In our first blog we were asked to write about our perceptions of the role of the teacher librarian (TL). This I did, based on what I had seen other TLs do in their jobs, you can read about it here.
However, as we delve deeper into the course I am realising the role of the TL involves so much more. According to ASLA (2003) the role of the TL covers three areas – that of information specialist, information services manager and curriculum leader. Each of these areas covers an indepth knowledge and large responsibility for the TL.
Readings on the role of the TL have highlighted that the role of information specialist is becoming increasingly important as the technology continues to become more integrated in our lives. Information specialist on its own covers areas of multiliteracies in information literacy, digital literacy and networked literacy. Information literacy is the ability to find, evaluate and make use of information (Lynda, 2015) but it also incorporates the smaller parts of the whole of being able to formulate questions, search for and navigate around digital spaces, select appropriate information and use be able to use this information as well as an awareness of copyright and plagiarism. Digital literacy is the ability to use digital tools to communicate. It is assumed that many younger students know how to use digital tools because they have been exposed to digital technology all their life. However, this is not always the case, with students admitting to having difficulties using digital tools with information skills (Coombes, 2009, p.36). Networked literacy is the knowledge of networks, how they function and the social courtesies used in them.
As an information services manager the TL is responsible for developing a library collection that reflects student, staff and community information needs derived from sources such as student surveys and curriculum mapping (Herring, 2007). These resources need to be acquired and students given access to the collection (Herring, 2007) through a mix of physical and digital means.
As a curriculum leader the TL is expected to work with the principal and executives to ensure that information literacy has a whole school focus (Herring, 2007, p.31).
Ultimately the role of the TL is defined by the curriculum and the school goals. This will influence the activities the TL undertakes and collection management as an information services manager.
I am sure as my studies progress I will discover more roles and their depths for the TL.
Combes, B. (2009). Generation Y: Are they really digital natives or more like digital refugees? Synergy, 7(1), 31-40. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/fullText;dn=178236;res=AEIPT.
Lynda. (2015). Information literacy [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.lynda.com/Higher-Education-tutorials/Welcome/368046/420104-4.html?org=csu.edu.au
Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.) Libraries in the twenty-first century : charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga , NSW : Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. Retrieved from https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/science/article/pii/B9781876938437500028