ETL503 Part B Reflection

Part B

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.

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 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.

Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020b, April 26).Role and nature of school libraries. Diana’s reflective journal.

Linquist, D. (2020c, March 5). Collection development and management. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2.

Linquist, D. (2020d, May 12). The future of school libraries. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2.

Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020e, May 12). How a collection development policy assists in future proofing the collection. Diana’s reflective journal.

Linquist, D. [Dikozlow](2020f, May 12). Insights from COVID-19. Diana’s reflective journal.

Linquist, D. (2020g, May 5).  Addition of digital content to collection development policy. [Online discussion comment]. Interact 2.


Insight from Covid-19

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been very eye-opening and life changing for everybody. In particular it has raised questions regarding the accessing of library resources. It has brought to the forefront the issue of being able to access resources remotely. Furthermore, it has created the need for libraries to have a clear direction regarding their acquisition of e-resources and the technology and skills needed for this. As a TL in training it has highlighted to me the need to move well beyond student reliance on paper based library resources into the embracing of the library collection’s e-resources. To ensure this occurs successfully it must be carefully supported by the library staff.

How a collection development policy assists in future proofing the collection

What I have learnt through reading through the information about collection development policies (CDP) is that a  CDP should include the mission of the library and the goals of the school library collection. These goals can work to ensure that the library collection is current and best suits the today and tomorrow of its community. These goals should reflect the following:

  • That the library plays a prime role in the school-wide curriculum delivery process through the resourcing of the curriculum (Chadwick, 2016). Therefore as the curriculum changes the resources to support the curriculum change.
  • ensuring that the school community is well served by resources that are relevant to their specific needs (Mitchell, 2011). What works for one community might not work for another. An example of this might be that a school that has BYOD might have a collection that includes more e-resources than one that doesn’t have BYOD.
  • The movement towards the increasing use of technologies within the library such as e-books (O’Connell et al, 2015). This can be seen as beneficial as library spaces and their usage is changing. It also of relevance in our changing world where we can find ourselves exposed to things like Pandemics where our access to resources is restricted to e-resources.





Chadwick, B. (2016). Curriculum-engaged school libraries and teacher librarians value curriculum-alignment of resources. International Association of School Librarianship.Selected Papers from the …Annual Conference, 1-30.

Mitchell, P. (2011). Resourcing 21st century online Australian curriculum: The role of school libraries.  FYI : the Journal for the School Information Professional, 15(2), 10-15.

O’Connell, J., Bales, J., & Mitchell, P. (2015). [R]Evolution in reading cultures: 2020 vision for school librariesThe Australian Library Journal, 64(3), 194-208, DOI:10.1080/00049670.2015.1048043

The importance of the collection development policy

I found the edublog: 500 Hats: the teacher librarian in the 21st Century very helpful in relation to a CDP. It suggests that such a policy offers guidance for the direction of the collection and ensures that one specific agenda does not dictate the collection (Braxton, 2016). This ensures that the collection as a whole isn’t biased or skewed according to a particular viewpoint (Braxton, 2016). This highlighted to me that by having the CDP it acts to set the guidelines and provides clarity and purpose that also provides greater accountability. Having the policy endorsed by the school Executive means that it can be used as a tool to defend decision making if these are ever questioned (Braxton, 2016).


Braxton, B. (2016). Sample collection policy. Retrieved from

The importance of a collection development policy as a strategic document

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.

Role and nature of school libraries

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 publications/ifla-school-library-guidelines.pdf

Extending my knowledge and understanding of the role and nature of school library collections

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.

ETL402 Part B Reflective Blog post

Prior to beginning this subject I had a very narrow view of literary learning. I did believe that reading has many functions and benefits including that it entertains and provides enjoyment (Linquist, 2019a, November 19). I didn’t really appreciate the significant role that literature can play in student learning beyond its function in the English classroom and through using the library. As a Human Society and It’s Environment (HSIE) teacher I had not considered programming literature into the HSIE curriculum. It wasn’t until I started working on this subject, and searching our school library and the internet sites like Magpies talking about books for children and The Children’s Book Council of Australia, did I realise its benefits in the classroom.


Having not picked up a picture book for years, I had not realised the great potential that these have for the HSIE classroom. In using picture books for the first assignment, I found literature that was relevant and invaluable to a topic that I was currently teaching. I used some of these books for the teaching in my classroom and found that the students showed great interest through their use. Furthermore, these acted as a catalyst for great classroom discussion and analysis. When teachers use appropriate children’s literature to facilitate peer interactions, students’ enthusiasm and effort can be enhanced (Chick, 2006). I also found them an excellent tool for differentiation for the mixed ability students including for those students that required learning support. As a consequence of this study, I found myself seeking the advice of the school’s Teacher Librarian (TL) on a regular basis in searching for appropriate literature to use in the classroom. I gained a greater appreciation for their expert knowledge, and found that this collaboration was of great benefit to both me and the students in my classes. Student learning can be enhanced through classroom teachers and TLs working together (Merga, 2019).


When I closely analysed professional documentation such as The Australian Curriculum general capabilities, I came to a greater realisation of the significant role that children’s literature can play to address its specific elements. For example, using the literary learning strategy of Literature circles addresses the personal and social capability which involves the student developing an appreciation of the perspectives of others, developing communication skills and reflective practice (Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2010 to present-a). I found myself sharing my learning and resourcing of the curriculum with my HSIE colleagues because of the value that I felt that it had on learning outcomes, and from the positive feedback that I received from students in the classroom.

What I discovered from my work for this subject was that I really needed to continue to expand my knowledge of children’s literature and literary learning in working towards my goal of becoming a TL (Linquist, 2019b, November 26).



Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority. (2010 to present-a). General capabilities. In Australian curriculum: F-10 curriculum. Retrieved from


Chick, K. A. (2006). Fostering student collaboration through the use of historical picture Books. The Social Studies, 97(4), 152-157. doi:10.3200/TSSS.97.4.152-157


Linquist, D. (2019a, November 19). Why read [Online Discussion Comment]. Retrieved from


Linquist, D. (2019b, November 26). Professional knowledge of children’s literature [Blog post]. Retrieved from


Merga, M. K. (2019). Librarians in schools as literacy educators: Advocates for reaching beyond the classroom. Retrieved from Proquest Ebook Central

Learning from gaming failures

I liked the ideas raised by the point that success and failure are accepted elements of gaming and how this offers benefits to the sphere of education (Briggs, 2016). As a parent it is always difficult to teach your child about the acceptable nature of failure, and the way that it teaches just as well as success. We steer away from talking about failures and instead tend to devote more time to the promotion of successes. Briggs (2016) makes the point in gaming these failures don’t have such an impact because of the notion of it being a game, and that this notion of failing to improve is invaluable.



Briggs, S. (2016, January 16). Using gaming principles to engage students. In InformED. Retrieved from

Professional knowledge of Children’s literature

Prior to completing this subject I would say that my knowledge was limited to what I had come across as a reader myself, and through what I have read with my own children or seen them reading. I have also had experience in helping at the School library and seeing popular novels that the students regularly borrow.

Things that I could do to increase my professional knowledge of Children’s literature:

  • Join social networking sites that review the literature such as goodreads.
  • Subscribe to publications like Magpies
  • Collaborate with other Teacher Librarians from other schools about things like their collections.
  • Collaborate across various curriculum areas with teachers to get an insight into what they are using in their classrooms or would like to be using.
  • Liaise with local book stores regarding trends.