ETL401 Assessment 3 – part C – a critical reflection

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My understanding of information literacy (IL), IL models and the role of the TL in inquiry learning has grown immensely during ETL401. At the beginning  I believed  IL was being able to read and write. However, my understanding progressed (Silver, 2019a) as I became aware that IL was the ability to find, evaluate and use information (Loftis, 2015). I also learnt digital natives need to be specifically taught how to use digital tools for information needs (Coombes, 2009, p.36). Furthermore, I  gained an understanding of different types of literacies, including digital, ICT and networked . However, IL is far more than that ,  IL also needs to include ethics, an ability to critically evaluate information and include critical thinking skills. My greatest learning moment was- to be fully literate, a person needs to be able to make meaning from the information (Combes, 2016). There are many elements that make up IL, it is complex and  much more than just being able to read and write.

Previously I was aware of the NSW ISP IL model. I now have a more thorough understanding of a range of research based information literacy models and how they help students (Silver, 2019c).

I was surprised with the research by Chen, Huang and Chen (2017), summarised in Forum 4.1a (Silver, 2019d) that inquiry based learning through IL models (in this case Big 6 and Super 3) helped low to mid ability students to achieve better results. Previously I believed  IL models were most beneficial for high academic performers, I  now see the benefit of IL models for all students. It also highlighted to me the importance of creating an information literacy continuum for student growth and achievement.

I  identified with Yvette Stile’s (2019) blog post on IL units . After reading  Yvette’s lightbulb moment I realised my teaching of the NSW ISP model was aimed primarily at content. I shared on forum 5.3b (Silver, 2019e) that I had focused too much on content but it was the process of learning the elements of the ISP model that was important. My teachings had been driven by the end content, which had created a disengagement from the process by the students. I was able to identify with the affective elements for the stages of the ISP process (Todd, Kuhlthau & Heinstrom, 2005) in finding and using information for assessment two (Silver, 2019f).

In the beginning I knew very little about inquiry learning. As the course  progressed, I have learnt several factors required for the TL to be able to promote inquiry learning. To begin with, the TL needs to collaborate with other teachers, which is impacted by perceptions of the TL (Silver, 2019g), and the expectations of the Principal (Silver, 2019h).

I now understand that the TL has a role to support students to gain deeper understanding and knowledge in inquiry learning (Silver, 2019e), rarely should they be “going it alone” (Kuhlthau, Maniotes, & Caspari, 2012). One way this may be achieved is by helping student’s in their ‘zone of proximal development’. Although I have learnt a great deal about IL there is still a large scope for broadening and deepening my knowledge in this field.

 

References:

Cheng, C.C., Huang, T. & Chen. Y. (2017). The effects of inquiry-based information literacy instruction on memory and comprehension: A longitudinal study. Library & Science Information Research, 39(4), 256-266. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/library-and-information-science-research

Combes, B. (2009). Generation Y: Are they really digital natives or more like digital refugees? Synergy, 7(1), 31-40. Retrieved from https://slav-org-au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/Synergy

Combes, B. (2016). Information: change and issues [webinar]. Retrieved from https://connect.csu.edu.au/p46nev0a746/?proto=true

Loftis,E. (2015). Information literacy [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.lynda.com/Higher-Education-tutorials/Welcome/368046/420104-4.html?org=csu.edu.au

Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L., & Caspari, A. (2012). Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School. Retrieved from Proquest Ebook Central.

Silver, T. (2019a, April 22). My increasing awareness of the role of the TL [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/04/22/my-increasing-awareness-of-the-role-of-the-tl/

Silver, T. (2019b, May 24). What is information literacy? [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/05/24/what-is-information-literacy/

Silver, T. (2019c, May 24). Information literacy models [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/05/24/information-literacy-models/

Silver, T. (2019d, May 10). Forum 4.1a: Search activity [online discussion comment]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42380_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78883_1&forum_id=_147405_1&message_id=_2093725_1

Silver, T. (2019e, May 20). Forum 5.3b Guided Inquiry [online discussion comment]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42380_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78883_1&forum_id=_147406_1&message_id=_2093728_1

Silver, T. (2019f, April 22). The research rollercoaster [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/04/22/the-research-rollercoaster/

Silver, T. (2019g, March 14). The perceived role of the teacher librarian? [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/03/14/the-percieved-role-of-the-teacher-librarian/

Silver, T. (2019h, April 22). Collaboration and cooperation [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/04/22/collaboration-and-cooperation/

Stiles, Y. (2019, May 20). Two false starts and a light bulb [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/ystile01/2019/05/20/two-false-starts-and-a-light-bulb/

 

Information literacy models

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There are several information literacy (IL) models that are available to assist with the information search process. The models recommended here are research based models, although many other IL models abound as people blend components of different models to cater for student needs.

An IL models teaches students steps to take to gain understanding of a question (Fitzgerald, 2015, p.18). Some of the more common models according to Herring (2007, p.33) are Kuhlthau’s information Search Process (ISP), the Information Literacy Planning Overview (ILPO ), Big 6 and the PLUS  model. In addition to this list there are also the NSW ISP model by the NSW Department of Education and the Guided Inquiry Design – an updated model of Kuhlthau’s ISP model.

Sometimes elements of models are combined together by TLs to enhance the learning benefits of one particular model, such the Library Learning Path (Barker, Bennett & Gittins, 2016).

All of the IL models have common elements as this table by Lupton shows:

One of the standout IL models for me is the GID, because it integrates the ISP elements of affective, cognitive and physical with the phases of Guided Inquiry and allows for the creation of the third space for students. Using GID also allows for assistance in each stage of the ISP through the zone of intervention – an area where students are unable to proceed alone or only with difficulty and require advice and assistance. (Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari, 2012).

The IL model you choose to use depends on several factors – namely time, resources and school cultures. The GID model can be particularly intense on teacher resources, resources and a culture of inquiry and collaboration. The IL model needs to work for your school circumstances but O’Connell (2012) states it is the TL who is able to tie together the knowledge of the resources available – physical, community and online.

 

References:

Barker, L., Bennett, B., & Gittins, K. (2016).  The library. Mrs Barker’s team room [blog post]. Retrieved from https://mrsbarkerstearoom.com/?page_id=303

Fitzgerald, L. (2015). Guided inquiry in practice. Scan, 34 (4). Retrieved from https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/professional-learning/scan/media/documents/vol-34/Research-Guided-inquiry-in-practice.pdf

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.

Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L. & Caspari, A. (2012). Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Lupton, M. (2013). Inquiry pedagogy and the Australian Curriculum. Primary and Middle Years Educator, 11(2), 23-29. Retrieved from https://eprints.qut.edu.au/65829/2/65829.pdf

O’Connell, J. (2012). So you think they can learn? Scan, 31. Retrieved from https://heyjude.files.wordpress.com/2006/06/joc_scan_may-2012.pdf

What is information literacy?

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The Oxford Dictionary online (2019) defines literacy as:

  • The ability to read and write
  • Competence or knowledge in a specific area

Before beginning this course I had a very shallow view of literacy and agreed with the Oxford Dictionary of the definition of literacy as being able to read and write. I can also now see that literacy  also combines a competence or knowledge in a specific area and literacy now includes many areas such as:

Digital literacy

Network literacy

ICT literacy

Multimedia literacy

Metaliteracy

New formats and modes of delivery require users to have different skills but all of the literacy types can work together to create understanding (one of the key concepts in literacy).

To be truly literate a person must be able to understand and make meaning from what they have encountered – whether it be in writing, reading, listening, viewing or speaking (Combes, 2016). They need to be information literate (IL).

Based various definitions given by CILIP (n.d) my own definition of information literacy  is the ability to find and critically evaluate information to use it in an ethical manner to enable the user to effectively participate and positively contribute in a digital/information literate society.

Whilst reading, this quote by Brown and Mathie (1990) jumped out at me ‘Truly literate people are thinkers and learners’. This led me to thinking about the Critical and Creative Thinking skills in the Australian Curriculum and NSW Syllabuses and how important it is to structure these skills into the information search process to allow people to be information literate.

According to Bruce, Edwards & Lupton (2006) people will view information literacy differently depending on their context, for example a student may view IL as finding facts whereas an academic may view it as a set of skills. They propose six frames for viewing IL – Content, competency, learning to learn, personal relevance, social impact and relational. Depending on which frame is being used will impact on what is the focus of learning, content and assessment.

Herring (2007) believes that developing information literacy in schools is one of the main duties of the TL today. But what is the best way to do this? Many believe through an inquiry model and guided Inquiry Design in particular.

Information literacy is a complex issue with many parts, understanding a definition of it is just a start.

Referencing:

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)(n.d). Australian Curriculum: General capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/

Combes, B. (2016). Information: change and issues. [webinar]. Retrieved from https://connect.csu.edu.au/p46nev0a746/?proto=true

Bruce, C., Edwards, S. & Lupton, M. (2006). Six Frames for Information literacy Education: a conceptual framework for interpreting the relationships between theory and practice. Innovation in teaching and learning in information and computer sciences, 5(1). doi.10.11120/ital.2006.05010002

Brown, H., & Mathie, V. (1990). Inside whole language: a classroom view. Primary English Teaching Association (Australia); Rozelle, N.S.W.

Chartered Institute of Library Information Professionals (CILIP)(n.d.). Definitions and models. Retrieved from https://infolit.org.uk/definitions-models/

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.

NSW Education Standards Authority. (NESA) (2017). K–6 syllabuses and resources. Retrieved from https://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/k-6/

Oxford English Dictionary Online (2019). Literacy. Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/literacy

 

My increasing awareness of the role of the TL

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.

 

References:

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

Collaboration and cooperation

I have had stages in my career as a teacher where I have worked cooperatively and collaboratively with other teachers and collaboratively is definitely better.

Cooperation may be defined as an individual contributing their knowledge in a group to achieve a common goal, whereas collaboration is the sharing of knowledge, ideas and resources to build upon each other’s contributions to solve a problem and individual contributions matter to the outcome of the group (Nussbaum-Beach & Ritter, 2011).

During my work as a high school teacher I was fortunate enough to be able to work collaboratively within the faculty to create new units of work. Working collaboratively sparks creativity and gives a sense of ownership to everybody. You end up creating something wonderful that you wouldn’t have been able to achieve on your own.

On the other hand, I have also worked cooperatively, providing just materials, finding books on the subject or asked to incorporate something on a unit they are doing into library lessons. Sometimes I was not asked at all.

The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) outline that as a curriculum leader one of the key roles of the TL is to collaborate with other teachers to integrate ‘information resources and technologies into student learning’ (ASLA, n.d).

However, the level of collaboration is influenced by the school culture (Haycock, 2007, p.27) of which the principal is intregral in supporting collaboration between teachers and the TL (Haycock, 2002 cited in Haycock, 2007, p.31) and it may take years to establish the level of trust required to work collaboratively. This was definitely the case in the last school I worked in where the culture was one that the TL had little to do with collaborating with others and mostly borrowed books or provided resources (which was not often sought). Using Montiel-Overall’s model of teacher librarian collaboration (TLC) (2005, p.35) I tended to work at a model A level of coordination (low levels of teacher and TL involvement with a minimal amount of communication) or model B level of cooperation (teacher and TL cooperate but teach areas of speciality separately) with both teacher’s taxonomy of resource-based teaching and school library media specialist taxonomy ranging from levels 1-5 (Montiel-Overall, 2005, p.33-34). During my time there I tried to foster a sense of collaboration by being cooperative and suggesting resources (print and web based) that could be used in units of work. I also tried to get to know other teachers personally (which was easier with some teachers than others) through lunch conversations and extracurricular activities such as Breakfast Club. It was only towards the end the year, once relationships had started to be established that teachers started actively asking me about resources available in the library for their units of work.

References:

Australian School Library Association. (n.d). What is a Teacher Librarian? Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/what-is-a-teacher-librarian

Haycock, K. (2007). Collaboration: critical success factors for student learning. School Libraries Worldwide; 13(1), 25-35. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lih&AN=25545933&site=ehost-live

Montiel-Overall, P. (2005). A theoretical understanding of teacher and librarian collaborationSchool Libraries Worldwide11(2), 24-48. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=b2cecce9-7dda-44f8-8c77-fd5669317460%40sessionmgr104

Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Ritter, L.R.  (2011). Defining the connected educator. In The connected educator: Learning and leading in a digital age (pp. 9-24). Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com

The Principal and the Teacher Librarian (TL) – A reflection on practice.

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The principal has a big influence on how effectively a school library is run and the role of the TL based their perception of the role of the TL (Lupton, 2016, p.49) and whilst I was supported by the principal in my professional development as a teacher I didn’t feel supported in my role as a TL.

When I was employed for a full-time temporary position for a year as a relieving TL I was briefed to include more technology in library lessons and to modernise the library by the principal. However, I felt conflicted and frustrated by these expectations during the year as they were not able to be met due to lack of funding and support by the principal and the senior administration officer.

To incorporate more technology into lessons I was given 9 desk top computers in a separate room in the library (where there were the most connections) but was told by the deputy principal that students had to be supervised in this room while using computers due to past behaviour problems with computer usage. This made using the computers very impractical as I could not fit the rest of the class in the room. In second term the appointment of a new graduate to the school meant the installation of a computer classroom for them took desktops from the library and left the library with 5 computers. This was still an impractical number to incorporate technology use by the class.

Later in the year I asked the principal for Chromebooks for the library to help teach research skills and incorporate more technology and was told there was money available from surplus budgets but he preferred to spend it on things that made the school look better – like new signage around the school– so the community could see the money was being spent. I would rather like to argue that the community consists of students and parents who would surely appreciate money being spent on Chromebooks so students can keep up with advances in information literacy and digital technologies for research, learning and creation of their own digital artefacts.

Apart from the principal I would suggest that the senior administration officer (SAM) also has a lot of influence on the effectiveness of the TL. Despite the directions by the principal at the start of my employment that he wished the library to be modernised, many times my requests for items were refused or just not ordered. These included signage for different areas of the library – such as junior fiction, fiction and non-fiction and shelf labelling to help students to find sections on the shelves (such as alphabet lettering for junior fiction shelving and numbering for non-fiction). I was even told by the SAM that she knew the library needed work but other areas of the school needed to be fixed up first and quite often when I asked how to order things it would be a very vague answer or a reply of ‘I don’t have time at the moment’.

If I knew then what I knew now I would have applied the ‘WIIFM’ principle to the principal (Kachel, 2017, p.50) – pointing out how Chromebooks could benefit students in information literacy. I would also point out how signage could help students to quickly and easily locate information in the library and allow them to spend more time on their learning. It would have been useful to schedule regular face-to-face meetings with the principal to discuss what they wanted to achieve in the library program (Kachel, 2017, p.51), especially in terms of what type of technology they wanted to be incorporated and how they would like to it implemented (perhaps this would have also helped in the case for the acquisition of Chromebooks).

Interview question results by Lupton (2016) showed that the principal supported the TL by making frequent visits to the library and encouraging other teachers to engage with the TL, being encouraging of TL ideas and allowing time for curriculum development between the TL and stages. I was asked to attend staff meetings with alternate stages each week which was good to get an overall view of the school landscape as I often wasn’t included in the loop of things happening in the school otherwise. However, I was not given the chance to be involved in stage planning days, having to take RFF classes instead. There was also a lack of involvement with the principal, the only time the principal came to the library was during the holidays when I had rearranged the library to open it up for more flexible learning spaces and a few times to tell me how I should have applied a discipline policy according to their school or to show parents the library on school tours. Other than that, it was as if the library didn’t exist. He didn’t even visit book fairs or encourage teachers to visit book fairs or utilise the library. I think the lack of involvement with the TL stemmed from the already established culture of the school with the previous TL and as I was new to the school (on a temporary contract) and didn’t know the systems, culture and students it was difficult to push to be involved in whole -school planning regarding curriculum and fighting for improvements to the library.

Upon reflection, perhaps I could have been more strategic in my time in the library. The majority of my time was spent on library collection management and setting up functions of the library, such as establishing Premier’s Reading Challenge sections and serial sections, weeding and disposing of long out of date material and purchasing more popular fiction books to encourage student reading and engagement with the library. This may not have been the best use of my time as Purcell (2010) suggests library collection management clerical duties should be a small part of the librarian’s role and can be outsourced so the TL can focus on inquiry research. However, funding was easily available for book purchases as I could use Scholastic rewards from bookfair and the SAM was happy to pay invoices for books. Spending my time on curriculum development and advocating for more access to technology with the principal may have been a more beneficial use of my time. I think the strategies outlined by Kachel (2017) would be beneficial in future situations, such as having face to face time with the principal focusing on what they want to happen in library, so the TL always has a strong advocate on their side.

For those of you in a TL position do you regularly engage with their principal about their goals for the school? If not, what stops you from doing so?

 

References:

Kachel, D. (2017). The principal and the librarian: positioning the school library program. Teacher Librarian, 45(1), 50-52. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lih&AN=126080411&site=ehost-live

Lupton, M. (2016). Adding Value: Principals’ Perceptions of the Role of the Teacher-Librarian. School Libraries Worldwide 22(1), 49-61. doi: 10.14265.22.1.005.

Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do is check out books, right? A look at the roles of a school library media specialist. Library Media Connection 29(3), 30-33. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=iih&AN=55822153&site=ehost-live

 

 

 

 

The research rollercoaster

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When we are asked to practise what we preach we begin to understand the pressures some of our students must face. I certainly felt the effect of too much information and experienced many emotions in completing our assignment two discussion essay.

During the essay I suffered from too much information in the form of information overload which occurs when searchers are unable to efficiently use the information, that is, there is too much information for the user to deal with (Bawden & Robinson, 2009, p.182). I also felt information anxiety, of being lost in the digital world and an urge to just satisfice, to take just the right amount of information to suit my needs, but not necessarily the best information available (Bawden & Robinson, 2009, p.185).

I experienced a mix of feelings of curiosity, anxiety, overwhelm, frustration, despair, elation and relief. Curiosity about the assignment, anxiety that I could not find the resources I needed, overwhelm at the level of information, reading and decoding required. Frustration at not being able to remember where I had read information, despair in feeling I had not answered the question or written it well enough, elation of beginning to pull it all together and finally relief in submitting the assignment. Many of these feelings that I experienced are outlined in the Information Search Process (ISP) model. The ISP model depicts the feelings, thoughts and actions of students across seven stages when searching for and using information. As they transition through the stages students may experience feelings of uncertainty, optimism, confusion, clarity, disappointment and satisfaction (Todd, Kuhlthau & Heinstrom, 2005).

Helping students with information skills including providing lessons on how to use search options such as databases and library catalogues allow students to effectively search for and retrieve information. Helping students in breaking down the terminology used in the question and possible search criteria is also essential in fine tuning their information skills.  I believe TLs also need to help with organisational skills that support information skills including time management, organised note taking and citation knowledge. The use of the ISP model allows TLs to offer assistance and guidance during each of the ISP stages via the ‘zone of intervention’ which occurs when a student cannot achieve the task or can only achieve it with great difficulty (Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari, 2012, p.20). This sentence from Kuhlthau et al. (2012, p.22) was a lightbulb moment about the level of assistance TLs should give during the guided inquiry approach ‘In Guided Inquiry, the only “going it alone” is for each student to think about what is personally important and interesting about the inquiry.’

As I reflect on the processes, I realise this is exactly what Judy and Lori modelled to us in the lead up to our assignment. They were leading us through the process that we will need to lead our own students on and most of us probably experienced feelings our own students will experience. Thank you, ladies, for showing the way without me even realising it until now!

References:

Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2009). The dark side of information: overload, anxiety and other paradoxes and pathologies. Journal of Information Science, 35(2), 180–191, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0165551508095781

Kuhlthau, C. C., Maniotes, L. K., & Caspari, A. K. (2012). Guided inquiry design : A framework for inquiry in your school. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Todd, R. ,Kuhlthau, C. & Heinstrom, J. (2005). School Library Impact Measure (SLIM). A Toolkit and Handbook For Tracking and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes Of Guided Inquiry Through The School Library. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/278674274_School_Library_Impact_Measure_SLIM_A_Toolkit_and_Handbook_For_Tracking_and_Assessing_Student_Learning_Outcomes_Of_Guided_Inquiry_Through_The_School_Library

The percieved role of the teacher librarian

Library books
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I am fortunate as a teacher to have worked in both high school and primary school before I became interested in working in a school library. Across the two levels of schooling I witnessed many similarities in the role of the teacher librarian (TL) and a few differences, predominately in the main key role of their duties.

The key role of the high school TL appeared to be information sourcing. Much of her time was taken up with helping students find resources for study and collecting resources for teachers – books, dvds, journals etc. She would also provide ideas for teachers for resources to match lessons. According to the New South Wales Teacher’s Federation (1993), the TL “develops, organises and manages information resources which meet the educational, cultural and recreational needs of students and the professional needs of teachers” (“professional role”, point 5) as one of their key roles.

Alternatively, the main role of the primary school librarian appeared to be more on encouraging reading. The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) highlights one of the roles of the librarian is to “maintain literacy as a high priority, engaging students in reading, viewing and listening for understanding and enjoyment” (ASLA, n.d., “Teacher librarians as curriculum leaders”). Indeed, the New South Wales Teacher’s Federation (1993) states another of the key roles the TL does is “provides experiences to encourage reading.” (“professional role”, point 4).  The TL’s I observed tried to foster/maintain students’ interest in reading by reading and discussing books etc and facilitating literacy – based competitions such as the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

A second key role of the high school teacher librarian was the responsibility for managing technology through coordinating the library computer bookings, assisting with computer and printing problems and processing printing payments.

A common role across both levels of schooling was supervision of students in the library. In primary school this mainly occurred before school (in some schools) and at lunch time (usually for children to play with computer games, toys or colour in). The high school teacher librarian also had before school and lunch supervision plus the responsibility of extra supervision of students completing open study courses and ensuring the library was quiet during senior study and examination periods in the library.

Interestingly, neither teacher librarian was thought of as a ‘real’ teacher by other teachers rather as a ‘librarian’, which perhaps stems from the easily visible roles of library administration such as borrowing, returning and shelving of resources (mostly books).

However, overall, the high school librarian seemed to be more valued as a resource than the primary school librarian. The general impression of primary school teachers was that teacher librarian is an ‘easy’ job, not really teaching and many teachers appeared to not really care what happened in library so long as they got their Release from Face to Face (RFF). The role was often also undervalued in primary school as not many teachers utilised the librarian for support with the curriculum or resources for it.

Whilst these are the main roles and perceptions that I observed about TLs, there are many more roles that go undetected. What other roles have you seen TLs carry out?

 

References:

Australian School Library Association. (n.d). What is a Teacher Librarian?. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/what-is-a-teacher-librarian

New South Wales Teachers Federation (1993). The role of the Teacher-Librarian in the School Community. Retrieved from https://www.nswtf.org.au/pages/role-teacher-librarian-school-community.html

Wait, I can’t just copy that photo?

Graphic on computer
Rubén Menárguez via Unsplash

Creative Commons

We all know about referencing and rightfully acknowledging the work of others in writing and ideas, but did you know that right of ownership extends to images as well?
So, in answer to your question you probably can’t just copy that picture and paste it into your work – it may belong to somebody else, so you had better check out the copyright on it first.

I knew to search for copyright free images, but I was unaware that it was called creative commons and it was polite protocol to caption creative common pictures/artworks with the author and source. On deeper thinking of the subject it only seems fair to acknowledge somebody’s work, even if they have given permission for you to freely use it for personal or commercial purposes. Plus, by giving a caption you are also allowing other people to access the source of the graphic.

There are different types of creative commons. To learn more about creative commons, visit the Creative Commons Australia website at https://creativecommons.org.au/learn or Core Education’s blog on legally using images at http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2018/05/hey-lets-be-careful-out-there-how-to-legally-reuse-images-from-the-internet.html

References:

Core Education. (2018). Hey, let’s be careful out there – How to legally reuse images from the internet. Retrieved from http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2018/05/hey-lets-be-careful-out-there-how-to-legally-reuse-images-from-the-internet.html

Creative Commons Australia. (n.d.). Learn about CC. Retrieved from https://creativecommons.org.au/learn/

A whole new world

Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash

Hi everybody, welcome to this roller coaster of a ride with me as I learn the ins and outs of becoming a qualified teacher librarian. I have been through so many emotions with this course already in just one week – excitement, nervousness, overwhelm, frustration, exhilaration  –  as I learn about and explore new ideas and technology. From being a relative tech newbie to being a floundering tech user – I am now getting a handle on Twitter (well set it up at least), used padlet and now have established and am writing my first blog!

Despite mixed emotions, overall, I am looking forward to this learning process and so far have learned to just keep going and trying (baby steps, baby steps) and ask for help when I’m not sure of something.

What have you learnt so far on this journey?