How the subject has extended my knowledge and understanding of the role and nature of school library collections.
This subject has given me insight into the importance of the school library collection to the school community. The school library collection must reflect the curriculum and also the learning needs of the students. Furthermore, it must provide resource support for teachers to meet their needs in delivering the curriculum. In the blogpost (Linquist, 2020a) I reflected on the importance of the TL in developing a learner-centred collection and having an appreciation of the learner and the teaching and learning context (Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005). The blog post (Linquist, 2020b) highlighted that it had become clear to me that there was extensive documentation available for TLs to inform them about the important role that collections play in the education process. The IFLA School Library Guidelines 2nd edition acknowledges the role of the library as a prime resource for reading and inquiry (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2015).
This subject has also made obvious to me the deficiencies that are present in the school library that I am training within. There is not adequate collaboration between teachers and library staff regarding collection needs. There is also not enough work being done to match the library collection with the curriculum. I feel that the disconnect between the collection and the curriculum is a direct consequence of the lack of collaboration. This may stem from the perception that I think some members of the school community have about the library, as being on the periphery of learning, rather than as being fundamental to it. This then impacts on the role that the library plays within the school and its patronage within the community.
The nature of the school library collection can greatly impact the school community. The collection should be closely linked to the needs and characteristics of the school community. Characteristics not only include things like age, gender and cultural background, but also cognitive ability and special needs. Therefore, each school library collection should be individual and unique. Importantly, it should directly align with the values and ethics of the school. Furthermore, the collection should be dynamic and consider the community’s needs of today and tomorrow. It became clear to me the importance of the school library being proactive in terms of the ever-changing education environment, rather than reactive. TLs can ensure that their collection embraces the trends and programs that are at the forefront of education to support the best learning outcomes for the school community.
The importance of a collection development policy as a strategic document
From conducting my research in this subject, I have learned that the school library’s CDP is of fundamental importance. It operates as a guiding tool in providing direction for the library and in driving its resourcing. Furthermore, having a clearly articulated CDP helps to show the complex thinking and decision making that goes into a collection. This further highlights the significant role that the library plays for teaching and learning at the school.
The CDP needs to clearly align with other school policies and be endorsed by the school Executive. This ensures that it works to support the school’s strategic plan and contribute to the achievement of the school’s strategic goals. Making the policy available to the entire school community offers transparency and accountability. For this reason, it must present professionally to also afford it the authority it deserves. For a policy to be effective it needs to be supported and adhered to as a working document.
The CDP must have at its core the school curriculum and the teaching and learning needs of the school community. In my discussion forum response to another student’s comments I highlighted that the CDP must embrace the ever changing curriculum and be welcoming of educational change (Linquist, 2020c). To this end the CDP needs to be regularly critiqued and revised accordingly.
How a collection development policy assists in future proofing the collection
The CDP needs to be unique to each school and reflect its individual circumstances. In my discussion forum contribution I wrote that decisions regarding issues such as digital versus hard copy, at a time when e-resources are growing exponentially, are very much dependent on the individual school needs (Linquist, 2020d). This was further supported in the blog post I wrote about how the school that I work in now has all students bringing their own devices (BYOD). This facilitates a greater transition to e-resources in the library collection which might not be possible in a school that doesn’t have this BYOD policy (Linquist, 2020e). Having a CDP that considers the changing information resources landscape and encourages the embracing of such change will assist in future proofing the collection.
The current circumstances with COVID-19 have highlighted to many TLs some of the inadequacies of their collections and provided great insights into future proofing the collection. This was highlighted in my blog post that considered the increasing need to be able to access resources remotely (Linquist, 2020f).
I agreed with the perspective given in the discussion forum that the current COVID-19 situation has created the need for resources that may have previously just been considered wants (Linquist, 2020g). Lee Fitzgerald (2020) highlighted the problem associated with the inequities in school resourcing that restrict some schools from being able to further embrace the use of e-resources. The present situation of remote learning also highlights the changing responsibilities for TLs in training and supporting student utilisation of a collection ‘s e-resources.
This subject gave me a great insight into the role, nature and importance of the school library collection to the school community in resourcing the curriculum. It further demonstrated to me the significant need for appropriate policy and procedures to support the collection.
Fitzgerald, L. (2020, May 5). Addition of digital content to collection development policy. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_44235_1&conf_id=_88816_1&forum_id=_181291_1&message_id=_2906244_1&nav=discussion_board_entry
Hughes-Hassell, S., & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection management for youth : Responding to the needs of learners. ALA Editions.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (2015). IFLA School Library Guidelines. 2nd revised edition. Retrieved from http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/school-libraries-resource-centers/ publications/ifla-school-library-guidelines.pdf
Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020a, April 13). Extending my knowledge and understanding of the role and nature of school library collections. Diana’s reflective journal. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/dijl/2020/04/13/extending-my-knowledge-and-understanding-of-the-role-and-nature-of-school-library-collections/
Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020b, April 26).Role and nature of school libraries. Diana’s reflective journal. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/dijl/2020/04/26/role-and-nature-of-school-libraries/
Linquist, D. (2020c, March 5). Collection development and management. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_44235_1&conf_id=_88816_1&forum_id=_181242_1&message_id=_2728132_1&nav=discussion_board_entry
Linquist, D. (2020d, May 12). The future of school libraries. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_44235_1&conf_id=_88816_1&forum_id=_181254_1&message_id=_2927766_1&nav=discussion_board_entry
Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020e, May 12). How a collection development policy assists in future proofing the collection. Diana’s reflective journal. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/dijl/2020/05/12/how-a-collection-development-policy-assists-in-future-proofing-the-collection/
Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020f, May 12). Insights from COVID-19. Diana’s reflective journal. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/dijl/2020/05/12/insight-from-covid-19/
Linquist, D. (2020g, May 5). Addition of digital content to collection development policy. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_44235_1&conf_id=_88816_1&forum_id=_181291_1&message_id=_2906244_1&nav=discussion_board_entry