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
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 Strategies: From 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