“Really, now you ask me,”

Part B: Reflective practice

Throughout this subject I have learnt a great deal about the importance of the Teacher Librarian (TL) in overseeing the library collection, and how this collection is the basis for creating a relevant, curriculum supported, valuable, unbiased 21 Century centre of information. The modern school library driven by a passionate, educated, informed and collaborative TL, a digital leader who understands the evolving nature of the information landscape.


In discussion Forum 2.2 Tonks, K.C (2019) succinctly summarises the views of Loertscher  (2017) describing the TL as a unique mix of expert classroom teacher and resourcer.


In my blog I rallied against Shatzkin, M (2016) and his alarmist view about technology replacing print. Books are here to stay, but lets embrace the joys of exciting new technology. ‘Come at me’ I typed as loudly as I could! Yet as the modules unfolded I began to see the challenges for a TL in implementing digital resources into a school library system. The challenge of keeping up with the needs of our learners in a digital landscape raises questions about curation, accessibility, currency, budget, on-demand vs subscription, school filters and staff training. As I developed my understanding of the challenges I became extremely aware that I still have a lot to learn about HOW to implement the exciting opportunities I see for use of digital resources.


Smith (2015) describes the TL as “transformational leaders” guiding school communities through the challenge “to promote shared visions for digital technology implementation” (p 212). So although challenged by HOW, I shall forge forward allowing my learning to unfold as I aim to be such a leader.


I have learnt that the development of policies that advocate for, and support the vision and goals of the school are important tools for the TL. A Collection Development Policy like the one developed by Windsor High School, as I discussed in Forum 1.2, clearly reflects the needs of students and teachers, developed specifically with the target audience / educational context in mind, establishes the library as a collaborative space that supports the development of life long learners. I have learnt the importance of the TL placing themselves as an information literacy leader, and the library as the core of learning. It is both exciting and overwhelming.


I enjoyed reading Forum 2.6 to see what was contributed as suggestions for selection aids. I have been able to create a valuable list to use through out my TL journey as I aim to build a balanced, relevant and diverse collection.


I was very interested in Module 4, Legal and Ethical Issues of Collections. Copyright is so complex and is an area students (and probably most teachers) do not fully understand. Reading all the threads in Forum 4.1 made clear the many varied implications of copyright law. It’s clear that the TL can assist in supporting the school community in this area through providing information about copyright to the school community, providing clear copyright policy, and making use of the Australian Libraries copyright committee fact sheets and more directly through advising students and providing training on how to use Creative Commons.


Module 4 also raised the issues of filters and I was pleased to read the statement “Freedom can be protected in a democratic society only if its citizens have unrestricted access to information and ideas.” ALIA Statement on online content regulation, 2002.


Further supported by the ALSA Bill of Rights which states “School libraries are concerned with generating understanding of freedom and with the preservation of this freedom through the development of informed and responsible citizens.” ASLA, 2018.


These statements also relates to Collection Development, ensuring the representation of differing viewpoints of controversial issues so that students can engage in critical analysis of issues to explore their own beliefs and attitudes, and The International Federation of Library Associations’ (IFLA) assertion that a “commitment to intellectual freedom is a core responsibility for the library and information profession.” IFLA, 2015.


This study has been a good learning curve with many things to consider about the role and nature of school library collections and policies, including areas that I need to further explore.




Australian School Library Association. (2018) Policy Statement – School Library Bill of Rights. Retrieved from https://asla.org.au


Australian Library and Information Association. (2002) ALIA on online content regulation. Retrieved from https://www.alia.org.au/about-alia/policies-standards-and-guidelines/alia-online-content-regulation


Bechtold, F. (2019) Thinkspace blog post. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/impossiblethingsbeforebreakfast/2019/03/14/and-what-is-the-use-of-a-book-thought-alice-without-pictures-or-conversations/


Bechtold, F. (2019, March 17). Forum 1.2. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147530_1&message_id=_2183799_1


International Federation of Library Associations. (2015). IFLA School Library Guidelines. Retrieved from https://www.ifla.org/node/9512


International Federation of Library Associations. (2015). IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom. Retrieved from https://www.ifla.org/publications/ifla-statement-on-libraries-and-intellectual-freedom


Loertscher, D. V. (2017). Microdocumentation of the Impact of Teacher Librarians on Teaching and Learning. Teacher Librarian, 44(5), 44–47. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lih&AN=125892529&site=ehost-live



Cont …

Shatzkin, M. (2018) Words-to-be-read are losing ground to words-to-be-heard.  The Shatzkin Files. Retrieved from https://www.idealog.com/blog/words-to-be-read-are-losing-ground-to-words-to-be-heard-a-new-stage-of-digital-content-evolution/


Smith, D. (2015) Thriving in the Digital Age: Conquests, Challenges, and Thoughts on School Libraries. In Baker, D. & Evans, W. (Eds.) Digital Information StrategiesFrom Applications and Content to Libraries and People. (p. 212) Waltham, MA: Chandos


Tait, C. (2016). Windsor High School Library. Collection Management Policy. Retrieved from https://windsor-h.schools.nsw.gov.au/content/dam/doe/sws/schools/w/windsor-h/localcontent/whs_library_collectionmanagementpolicy.pdf


Tonks K, C. (2019, March 23). Forum 2.2. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147532_1&message_id=_2202598_1&nav=discussion_board_entry

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.

Information and communication 24/7 … Pro’s and Con’s

Work email on my phone.

A constant reminder of the amount of work I need to complete within an inadequate timeframe.

Facebook, a rabbithole I can fall down and waste moment after moment

Mobile phone texts and calls when I am not in the office.

A question, a musing, an argument – ‘I’ll google it’

Children searching for what type of lego they can buy … are there bears or tiger figures?  ‘Hey mum, look we can buy it online here’

It would seem that both our work and our pleasure is now always at our fingertips.

3 negatives …

  • It’s exhausting, inescapable. Those work emails intrude while I watch my daughter dancing.

Switch off. But what if it’s important?

No time to just ‘be’ to be in the moment or to sit quietly in the nothing.

It’s addictive. I can’t stop myself, any free moment I check … email, facebook, instagram, news, it’s all there and I can’t stop myself from looking. It takes me out of real life moments. 

  • Less personal enquiry or reflection, I can just look things up, no need to work things out.
  • I make errors, sometimes I’m answering emails while I distracted by life, autocorrect the destroyer of meaning …

3 positives

  • I am super informed. I can find out anything, anytime. No hesitation, immediate answers
  • I can work while I’m waiting for something … time efficiency.
  • I’m connected, in ways I never could be before.

I can see how my overseas friends are. I can chat with friends that I never have time to call.

I can quickly message ‘I love you’, ‘I’m on the way home’, ‘pour me a wine’.

My children’s teachers share photos of activities on seesaw and as I working mum I feel better. I can facetime upset children to solve the latest dilemma. Far but near, always here.


The challenge is setting our personal limitations. Being mindful of our priorities. But isn’t this case for everything in life?

Balance, self control … I’ll admit I’m still working that human trait out



“And what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”

I love to read.

I love to hold a book, turn pages.

I love to sit in the sun or hide in bed with a book and a cup of tea.

For many those of us that are bibliofiles it’s easy to cling to pages and negate digital and audio books.

So the question …

Are published books being overtaken by digital publishing?

‘Words-to-be-read’ are losing ground to ‘words-to-be-heard’ in this new      stage of digital content evolution? 

Shatzkin, M. (2018) Words-to-be-read are losing ground to words-to-be-heard.  The Shatzkin Files. Retrieved from https://www.idealog.com/blog/words-to-be-read-are-losing-ground-to-words-to-be-heard-a-new-stage-of-digital-content-evolution/

But it doesn’t have to be an us and them argument.

Living proof….

As a working mum I am time poor. When I pick up a book to read, on the very rare occasions that I find the quiet and the space, I usually fall asleep. Parenting fatigue is real people, enjoy your sleep before you have children!

I do have a fair bit of driving time though … and it is here that I can indulge the art of listening. Stories told to me as I drive to work, that make me laugh and cry in my metal bubble.

I recently listened to ‘Any Ordinary Day’ by Leigh Sales via Audible. I looked forward to getting in the car and hearing Leigh Sales tell her story every morning and evening that I persevered peak hour. The experience of the ‘book’ was heightened by having the author speak to me directly, her emotion and memory shared with me.

The art of storytelling and sharing knowledge began before books. Humans have shared stories and information before language. Books are part of the evolutionary chain of storytelling and sharing of knowledge. Once threatened by radio, then by film, now by digital technology and audiobooks.

‘Audiobook sales have doubled in the last five years while print and e-book          sales are flat. These trends might lead us to fear that audiobooks will do to         reading what keyboarding has done to handwriting — rendered it a skill                 that seems quaint and whose value is open to debate. But examining how           we read and how we listen shows that each is best suited to different                     purposes, and neither is superior.’ 

‘But even with those changes, audiobooks won’t replace print because we          use them differently. Eighty-one percent of audiobook listeners say they              like to drive, work out or otherwise multitask while they listen. The human            mind is not designed for doing two things simultaneously, so if we                            multitask, we’ll get gist, not subtleties.

Still, that’s no reason for print devotees to sniff. I can’t hold a book while I            mop or commute. Print may be best for lingering over words or ideas, but           audiobooks add literacy to moments where there would otherwise be                   none.’

Willingham, Daniel T. (2018)  Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It? The New York Times Opinion. Retrieved from  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/08/opinion/sunday/audiobooks-reading-cheating-listening.html

But wait, what’s that I see around the corner?

Virtual and augmented reality?

Come at me!

Because I can love a good book and enjoy all the amazing digital technologies before me. Can you?