September 18

A Balanced Collection

Browse your school or local library. Does the library have a balanced collection? Does it include the full range of resource formats and delivery modes identified above?

My school library collection is heavy in some areas and light on in others. At least for the needs of my primary school community, I think the collection is quite strong, although there are some gaps that I’d like to fill over the next couple of years.

Browsing the collection has certainly helped me to find some of those gaps!

Multiple formats and delivery modes Our school has a reasonable range of print resources, although we don’t store any large posters, infographs, ephemera or maps within the library itself. Big books are stored in the junior primary building. We have access to a wide variety of eBooks through the Scholastic Literacy Pro program, but we don’t have any subscriptions to popular eBook titles as students generally don’t access them and we’re trying to save money on that front. We don’t have DVDs or CDs as these sorts of resources can be found online. I’m not sure about Realia. This might also be stored elsewhere within the school. I’ll have to investigate!
Reading and comprehension levels and social development The Lexile system is used effectively from Year 2 to Year 7. Foundations and Year Ones use readers from Level 1 to Level 30 before accessing the Lexile program. We have an excellent range of books varying from very low to very high reading levels. We also have magazines but no newspapers. So far I haven’t come across any material that is socially inappropriate.
Support for the curriculum Recently I cleared out the NF section because many of the resources were old and tattered. I am now beginning to see gaps that I need to fill, especially when students come in asking for a book on a particular topic. We do have lots of resources for STEM topics, as well as Sustainability, Civics and Citizenship, and Australia.
Leisure resources to challenge and maintain literacy development Again, our leisure-based resources are many. We have six years worth of Guinness Book of Records, magazines, joke books, games, construction and fact books. We don’t have a whole lot of books that are dual language. Our school teaches Japanese, so it would be good to have more resources related to that as well.
Catering for different learning styles I don’t know exactly what we have in terms of Teacher Resources. I am thinking that I should start here when I do stocktaking for the first time at the end of the year. I know that the STEM teacher has lots of kinaesthetic learning resources stored in the library. We don’t have any audiobooks, as far as I know.


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.
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