July 15

What is an Information Agency?

Choose either the opening or closing site from a previous study visit schedule. Think about what makes this site an ‘information agency’ and make notes for yourself. Think also about what we mean when we talk about ‘information’. What information do you think they work with? What type of services do they offer?

Once again, I chose the Adelaide Study Visit schedule from 2015. Students visited the State Library of South Australia on Tuesday 28th June and were there all day.

Day 1 of the Adelaide Study Visit Schedule in 2015.

The State Library of South Australia (SA) is the premier library in the state. It is located on North Terrace, Adelaide, near to other cultural buildings, such as the museum and art gallery. They provide a massive range of information and other services, including education resources, local history, ancestry information, special collections, group study rooms, classes, a cafe, events, and exhibitions.

To me, an agency is some sort of organisation that provides a service. Therefore, an information agency, simply, is an organisation that provides information to its users. Information provision and celebration is the core business of the State Library of SA, as demonstrated by the list of services above.

The idea of ‘information’ harks back to ETL401. In one reflective blog post, I discussed the many definitions of ‘information’, how there are different types of information, and how information has four properties that effect how we learn and communicate. The State Library of SA works with all sorts of information, providing access through multiple old and new formats and delivery modes.

July 22

Sources to Resources

How does the CSU Library change information sources to information resources?

  1. The library provides metadata for each of its information sources, for example, author/s, subject, description, and identifiers, making it easy for users to find what they need.
  2. The library provides round-the-clock access to a range of digital sources of information, such as ebooks and journal articles.
  3. The library provides links to various sites at which the user can purchase a copy of the source for themselves.
  4. The library makes information sources springboards for further research and exploration by linking users to similar sources.
  5. The library allows users to favourite or pin particular sources so that they can create their own collection.
May 24

ETL401 Assessment Item 3: Part C – Reflective Practice

Provide a critical reflection of how your understanding of Information Literacy (IL), IL models and the TL role in inquiry learning has expanded through this subject.

At the end of Week 2, I completed my first reflective blog post for ETL401, talking about the role of a Teacher Librarian (TL) based on my teaching experiences. In the final paragraph, I mentioned that beyond the two main facets I had spoken about in depth, TL’s manage the physical library space, teach students to be library, ICT and information literate, manage Book Week celebrations and/or events and keep themselves and other staff up-to-date with the publishing industry, technology, current teaching pedagogies and the curriculum. So, even at this early stage of the subject I knew that teaching information literacy (IL) was part of the TL’s role, but I didn’t know a great deal about IL as a concept.

To unpack IL as a concept, I first drew upon my knowledge of information from module two. Although there is no widely accepted definition of information (Case, 2006, p. 61), I demonstrated my understanding in Forum 2.1 (Thinking About Information) that there are different types of knowledge and information, and that the four properties of information – inconsumable, untransferable, indivisible and accumulative – have a profound effect on how we learn and communicate. I also discussed the data-knowledge continuum, which I can now see has influenced the structure of IL models.

Next, following the course material in module five, I began to consider the nature of the term literacy. I attempted to come up with a simple definition in my blog post, Definitions of Literacy, to capture the traditional skills – reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and understanding – as well as the situation and application of those skills. However, UNESCO (2006, p. 148) highlighted another two ways of seeing literacy: as a learning process and as text. As such, I don’t know if my definition does justice, especially when you consider, in addition, Functions of Meaning or multiliteracies (Kalantzis & Cope, 2015). Clearly, the concept of literacy is just as complex as information, so when you put the two together, the complexity increases twofold!

There are many definitions of IL (CILIP Information Literacy Group, n.d.). As the information landscape changes, so to will the definitions change (Fitzgerald, 2015, p. 17) since the concept is tied to its context. In one blog post, I highlighted one of my favourite quotes taken from the course material, and thought about it in relation to my fourth-year university practicum. It clarified the important shift from IL as a set of skills and behaviours, to sociocultural construction of information and meaning, and whole body engagement with a range of modes. It also helped me to understand the importance of authentic learning experiences.

By engaging with this modality of information, novices learn to act as practitioners, but they cannot become practitioners because they are removed from the reflexive and reflective embodied experiences and tensions arising from practice.”

– Lloyd, 2007

As I moved through the fifth module, I couldn’t think of a time when I had actually used inquiry learning. Most of my teaching experience is as a TRT, so, of course, inquiry learning is not an option. Then I remembered using Primary Connections during my very first year, which I spoke about in Forum 5.3a (Information Literacy Model). The program, developed by the Australian Academy of Science, uses the 5Es – engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate (Australian Academy of Science, 2019). Though this is not an IL model itself, the elements of an IL model, such as the Information Search Process, Big6, or I-LEARN could be easily integrated with it.

So, how has my understanding of the TL’s role developed through the subject? Here, I’d like to refer back to my original statement on the role of a TL. I said that one aspect of the role was to teach students to be library, ICT and information literate. This is true, of course, but if I rewrote my statement, I would expand on this element of the role, and include more about collaboration.

Without IL, the Teacher Librarian is just a Librarian! IL and inquiry learning is where the TL and classroom teacher come together as the ultimate partnership. The classroom teacher brings content knowledge and the TL brings knowledge of IL, ICT, Creative and Critical Thinking, and Literacy capabilities together to create authentic learning experiences and develop 21st-century skills. For this to happen, effective collaboration is critical. In one blog post, I considered Gibson-Langford’s guiding principles for building collaborative relationships (2008, p. 34). I have bookmarked these for the future.


Australian Academy of Science. (2019). 5Es teaching and learning model. Retrieved from https://primaryconnections.org.au/node/262

Case, D.O. (2006). Looking for information: A survey of research on information seeking, needs and behaviour (2nd ed.). Burlingham: Emerald Publishing Limited

CILIP Information Literacy Group. (n.d.). Definitions & models – information literacy website. Retrieved from https://infolit.org.uk/definitions-models/

Fitzgerald, L. (2015). Guided inquiry in practice. Scan, 34(4), 16-27. Retrieved from https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/professional-learning/scan

Gibson-Langford, L. (2008). Collaboration: Force or forced, part 2. Scan, 27(1), 31-37. Retrieved from https://search-informit-com-au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/fullText;dn=166077;res=AEIPT

Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2015). Multiliteracies: Expanding the scope of literacy pedagogy. New Learning. Retrieved from http://newlearningonline.com/multiliteracies

Lloyd, A. (2007). Recasting information literacy as sociocultural practice: Implications for library and information science researchers. Information Research, 12(4).

UNESCO. (2006). Education for all: Literacy for life. EFA global monitoring report, 2006. Paris, France: UNESCO Publishing

May 6

Information Literacy and My Role at School

Reflect on what you can take from the discussion of information literacy to your IL role in school.

First and foremost, after reading through the discussions around Information Literacy (IL) in the course material, it has become clear and obvious that no clear definition of IL exists and that our own notions of the concept will ultimately affect how we plan for and teach it (Bruce, Edwards & Lupton, 2006, p. 2).

Bruce, Edwards and Lupton (2006, p. 3) outline six different frames through which IL can be viewed: content, competency, learning to learn, relational, social impact, and personal relevance. Each frame has a different view of IL, view of information, curriculum focus, view of teaching and learning, view of content, and view of assessment (Bruce, Edwards & Lupton, 2006, pp. 4-5).

I think that as I have more experience in library and information literacy teaching, my position amongst the frames will become clearer. At this stage, I think I see IL through both the competency and learning to learn frames, as my previous school adopted a series of experiences for students that focussed on learning to learn, which was important for students in our low socio-economic area. The competency frame seems simple, and perhaps the easiest to apply to the competency-based assessment and reporting that is so common in schools at which I have worked.

I can certainly see the distinction between the behaviourist and sociocultural approaches to IL, as well as the importance of placing IL into context. Kutner & Armstrong (2012, p. 25) note that a skills-based approach alone is not enough to facilitate deep IL learning. As such, as I work towards employment in a school or public library, I will need to implement a balanced mixture of both approaches.


Bruce, C., Edwards, S., & Lupton, M. (2006). Six frames for information literacy education: A conceptual framework for interpreting the relationships between theory and practice. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences, 5(1), 1-18. doi: 10.11120/ital.2006.05010002

Kutner, L., & Armstrong, A. (2012). Rethinking information literacy in a globalised world. Communications in Information Literacy, 6(1), 24-33. doi: 10.15760/comminfolit.2012.6.1.115

May 4

Information Literacy Reflection

Reading through today’s course material was like walking through thick snow. But one sentence, in one of the readings, caught my attention and made it all a bit clearer.

By engaging with this modality of information, novices learn to act as practitioners, but they cannot become practitioners because they are removed from the reflexive and reflective embodied experiences and tensions arising from practice.”

– Lloyd, 2007, “Learning to act as a practitioner”

Lloyd’s article was about switching from the idea of Information Literacy (IL) as a set of skills and behaviours, to sociocultural construction of information and meaning, and whole body engagement with a range of modes. Context, Lloyd argues, is fundamental to what is learnt and how it is learnt.

I can relate to the quote above as I look back on my professional teaching practicum. As a student teacher, I was only acting like a real teacher, and never truly became a teacher until I experienced the real thing. Similarly, our students can never truly become information literate by simply ticking off a set of skills and behaviours. They must be fully immersed in authentic information literacy learning, in a variety of contexts, to become information “practitioners”.


Lloyd, A. (2007). Recasting information literacy as sociocultural practice: Implications for library and information science researchers. Information Research, 12(4). Retrieved from http://informationr.net/ir/12-4/colis/colis34.html