ETL 503 Module 2 Developing collections to support teaching and learning

I think the role of classroom teachers is different to that of teacher librarians. The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (2011) dictates that teachers should have knowledge of a range or resources that they can use to engage their learners. The higher the proficiency of the teacher the greater the ability to use, collaborate and model resource use. The difference I believe lies in the knowledge and use of resources specific to their subject areas. English teachers will probably not know how to use a microscope camera or know their way around a TI-84 calculator like a science teacher and maths teacher would respectively. It is often the library media specialist (or laboratory technicians) that first goes through resource catalogues and makes suggestions to teachers about new resources and technologies. Teacher librarians have a greater overall school view and can suggest new ITC technologies that may span over multiple subject areas.

I do not believe it should solely be the librarian who has the say on what is included in the library’s collection. If teachers do not have an input into the resources selected, they may not be used by those teachers for reasons the librarian has not predicted. One effective strategy, used by the librarians I have had experience with, is organising to have suppliers or publishers display their wares. This way the librarian and teacher can look though them and try them out resources together.
To engage students in the library there should be the opportunity for students to suggest or maybe vote for new books they want to read. This may promote ownership of the library by students. Librarians should know their library. They should know the areas of strengths in the resources and the weaknesses, knowing current resources should help the librarian know whether a new resource is needed or whether it is similar to current resources.
Breitbach and Lambert (2011) study the implementation and refining of patron driven acquisition (PDA) in an academic library. The library ensured patrons were selecting appropriate texts by limiting the e-book profile. They considered only books that were relevant (only providing for majors offered at the university), from academic publishers, cost less than $250, were English language, and published since 2008. The library automatically purchased the books after four short term loans (STL) occurred. The cost of obtaining a single book may be more than if it was selected by the library outright. However, the overall the cost of the collection is lower than a ‘just in case’ purchasing model, as only books being used are purchased.
Pros and Cons of Bundled resources:
  • Flooded with unwanted resources when only one or two of the items are needed.
  • Relatively higher price if some resources are not going to be used.
  • Bundle prices can cheaper than single purchase of each book.
  • May get unexpected useful items that the library had not considered.

Online access pros and cons

  • Cannot read on different e-readers, need to purchase again
  • If site closes your content may be lost
  • (Not for libraries specifically) e-book cannot be resold at the end of the year to recoup cost.
  • Class sets of texts can no longer just be passed to the next year group, licence fees needs to be paid annually.
  • If internet is down or computers are broken access to content is not available
  • Ongoing and uncertain costs for licences
  • Limitations on number of copies, simultaneous access
  • Restrictions on geographic licences
  • Less physical storage space needed in a library
  • Less likely for textbooks to become out-dated
  • Library is able to offer a much larger resource bank to patrons, access to more variety
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership,, 2011
Breitbach, W. and Lambert, J. (2011) Patron-Driven Ebook Acquisition, Computers in Libraries, 31(6), 16-20.

Latham, B., & Poe, J. (2008). Evaluation and selection of new format materials: electronic resources. In J. R. Kennedy, L. Vardaman & G. B. McCabe (Eds.), Our new public, a changing clientele: bewildering issues or new challenges for managing libraries (pp. 257-265). Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited.

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