0

ETL 503 Reflective Blog Post Assignment 2b

The process of evaluating and developing a model collection has been hugely beneficial as I have not worked in a school library before. I was unaware of many aspects about collection development and management; in fact I didn’t even realise these terms differed but Kennedy (2006) helped me understand the processes involved in developing and managing an effective school library collection. If I had to take over running a school library tomorrow I could use the models suggested by Hart (2003), Hughes-Hassell & Mancall (2005), and Kennedy (2006), to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the collection and to make informed decisions about the direction the library should go.

One seemingly obviously lesson I have learned was that every school’s collection must be shaped by a clear understanding of the school community it serves and the needs of this community (Waldron-Lamotte, M 2014a). One cannot simply copy another library’s collection and hope for success; it needs to be developed with the context of the school and the teaching and learning needs taken into consideration (Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005).

Another important lesson I have learned is how quickly a collection can become irrelevant to its users. By reading Hart (2003) and conducting a collection evaluation of a sample collection, I realised that if this process is not conducted regularly and systematically, the collection cannot possibly meet the needs of its users. This brings me to the process of weeding. I now understand a large collection does not necessarily mean an effective collection, and as Baumbach & Miller (2006, p6) wrote, “Out of date information is never better than no information”. Regular weeding of the collection, closely related to the collection’s purposes and goals, is vital to ensure its relevance and efficient use (ALIA & ASLA, 2009; Waldron-Lamotte, M, 2015).

I have also reflected on the growing implications a digital collection has for a school library. However challenging licensing and copyright issues may be, it is of vital importance that online and digital resources are included in a collection policy (Johnson, 2012; Waldron-Lamotte, M, 2014b). Other challenges digital resources present include tailoring the digital collection to meet specific needs of the school community, and providing access to information 24/7 by developing links between home and school (e-resources, 2010). A highlight of completing this assignment was discovering all the digital and online resources already available for access to all NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC).

The issue of copyright compliance was something I had never given much thought as a class teacher. The Information Sheets for schools on the Smartcopying website have been useful in helping me understand this complicated area. I know that both the collection itself and the way it is used must comply with copyright laws and this must be mentioned in a collection policy to provide a level of protection (National Copyright Unit, nd). Prior to the evaluation and development of a collection model, I did not fully understand the role and responsibilities of a teacher librarian, especially around evaluating a collection, copyright, weeding and managing digital resources. Overall I have found this collection model assignment a hugely beneficial, practical exercise that will assist me in my future role as a teacher librarian.

References:

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) & Australian School Libraries Association (ASLA). (2009).

Statement on school library resource provision. Retrieved from: http://www.asla.org.au/policy/school-library-resource-provision.aspx

Baumbach, D. & Miller, L. (2006). Less is more: A practical guide to weeding school library collections. Chicago: American Library Association.

E-resources : a taster of possibilities. (2010). Scan, 29(4), 30-43. Retrieved from: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL503_201330_W_D/page/cc27bbe6-e6e0-4c57-0010-f556b9fde7d2

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

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

Johnson, S. (2012). Key issues for e-resource collection development: A guide for libraries. IFLA Acquisition and Collection Development Committee. Retrieved from: http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/acquisition-collection-development/publications.pdf

Kennedy, J. (2006) Collection management: A concise introduction. Wagga Wagga, New South Wales: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

National Copyright Unit (nd). Copyright – A general overview. Retrieved from: http://www.smartcopying.edu.au/scw/go/pid/649

NSW Department of Education and Training. (1996). Handbook for school libraries. Retrieved from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2014a). ETL 503 Module 2 Developing collections to support teaching and learning [Online blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/melissawaldronlamotte/2014/12/20/etl-503-module-2-developing-collections-to-support-teaching-and-learning/

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2014b). ETL 503 Module 1 The school library collection in the context of teaching and learning and the digital environment [Online blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/melissawaldronlamotte/2014/11/28/etl-503-module-1-the-school-library-collection-in-the-context-of-teaching-and-learning-and-the-digital-environment/

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2015). ETL 503 Module 5 Evaluating Collections [Online blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/melissawaldronlamotte/2015/01/31/etl-503-module-5-evaluating-collections/

0

ETL 503 Module 5 Evaluating Collections

In planning and conducting a collection evaluation exercise, Kennedy (2006, pp. 93-102) outlined 6 key steps to take in order to effectively assess/evaluate a library’s collection. The 6 steps are:

  1. what is the purpose and objectives
  2. Review previous research
  3. select data to be collected and methodology (collection-centred vs client-centred methods)
  4. select population sample (involve use of statistical techniques to ascertain sample-no of items in the collection or no of users)
  5. Collect and analyse data
  6. Facilitate replication-procedures to be documented so that it can facilitate future replication.

Methodologies:
1) COLLECTION-CENTRED METHOD

    1. List-checking
    2. Analysing citations
    3. Applying collection standards
    4. Seeking expert opinion

2) CLIENT-CENTERED METHOD

    1. Studying circulation
    2. Studying ‘in-house’ use
    3. Studying availability and accessibility
    4. Surveying users regarding their experience of the collection
3) COLLECTION MAPPING
is a popular evaluation method which provides a visual representation of the strengths and weaknesses of the library collection. Mapping could either be done for the entire collection or a specific section tied to the curriculum. For a particular section of the collection, the maps are known as emphasis maps or mini-maps (Bishop, 2007).

Evaluating Digital Collection
Relatively little has been written on this topic of how digital collection is serving the needs of users.

Activity Question
Given the time, priorities and staffing constraints in most school libraries, instead of choosing the most appropriate which is usually more extensive and laborious collection evaluation method, i am more inclined to select a simply, hybrid method with limited but useful outcomes. For my middle school library, the main focus of collection evaluation would to to ascertain how well the collection meets the needs of my students and if it meets the teaching-learning context (Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005, p.40). To achieve the objective, i would consider using a combination of subjective(qualitative) Client-Centred method and Collection Mapping (of new but key programmes).

Client-centred Method strategies:
1) User-Opinion Surveys- through both questionnaires and interviews. List of suggested questions by Hughes-Hassell and Mancall  (2005, p.40) are most apt. Examples:

  •  How well do the items support the learning styles of my gifted learners (visual, auditory, bodily-kinesthetic?)
  • How well do the items support the reading levels of my students?
  • How well do the items reflect the ethnic diversity of my community?

2) Circulation Studies as well as ‘In-House’ Use Studies (Bishop, 2007) could be undertaken with reports churned out from the library automation software.

3) If time permits, a collection mapping of a specific area based on new curriculum and enrichment programmes could be undertaken to ensure adequate resources to support the learners and curriculum

“WEEDING”

There are many recommended useful websites for the task of weeding but the site i find to be of greatest assistance and relevance is ‘The School Library Media Specialist’ website by Lamb, Annette and Johnson, Larry 2005. http://eduscapes.com/sms/access/weeding.html

Reasons being:

  1. Comprehensive with many topical and useful links for further exploration eg links to CREW Method as well as pertinent powerpoint slides.
  2. User-friendly, interesting use of visuals and inclusion of book jacket of examples of books that shd be deselected.
  3. Simple language makes interesting and light reading.

Another useful website for the topic of weeding(deselection) is ‘Secret library busines-part 2 by Renate Beilharz that appeared in Connections SCIS, Issue 63, Term 4 (2007).  http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/issue_63/secret_library_business__part_2.html.  The article is a good summary of key points raised by the books listed below:

Baumbach, Donna J and Linda L Miller 2006, Less is More: A practical guide to weeding school library collections, American Library Association, Chicago.

Johnson, Doug 2003, Weed! [Accessed 15 August 2007]
http://www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/weed.html

Kennedy, John 2006, Collection Management: A concise introduction, Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Lamb, Annette and Johnson, Larry 2005, Collection Maintenance and Weeding [Accessed 15 August 2007]
http://eduscapes.com/sms/access/weeding.html

Personally, I do not think the use of the term ‘weeding’ denigrates the task. In fact, it clearly explains simply and in ordinary layman term the task of removing unwanted items in the library (‘garden’). The distinction being the case of the library being controllable while that of the garden concept is one which is beyond the control of the gardener/owner. There will be lesser need to weed or deselect, if the library resources had been more accurately developed based on the information and curricular needs of the school. Hence, the term ‘deselect’ is one which i feel i a more professional and appropriate use as it is the direct reverse of ‘selection’ process. If there is no selection then there wld not be any ‘deselection’!

Deselection is just as important a process as selection as a good and well resourced library must be one that contains accurate, relevant and current resources that meets the curriculum and recreational needs of the students and the teaching faculty of the school.

For a school library collection, the order of deselection criteria is listed below. As an advocate of Hughes-Hassell and Mancall (2005, p.33) selection criteria, i wld put ‘NO LONGER MEETING NEEDS OF CURRICULUM’ as top criteria over and above appearance or space constraints.

Order of deselection criteria:

  1. No longer meeting the information and curriculum needs of the school
  2. Age
  3. Physical Condition-Aesthetics
  4. Freeing up space
  5. Currency of content
  6. Duplication
  7. Bias
  8. Obsolete Formats
0

ETL 503 Assignment 2a Proposal for a Model Collection

Part A – Summary of the School Context 

Dream Primary School consists of 410 students with 17 stage based classes. Dream Primary School has one stage two and one stage three Enrichment classes (gifted and talented classes) and fifteen students with identified learning disabilities across K-6. The school also has a growing number of ESL students (currently at 4). Through excellence, flexibility and a vigorous learning program the staff provide a vast array of opportunities for the students. With the support of a strong parent body and vibrant local community we envisage a future of continued growth and success. We welcome change and embrace technology hoping to pass this on to all students – in turn equipping them with the necessary skills to continue their learning journey through life. The library is located in the centre of the school and is easily accessible to all members of the school community.

The school library is an essential entity as it serves to enhance student achievement. Dream Public School delivers the Accelerated Literacy Program as its core English program. This program involves studying one text per term. Part of a teacher’s preparation of the text for a teaching sequence involves the teacher reading it carefully and analytically. That is, the teacher will select texts or passages from texts to teach students about how to read and write like successful students. The teacher will decide on writing techniques to teach and at the same time, consider what students will need to know to learn to use these techniques e.g. What ‘ground rules’ of the subject English will students need to control to read the text with comprehension and to write like this author? Prior to studying the text in its entirety, students will develop background knowledge about the themes within the text. Therefore it is essential that the library is stocked with quality resources so that the teacher’s can expose students to a wide range of information, enhance their learning, build upon their understanding and ultimately meet the needs of their students.

The school library has a class set of desktops. There are three class sets of notebooks located at the front office for access convenience. There is also ten iPads for students to use. Each classroom also has two desktops in it as well as a teacher’s computer. All classrooms have an interactive whiteboard (IWB) run by a separate central processing unit (CPU). Teachers use Quizlet (Quizlet, 2014) for language learning and the class teachers use Mathletics (3P Learning, 2014).

It is one of the school’s priorities is to introduce more digital resources and with that there are a number of issues to consider.  E-Books can incur different types of costs, depending on the usage or the subscription. The amount of potential users must be known as this may affect the cost.  Any license issues need to be sorted before purchase and the concern of where they will be stored and how they can be accessed needs to be sorted. This is not to say the school should not consider eBooks, they just have to be able to gauge support for them before use.

Part B – Proposal for the establishment and management of a model library collection

 Purposes:

Resourcing the school library is a complex task. There are multiple considerations to adequately support the learning needs of a school community. This is to provide equitable access for all users and promote lifelong, independent learning habits (ILFA/UNESCO, 2006). It is therefore important to have policies and procedures in place to justify a school’s rationale for selection, acquisition and de-selection of resources if challenges occur (Hughes-Hassall & Mancall, 2005).

In selecting and acquiring resources for the library collection, it is important to understand the demographics of the community being catered for. This background knowledge will help highlight the needs of the students and the teachers.

Working collaboratively with teachers is the preferred way for developing a resource collection that is useful and enhances students learning. The Teacher Librarian is not an expert in all areas of the curriculum and by working collegially can utilise the expertise of other colleagues in the various KLAs.

Identifying under resourced areas of the curriculum is of great significance. Smaller subject areas may be overlooked because there may not be a great demand. However, is it possible that there is limited demand because there is the awareness that resources do not exist and therefore there is no reason to demand?

The selection of resources is quite time consuming. Reviewing resources can also be difficult. Therefore, in working collegially the responsibility of the general selection and review process can be of great benefit. Nevertheless, the ultimate decision of acquisition lies with the Teacher Librarian as the “ultimate arbiter” (Kennedy, 2006, p. 42).

Understanding the teaching priorities and learning agenda of the school acknowledges and ensures that the collection management policy can directly relate to these. Also understanding that the Australian Curriculum is being introduced to the school and its priorities must be reflected in the school’s library collection. The collection priorities teaching and learning agenda of the school are met by:

  • Appraising the current resources of the school library and ensure that they support the requirements of the new Australian Curriculum (AC) including the cross-curriculum priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Asia, multicultural literature from beyond Asia and sustainability (Braxton, 2013);
  • Ensuring that appropriate reading resources are available for students to promote questioning and understanding of texts as promoted in Debbie Miller’s ‘Teaching with Intention’ (Miller, 2008) prescribes. This also covers meeting the recreational reading needs of members of the school community; and
  • Selecting, acquiring and providing access to digital resources that the students may need as a part of the push to encourage the teaching body to embrace new technologies. This includes creating pathfinders with appropriate websites for students’ assignments, encouraging the use of the recently issued iPads and even considering the introduction of eBooks into the school community.

To engage students in the Dream Public School 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.

Nature of the collection:

There are multiple types of resources that the Dream Public School library should provide for the school and community.

(a) Non-fiction – this collection includes reference and information books as well as others. The best way to note what physical non-fiction is needed is by curriculum mapping, seeing what parts of the curriculum are well resourced and what parts are not. These can be both physical and digital resources. Recommendations from sources such as SCIS (Education Services Australia, 2013) can be used if the school pays for a subscription. One area the school needs to look into is foreign language fiction. As there are a number of students with another language background the school is not catering to these students.

(b) Fiction – this collection involves picture books, readers, comics, eBooks and novels. Discussions need to take place with teachers as to the fiction they would like available for their class. Selection can also be based upon users’ needs, recommendations from sources such as SCIS (Education Services Australia, 2013) and other professional networks, lists of literary awards, Premier’s reading Challenge books, student requests and reviews in journals such as Goodreads (Goodreads Inc. 2014), Inside a Dog (State Library of Victoria, 2014) and Magpies (Magpies Magazine, 2014). Fiction includes both the physical books as well as digital resources.

(c) Audio Formats – includes music and audio books. There may also be accompanying teacher’s notes if available.

(d) Charts – pictures, posters, maps, visual how-to guides and study prints.

(e) Games – board games, educational games, flash cards and cards.

(f) Models – scientific 3D models, experiment resources, aids for classroom teaching, dress-ups for language studies.

(g) DVDs – curriculum appropriate documentaries, entertainment shows or movies, taped television series and filmed classroom activities for both students and teachers.

(h) Online and electronic resources – can comprise of various formats including Digital resources can include internet sites, databases, Web 2.0 technologies, interactive learning technologies, Apps and eBooks.

In setting up a new school library in a K-6 environment with a class set of computers for individual use and access to ten i-pads; the library is well equipped with electronic devices to cater for 21st century learning. However, to ensure adequate use and access to digital and online resources, Dream Public School will need to:

  • Making teaching and learning easier by organising the school’s digital resources;
  • Have online ICT and Information Literacy lessons as part of the library’s resources for staff, students and the wider community, to develop the skills to understand how to use the computers properly;
  • Ensure consistent classification, storage and retrieval systems by following the SCIS standards for cataloguing;
  • Continue to respond to the historical, geographical, cultural, linguistic and educational dimensions of the local context with particular attention to the information literacy needs of the whole community; and
  • Remain ready to respond to the possibilities of an unknown future where interactive digital books like the Inkling productions are made available and accessible, i-Pads become more durable, and/or other new technologies can be supported in this school environment.

An awareness of how to remain abreast of the variety of resources available to suit our school library’s particular needs is essential. The use of selection aids can be extremely helpful in this regard (Wall & Ryan, 2010). Selection aids may include bibliographic tools, reviewing journals and publishers’ catalogues. They may also use library suppliers’ promotional literature, standing orders, bookshop and warehouse visits as well as suggestions from staff, teachers, students and the community. (Kennedy, 2006)

Also, keeping abreast of reviews outlining the cost and practical uses of new resources are extremely helpful tools. Gray’s (2010) exploration of the cost and practical uses of e-books within school libraries, for example, might help a Teacher Librarian judge what an e-books might offer that is different to the physical resources already within the collection.

However, knowledge of the types of resources available is useless without a consideration of whether they are appropriate for a particular environment. Each school library community has particular contextual issues to consider such as: special learning needs and languages spoken (Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005), the gender of clients (Boon, 2008) and the learning context and curriculum employed within the school. In consideration of the current Australian learning context, for example, it is imperative a teacher librarian has a thorough understanding of The National Curriculum (ACARA 2013). This document highlights the importance of building on students’ own interests, suggesting the need to build a collection that reflects these interests and supports teachers and learners in a technology driven, constructivist based learning environment (Wall & Ryan, 2010).

ALIA’s submission to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on the resourcing needs for implementing the Australian Curriculum makes this clear. Kennedy’s definition of collection management underscores the needs and wants of “clients”. In our school community that is defined by the demands of the curriculum, assessment and reporting structures in place. The professional development needs of school staff would be included in this, as would, to a certain extent, the free independent reading of the student population. In broader terms, ALIA also notes that the library’s role in resourcing the curriculum is part of a core rationale for a liberal education to effectively prepare young people to participate and contribute to an open, pluralistic society:

“The primary function of a school library is to underpin the school’s mission statement by providing services, resources and programs that foster opportunities for lifelong learning, literacy, reading and the love of literature. The school library also offers all members of its community the opportunity to develop as informed and responsible citizens and to contribute to the Australian democracy, culture, society and economy” (ALIA, 2010).

This gives collection management in schools a fairly broad remit, which can be hard to meet in the context of competing priorities and limited budgets.

The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) has also made a statement about curriculum resourcing that implies a client and needs-focused approach to collection management in its “Statement on school library resource provision”:

Resourcing the curriculum is an ongoing process of selection and evaluation guided by policy and budget planning. Effective resourcing of the curriculum requires a collaboratively developed and agreed policy on collection development prepared as part of the school’s ongoing planning and review process.

Effective resourcing of a curriculum ensures:

  • every learner has equitable access to a variety of quality, relevant, accurate and current information resources;
  • adequate resources at appropriate levels for all curricula and to meet personal and recreational needs are provided;
  • new ways of teaching and learning are reflected in Information and Communication Technologies and resources;
  • teachers’ effectiveness is enhanced by access to recent curricular and professional development material (ASLA, 2009).

It seems to me that collection management in the context of the school library is a balancing act between the various needs of the school community and the realities of budgetary constraints. There may be issues with competing agendas, too, especially in schools working within a religious charter where the object of a free flow of information may be at odds with the school community’s definition of acceptable material. A teacher librarian would be making decisions about collection management within an implied or fully-worked-out matrix of factors to consider when selecting, acquiring, evaluating and weeding resources.

Copyright legislation is an enormous issue that is poorly understood in most schools. The most commonly held misconception in the school context is that if there is no copyright symbol and it is available in the public domain (such as on the Internet), the work is copyright free. However, in Australia, no formal registration is required as there is an assumption by the copyright legislation that all work is copyrighted (National Copyright Unit, n.d.). Learning about statutory and voluntary license schemes, creative commons and how to attribute work will be of immense value in educating teachers and students in the future.

Collection evaluation is important in school libraries as the collection must meet the needs and interests of the pupils and staff who use it. The school library staff at Dream Public School should choose the collection evaluation strategy that works best for them. I think that it is also preferable that the teacher librarian evaluates one section of the collection at a time, starting with the sections that they think need the most work. Firstly, because the job is time consuming and it would therefore make it easier to evaluate. Secondly, because then the areas that need attention, hopefully get it from the start.

There are two methods that would work well in primary school libraries in particular. One is a collection centered measure of examining the collection directly. For example, if the school was about to have a class studying a term long unit on Forces Control Movement. An examination of the library collection of books relating to this field conducted by the teacher-librarian working in conjunction with the teachers who were going to be teaching this unit found deficiencies in this area, old books and the view was taken that new books catering for lower primary students were needed as an urgent priority.

The second measure that would work well in school libraries particularly in non-fiction is collection mapping. Collection mapping or mini-mapping if you are only focusing on one area of the collection is when you gather information on the number of books in a collection; the number of books per capita (per head of population for pupils) and the average age of the books. It would work well as a first step in conjunction with examining the collection to determine whether the library has enough books in one particular area of the curriculum. It couldn’t be used as a standalone procedure, but could work well in conjunction with other procedures to ensure that the library collection meets the needs of its users.

Having a clear collections development policy containing concise selections criteria would hopefully mean that objectionable material does not make it to the library shelves. However, this is not always the case and having an active and vocal parent body means that staff may have to deal with complaints. Also having a variety of cultures means that there are any number of reasons a piece of material may be found objectionable. A good resource here would be Barbara Braxton’s Sample Collection Policy (Braxton, 2014).

This document recommends that we have the right to provide opportunities and resources which reflect a wide variety of perspectives. Some of these items may contain information that is offensive to a member of the school community. Objections to these materials are a democratic right and should be treated as legitimate concerns, but they must understand that a parent cannot determine suitability for other students. In this case, a parent may write a letter/email voicing their concern and the reason, a review of the item will be carried out by the Teacher Librarian and another member of staff. An independent person may be asked to give their opinion. The three members will consult and decide the appropriate course of action and the complainant will be informed of the decision. The complainant may see the selection criteria if they are not satisfied and have the right to refer to the school board if still not satisfied.

The Future of the Collection

School libraries are changing with the introduction many new features. Libraries are no longer places where students read books quietly. Students must not only be able to read and write, but also to research information and work independently. (Wade, 2005) Even in early primary education there is a need to include digital resources in the curriculum. In an ever expanding digital universe (in 2010 the quantity of information transmitted globally exceeded one zettabyte (Ojala, 2013)), information literacy skills and competence with digital tools is a must. People who lack these skills will face barriers to inclusion in a growing range of areas. (Ojala, 2013) Digital resources can include internet sites, databases, Web 2.0 technologies, interactive learning technologies and eBooks.

With continual changes in curriculum and technology, an astute teacher librarian should be able to maintain and organise a quality library collection that will constantly be modified to suit the current teaching and learning needs of the school’s community. There needs to be a central place in a school that digital and print resources can call home. While there is an assumption by many, that libraries will become obsolete as students can research anytime, anyplace on their computers, there still needs to be someone (the teacher librarian) who is responsible for guiding their digital research abilities and teaching students information literacy skills.

The purpose of the library is to provide resources, be it digital or print to support the student learning. However, the nature of the collection will need to change in order to cater for a 21st century education. The innovations that have caused the current changes should be no more complex for us than learning how to move from an index card system, to microfiche, to computers. Libraries revolve around technology because information resourcing is our job. Today, information involves technology and this requires teacher librarians to be a combination of reference librarian, web specialist and technician within the school (Lawton, & Scott, 2005, p. 30).

The digital collection is becoming a major player in the collection, but as there is so much information available, it is important to have the teacher librarian manage these resource and to make it easier for both teachers and students to access 24/7. The creation of library pathfinders which classroom teachers simply do not have the time to manage, that support a curriculum-based unit of work will increasingly become one role of the teacher librarian.

References

3P Learning. (2014) Mathletics. Retrieved from http://www.mathletics.com.au/

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, (ACARA). (2013). The Australian Curriculum v4.2. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) (2010). Submission from the Australian Library and Information Association  to the ACARA consultation on the draft K-10 Australian Curriculum: English, mathematics, science and history. http://www.alia.org.au/advocacy/submissions/ALIA.submission.on.the.Australian.curriculum.draft.K-10.pdf

Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2009) Statement on school library resource provision. http://www.asla.org.au/policy/school-library-resource-provision.aspx

Braxton, B. (2013). Sample collection policy: Collection development. Retrieved from http://500hats.edublogs.org/?s=sample+collection+policy

Education Services Australia. (2013) Schools catalogue information service. Retrieved from http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/home.html

Goodreads Inc. (2014) Goodreads. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/

Hughes-Hassell, S. and Mancall, J. (2005).Collection management for youth: responding to the needs of learners, ALA, pp. 3-10. http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://www.CSUAU.eblib.com/EBLWeb/patron/?target=patron&extendedid=P_289075_0

Kennedy, John. (2006). Collection management: a concise introduction. Centre for Information Studies. Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.

Lawton, F. D. & Scott, C. (2005). Integration: the glue that holds the digital library together. In A. Huthwaite (Ed.), Managing information in the digital age: The Australian technology network libraries respond (pp. 29-51). Adelaide: University of South Australia Library for Librarians of the Australian Technology Network.

Magpies Magazine. (2014) The journals. Retrieved from http://www.magpies.net.au/magpies/public/?MIval=m_pages&pagename=MCI

Miller, D. (2008) Teaching with intention.USA: Stenhouse Publishers

National Copyright Unit. (n.d.). Smartcopying: The official guide to copyright issues for Australian Schools and TAFE. Retrieved from http://www.smartcopying.edu.au/scw/go

Ojala, M. (2013) Riding the waves or caught in the tide. Information Today, Oct, 2013, Vol.30(9), p.1(2)

Quizlet. (2014) Quizlet. Retrieved from http://quizlet.com/subject/garran/

School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (2012). Australian teacher librarian network. Retrieved from http://oztlnet.com/

State Library of Victoria. (2014) Inside a dog. Retrieved from http://www.insideadog.com.au/

Wade, C. (2005) The school library : phoenix or dodo bird? Educational Horizons, 8(5), 12-14

0

EER 500 Assignment 2 From Research Question to Research Design

This paper will outline how research questions can act as a focus for the design of a small-scale piece of research.  The research question which will be used for this task is:

The integration of ICT has changed the way we educate the students of today. So what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers, to ensure that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society, and how equitable is ICT access within the school environment? (Waldron-Lamotte, M. 2014, November 28).

This newly developed question is the result of the iterative process of refinement.  The reviewed statements can be found in Appendix 1.

This paper will describe an appropriate research design, including the discussion of methods, sampling techniques and data gathering instruments.  The ethical issues and limitations of the design will be outlined.  Finally, consideration will be given to where this research sits in relation to paradigms.

Research Design

A research design provides a framework for the collection and analysis of data (Bryman, 2008, p.31).  There are many research designs available, but not all of them are appropriate to explore the research questions above.  Firstly, designs that are not suitable will be discussed.

Experimental design would not be suitable to answer the questions involved in this small-scale piece of research.  Key characteristics of experimental design are the manipulation of variables and the random assignment of participants to control and experimental groups (Bryman, 2008, p.35).  Experimental design also usually begins with a hypothesis to be tested.  In this case, the research questions would be the focus, not a hypothesis.  Also, participants would not be assigned to groups and the researcher would not be attempting to manipulate the variables in any way.

Quasi-experimental and evaluation research are also not applicable, as the researcher would not be studying the effects of intervention on the participants (Bryman, 2008, p.41,42).  Causal-comparative research can also be ruled out, as there would be no attempt to link the reasons, or causes, of differences in the given situation which Gay, Mills and Airasian (2012, p.228) describe as key components of this design. The research would be limited to describing the current situation and perceptions of the 21st century classroom, without attempting to establish a causal connection between the two.  Bryman refers to this as cross-sectional design (2008, p.44), which has some elements, such as the inclusion of more than one case and the research taking place at a single point in time, which would be appropriate to this small-scale research.  However, two other important elements of cross-sectional design; systematic and standardised methods for gauging variation and examining relationships between variables would not be accomplished.  For this small-scale piece of research, longitudinal design (Bryman, 2008, p. 49) would not be appropriate, as the results of data collection would relate to one point in time only.

The most appropriate design for this small-scale piece of research would be a sequential mixed methods design (Creswell, 2009, p.14).  This would involve beginning with quantitative survey research, which is then elaborated on by a qualitative method, such as case study research, involving detailed exploration with a few cases or individuals.  The justification behind this decision is that the design of the study comes from the research questions, and that the research strategy drives the design.

Part of the research question is situated in a quantitative research strategy.  This relates to two parts of the question: what is the Australian education system’s responsibility, especially with the retraining of teachers and how equitable is ICT access within the school environment?  These questions are best answered via survey research, defined by Creswell as providing a quantitative description of trends, attitudes, or opinions of a population by studying a sample of the population (2009, p.12).  All teaching staff participating in this small-scale research would contribute data which would show their opinions and feelings about ICT support and how equitable ICT access is within their school.  The data would also reveal trends relating to the state of evidence-based practice throughout the profession.

Another part of the research question is situated in a qualitative research strategy, namely the aspect which relates to ensuring that educational advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society.  The best way to explore this would be to employ elements of case study research design.  Case studies are a strategy of inquiry in which the researcher explores in depth a program, event, activity or process with one or more individuals.  The small-scale limitation of this study means that cases would not be developed over a sustained period of time therefore would not be “true” case studies (Creswell, 2009, p.13).

Looking at these two approaches individually, and focussing on the research question, it is evident that the sequential mixed methods design would provide the best understanding of the problem. In this case, the proposed designs connect the research questions to the data needed to answer them, and they do not fit conveniently within one particular strategy.  As suggested by McMillan and Wergin, it is preferable to add a human element to a lifeless quantitative study by including some stories to survey data (2010, p.7).  Punch has discussed that quantitative research sometimes does not go further than descriptive statistics, when it is capable of much more (2009, p.20).

The rationale for using both approaches is that the research question requires more than a simple statistical answer.  Therefore, to successfully collect information for the research question in its entirety, a mixed method design is required.

The combination of these two research designs is discussed by Creswell (2009, p.20), who, when outlining a mixed-methods approach, states that the researcher begins with a broad survey and then focuses on detailed, open-ended interviews to collect more in depth views from participants.  These methods will be explored in the next section.

Research Methods

Sampling

The approach which would be used to obtain participants for this small-scale piece of research would be purposeful sampling (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.248).  This is slightly different from what other authors refer to as convenience sampling (Punch, 2009, p.250; Bryman, 2008, p.183), although some elements are similar.  Both sampling techniques are non-random and rely on the researcher having access to a group of participants with little effort.  The difference with purposeful sampling is that the researcher chooses participants with the research questions in mind and with knowledge that the sample will be able to successfully answer the questions, which Punch refers to as respondents’ knowledgeability (2009, p.314).

Participants for this small-scale research would be recruited by submitting an Expression of Interest in response to an advertisement that would be placed on the site ‘School Biz’.  The initial message would specify the criteria used to select the sample, such as teacher qualifications and years of practice.  As it is an open forum for the profession, it would be necessary for the researcher to follow the advice of Gaye et al. (2012, p.141) and explicitly state the sample they are seeking. Due to the small scale of this research, it would not be necessary to have a large number of respondents.  The exact number would depend entirely on the interest and motivation of the teachers on the site.  Once again, there would be issues with generalizability, which will be discussed further in the limitations section.

Due to the nature of the mixed-method design, a further sample would need to be selected to obtain data relating to the retraining of teachers and equitable ICT access within the school environment.  This sample would be drawn from the original sample and would consist of volunteers, those teachers who indicated that they would be willing to be interviewed regarding their thoughts and experiences.  Depending on the number of participants who volunteered, a purposive sampling strategy would then be used to select interviewees so that as many different scenarios and perceptions as possible would be represented in the sample (Bryman, 2008, p.620).  Once again, due to the small scale of the research, only a small number of respondents would be chosen to undergo the interview process.

Data Collection Instruments

As the researcher would be taking a mixed-method approach, two distinct methods would be used to collect data.  Referring back to the research questions, the first phase requires data on what ICT experience teachers have previously had and what ICT resources and support they have access to.  The most straightforward way to source this information is through a self-completion questionnaire (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.313; Bryman, 2008, p.217).  There are many advantages to using self-completion questionnaires.  They are cheap to administer, particularly if the researcher utilizes a free online survey tool, such as Survey Monkey.  Volunteers can be provided with a web link to the relevant questionnaire, thus ensuring their anonymity and saving on postage costs (Gay et al., 2012, p.194).  Other advantages of the use of a self-completion questionnaire are the absence of interviewer effects and convenience for respondents (Oxford University Press, 2012).

However, in order to answer the research questions effectively, another tool would need to be employed to carry out the case study research.  This type of research usually uses interviews, structured or unstructured, to obtain data from participants (Gay et al., 2012, p.404).  The advantage of using this technique is to move the research beyond the relatively limited presentation of statistics, thereby adding another dimension to the research questions.  The purpose of the interviews would be to obtain data regarding another part of the research question, which is concerned with how the education system ensures that the educational advancements in ICT are parallel to the ongoing changes in society.  Although some authors assert that perceptions can be examined via survey research (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2011, p.126), other authors believe that interviews explore issues much more deeply and using interviews in conjunction with questionnaires can be very effective (Bryman, 2008, p.611;   Fraenkel & Wallen, 2008, p.637).  If the selected interviewees worked a considerable distance away, and a face-to-face interview would not be feasible, the interview could be conducted by telephone or Skype.

The most important reason for using two different data collection methods is to meet the requirements of the research questions and to add meaning and applicability to the research.  It would not be very worthwhile to just present statistics on what sort of experience teachers have in the area of ICT, without attempting to put this in context of the support and reosucres available in order for the education system to ensure they are meeting the needs of the 21st century learners and are parallel to the ongoing changes in society. Another advantage of using two forms of data collection is to aid validity of results via triangulation.  Each source has different threats to validity; therefore it is possible to reduce the chances of reaching false conclusions by checking the conclusions reached on the basis of questionnaires against those from structured interviews (Hammersley, 2008, p.23).

Ethical Issues

Four main areas have been isolated by Bryman in relation to the ethical issues of research.  These are harm to participants; lack of informed consent; invasion of privacy and whether deception is involved (Bryman, 2008, p.118).  Each of these areas will be discussed in turn, outlining how they apply to the design and methods of this research.

The first ethical principle relates to whether the research involves harm to participants.  Although it is unlikely that harm of any nature would come to participants in this small-scale piece of research, it is possible that respondents may face issues relating to self-esteem, work performance and time stresses.  This risk is mitigated somewhat by the fact that the participants are volunteers.  The researcher would need to clearly state at the beginning of the sampling process that their participation is voluntary, they are free to refuse to answer any questions, they can withdraw from the study at any time and ask for their data not to be included (Bryman, 2008, p.123).  If participants felt that they were unable to cooperate, due to time stresses or feelings evoked about their work performance, they would be free to withdraw without needing to state their reasons.

The second principle refers to informed consent.  Although it is acknowledged that the researcher cannot disclose every conceivable aspect of the research, it is mandatory that potential participants are given as much information as possible so that they can decide whether to take part.  In the case of this research, potential participants would be approached professionally via the School Biz site, with the initial posting containing information about the purpose and context of the research, what would be made of the information, who is conducting the research and for what audience. The use of the internet to conduct research entails its own ethical considerations.  The researcher would need to be well versed in netiquette and the factors affecting the collection of research data using such means.

The privacy of participants in this study would be respected by ensuring confidentiality and anonymity. Anonymity would be sacrificed for respondents chosen for interviews, but their confidentiality could still be ensured. This would be achieved by removing names and places from transcripts of interviews and followed up in the reporting phase by using pseudonyms rather than identifying individuals in the report.  Respondents to the questionnaire would be informed prior to completion that they would be anonymous, even to the researcher.  The use of Survey Monkey would help achieve this, as web surveys have an advantage over email surveys when it comes to confidentiality and anonymity issues (Bryman, 2008, p.653).

The final ethical issue, relating to the presence of deception, has minor implications for this small-scale piece of research.  However, deception can occur in simple ways, for example, by deliberately underestimating the time it will take to complete the questionnaire or participate in the interview (Bryman, 2008, p.121).  This problem also relates to informed consent and can be overcome by being honest and open about the nature of the research and what this involves for participants (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.50).

Limitations of the Design

A major limitation of the design relates to the sampling strategy.  Survey design should ideally aid generalizability; however the sample-to-population inference (Punch, 2009, p.251) in this design is lacking.  As the researcher is using purposeful sampling, due to convenience and access issues, the results would not be able to be generalised to the profession of teaching as a whole.  This is due to the fact that respondents are likely to be biased regarding the issue of ICT experience, support and equitable access which may not represent the myriad of perceptions that may be present in the population.  To overcome this limitation, and achieve representativeness, probability sampling would need to be used, a form of random selection where each member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen (Punch, 2009, p.251).  The scale of this small piece of research would prohibit the use of this method, as considerable resources would need to be utilised in order to determine a valid sample.

Another limitation of this research design is the threat to validity in the data collection instruments.  Questionnaires and interviews can often contain leading questions, and respondents may say or write what they think the researcher wants to hear.  In order to promote internal validity and minimise limitations, the researcher would need to ensure that the questions are unambiguously phrased, with definitions for terms that could be misinterpreted (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.315).  Another way to improve content validity would be to pilot test the questionnaire with colleagues (Best & Kahn, 2006, p.320; McMillan & Wergin, 2010, p.10; Gay et al., 2012, p.189)

Paradigms

This paper has established that the best research design to answer the specific questions is a mixed method design.  It follows, therefore, that this research contains features from more than one paradigm.  The first part of the initial research question sits within a positivist paradigm.  The researcher is attempting to describe the situation objectively, as it is, untainted by subjectivity. The emphasis during this phase of the research is on empirical measurement, a feature of the positivist paradigm.  However, the remaining parts of the research questions, sit more comfortably in constructivism.  These questions imply that the researcher is more likely to see the situation as an emergent reality, in a continuous state of construction and reconstruction (Bryman, 2008, p.20).  In this case, the views of participants are constructing meaning in the situation of their school environment.

The pragmatic approach starts with a problem that needs a solution, rather than from what epistemology informs the research, which is the approach taken in the development of this small-scale research.  The growing applicability of this approach has been asserted by Punch (2009, p.20) and Creswell (2009, p. 10).  Hughes (2010) does not include pragmatism as a valid paradigm and authors such as Bergman have denounced the so-called pragmatism paradigm, contending that it is a vague way for researchers to say “anything goes” (2008, p.12).  However, both Punch (2009, p.20) and Creswell (2009, p.12) have explained that pragmatism is a worldview which attempts to give researchers the freedom to choose methods that best suit their needs and purposes.  Rather than trying to bridge the divide between positivism and constructivism, this small-scale research calls on elements of pragmatism, namely the fact that it draws methods from both quantitative and qualitative approaches because that is what is required for these research questions.  A view of pragmatism is that truth is what works at the time, sometimes using a mixture of data because they work to provide the best understanding of the research problem (Creswell, 2009, p.11).  In this case, a mix of data would be required, as quantitative data alone would be shallow and pointless and would not adequately reveal the perceptions of respondents.

This research design is consistent with the knowledge claim position of pragmatism for the following reasons; it is concerned with the consequence of participant actions, is problem-centred, pluralistic and real-world practice oriented (Creswell, p.2009, p.6)

Conclusion

This paper outlined a research design which attempts to adequately answer the research questions presented in the introduction.  The research aims to describe what is occurring in the educational system today and how it ensuring that the needs of the 21st century learner are being met through educational advancements that are parallel to society’s ongoing changes. This is a complex task, with many factors to be considered.  This small-scale piece of research, coming from a pragmatic position, has many limitations, but would be worthwhile in shedding light on an important aspect of teaching in the current climate of accountability and focus on student outcomes.

 

References

Bergman, M.M. (2008). The straw men of the qualitative-quantitative divide and their influence on mixed methods research.  In M.M. Bergman (Ed.), Advances in mixed methods research. (pp. 11-21).  London, UK: Sage.

Best, J.W. & Kahn, J.V. (2006). Research in education (10th ed.).  Boston, USA: Pearson.

Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods (3rd ed.). Oxford, UK: OUP.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. (6th ed.). London: Routledge.

Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.).  London, UK: Sage .

Fraenkel, J.R. & Wallen, N.E. (2008).  How to design and evaluate research in education (7th ed.).  Boston, USA: McGraw-Hill.

Gay, L.R., Mills, G.E. & Airasian, P. (2012). Educational research: competencies for analysis and applications (10th ed.). Boston, USA: Pearson.

Hammersley, M. (2008). Troubles with triangulation.  In M.M. Bergman (Ed.). Advances in mixed methods research. (pp. 22-36).  London, UK: Sage.

Hughes, P. (2010).  Paradigms, methods and knowledge.  In G. Mac Naughton, S.A. Rolfe & I. Siraj-Blatchford (Eds.),  Doing early childhood research: international perspectives on theory and practice (2nd ed.). (pp.35-61). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

McMillan, J.H. & Wergin, J.F. (2010).  Understanding and evaluating educational research (4th ed.). New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education.

MacKenzie, N., & Knipe, S. (2006). Research dilemmas: Paradigms, methods and methodology. Issues in Educational Research, 16(2), 193-205.

McMillan, J. H., & Wergin, J. F. (2010). Understanding and evaluating educational research (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill.

Punch, K. (2009).  Introduction to research methods in education.  London, UK: Sage.

Oxford University Press online resource centres. (2012). Bryman: Social Research Methods: 3e.  Retrieved from http://www.oup.com/uk/orc/bin/9780199202959/

Waldron-Lamotte, M. (2014, November 28). Melissa Waldron-Lamotte Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 28/11/2014 [Online wiki post]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/EER500_201490_D_D/page/32b13bf2-4960-471d-0088-f9d7ab27273c

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1 – Wiki Post

Melissa Waldron-Lamotte Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 28/11/2014

Research Topic or Problem

The focus of my research is Information and Communications Technology (ICT), which has originated from my recent experience and exposure to ICT within schools over the course of my teaching career. To be more specific, my inquisitive proposal is parallel to the implementation of ICT into the classroom and school environment and the implications that accompany it. For many years now, the in-school use of technology has been growing exponentially with many classes forgoing the use of chalkboards for interactive whiteboards and many more, if not most, making use of desktop computers for conducting in-class research, learning vital computer competencies for the twenty-first century, and to enhance student knowledge and understanding across a range of topics. Within this subject, I have also decided to touch base with the many implications that accompany its implementation; such factors include its possible applications, accessibility, the barriers of socioeconomic status, cultural considerations for indigenous students, the age-old conflict of teaching old teachers new tricks, and the advancement of ICT in the future and where it may be heading in an educational context. All of these factors can affect the impact of ICT on students for better or for worse and I aim to bring these considerations into perspective through my research.

Draft Research Question

I have three possible questions that I would like to research:

  1. The twenty-first century’s technological advancements are revolutionising the way that society negotiates everyday life; education included. How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today, and what is the education system doing to ensure that the advancements are parallel to the ongoing changes in society?
  2. There are a number of current issues and concerns relating to the integration of ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students, as well as in classrooms belonging to schools of low socio-economic areas. What are some of the most pressing issues and how will it affect the students involved?
  3. Education has forever been an evolving entity, always seeking improvement and existing parallel to the norms of society. As such, teachers should be expected to evolve with the education system within which they teach, and thus be included in government budgets and expenditure for the purpose of updated training. What is being done to support the retraining of teachers, and even if teachers are being retrained, how equitable is ICT access within the school environment for its effective integration within the classroom?

From Literature to Research Question and Practical Importance

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Based on the analysis and critical reflection on this paper, The National Broadband Network’s (NBN) aims and objectives are to provide extensive resources and avenues in the area of ICT in the education sector. As such, the technological advancements that are promoted due to this scheme are greatly enhanced and reiterate that ICT is an inevitable transformation that we as educators will be exposed to. This paper clearly outlines how ICT in the classroom will take shape as a learning tool. As a tool, ICT is inevitably enhancing teaching and learning as it is addressing the demand of evolution in the 21st century and to meet the needs of the students who are being educated in it.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

The critical analysis of this paper has enabled the investigation of the emerging development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education. With supporting evidence through thorough research, Peeraer and Van Petegem have identified steps being taken to effectively integrate ICT into everyday operations of today’s classrooms. This paper will be utilised to address two of my queries. It highlights the many barriers in which teachers are confronted with and need to overcome in order to successfully and effectively integrate ICT into the classroom. This analysis illuminates teacher educators’ access to ICT, their intensity of use, their related skills, and their confidence in using ICT, as well as their conceptions of learning. Peeraer and Van Petegem also question whether or not ICT improves classroom teaching and confronts the pedagogical issues that have evolved as a result of ICT. Finally this paper justly defines and addresses two of my key questions of concern and that is: What is being done to support the retraining of teachers? How has the integration of ICT changed the way we educate the students of today?

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22.

This paper addresses a number of issues that will impact the education system as well as teaching and learning. It particularly focuses on Indigenous education and how it will be affected by the growth of technology in the classroom. Wallace explicitly explores and investigates the current issues that exist around the use of ICT for students of low socio-economic living standards as well as remote areas. Through case studies and a series of action research projects the research team of Charles Darwin University has answered our questions and have further deepened my own understanding in relation to the concerns of integrating ICT into classrooms that have a high percentage of Indigenous students and low socio-economic areas. The team also identifies effective strategies and practices to use ICT and innovative online learning materials to engage remote and very remote Indigenous students with learning to support improved educational outcomes. This report is enriched with information and evidence that will enable my own research to be extensive and supported.

References

Budde, P. (2011). Australia – Digital Economy – E-Education and E-Government. Bucketty: 1-13.

Peeraer, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2011). “ICT in teacher education in an emerging developing country: Vietnam’s baseline situation at the start of ‘The Year of ICT’.” Computers and Education 56(4): 974-982.

Wallace, R. (2008). Engaging Remote and Very Remote Indigenous Students with Education using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Darwin, Charles Darwin University: 1-22. http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/Documents/FinalICTReport.pdf

0

ETL 402 Module 2 Diversity in Children’s Literature

Oops…. I accidently deleted this post and now have to rewrite it and post it again 🙁 Here it goes for the 2nd time hahaha

Some strategies to increase my professional knowledge of children’s literature are, accessing publisher’s book lists in Australia, Europe, and the USA, of recent and popular children’s and Young Adult’s literature. Another strategy would be to access the various professional and children’s choice Literary Awards in Australia as an alternative source when considering children’s literature for the school library.  Together with the student’s own book reviews, which are always a good indicator of popular trends or good reads for a certain age or year level.

Children’s Literary Awards

Another children’s literary award that would be useful for educational purposes is The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Award, awarded ‘to the outstanding book of the Picture Book genre in which the author and illustrator achieve artistic and literary unity, or, in wordless picture books, where the story, theme or concept is unified through illustrations’ (2007-2014, CBCA).The award is an acknowledgement of the invaluable contribution picture books provide within both educational and social contexts.

Contemporary picture books are increasingly popular among all readers, and have become invaluable for teachers to use as opportunities for student’s to make meaning of texts, and develop both critical and visual literacy learning in the Australian Curriculum.

Literary Non-fiction

Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, letters, diaries and journals, travel and exploration narratives, are all examples of literary nonfiction. In The Little Refugee by Anh Do and Suzanne Do, Anh writes with humour and compassion of his life as a refugee (Mod. 2).

0

ETL 402 Module 3 Literature and the Collection

 I thought it was about time I should actually post my thoughts and study notes onto my blog rather than keep them in my notebook. It’ll make it easier to refer back to electronically rather than flipping through many many pages of notes. Holidays have got the better of me….relaxation mode definitely kicked in and now it’s time to get my act together and put all my thoughts and notes on here lol. So here it goes…..

The Reading Bill of Rights includes eight “beliefs” that affirm every child’s right to read and what that means in the 21st century… from access to books and great stories, to the ability to analyze, interpret and understand information in the digital age.

Ted Hipple (1996) and Daniel Pennac (1999) suggest reading with subsequent book reports and reviews as part of an educational curricular context, rather than voluntary reading for pleasure, prevents children from holistically enjoying the experience of engaging with a text and immersing themselves within the story. Resulting in students becoming reluctant to read, and totally disinterested in discovering the unique and diverse world of children’s and Young Adults literature in our 21st century.
Pennac believes that by reading to children and adolescents, we (parents, carers, teachers, teacher/librarians) return to them the gift of reading”, and suggests we invite children to read and grant them the rights and privileges that pertain to our own reading.
Here are Pennac’s Ten, which he calls a “Reader’s Bill of Rights”:
1. The right not to read.
2. The right to skip pages.
3. The right to not finish.
4. The right to reread.
5. The right to read anything.
6. The right to escapism.
7. The right to read anywhere.
8. The right to browse.
9. The right to read out loud.
10. The right to not defend our tastes.

In Better than Life, Daniel Pennac shares his experiences as a parent, a writer and a teacher and asks, how does the love of reading begin? How is it lost? And how can it be regained? This impressive book explores how reading aloud can ensure that a love of books begins, why it is important that children develop a private relationship with books, and what “A Reader’s Bill of Rights” can do to guarantee children value reading(1999).

As a  teacher and future teacher librarian, I acknowledge Hipple and Pennac present a very persuasive argument. However, book reports and reviews are only two forms of learning outcomes; the trick is to provide a balanced variety of creative opportunities for students to engage with, when they review texts read for curricular purposes.

E-Books

Teacher librarian’s face challenges in the provision of e-books to students. These challenges can include the lack of exposure, experience and training by teachers, confusion over copyright, licensing dilemmas when developing e-collections, or justifying the cost of e-books in relation to the cost of print materials. However, there is an increasing trend towards digital material because:

  • E-books provide 24/7 access of traditional print content and make it available to multiple simultaneous users regardless of their physical location.
  • E-books have features such as hyperlinked information, read-aloud capabilities, dictionaries, and multiple language access instantly.
  • E-book content is never lost, damaged, or overdue.
  • E-book files can be downloaded, shared, or saved on handheld devices, flash drives, or notebook computers.
  • E-books do not take up valuable shelf space in overcrowded libraries.
  • E-books can be searched for and accessed from within the online catalog or the library’s website through hyperlinks that direct the user to the content.
  • E-books can be integrated into online bibliographies for special research projects and accessed immediately through digital pathfinders or research modules.
  • E-books can be accessed and shared by students and parents from home at any time and used to supplement instruction or homework assignments.
  • E-books with multiple language options or speech can be used by ESL students both in the classroom and at home to encourage continual language development.
  • E-books can be accessed during the summer months to extend the availability of the school library’s holdings to students and their parents even when school is not in session.
  • E-books can bring online content to students, teachers, and parents in smaller communities without public libraries.
  • Students with reading disabilities such as visual impairments can easily access online content and adjust the fonts or utilize speech software to access reading or research materials (Briscoe, 2011).

Censorship and Book Collection

Teachers and librarians may be questioned about the value of having a particular book, and being prepared to handle these challenges requires knowledge about children’s literature and its potential to diversify the curriculum. Censorship is difficult to define, and varies according to who is defining it (Hunt, 2001), but there is often a need to understand conflicts of intellectual freedom as a process based on age, family background, society’s attitudes, religious beliefs, or profession, with the historical and cultural context surrounding a text usually affecting the level of disapproval it receives (Vandergrift, 1997, para. 9). Vandergrift challenges professional teachers and school librarians to “invite others to read, question, think, criticize, and share their own interpretations … Without this ongoing dialogue and challenge to ideas and beliefs, there is no intellectual freedom” (1997, para. 9).

As teacher librarians, we need to consciously consider both the basis of intellectual freedom in our society, and policies, especially Freedom to Read, that exist through professional associations such as ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association), together with our responsibilities as professional educators to our school communities. A very fine line to walk! 

References:
Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). (2014). Statement on free access to information. Retrieved from: https://www.alia.org.au/about-alia/policies-standards-and-guidelines/statement-free-access-information

Brisco, S. (2011). E-books in the school library. In Polanka, S. (Ed.), No shelf required: E-books in libraries, (pp. 37-54). Chicago: American Library Association.

Elish-Piper, L., Matthews, R. W., Risko, V. J., Johns, J. L., Bass, J., Dasinger, S., Illig-Aviles, B. (n.d.). A Reader’s Bill of Rights. Analyse, Issues and Insights. Retrieved from: http://americanreadingforum.org/yearbook/yearbooks/00_yearbook/

pdf/01_Elishpiper_00.PDF

Hipple, T. (1996). A review essay: ‘Better than life’. ALAN Review, 23(3). Retrieved from: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/spring96/hipple.html

Hunt, P. (2001). Children’s literature. Oxford, UK ; Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers.

Pennac, D. (1999). Better Than Life. Coach House Press. Toronto, Canada:

The Reading Bill of Rights – A Child’s Right to Read. . The Scholastic Channel. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quOFcoWBAgw

Robertson, D. (2010, Oct 21). The Reading Bill of Rights – A Child’s Right to Read . Scholastic Channel.

Vandergrift, K. E. (1997). Censorship, the Internet, intellectual freedom, and youth. Retrieved from: http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/professional-development/childlit/censorship.html.