Constructing documents in schools can be daunting because of the fact that time is always in short supply in a school setting. Furthermore, doing anything for the first time can also be a little overwhelming. As a person in the process of training to be a Teacher Librarian, I definitely feel like writing a Collection development policy for my school would be quite stressful if there was no supporting material available. This supporting material includes a number of templates and guidelines that are designed to streamline this process. The Australian Library and Information Association School & Victorian Catholic Teacher Librarians (2017) have a manual for this purpose. This encourages the development of policies to occur because it gives TLs greater confidence and assurance to make it easier for this to happen.
Australian Library and Information Association School, & Victorian Catholic Teacher Librarians. (2017). A manual for developing policies and procedures in Australian school library resource centres. https://www.alia.org.au/sites/default/files/ALIA%20Schools%20policies%20and%20procedures%20manual_FINAL.pdf
This subject has helped to solidify for me the importance of clear and well articulated school library documentation that outlines all key aspects of its functioning and management. The IFLA School Library Guidelines 2nd edition (2015) states that it is important that a school library has a well structured policy that acknowledges the library as a prime resource for reading and inquiry. Whilst the process of creating this documentation is time consuming, it is definitely necessary to ensure that the library and its functioning is guided by clear principles and processes for accountability with the school community.
IFLA School Library Guidelines. 2nd revised edition. (2015). International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Retrieved from http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/school-libraries-resource-centers/ publications/ifla-school-library-guidelines.pdf
Prior to engaging in the learning within this subject I didn’t have a great understanding of the complexities involved in developing a school library collection. In my learning I came to appreciate the importance of understanding the qualities and needs of the entire school community for the school library collection. Importantly the library media specialist or TL in creating a learner-centered collection must develop an understanding of their specific context. This includes an appreciation of the learner, the teaching and learning context, and the strengths and deficiencies of the current library collection (Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005).
Hughes-Hassell, S., & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection management for youth : Responding to the needs of learners. ALA Editions.