Little Green Librarian

Blogging my way through a Masters in Teacher Librarianship at CSU!

Learning Journey: Resourcing the Curriculum Final Reflection

June1

An image of railway tracks, suggesting a journey.

Reflecting on my learning journey this semester, I realise how far I have travelled in such a short time. In particular, planning a model collection has expanded my thinking and helped me to synthesise my learning.

One thing that struck me is the monetary value of the library. When the optimum number of physical resources for a school library is 5861 (ASLA/ALIA, 2001, p.31) and you multiply that by $25, a modest price for a hardback picture book, you are looking at $146 525! Looking at figures like this makes me quite nervous about the enormous responsibility placed on us as teacher librarians, to manage libraries that are the equivalent value of a block of land!

This is a particularly heavy weight when it comes to weeding. When I wrote about this topic in the forum (Roach, 2014, May 2), I talked about an ambitious weeding program I am undertaking currently in my school. Prior to exploring this topic, my weeding was systematic but cautious. My forum post reflects growing confidence in my weeding ability, but since completing planning for a model collection and feeling the weight of all that money that was once expended on these items that I have been confidently pulling off the shelves, I’m quite torn as to how to proceed. On the one hand, I know that these resources are impeding library users from finding what they need, but on the other, I can’t quite shake the knowledge that they were purchased with limited funds (Beiharz, 2007, p.10). This is definitely an area I need to keep in check, and it is also something I will be including when I draft a collection management policy (Larson, 2012, p.25).

Another area in which my understanding has developed is in selection criteria. At the beginning of this subject, my selection practices were primarily based on book snobbery – I essentially used my own opinion as a guide as to what to include and what not to include. In preparing my first assignment, I put together a set of selection criteria, which I published on my blog (Roach, 2014, April 30). This process helped me to clarify my thinking and to become a lot clearer about what should be purchased for the library. When I considered selection in planning a model collection, I came to a new realisation – the selection process should be collaboratively developed as part of the collection management plan (Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005, p.20). This ensures that the principal and staff understand and support the process.

Finally, the focus on the needs of the school community when planning a model collection has had a huge impact on me. When I discussed how to engage students in the forum (Roach, 2014, March 6), it never occurred to me to look at the demographics of the area for inspiration! Looking at statistical information for a suburb has revealed some intriguing inconsistencies that I feel passionate about researching further. I can now see how this information would transform my practice, if I were a teacher librarian in that area.

Participation in this subject has been transformative for me, and I know what I have learnt will travel with me throughout my career.

 

References

ASLA/ALIA. (2001). Learning for the future : developing information services in schools [2nd ed.]. Carlton South, Victoria : Curriculum Corporation.

Beilharz, R. (2007). Secret library business – part 2. Connections 63, 10-12.

Hughes-Hassell, S. & Mancall, J.C. (2005). Collection management for youth : responding to the needs of learners [eBook]. Chicago : American Library Association.

Larson, J. (2012). CREW : a weeding manual for modern libraries. Austin : Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Roach, K. (2014, March 6). Module 2 discussion [online forum comment]. Retrieved from : http://forums.csu.edu.au/perl/forums.pl?forum_id=ETL503_201430_W_D_Sub3_forum

Roach, K. (2014, April 30). Selection criteria [blog post]. Retrieved from : http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/littlegreenlibrarian/2014/04/30/selection-criteria/

Roach, K. (2014, May 2). Evaluation plan [online forum comment]. Retrieved from : http://forums.csu.edu.au/perl/forums.pl?forum_id=ETL503_201430_W_D_Sub9_forum

 

Image source: Railway Tracks by jingoba. Public Domain. http://pixabay.com/en/rails-railway-railroad-tracks-253134/

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