Deborah's reflections

My journey to becoming a K-6 TL.

ETL507: Final Reflective Portfolio

Final Reflective Portfolio


Part A

Personal philosophy: What do you think makes an effective teacher librarian (TL)?

An effective teacher librarian (TL) is creative and adaptable in the support she gives students and colleagues. A strong and consistent school-wide promotion of the importance of literacy, reading, knowledge, inquiry, and creation is essential. This is demonstrated through leadership as an information professional and extensive collaboration with teachers and students in the areas of curriculum, content curation, literature support, and digital literacy. TLs are also creators of unique and inviting spaces to promote learning, inspiration, and safe havens to explore and escape into a story. More importantly, TLs know their communities. They learn the nature of their students’ likes and interests and their teachers’ preferences, and teaching styles. The graphic above lists a myriad of roles a TL performs in a school but Joyce Valenza (2013) in her list of what we will lose if TLs are taken away, also reveals what we can gain from continuing to properly fund and support school libraries.

Part B

Free-Photos / Pixabay

This section is divided into three major themes identified as significant areas of learning in the Master of Education (Teacher librarianship) course. The themes I have chosen are technology, collection development and literature, and leadership.

Theme one: Technology

Information and communications technology (ICT) is central to education and school libraries. Grantham (2007, p. 5) states that students will see libraries as irrelevant if TLs do not harness the capability of new technology. She goes on to describe two types of guidance that are crucial.

  1. Proficiency in 21st-century information skills and,
  2. Well-designed online environments.

Every day in my work as a primary school library teacher, technology as a tool, guides my work and the explorations of my students. It also provides the opportunity to manipulate and share information using web 2.0 tools. This ability to gather information, then share it has become central to ICT in school libraries. In this respect I have endeavoured to increase collaboration in library ICT tasks.

ETL501 and ETL402 both presented a myriad of possibilities in quality online tools.

In the last eighteen months our library has gained a set of 30 laptops in addition to the 30 ipads that are shared between library and our French and Italian teachers. 1:1 access for our students has enabled me to up-level our digital and information literacy programs from a rudimentary level to a more sophisticated list of skills. Rather than stand-alone lessons, these information literacy skills are integrated into units of work that support classroom units of work. ETL501 – The Dynamic Information Environment, was key in developing more sophisticated search strategies and website evaluation and exploring web 2.0 tools to enhance student engagement and learning. My assessment reflection Nicklin, (2020, September 26), explains this further. However, the release from face to face (RFF) structure for library lessons downplays the significance of our value. I continually advocate by ‘muscling in’ on grade meetings and communicating with grade coordinators formally and informally to promote my value in a primary school library. An example of informal advocacy I have implemented is to mention a significant moment that occurred during the lesson such as an astute observation by a student.  This small measure while teachers pick up classes from library lessons, along with building up communication and consistent support, will strengthen the foundations of advocacy.

For the first assessment in ETL501, I wrote a proposal to the principal for the development of a library website to support the community. A carefully curated library virtual website will increase our connection with the school community and broaden the landscape of authentic 21st education. A virtual website’s purpose is to create confident, active and informed citizens who are successful learners (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, n.d. para 1). However, this website is still a work in progress. During lockdown in 2020, I created a basic Google Site for the library, but I was neither satisfied with the outcome nor felt it offered enough content to be useful for our school. Gambrell (2015, December 8) suggests seven simple considerations to maximise student successful usage of a library website. The challenge for me is to create a site that is navigable by five- and six-year-old students to ensure the entire school will achieve search success for information. By referring WAG 2.0 guidelines, I will ultimately support all users and covers the broad range of accessibility tools to create an inclusive site.

The second assessment to create a pathfinder for a unit of work was immensely satisfying as I had a group of teachers and students, I tailored the pathfinder for a year four class. My explorer’s pathfinder for Stage 2 was useful for teachers and students and provided a starting point for the unit. It was immensely satisfying to support staff and students digitally having just returned to school after online learning during a Sydney lockdown in March/April 2020.

Year 4 research guide 2020. Created by D. Nicklin

This gave me the confidence to look at further pathfinders to integrate with grades. Levitov (2015, p. 4), states that TLs must embrace leadership in their role as information professionals requiring active visibility. This was demonstrated in the teacher and student use of these pathfinders and has directly improved student information literacy skills and visibility of the TLs role.

New to me was the idea of blogging in a primary school setting. However, the use of my own blog to complete this degree has demonstrated the effectiveness of the space to teach critical and digital literacy. Sheko (2019), describes the elasticity and stretchiness of the TL role and encourages libraries to experiment with blog spaces. My blog post (2020, August 24), further lists examples of blog usage for our library. My colleague (who is about to return from maternity leave) and I are in the planning stages of creating a blog for stage three students to share and promote literature they have enjoyed. We are building into this the importance of online etiquette when sharing a digital space as well as giving students a real readership rather than just their teacher.

I will continue to improve my use of digital tools to keep our library relevant in an increasingly digital world. Students and teachers are rapidly upskilling themselves digitally in our current situation of a Sydney lockdown in July 2021. My challenge is to keep up with an ever-increasing role description list, and an ever-changing learning environment. The Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) course has opened the door and given me a map to achieving this ideal.

Theme two: Collection development and literature.

This is an increasingly complex area in my work. Fulfilling

the requirements of meeting the needs of the community in which I work on a limited budget is challenging. Johnson, Huille & Reed (2009. P. 103), suggest TLs need to be increasingly selective due to the vast numbers of literature that is published each year. ETL503 demonstrated the importance of creating a collection development policy to guide management in this respect and explored the need for inclusivity of several factors. Diversity, reading levels, censorship, disability guidelines, curriculum focus, digital literacy, appropriateness, relevance, durability, and reading freedom are a few of the significant considerations. Narrowing down selection within a budget has become an ongoing series of compromises. There was no collection Development Policy at the library where I work, so I embarked on the daunting task with the support of the principal. I have recently revisited this document to update inclusions relevant to a lockdown scenario.


  1. 2. Library reshelving. 2019. D. Nicklin

Our library in 2019 held many outdated titles in poor condition. This was particularly the case with the non-fiction collection. Examples of books on a particular country from before the year 2000 were plentiful and searching the loan history in Oliver revealed these titles were infrequently loaned if at all. New shelving in 2019 was the perfect opportunity to extensively and ruthlessly weed the entire collection. Unfortunately, this occurred before I studied ETL503, therefore my weeding was somewhat ad hoc. Titles in poor condition, those not loaned in the last two years and a non- appealing appearance only went part-way to properly evaluate each item. ETL503 has highlighted so many more considerations detailed in my reflection (2020, January 23).  

My understanding of the two concepts of literature and literacy have deepened considerably. ETL402 provided a broad and succinct appreciation of the intrinsic value of literature and literacy in education. It’s generally accepted that reading is important for education and pleasure, however, Barone (2010), aptly describes below the true value of reading,

“When teachers cultivate reasons for reading, children move beyond the single focus of deciphering print. Their interactions with literary language and images in books support creativity, connections, and criticism as they participate in conversations centred on them. (p. 5).”

It is not simply good enough to buy books, accession them and plonk them on the shelves. Neil Gainman (2016), an author of many books for adults and children encourages us to shift our thinking and he promotes libraries as not places with shelves of books, but places of freedom. As TLS we are in a unique and privileged position to show students the truth of these words and to reveal the power that literature and literacy have for all their futures.

Students have access to a wide range of texts in our school library; however, the enthusiasm varies when they walk in. While some rush to the new books shelf, others dawdle around and linger with their hands in their pockets. If a Minecraft book isn’t available, they say, “I can’t find anything I want.” These students are my greatest challenge. Donalyn Miller (2013, October 10), describes in the video below how she attempts to create lifelong readers, rather than simply good readers.

3 Donalyn Miller (2013, October 13). reading in the wild.

After reading her book, Miller inspired me to look for reasons why these students opt out of literature. I have conversations with these students during borrowing time and look for an interest or a spark of enthusiasm. I realise that encouraging them to read is far more significant than what they are reading. I order more ‘low brow’ texts if it means that these students show an inkling of interest in reading at all. A small number of staff say some books such as Captain Underpants should not be on school library shelves! This goes against the concept of freedom to read.

Book promotion, displays, reading aloud and immersion in stories are important roles of a TL. However, with experience, I find allowing students to share their enthusiasm and passion for literacy is one of the most powerful drivers of encouragement. Student promotion via book trailers, book bentos, and conversations around story are powerful influencers to engaged and un-engaged readers.

  1. 5. Students borrowing at HNPS. (2020)

Our school is in a diverse area of Sydney so awareness of inclusivity, cultural literacy, and cultural schema (Ross-Johnson, 2014, p. 536) have been a focus. A collection review comparing the school population and the diversity of the collection showed a dominance of Anglo-Saxon characters and ideologies. With guidance from ETL503, I was able to include a statement within the Collection Development Policy to raise awareness of cultural literacy and balancing the collection to reflect the current student population. My growth in this area is enormous. I feel our collection continually moves from a general assemblage of titles to a more curated and appropriate collection for our community. My next challenge is to increase the bi-lingual books available.

Theme three: Leadership  

The idea of leadership in a school library context was an idea not considered by me. Judy O’Connell introduced this idea in ETL401 in module 3. A pivotal article by Bonanno (2015), opened my eyes to the advocacy role TLs must take to “play it forward.” (Bonanno, 2015, p. 20). This means to advocate for the absolute importance of the role the school library and its staff have in outcomes by students in a variety of literacies. I admitted in my blog post (2019, July 15), that leadership was creeping up on me in my new role as a primary school TL. Experience was and continues to teach me that Bonanno’s emphasis in her article is a large part of our role, particularly in a school library environment.

ETL504 defined leadership and the various styles that are present in organisations. The first assessment task challenged me to locate the leadership style and role a TL holds within a school situation. Creating a leadership map was a very difficult task and challenged me to consider the viewpoints of the whole school community.

Change Leadership Concept Map D. Nicklin (2019).

Change Leadership Concept Map D. Nicklin (2019).

I had no role model to emulate in my limited library experience. Additionally, all the staff I worked with had no leadership expectations of me. Goslin, K. (2011, January 18). The video below describes seven practical steps to affect change within an educational organisation. With this roadmap in hand, along with many readings in the modules, I was able to begin to re-position the library and its unique value to the community.

6 Goslin, K. (2011, January 18). Instructional leadership for 21st changes in teaching    and schooling.

This new mindset has adjusted how I advocate for the services our school library provides. However, this process is long and arduous. At times it resembles an uphill battle and with a combination of subtle and not-so-subtle methods, I am making in-roads. A current example is to add Wheelers Eplatform to our collection in addition to another online eBook platform we have. World Book Online provides good access to non-fiction titles with a few fiction titles. However, the current lockdown in Sydney in 2021 has greatly limited our students access to fiction books. Ultimately, my goal is to increase staffing. I have no library assistant, which ties me to daily administrative tasks such as shelving, weeding, and accessioning. In a small school this would be expected, however, in a primary school of nearly one thousand students, a vast majority of my time is administrative.

The leadership styles explored in ETL504 allowed me to reflect on my experiences working in schools. Bush & Glover (2014), clearly highlight the significance of leadership styles on student learning and the moral of staff in response to leadership styles. I resonated with the following statement:

“Leadership is a process of influence leading to the achievement of desired purposes. Successful leaders develop a vision for their schools based on their personal and professional values. They articulate this vision at every opportunity and influence their staff and other stakeholders to share the vision. The philosophy, structures and activities of the school are geared towards the achievement of this shared vision.” (Bush and Glover 2003, p. 5)           

The leadership theories described in ETL504 apply to a variety of roles in a school, however, not all apply to the role of TL. The phrase ‘leading from the middle’ was used widely by Jennie Bales and students in comments in the discussion forums, particularly to describe TLs. This equated particularly with the theories of servant and instructional leadership. Greater experience in the TL role and changing teaching and learning circumstances with lockdowns, has opened the opportunity for me to practice leading from the middle. This Master of Education (Teacher librarianship) course has allowed me to understand the nature of leadership, and the impact of the differing styles of leadership. Instructional leadership is increasing as I help some of my colleagues locate resources and navigate the home learning platforms of Seesaw and Google Classroom. I am no expert, but a different lockdown workload for some of our classroom teachers is causing much anxiety. They feel they are being left behind in a technological world. I have been able to step up and gently help these teachers with the technology support that the executive are overlooking.

Your digital LIbrary



Practically, to engage in many of the more significant and more visible avenues of leadership studied in ETL504 is quite beyond the staffing and time constraints in my current school. I suspect it is outside the realms of most NSW Department of Education. An overloaded class load and full library administration responsibility at a large primary school equate to constant prioritisation. This leaves me with too many obligations. Therefore, I need to be efficiently strategic to achieve and advocate for aspects of my role as shown in the graphic above ( n.d.).

Part C

The Standards for Professional Practice of Teacher Librarians (2004), outlines the highest standards to which all TLs should aspire. These guidelines can be adapted to a variety of school library circumstances and are appropriate for K-12.

The Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) course at Charles Sturt University (CSU), has supported me significantly in all three of the areas. At the commencement of this course, I had a rudimentary notion of the TL role, and was unaware of the depth and scope possible. The guidelines are a place to measure my current practice. Also, a place to identify areas I need to improve and work on. My practice has improved immensely over the last few years however I feel that I have a while to go before ‘excellence’ can describe my practice.

Standard 1: Professional knowledge

Standard 1.4-knowledge of library and information management is particularly significant to my learning. My understanding of how the library fits into the context of the whole school and its significant contribution of information literacy has changed my emphasis in my role as TL. Further work for me is to refine our information literacy scope and sequence further and to ensure I keep up with current practice and techniques. Journals such as SCAN and belonging to professional associations will achieving excellence. This standard is the area in which this course has supported me the most. The scope and depth of content across the subjects I studied and chose has prepared me significantly. I am better prepared for the nature of the role in a school context and the study visits have demonstrated the scope of the information industry.

Standard 2: Professional practice

I work in a primary school library which is advantageous to achieve these goals. I was able to immediately consider how to improve practice and locate areas that are lacking. Such as reviewing my programs and identifying areas of improvement. An area for me to continue to improve is my use of ICT in programs. I am beginning to use web 2.0 tools, however there are more opportunities to explore in this area. Applying theory to my practice has resulted in improved outcomes, but this needs to further develop. Collaboration is another opportunity for me to improve in the future. ETL504 has supported my confidence and knowledge to advocate for our library and to spruik our value via different styles of leadership.

Standard 3: Professional commitment

Advocates such as Donalyn Miller and her passion for the absolute necessity for a lifelong love of reading have inspired me. Through careful collection development, reading promotion and a consistent approach to literacy, I now have a 21st century collection of tools to raise outcomes. The principles and underpinning theories I’ve learned in this course support me to confidently realise the unique place of the TL and the library in the school. I also now understand how my role is to support and work with others to create a collegial community of practice who work towards the same vision.

I have reached the end of this course a far better TL and I have broadened my perspective on every aspect of my daily practice in a school library. I will continue my learning journey towards excellence as a TL and I am grateful for every opportunity the Master of Education (Teacher Librarian) has provided me.


Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (ACARA). (n.d.). Learning areas.

Australian Library and Information Association and Australian School Library Association. (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians.

Barone, D. M. (2010). Children’s literature in the classroom : Engaging lifelong readers. ProQuest Ebook Central

Bonanno, K. (2015). A profession at the tipping point.

Bush, T. & Glover, D. (2014). School leadership models: what do we know? School Leadership & Management, (34)5. pp. 553571, DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2014.928680

Gaiman, N. (2013, Oct 16). Why our futures depend on libraries, reading, and imagination. The Guardian. (Australian Edition).

Gambrell, K. (2015, December 8). 7 best practices for creating a user-friendly library website. Ebsco. user-friendly-library-website

Goslin, K. (2011, January 18). Instructional leadership for 21st century changes in teaching and schooling. [YouTube].

Grantham, C. (2007). Virtual library: e-ssential. Access (10300155), 21(3), 5–8.

Johnson, P., Hille, J., & Reed, J. A. (2005). Fundamentals of collection development and management. ProQuest Ebook Central

Just call me library girl. (2014). [Image]. Flickr. HyxvI4md288/Tb4XqL1fmrI/AAAAAAAAAMo/DvN6Rb3dP1U/s1600/Just+Call+Me+Library+Girl.png

Levitov, D. (2015). Leadership Is Necessary. School Library Monthly, 31(5), 4.

Nicklin, D. (2019, July 15). Leadership thoughts. [Blog post].

Nicklin, D. (2020, January 23). ETL503 Assessment 2: Reflective practice. [Blog post]. practice/

Nicklin, D. (2020, August 24). Explore the Edublogs site and identify a way you could use a             blog in the school library or classroom. Discuss and reflect on your Thinkspace. [Blog post]. Deborah’s reflections.

Nicklin, D. (2020, September 26). ETL501 A2: Part B critical reflection [Blog post]. Deborah’s reflections. critical-reflection/

Nicklin, D. (2020). Year four research guide: Explorers. CSU Thinkspace.

Ross Johnston, R. (2014). Literary literacies: Digital, cultural, narrative, critical and deep literacies. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl & M. Holliday (Eds.), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed., pp. 556). Oxford University Press.

Sheko, T. (2019). Using the medium blogging platform to teach critical and digital literacies in art. SCIS Connections, (110).

Valenza, J. (2013). School library story.

W3C. (2008). Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

Wiley. (2013, October 10). Reading in the wild 047090030X [Video]. YouTube. (n.d.) [Image].

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INF447: I made it…possibly!

qimono / Pixabay

This subject has challenged me and pushed me in ways I wasn’t prepared for. The content was focused more on a Ph.D. premise and not grounded in the daily work of a K-6 TL. It wasn’t until near the end of the modules that it became clearer that it has relevance to daily practice and future directions in context. The data of research informs what’s working and how we should proceed.

The first assessment was comparing two research articles on a car restoration club and the second article was about scholarly identity and online profiles. It was difficult. Fortunately the lecturer, Dr. Simon Wakeling was very supportive and understood many of us found the subject matter foreign and difficult. Weekly videos explaining the general gist of the upcoming module, online meetings, and email queries of assessment directions did go a long way to support me to wade through. A textbook also helped me to come to understand, at least at a basic level, the nature of how research is conducted.

The first essay assessment should have secured a better mark, however, I messed up one section. The second essay assessment is in and not due for return for another week… A pass would be a blessing.

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Virtual Study Report

Foundry / Pixabay

Deborah Nicklin



Part A: Attendance


Date/Time Attendance in real-time. Watched


Hosts and Venue
12th April

4.30 pm

Hayley Webster, Manager
Melbourne Museum Library
13th April

12.30 pm

Paul Kloppenborg
Learning and Information Services William Angliss Institute
14th April

12.30 pm

1) Rebecca Muir – Manager
2) Emeka Anele – Library Officer
Libraries West, Victoria University
15th April


Lauren Gobbett – Archivist & Historian
Mitsubishi Motors Australia, Royal Automobile Association, & Royal Adelaide Show
15th April

7 pm

Justine Hanna Librarian
Moonee Valley Regional Library Service
19th April


Holly Godfree and Lori Korodaj Teacher Librarians
Lake Tuggeranong College, Canberra
20th April

7 pm

Lucy Hawthorne
MONA Museum Library
21st April

7 pm

Sally Turbitt
Team Leader, Client Services – Ourimbah, University Library.


Part B: Essay and Reflection


A well-resourced information agency is a successful information agency.


“A strong and united library field powering literate, informed and participative societies.”         

International Federation of Library Association and Institutions vision statement (n.d.).


The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) vision statement above focuses on the fundamental human right of people worldwide to acquire access to information (IFLA, 2017).  I would like to structure the report under the first four development headings that appear under the vision statement, as stated by IFLA:


Libraries provide opportunity for all. (IFLA, 2013)


The virtual study visits 202130(VSV) have all presented a diverse range of functions to cater for diverse needs across communities in Australia. From the lone practitioner Lauren Gobbett managing the archives for the Royal Adelaide Show and the historical records of Mitsubishi, through to Sally Turbitt at a large institution at the University of Newcastle, Ourimbah requiring a staff of more than eighty people. Each of the presenters described various ways they provided their communities with the resources and information necessary for the patrons to achieve their goals. This also included safe and comfortable work areas. For example, Paul Kloppenborg at the William Inglis Institute responded to student surveys requesting quiet areas and longer opening hours. Students use swipe cards to access the TAFE library after hours and a large pod provided the study rooms for students to work together or study quietly (Kloppenborg, 2021). Thus, providing greater opportunities for students to access the library.


All the information agencies in the VSV described the dynamic nature of their collections and how staff provide for the needs of their patrons. For example, Rebecca Muir and Emeke Anele from the University of Victoria amended the availability of some special reserve items to fit the new ‘block model’ the university has adopted (Anele & Muir, 2021). Another example is the University of Newcastle has provided study rooms for parents of young children. Within the rooms are toys for children to play with while the parent has an opportunity to study. Rebecca Muir and Emeka Anele from Victoria University library provide services to support students with referencing, research projects, and using the library management system well to locate items. These classes were also adapted to zoom meetings during pandemic lockdowns for seamless service for students (Anele & Muir, 2021). These examples demonstrate how staff are resourcing their agencies to allow the greatest possible opportunities for their broad range of patrons.


Libraries empower people for their own self-development. (IFLA, 2013)


Education in school libraries is framed by the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) joint policy. The purpose of this policy states success will be achieved through high-quality library services and resources (ALIA, 2016). Lori Korodaj and Holly Godfree from Tuggeranong College in Canberra have worked together to develop a variety of programs, services, and teacher support to achieve the ASLA/ALIA policy. They advocate for students by actively supporting teachers with team teaching of research skills, building trust, and a comprehensive website providing access 24/7. Despite a few failures of holding classes for students where nobody turned up, Lori and Holly tried a different tack by changing the name of classes and recording them for lockdown (Godfree & Korodaj, 2021). Their persistence to support the teachers and students is infectious. Their discussions around making hallway conversations count and encouraging teachers they work with to spread the word are simple and effective advocacy lessons.


Libraries offer access to the world’s knowledge. (IFLA, 2013)


Johnson (2018) refers to the ‘universe of published materials’ (p. 119) available in the world currently. No single collection can contain every item published. Increasing costs and greater expenses pressure library managers to decide on the best resources to include within budgets. Google has provided a major boost to information access and there is a misconception by users that all information is now available online (Ballard, 2012). The work of Lauren Gobbitt who is the archivist for two organisations: Royal Adelaide Show and Mitsubishi, is gradually building up public access through the South Australian Royal Show website. Lauren described the slow process of researching, recording, and building the large historical collection online (Gobbitt, 2021). This is certainly a case of a well-resourced agency in terms of personnel to ensure the current collection stored in boxes is carefully managed as part of the website here. Lauren’s dedication and attention to detail ensure the longevity of the collection and availability to the community digitally.


Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM), combined for a project to improve digital access by the public to cultural collections. ALIA supported this project for two years, 2016-2018, to increase digitisation. Funding and training were provided to assist many varied institutions with the capacity to increase access. Therefore, providing greater National access to more artworks, items, objects, and documents.


Perhaps the odd one out in VSV is the MONA Museum of Art in Tasmania. A privately owned multiple-use museum with public access is truly offering access to the world’s hidden knowledge.  Dr Lucy Hawthorne manages the extensive library collection and curates the compilation purely to the whims of the owner, David Walsh. MONA is an art gallery, museum, library, restaurant, garden, and architectural display. Library items are not for loan but may be used for research on application. This is quite different from any other library.


Librarians provide expert guidance (IFLA, 2013)



The 202130 VSV information professionals consistently demonstrated examples of expertise in their field. Their ability to adapt and improve services to their patrons as the need arises reveals ongoing commitment and passion. A global pandemic created a shift and opportunity to alter and enhance their ability to continue to connect to their communities. Thus, supporting the global vision of the IFLA vision statement. These information agencies are certainly well resourced in terms of trained professionals in providing high-quality services for patrons.




The wider information community is incredibly diverse and requires a range of competencies to function. They vary from very small one-person operations to large, well-funded institutions serving many patrons. GLAM peak bodies support and connect repositories of information to offer greater access to cultural information for all. On examination of a variety of libraries, a well-resourced agency in terms of suitably trained, passionate, and committed information professionals is a more valuable asset than a collection on its own.  




Study visits 202130 highlighted the amazing variety and talent required to acquire, develop, manage, and document information. I was able to see in practice the value of my learning in Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) in the field. Themes of advocacy, collection development, leadership, and tailoring services to the patrons were commonalities between the different types of information agencies. The overall value of the dedication of information professionals to resource and tailor their services to their community was a focal point.


The Students Need School Libraries campaign (2020), refers to several research projects quantifying the value of a qualified teacher librarian and adequate funding for school libraries. The impact of good library services, resourcing, and collaborative partnerships among school staff support improved results in information literacy for students (Students Need School Libraries, 2020). Better results are achieved by qualified staff supporting teachers and students with the resources necessary.


Change is a major factor in the information agencies of the 21st century. Digital access and promotion feature significantly in the institutions in VSV202130. Consumers of information often expect open and online access to information. However, the cost of digital access is an ongoing factor. Library staff needs to be creative in their use of technology to maximise its potential to support patrons in their information needs. The VSV information professionals demonstrated adaptation to change and high-quality examples of creative technology use.


The study visits have highlighted the variety and value of information professionals. The enthusiasm, passion, and genuine support for their communities is wonderful and I hope to replicate these values. The visits have encouraged me to focus on providing the best service possible in the school where I work.


Word count: 1347       




Anele, E.& Muir, R. (2021, April 14). Libraries west – Victoria university [Presentation]. ETL507, Interact 2. qVtV_IjfRY8xxS6f3RNLmWYqBEp73gai2hpMMgIdG0WfEMjMeu.4eDYHq4PQu TGkb3f


Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). (n.d.). ALIA-ASLA joint statement on library and information services in schools.     information-services-schools


Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). (n.d.). GLAM peak bodies


Ballard, T. (2012). Google this. Science Direct. https://www-sciencedirect-he development of


Gobbett, L. (2021, April 15). Lauren Gobbett archivist & historian [Presentation]. ETL507, Interact 2. 4asZwBCyg2kSby2dUkxb2PUNR_IpmaFh9dr8uRtxo_uPhADAinH.1G467aWiNw2            PiedN?continueMode=true


Godfree, H. & Korodaj, L. (2021, April 19). Loi Korodaj and Holly Godfree – teacher librarians [Presentation]. ETL507, Interact 2. Lkq6k7BXhGqMUOcCFgnJl_YVCOWCtAcW- X3DSX9_ncrCYjKTGGNsKC.HpTHRgEfABUbW8bh


Hawthorne, L. (2021, April 20). MONA museum library [Presentation]. ETL507, Interact 2. Ta404HCmKUIwIDweDzrOray2GAsi7I.oU5ePGj-3iOvLJzi


International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (n.d.). Global vision.


International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (2013). IFLA statement on libraries and development (August 2013)


Johnson, P. (2018). Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management: Vol. Fourth edition. ALA Editions sessmgr02&vid=0&format=EB&rid=1


Kloppenborg, P. (2021, April 13). Manager – Learning and Information Services William Angliss Institute [Presentation]. ETL507, Interact 2.            -DnmtxKs_him4V4wuZeR29Gr9hq.xrASrXydXlTwi_95


Lake Tuggeranong College. (n.d.). Lake Tuggeranong College library


RA & HS Museum and Archives. (n.d.). The show museum.


Students Need School Libraries. (2020). About us


Turbitt, S. (2021, April 21). Team Leader, Client Services – Ourimbah, University Library. [Presentation]. ETL507, Interact 2.– LkcIzpQSFSjKdEsMp8KBNrfciJMfI.B6pBPZnv-YnKIGlg

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How to write a reflection.

The University of Newcastle has a simple but effective structure for structuring a reflection.


is the issue being addressed?


Why is this important? Relate to evidence.


What does this evidence mean in relation to the issue being addressed? This is where you bring it back to you.

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ETL507: Professional Experience and Portfolio.

Pexels / Pixabay

Golly, I thought I’d never get here!

I’ve begun to work through the modules and they are set up very differently. They are set up on a blog space and they begin with describing a study visit, why they are part of the course, and examples of previous sites visited. This is the part of this subject I was most looking forward to. It sounded like 4 days of fun, travelling around the world of libraries, meeting some other students and hearing the experts in a whole range of fields promote their stuff. My disappointment of it all going virtual and me sitting at home and watching a screen was a letdown.


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INF447: Research in Practice

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I have begun to work through the first module a little early in order to give myself some wriggle room with time for assessments. This subject presents a different feel: more theoretical and something more relevant for a PHD course. Other subjects to date are more practical for the classroom with a focus on teaching, library and literature. INF447 appears to suit a broader cohort. I’m a little nervous about this course…

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ETL402. Assessment 2, Part B: Reflection

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This semester, I have refined my concept of what literature is (Nicklin, D. 2020, November 15) and why it is important across all subject areas. Initially, I assumed non-fiction books would be the focus of Literature across the curriculum, however, the power of fiction to support all curriculum subjects, as well as English was established in module one.

In my own professional practice, I have successfully connected students with books (Nicklin, D. 2021, January 1) I now consider connecting students and teachers with literature for all topics to be an even more crucial aspect of my role. The first assessment: Rationale for fiction cemented my understanding that fiction is valuable for its learning potential. Well-chosen books and digital literature not only enhance classroom learning programs but are central to supporting deeper knowledge and understanding of topics as well as support outcomes in all key learning areas (Haven, 2007, p. 97). In the past, collection development for other subjects centered around non-fiction support, however, research and course readings have demonstrated to me that fiction supports learning, comprehension, artistic expression, creativity, connections and critical thinking (Barone, 2011, p. 5).

One of my favourite discussions in module 2 has reviewed picture books and their many uses in the K-12 classroom. Thread 2.2a gave us the opportunity to share interesting books and new discoveries. Sophisticated picture books for older readers can offer many layers of meaning from visual literacy to non-traditional structures and multiple layers of complexity (National Library of New Zealand, 2013). My own discovery of a quite unique picture book hidden in the shelves of the library where I work has multiple uses across grades and genres (Nicklin, Discussion forum. Thread 2.2a).

Greater experience of online learning due to home learning for six weeks in 2020, focused my attention on digital literacy. It was a challenge to locate good quality and suitable reading material. I over-relied on Storyline Online and YouTube videos of a person reading a book. My exploration of what’s available (Nicklin, D. 2021, January 1) left me disappointed that some of these platforms didn’t offer more elements than a shared classroom reading experience. Reading digitally can offer enhanced features such as sound, movement, read-aloud and dictionary links. Studying ETL402 has encouraged me to more efficiently locate enhanced fiction online with a literary and digital focus. I am more attuned to elements that constitute quality digital sources with a broader application.

Modules 5/6 and assessment two challenged me to extend literature responses with deeper reflections of text and the literary learning that can occur. I am excited to rejig my library program in 2021 integrating literacy circles, book trailers, book bento boxes, and moving towards a more transliterate approach across all grades and subjects.

With three years in a primary school library, I considered myself familiar with the collection. However, my aim in 2021 is to read more of the fiction titles that are particularly suited to curriculum areas and are popular with students (Nicklin, D. 2021, January 1). This will assist me to advocate for the fiction collection, collaborate with teachers on the value of fiction for their classroom themes, and to locate multimodal links to support the reading of a text.

In short, I can enhance and deepen the various library services to uplift the reading experiences for all in our wonderful library.



Barone, D. M. (2010).  Children’s literature in the classroom: Engaging lifelong readers. Guilford Publications.


Gaiman, N. (2013, October 16). Why our futures depend on libraries, reading and daydreaming. The Guardian


Haven, K. F. (2007). Story proof: The science behind the starting power of story.  ABC-CLIO, LLC .


Nicklin, D. (2020, November 21). Re 2.2a: Picture book for older readers [Forum post]. ETL402, Interact 2.


The National Library of New Zealand. (2013). Sophisticated picture books. Services to Schools

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ETL402. Module 5.1. Reflection

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Think about ‘your’ library – as teacher librarian, librarian, teacher or public user. What evidence is there that the library supports transliteracy practices? What do you think could be done better? Make a note of your ideas and revisit these at the end of this module to inform your response to the Discussion task outlined later in Module 5.

A definition of transliteracy stated by librarianbyday is:

“Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media.”

At the school I work in, I think we are beginning to move towards this ideal, however, we have many gaps and deficiencies. We have recently updated and added many new devices and wifi capability. More students have greater access during school hours and teachers are branching out and including more ICT. Unfortunately, it isn’t a coordinated response. A technology scope and sequence has always been on the agenda but never seems to move up the to-do list.

Teacher training was uplifted during the online learning period of March and April 2020 and many are continuing to employ some of these learning strategies. Minecraft for education, Google classroom and Seesaw are well integrated. We have lego robotics equipment that is occasionally used and web 2.0 tools are not really explored greatly. I find a great problem with web 2.0 freebies is the amount of advertising that pops up. It’s an annoying distraction for me but young students have a little more difficulty sifting through what is the actual tool and what is extra. Two 3D printers whir away often in a corner of the library making bag tags for buddies to give to new kindergarten students in 2021. Teacher training and time has not been set aside to look for useful tools in the Digital Learning Selector that has been neatly set up by the Department of Education NSW. This makes it very easy to integrate ICT because they have done some of the work for us. Who doesn’t love that! 🙂

librarianbyday. (2009, October 7). Libraries and transliteracy [Video]. YouTube.

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ETL402. Module 6.2: Teaching literature: theories

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Reflect on your own and your professional colleagues’ knowledge of literature. Identify an occasion when you successfully connected a book with a child or group of students and how your knowledge of the book facilitated this process. Identify possible opportunities for a teacher-librarian to respond to this research within the library and beyond to support teacher colleagues.

ETL501 The Dynamic Information Environment was the subject I studied last semester and this is when I realised I didn’t know my collection as well as I thought I did. Picture books are easy because they are quick reads that can be read while accessioning them or pulling them out of the box. Longer texts or digital texts are harder to know as they require more time on my part to become familiar with more than just the blurb. My own children were the source of novel and series books as they often read what was popular at the time.

Over these holidays I am endeavoring to read at least the first couple of chapters of some of the titles in the library.

Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

His Name was Walter by Emily Rodda

Withering by Sea by Judith Rossell

The Land of Stories: The wishing spell (Book 1) by Chris Colfer

All of these books I have recommended successfully to students, however, I know little about the storylines. A recent book fair allowed me the time to engage with students in what they would like added to our collection. I began a list of the books from the fair they really wanted in the library and this was the list I used to purchase my commission. 2021 I have two goals:

  1. Purchase diverse books to reflect our school population
  2. Purchase student requests.

Books purchased earlier in the year to support the Multilit program were from a list supplied from the company. We had few of the books on the shelves but I recognised over half of the list as adult titles. This seemed odd for a program aimed at promoting reading for struggling primary aged readers. Unfortunately, the teacher ignored the alternative list I produced and went ahead and purchased the books… they ended up on the teacher book swap shelf in the staffroom!

TL promotion opportunities

  1. Staff meeting – sharing of new titles to the library.
  2. Teach staff how to search the LMS to identify titles.
  3. Suggest titles to match upcoming classroom themes.
  4. Promote and share articles that suggest daily free-choice reading will influence their English results.
  5. Promote more titles during library lessons. Students would be willing to help out.
  6. “Golden Lines” display (Fisher and Frey, 2018, p. 92) of standout sentences from student reading.
  7. Use more socio-cultural strategies in library lessons.


Chapter 1: Theories of teaching literature (pp. 6-9)

Beach, R., Appleman, D., Hynds, S., & Wilhelm, J. (2011). Teaching literature to adolescents. Taylor and Francis.

Fisher, D. & Frey, N. (2018). Raise reading volume through access, choice, discussion, and book talksReading Teacher, 72(1), 89-97.

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Module 4.1: Literature in the digital environment

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Reflection: Existing stories can be told in highly relevant and new ways on a whole new level with book apps.

My niece and nephew who are 3 and 6 are quite tech-savvy. They are up to a second tablet each and operate  them easily. My teenagers are considered digital natives however they never had the kind of immersion that my niece and nephew participate in daily. Despite this they love books and their parents gather many traditional books and share stories with them often. I attempted to search for some book apps, however, as Haughton (2015, January 4) states there are many that are disappointing and don’t enhance the content of the original text. Recommendations from trusted friends and TLs would be a better way to source high-quality apps rather than trawling through the large number available.

I wonder if the interactivity offers more than a shared reading session classroom can offer. Cute features such as animal sounds and movement of the illustrations are fun but do little to offer an enhanced understanding of the text. For young students, involvement in text, storyline, creative illustration and narrative does encourage a love of story and literature which can only serve them well in literature learning.


Haughton, C. (2015, January 4). Top 10 book and bookish apps for young children. The Guardian

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