October 19

Back to the Future

This will be my last official post for 2019. I’ve finished everything! And I’m just waiting on the results for Assessment 2 in ETL504 Teacher Librarian as Leader, and ETL505 Describing and Analysing Education Resources.

This session has been a wild ride – I have really struggled to balance so many commitments. There was simply too much to do and it really impacted on my disposition toward uni, work and sport. This is something to consider for next year – if I do gain employment in Adelaide, I will be juggling commitments once more, and I need to be on top of it.

That said, I have just started volunteering in a library and I have really enjoyed the atmosphere. I can’t wait to do more!

Where will you be in five years time and how do you plan on getting there? What are some of the strategies you will put in place now to ensure a future career in school librarianship?

I think, based on my experiences this year, I would like to be working as a Library Officer or Assistant in a school or public library over the next five years, just to get more of a feel for the environment and daily operations. I don’t feel ready to be a Teacher Librarian (TL) yet. Besides, there are very few job opportunities here in South Australia, at this stage.

I will continue to volunteer this term, to get a strong grasp of library operations, and work really hard next year to finish my Masters with some good grades. Then, I guess I’ll see how I go from there.

 *   *   *

Congratulations on making it this far! Keep up the big effort!

September 2

A 21st Century School Library

What might a 21st century library look like and is the building or the space more important than what is happening in that space? Think about your library, its physical and virtual spaces and what is happening there. How could you effect change and what strategies would you use?

In the 21st century, new names have been coined for school libraries to reflect their changing nature, for example, the Learning Commons (Holland, 2014) or iCentre (Hough, 2011, p.5). Students have access to resources, including helpful staff members, and tools to access those resources, which may include digital tools. Students are provided with opportunities to create and tinker, for example, within a Makerspace (Daley & Child, 2015, p.43). No longer is the library a place for books and silence (Thomas, 2016).

I feel that the physical building or space of a 21st century library is just as important as what is happening within the space. If students are to use the library effectively, building 21st century skills and achieving learning outcomes, the physical space must be inviting and encourage 21st century ways of working. If the space is not inviting, then what is meant to happen, won’t happen.

My school library is fairly dark, with a reasonably small selection of books provided on old grey bookshelves. There are five desktop computers set up in one corner, and another four in another corner. It is well and truly stuck in the 20th century. There are pockets of 21st century potential, for example, a Smart TV is connected to a laptop in the middle of the room, but this is rarely used for student learning. Professional development for teachers does occur in this space. As far as I know, there is no virtual library space.

I don’t work in the library, so my capacity to create change is very limited. If I did work in the library, small, bite-sized chunks of change might be best, and it would be important to show how the changes are positively effecting student outcomes. I would consider creating a Makerspace, as this would coincide with the focus on oral language development at the school. Many of the students are very ‘hands on’ learners. To make it bite-sized, I would need to run it one day each week, during a certain time. Maybe even at lunch time!

Other larger-scale changes require additional funding. Perhaps I could introduce dedicated iPad cushions to encourage students to bring their personal devices into the library for learning. Or budget for additional 21st century flexible furnishings.


Daley, M., & Child, J. (2015). Makerspaces in the school library environment. Access, 29(1), 42-49. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/publications/access.aspx

Holland, B. (2014, January 14). 21st century libraries: The learning commons [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/21st-century-libraries-learning-commons-beth-holland

Hough, M. (2011). Libraries as iCentres: Helping schools. Access, 25(1), 5-9. Retrieved from https://asla.org.au/access

Thomas, L. (2016, April 5).  The dangerous myth about libraries. TedX Talks [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdQwrhxw8LM

July 24

Values and Relationships

How does the content of Colvin’s article relate to school libraries?

School libraries are a cog in the education machine. So, while they’re not particularly large enterprises on their own, they are part of a larger system.

Colvin (2000) mentioned two guiding forces – iron authority and shared values, going on to suggest that of the two, values are the basis of management in the twenty-first century. After all, “lots of people with aligned values constitute an awesome power” (Colvin, 2000).

This can relate to school libraries in two ways. Firstly, the library as it’s own system. Those working in the library will benefit from shared values, and these, ultimately, come from the school library’s management.

And secondly, aligning the school library to school and education system values, can be of benefit.

For six months, I worked at Sundrop Farms in Port Augusta. I was among the first to be hired, helping to construct four gigantic greenhouses during the first few months of their operations. Very early on, the management team were banging on about values, and how we were lucky to be here in the initial stages of Sundrop’s existence. Unfortunately, it was a little hard to instill the values in everyone who joined in.

Enough said.


Colvin, G. (2000). Managing in the info era. Fortune, 141(5). Retrieved from https://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2000/03/06/275231/index.htm?iid=sr-link1