Transliteracy in our library (now)

image by rawpixel, downpoaded from pixabayThis very short, “spontaneous” post is in response to the reflection exercise at the beginning of ETL402 module 5:

¨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 Forum task outlined later in Module 5.

My instinctive response:

  • We offer ebooks and audiobooks – exposure to multiple media
  • We offer a virtual library with 24/7 access through our libguides/website – we encourage exploration and inclusion of the digital information
  • We curate resources – print, audio and video – we encourage students to stay focused and directed in their digital actions, we provide access (and exposure) to appropriate and relevant resources 
  • We offer access to online databases, not just print resources – providing opportunity to develop digital literacy
  • We work with teachers to evaluate research skills (how to search, evaluating sources, etc.) – teaching information and media literacy

What can we do better? How?

  • By modelling transliterate behaviour
  • By raising awareness
  • By encouraging participatory behaviour
  • By publish ourselves
  • By creating opportunities to participate online in social forums, in ways that demonstrate good digital citizenship practice.

I also looked back on another blogpost I did for an earlier module on “transliteracy” (“We need to transliterate, practically” (Wocke, 2018). Here are the main points I take away from this post now:

  • Transliteracy is presented as an over-arching concept, a unifying perspective, encompassing different literacies and communication channels, capturing in essence our capacity to interact with information as both linear and non-linear message (Andretta, 2009, p. 3)
  • School libraries are in fact ideal places to develop transliterate skills, because its collections facilitate access to information sources in many different modalities: print on paper, digital print media, images, audio and video recordings, as well as access to different technological tools and platforms. Learners are exposed to a wide range of source and encouraged to investigate different media and environments (Jaeger, 2011, p. 46).
  • Teacher librarians create media- and resource rich environments and assist students in creating print, digital or multi-modal information artefacts, choosing the most suitable medium, tools or platforms, for the product. They encourage students to go beyond the ability to interact with specific modalities but includes the intentional follow through of repeated and transferred learning behaviour related to knowledge building and communication (Bush, 2012, p.5). They create opportunities, and provide scaffolding, for the development and execution of transliterate skills.
  • It is essential for the teacher librarian to be transliterate, to keep up with the development of new media and transfer skills to newer media in order to model and teach students and fellow educators. They do not teach use of a medium, but the skill to evaluate, produce, communicate, organise, encouraging higher order thinking skills and transfer of skills.

Good stuff that 😉


Andretta, S. (2009, August). Transliteracy: Take a walk on the wild side. Paper presented at World Library and Information Congress: 75th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, Milan, Italy. Retrieved from

Bush, G. (2012, September/October). The transliterate learner. School Library Monthly29(1), 5-7.

Jaeger, P. (2011, October). Transliteracy – new library lingo and what it means for instruction. Library Media Connection30(2), 44-47.

Wocke, G. (2018, March 29). We need to transliterate, practically [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website:

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