While assisting a parent in the library, his/her young child is running amok amongst the shelves.
How would I respond?
If I was confronted with the above situation I would respond in a supportive stance by finding some activities for the child to do to get their attention. These could be within the makerspace and include a board game or a puzzle. By ensuring that they are occupied and being creative it would allow for a more successful interaction with the parent. Initial impressions are very important in the way that you are perceived by others (Green, 2004) Therefore it would be important to show the parent that they are both important to the school community by giving my positive attention to both, and being understanding of both people’s needs.
Green, G. (2004). The big sell: Creating influence and credibility. Session presented at LIS@ECU Seminar, Information literacy.
I found it interesting when she was saying that one of the programs they use morphs from year to year according to student need and feedback. I think that this modifying and changing of programs is paramount to good teacher librarianship. When introducing anything new to a school the key is to evaluate its impact and success and be willing to make changes when needed. Often when teachers invest a lot of time and effort into a project or program they feel a great deal of loyalty towards it and couldn’t possibly accept that it may not be working as successfully as planned. However, the key to good teaching practice is to evaluate the impact that anything has on student learning and be willing to make adjustments accordingly.
I also feel that Lori’s point about mapping the General Capabilities and how they are being addressed across the school is a very good idea. I liked the fact that this highlighted them moving towards a convergence between information literacy and the General Capabilities.
I see this as being a necessary in the modern school. As my understanding of information literacy is developing, I am seeing the importance of the process and the skills to student development.
All teaching and learning happens within an evolving context. As teachers we must adapt to changes within the social context in order to ensure that the teaching and learning that occurs within our classrooms is relevant. Literacy needs and skills are ever changing and I found it interesting that in the youtube clip one of the practitioners mentioned outdoor literacy and that there were multiple literacies. It is clear that we have moved beyond the reading and writing skills of literacy and well into the critical and creative thinking, and problem solving. I think that it was interesting that the comment was also made about the way in which media now invades our private lives. We have to also be aware of the need to encourage students to be discerning in their use of their own literacy.
What Does it Mean to be Literate in the 21st Century?
What I realised is that Information literacy is such a complex concept that has so many facets. I particularly like Lupton’s (2004) definition from module 5.2 that focuses on the learning elements. I realise that in my role as TL I will need to encourage higher order thinking and critical thinking. It is also important to teach problem solving skills that can be utilised throughout life in a multitude of contexts. It is clear that the information literacy that forms part of good teaching practise will be well utilised throughout a person’s life.
From listening to Karen Bonanno’s works at the ASLA, 2011 conference: A profession at the tipping point: Time to change the game plan, and her 2015 A profession at the tipping point (revisited) the take home message for me is that school librarians are not an endangered species. If they approach their role with enthusiasm and drive they have the ability to be one of the school’s most valuable and essential resources. Individual teacher librarians who don’t embrace the opportunities that the unique position holds will endanger their usefulness. However, as a whole the profession sits in a very good position to be drivers of change and continue to play a key role in student learning.
I have always found the Library to be a special place, one that was mysterious, intriguing and unique. As a primary school student I had a very friendly teacher librarian who would share her enthusiasm for literacy and books with us. I would look forward to our regular lessons in the library and would soak up her enthusiasm. Following this, as an older student I found the library a very useful place, one that would quench my thirst for knowledge and satisfy my love of reading. As a member of the teaching profession the Library yet again became a place that I would turn to for knowledge and information.
I see a well functioning library as the centre or heart of the school, and a place that can bring the entire school community together for many different reasons. For some the library is a haven that offers them solace and comfort as they enjoy its many aspects. For others the library is simply an avenue for them to enhance their knowledge and also gives them access to the world through its many resources.
For a library to be at the heart of the school and operate as successfully as it should it requires a team of professionals who have a passion for literacy, learning, technology and knowledge. ‘Teacher librarians support and implement the vision of their school communities through advocating and building effective library and information services and programs that contribute to the development of lifelong learners.’ (ASLA, 2019, para 3)
Promoting literacy and enhancing an individual’s knowledge and technological aptitude is a responsibility of all members of the teaching profession. However, a teacher librarian is in an especially privileged position to be able to achieve this. A teacher librarian has a unique role within the school community as they are able to oversee and facilitate how the whole school works towards improving student learning. A teacher librarian should not only support students within the school community but also support teachers in their teaching of students. There should be regular dialogue between the teacher librarian and the teaching staff regarding resources available and new developments in learning, technology and literacy. It is important that the teacher librarian is considered a significantly valuable school resource for everybody to access.
Teacher librarians need to be at the forefront of change within the school community. They also need to be the key promoters of life long learning and help to develop student skills for life long learning. Their knowledge of the curriculum and pedagogy in association with their additional teacher librarian skills make them an extremely useful asset that is not to be undervalued. (ASLA, 2019, paras 2- 3)
There is definitely a vital role played by a teacher librarian within the educational sphere. An effective teacher librarian makes knowledge, literacy, technology and student learning a priority and understands the significant role that the library and its staff play in the success of a school.
Australian School Library Association (2019) What is a teacher librarian? Retrieved from https://asla.org.au/what-is-a-teacher-librarian