“Provide a critical reflection of how your understanding of Information Literacy (IL), IL models and the TL role in inquiry learning has expanded through this subject.”
What a fabulous journey learning is. It reveals so many things about ourselves as we uncover new ideas, thoughts and interpret these into information we can then share with others. The course through modules and inquiry has rolled out pieces of information to chew on, slowly adding up to create new views. I have learnt that as a learner I sit uncomfortably in the space of discussion forums and blogs. The reason is enlightening to discover … I am intimidated by all the academic reflection, preferring a less formal approach, and it seems I don’t like to reflect my learning until I have all the pieces, the idea of committing developing thoughts to be shared in digital form is one that I am not fond of. I see it’s value but I recognise my internal battle to write about what I know when I know that I don’t know what I don’t know …
I began the course with a pretty open and passionate view of what libraries in the 21st century could be with an enthusiastic vision of a modern Teacher Librarian. “Research wizards, literary warriors, smart leaders with a good ear for gossip and a smile for the bookworms.“ My view was a modernisation of the school library space and the TL within it, more vibrant, more interactive, embracing technology but that the heart of the school library and TL remaining the same. A space for learning, collaborating, a safe space, a social space, a place of learning and the TL as the facilitator for all of this.
This still rings true though at the conclusion of this subject I am somewhat overwhelmed by all the new things I have learnt a TL should be and should provide to it’s school community.
The idea of the TL as an information specialist engages with my love of technology and knowledge it fuels my interest in 21C learners and how to teach them Information Literacy. I was particularly inspired by watching Changing Education Paradigms – Sir Ken Robertson.
The TL as a curriculum leader creating a difference in learning opportunities through facilitating inquiry and project based learning ignites my passion, and yet it was here that I felt the challenge began to creep in … I can feel the view teachers have of the TL role does not match the inspiring vision being proposed in this course. It makes sense, and yet I can sense there will be resistance. I feel this already when I reveal to teacher friends that I am doing this course … the confusion as they judgmentally ask ‘you want to be a librarian??’ I see a huge challenge in changing the perception of the TL role within school communities and am aware that this needs to begin with support and understanding from the principal and leadership team. The TL working collaboratively with teachers integrating IL models and support inquiry learning is both exciting and daunting. … to be honest it sounds like a lot of work to generate this type of interaction into the already running machine of a school … and admittedly my fire about the role flickers … it seems overwhelmingly an uphill battle. I know that it will be my job to advocate for the role and to offer myself as an expert, and yet I am not an expert, it’s clear to me I have a lot to learn!
The modules touched upon a range of IL models, ‘processes that can be taught, internalised and followed whenever a person has an information need.’ (CSU, 2019). A TL model provides the learner with a list of steps to take when exploring inquiry. I feel I’ve touched the tip of the iceberg, and looking forward to exploring this further!
Judy O’Connell comes to the rescue with this comment in response to my discussion post, 5.3 b Guided Inquiry – “Daunted is good – it means you are giving it due consideration and understanding the complexity. Because of this you will tease out the right options and will do a great job!”
So I will take this comment into the broader context of my current overwhelm about the TL role … using it to reassure me as I sit in this space of challenge, overwhelm and anticipation while my learning continues to unfold.