View on the role of the teacher librarian

The role of the teacher librarian (TL) will continue to change with the changing information landscape. With this change comes the changing role of the TL. In conversations about my new role as a TL, I have said many times that teaching is first and foremost and everything else comes second. I noticed in the readings that Herring (2007), Lamb (2011) and  Purcell  (2010) also recognise teaching as one of the most important aspects of the role of the TL. “The role of the teacher librarian is a multi-faceted one” (Herring, 2007, p. 30), in the context of what do librarians teach? Valenza (2011), outlines that they teach and model inquiry research, digital citizenship, evaluation of resources in terms of their relevance and credibility, literary and media appreciation. Similarly, Herring (2007) concurs that there are a number of roles expected of the TL, particularly, “curriculum leader, information specialist and information services manager” (ASLA 2003, p.61 as cited by Herring, 2007, p. 32). I became quite overwhelmed by the standards outlined by ASLA and AITSL after I read through identifying the role and expectations of the TL. But I guess prioritising is key to the ‘optimum running of  the role” (Bonannos, 2011).




Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2014). What is a teacher librarian? Retrieved from


Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.) Libraries in the twenty-first century : charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW : Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Lamb, A. (2011). Bursting with potential: mixing a media specialist’s palette.Techtrends: linking research& practice to improve learning, 55(4), 27-36. doi: 10.1007/s11528-011-0509-3

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-), 30-33.

Valenza, J. (2010). A revised manifesto.  Retrieved from

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