with the data I had gathered and how it could be presented and shared. I ran a Titlewise analysis in my library and was able to see areas that needed to be developed in relation to supporting topics and inquiry-based projects. This information helped me to prioritise and justify purchasing decisions when allocating the budget to specific types of resources.

The library’s mission is to be a dynamic and inclusive centre of learning at the heart of the school community. Careful selection and continual evaluation of resources will enrich the school’s curriculum and help create successful 21st century learners. In order to do this, the teacher librarian must have a strong knowledge and understanding of the school community they are serving so that the digital and physical collection is balanced and relevant (Lodge & Pymm, 2007, p. 299) and meets the teaching, learning and assessment needs of the students.

References

Bishop, K. (2007). Community analysis and needs assessment. In The collection program in schools : concepts, practices and information sources (4th ed.) (pp. 19-24). Westport,Conn. : Libraries Unlimited.

Bishop, K. (2007). Evaluation of the collection. In The collection program in schools :

concepts, practices and information sources (4thed.) (pp. 141-159). Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited.

Hart, A. (2003). Collection analysis : powerful ways to collect, analyse, and present your data. In C. Andronik (Ed.), School library management (5th ed.) (pp. 88-91). Worthington, Ohio : Linworth.

Lodge, D. & Pymm, B. (2007). Library managers today : the challenges. In S. Ferguson(Ed.), Libraries in the twenty-first century : charting new directions in information services (pp. 289-310). Wagga Wagga, NSW : Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Riddle, K. (2015, March 3). Digital landscape and school library collections [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/execute/content/blankPage?cmd=view&content_id=_144600_1&course_id=_6072_1

Riddle, K. (2015, March 3). What are selection criteria? [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/execute/content/blankPage?cmd=view&content_id=_144600_1&course_id=_6072_1

Shatzkin, M. (Jan 2, 2013). The Shatzkin Files – What to look for in 2013. In The idea logical company. Retrieved from http://www.idealog.com/blog/what-to-watch-for-in-2013