September 13

Case Study Four

The theme for Case Study 4 was a tightening budget. It was now expected that the library budget be justified against educational outcomes, after being based on tradition and previous allocations for many years. On first inspection, I found the case to be somewhat narrower than Case Study 3. I was glad that each member of our group was able to identify something to research.

I chose to focus my research on evidence-based practice. My group members researched outcomes relating to digital learning, linking the budget more closely to curriculum and student learning, library promotion, and school vision.

Can you identify a leadership style/styles that came to the fore?

I’ve been reflecting upon my previous Case Study wrap and I’m wondering if my perspective on Leadership styles in a broader sense limited my answer to this question. I claimed that it was difficult to identify a particular leadership style based on only a few interactions … I said this because in my head, I was thinking: okay, a transformational leader has a future focus and they’re going to draw up a strategic vision for the school with key stakeholder involvement and build a team that is committed to achieving the goals of the school. Oh, and an instructional leader also has a long range focus and includes other people in decision making and they are going to visit classes to help teachers develop their practice. So, how could any of this possibly be evident in case study groups?

Now that I think about it again, it is possible to identify traits or characteristics of different leadership styles within the case study group, and now that we’ve completed our second round, this should be even easier!

During the production of Case Study 3 and 4, I saw a number of transformational leadership qualities. For example, taking risks (Smith, 2016, p. 67) – some people were unsure as to whether they were writing something that made sense, or that answered the question, but they still posted their work. In the wiki comments and emails, I often saw concern for individuals (Moir, Hattie & Jansen, 2014, p. 36). When group members commented on how they were super busy, or sick, for example, replies were full of understanding, concern and well wishes toward that group member. Also, by setting up a shared work schedule, we were effectively setting a group goal, to which we all committed (Smith, 2016, p. 67).

I think the main elements of instructional leadership are yet to come to the fore because it would be strange in this small, short group situation to give extended and instructional feedback about our research and writing.

How do you feel you were able to participate (or not)?

This case study was completely different to the last one. Although, I still felt positive about the interaction of the group members and my participation. This time, though, we were under a little more pressure because we had a tighter deadline.

When I clicked onto the Group 9 page early on I noticed that it was a little quiet. I decided that I’d do a bit of research while I had some spare time and create our first wiki page, the overview of superficial and deeper issues. I managed to find a few references relevant to the case but when I’d finished, I was worried that there wasn’t enough within the case for each person to be able to contribute successfully. I suppose this highlights the strength of working in teams. Once everyone else joined in, there were plenty of avenues of research to consider, and everyone brought different perspectives that I didn’t consider when I added my first bit of work.

What did you find easy/difficult in participating in this way (which will be new for some, if not many, of you)?

I still found communication to be difficult, jumping around between the wiki, the discussion board and email.

I found actual communication itself to be a little easier, now that the group is becoming more comfortable working together and there is a strong atmosphere of teamwork and commitment.


Moir, S., Hattie, J., & Jansen, C. (2014). Teacher perspectives of ‘effective’ leadership in schools. Australian Educational Leader, 36(4), 36-40. Retrieved from

Smith, B.S. (2016). The role of leadership in creating a great school. SELU Research Review Journal, 1(1), 65-78. Retrieved from

April 9

Funding and Budget Proposals

Should teacher librarians have the responsibility of submitting a budget proposal to fund the library collection to the school’s senior management and/or the school community? Or should such proposals come from a wider group such as a school library committee?

O’Connell (2017, p. 383) states that “It is the responsibility of the teacher librarian or resource teacher in collaboration with teachers and other professional staff to resource the curriculum.” The keyword in this case is collaboration. With more people involved in the decision-making process, there is a greater chance that the budget proposal, and resulting library collection, will be more attuned to the learning community’s needs. The teacher librarian should oversee the process and have the final say, but it is a good idea to seek information about where the collection might be lacking from a range of stakeholders.

So, budget proposals should come from a school library committee or similar group, although, since they have the final say, the teacher librarian may actually hand in the proposal to the relevant authority.

Is it preferable that the funding for the school library collection be distributed to teachers and departments so they have the power to determine what will be added to the library collection?

Again, collaboration is critical when developing the library collection. However, based on experiences as a classroom teacher, finding the time to search for, analyse and justify new resources for the library collection will be challenging. Sure, teachers and departments should be able to make requests for certain resources, or types of resources, but distributing the financial figures and giving teachers the power to choose what goes into the library might not work. What if, the following year, the teacher moves on to another school, and they were the only stakeholder to lobby for a particular resource?


O’Connell, J. (2017). School libraries. In Abdullahi, I. (Ed.), Global library and information science: A textbook for students and educators. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Saur