What did she learn?

image by Mysticartdesign, downloaded from pixabay

Moons ago, in a faraway snowy land, a school librarian started her ETL 402 quest:  to develop a strong theoretical base on which to build a school library that fosters engaged readers and enhance life-long learning (Wocke, 2018, November 11).


LESSON 1: Know your readers
In the visually dominated lives of our students the screen has replaced the printed text as the main medium for communication and reading, according to  Lamb and Johnson (2010), is not done in isolation any longer (Wocke, 2018, December 19). Printed books alone, are never going to be enough again to ensure that our students are “engaged readers” and according to Hashim and Vongkulluksn (2018) this is a critical component driving student learning and long-term academic success (p. 359). They reason that engaged readers are motivated and self-regulate their reading and apply learned strategies to real-life and out-of-school reading experiences (Wocke, 2018, December 30).

Davila and Patrick’s (2010) offer advice: find out what interests your readers – do not judge their choices, but read their suggestions and facilitate their choice (Wocke, 2018, November 24). Utilising the affordances of ICT to enhance reading – by linking the reading experience to multi-media formats – expanding the reading experience to include social links, extension and exploration opportunities and personalised elements as (Cullen, 2015; Wocke, 2018, December 29).

LESSON 2: Promote
It is vital to  display and promote our collections in attractive and interesting ways. We need to organise our libraries in ways that make “browsing” easy and help students over the search hurdle (Cornwall, 2018). Kimmelman (2018) argues that uncluttered, quality collections counter choice overload and presents meaningful options to our patrons. Genrefication, for example, reduces the number of options and positively affects patron self-sufficiency and independence (Wocke, 2018, December 26). We recently implemented this by genrefication of our fiction collections and see immediate benefits for patrons and librarians. We are investigating expanding this further with our non-fiction collection and are looking at BISAC subject headings (2018) as a possible easier way of browsing than the DDC.

LESSON 3: Diversify
Librarians need to maintain diverse collections, not only in terms of genres (did this librarian fall in love with graphic novels and steampunk recently (Wocke, 2018, December 19, Wocke, 2018, November 29)!), but by incorporating cross-cultural and cross-curricular collections (Maclure, 2018, November 19). We must also expand outside of the walls of the library by including ebook and audiobook collections, even if these are not initially very popular, because it is important that we educate our communities to understand and embrace the value of multi-modal and multi-platform experiences as part of developing 21st century literacy (Horsley, 2018, December 27).

LESSON 4: Literary learning
The last lesson is one that I did not even know I needed to learn: Literary learning enhances access to curriculum content (thereby supporting student engagement and learning) through inclusion of carefully selected works of literature into content learning. Readers encounter people, places, events and situations that allow them to develop an understanding for perspectives and points of view that may be different to their own experience and understanding (Ross Johnson, 2014, pp. 477-478). I learnt many literature response strategies, such as literature circles, book trailers and story mapping with which to build links between literature and curricular content.

How did the ETL402 quest end? Hopefully never! Much has been done, much remains to do, and I realise that my learning will be a life-long quest.


Complete BISAC subject headings list, 2018 edition. (2018). Retrieved January 27, 2019, from Book Industry Study Group website: https://bisg.org/page/bisacedition

Cornwall, G. (2018, July 22). How genrefication makes school libraries more like bookstores. Retrieved December 26, 2018, from KQED website: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/51336/how-genrefication-makes-school-libraries-more-like-bookstores

Cullen, M. (2015, December 21). How is interactive media changing the way children learn? Retrieved December 29, 2018, from Education Technology website: https://educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2015/12/how-is-interactive-media-changing-the-way-children-learn/

Davila, D., & Patrick, L. (2010). Asking the experts: What children have to say about their reading preferences. Language Arts, 87, 199-210., 87, 199-210. Retrieved from http://www2.ncte.org/resources/journals/language-arts/

Hashim, A. K., & Vongkulluksn, V. W. (2018). E-Reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers & Education, 215, 358-375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.06.021

Horsley, D. (2018, December 27). Task 1: Ebooks & reading [Blog post]. Retrieved from ETL402 201890 Discussion Forum: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_35350_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_61731_1&forum_id=_143048_1&message_id=_2029004_1

Kimmelman, A. (2018). The wise whys of weeding. Teacher Librarian, 46(1), 20. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/discovery/fulldisplay?docid=gale_ofa562488215&context=PC&vid=61CSU_INST:61CSU&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&lang=en

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2010). Divergent convergence part : cross-genre, multi-platform, transmedia experiences in school libraries. Teacher Librarian, 37(5), 76-8.

Mclure, I. (2018, November 19). Thread 4: Multicultural literature [Blog post]. Retrieved from ETL402 201890 Discussion Forum: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_35350_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_61731_1&forum_id=_143059_1&message_id=_2048880_1

Ross Johnson, R. (2014). Literature, the curriculum and 21st century literacy. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl, & M. Holliday (Authors), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

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 http://eprints.rclis.org/14868/1/94-andretta-en.pdf

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: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2018/03/29/we-need-to-transliterate-practically/