Mostly Harmless

A reflective journal of a student teacher librarian

ETL402 – Part B: Reflective Bog Post

Embarking on the Literature Across the Curriculum course has been an eye-opening journey, reshaping my understanding of literature beyond its traditional confines. Through my study, literature has emerged as powerful, multidisciplinary tool that has the potential to make a profound impact on young readers.

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INF506 – Reflection

When I first started IN506: Social Media for Information Professionals, I had a few ideas in mind of what I wanted to get out of completing the subject. I hoped to learn how social networking can be used to enhance my professional practice and I wanted to be able to engage more confidently and meaningfully with a wider community of like-minded professionals in my field. Additionally, I wanted to gain a better understanding of the impacts, benefits, limitations, and pitfalls of using social media in order to become a better collaborator and communicator in my school community.

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INF506 – Extended Post: Social Media and Misinformation

Technological innovations are advancing faster than ever and people are increasingly engaging with online open access to information and social connectivity, more so now than ever before (Knowles et al., 2023). In today’s world, social networks have become powerful tools for communication and the sharing of information. We can share news stories, videos, and opinions on all manner of subjects with just a few clicks. However, the growing use of social media has led to the proliferation of misinformation to the extent that it has been observed by the scientific community that “evidence-based reasoning seems under assault” (Zucker, 2019). For almost every issue facing society people can obtain current information online. Unfortunately, for almost every issue, people can also find misleading and deceitful information. For every reliable source, it seems there is also a fraudulent one. These days sorting fact from fiction is not as easy as it seems, so in order address this we must first understand exactly what misinformation is.

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INF506 – OLJ Task 5: PLN adoption

Upon starting my journey as a Teacher Librarian, I was encouraged to explore and create a Personal Learning Network (PLN), very much like Utecht has described in his article Stages of PLN adoption (2008). I previously had not used social networking to develop a PLN for professional means and so I began investigating how social networking can support and further improve my professional practice. I learned that professional social networking allows users a greater reach and access to a wider professional community to enhance collaboration and sharing of knowledge and ideas.

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INF506 – OLJ Task 8: Areas of Concern (Information/Digital Literacy)

Photo credit: Jeso Carneiro via Flickr/ CC BY-NC 2.0

As a Teacher Librarian currently working in a school library, I understand that information and digital literacy is a key part of my learning and teaching role (ALIA and ASLA, 2016a). Additionally, I know that library programs that support information literacy enable the development of essential skills such as critical analysis of information, identification of appropriate information sources and the ability to curate and re-imagine information (ALIA and ASLA, 2016b). In a world where there is an ever-increasing amount of information being created and disseminated, a world of ‘fake news’, a world where socially networked communities have the ability to reach and influence mass audiences, acquiring information and digital literacy skills is vital.

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INF506 – OLJ Task 3: The Client Experience

I will be exploring the online presence of the organisations listed below.

The three main elements of the client experience I will be looking at are the extent to which the sites :

  • are user friendly and navigable
  • contain up-to-date news and information
  • Build community – interaction and collaboration (Gruss et al., 2020)

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ETL504: Assessment 2: Part B – Reflection

Shortly after starting this subject it became very apparent to me that I had not given much thought to the leadership opportunities of the teacher librarian (TL) in schools. I have never held a formal leadership title in the past and in hindsight I think I ascribed leadership to the senior executives such as principals, deputies, and head teachers. As such I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this subject and it didn’t take long for my awakening to the leadership opportunities of TLs to begin. The first revelation, and one that I continued to contemplate, was the notion of leading from the middle and it was quite inspirational to consider how I may be able to drive positive change. In particular, I initially identified with the opportunity of demonstrating leadership through the teaching and support of General Capability skills within the Australian Curriculum (Cox & Korodaj, 2019). Additionally, I came to understand that knowledge and skills relating to the curriculum, information literacy, and the ability to collaborate with all members of the school community allows for resourcing and professional development to be provided by TLs (Cox & Korodaj, 2019). This thinking was reinforced by further reading that linked leadership to the role of a TL (AASL, 2017; ALIA & ASLA, 2016, para 1; ALIA & ASLA, 2016, para 5; ALIA & ASLA, n.d. p.4; IFLA, 2015, p. 28).

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ETL503: Assessment 2: Part B: Reflective practice

Prior to my study in ETL503: Resourcing the Curriculum, I had quite a basic idea regarding the role and development of information resources in a school library. One of my initial observations was that much of the professional literature reflects the basic principle that the primary goal of a school library is to provide resources that support the curriculum and meet the teaching and learning needs of its users (New South Wales Department of Education, 2019; Australian Library and Information Association and Australian School Library Association, 2016). In my blog post Collection Development & Collection Management (Prosser, 2022, April 23) I talk about a library collection never being static, changing as new resources are introduced or removed for various reasons. Making sure that the user’s needs are forefront when selecting resources will ensure that despite going through a constant evolutionary process, the collection will always remain current and relevant, now and into the future.

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I’ve been reading about censorship recently, and the impact that censorship can have when developing a school library collection. In doing so, I’ve found it useful to keep in mind a definition of what censorship is, and I quite like this one: “Censorship encompasses those actions which significantly restrict free access to information.” (Moody, 2005, p. 139). When considering free access to information, it’s clear that professional standards indicate that censorship in libraries should be opposed. The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) guidelines state:

“Access to services and collections should be based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms, and should not be subject to any form of ideological, political, or religious censorship, or to commercial pressures.” (IFLA, 2015, p. 60).


Similarly, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) state:

“Freedom can be protected in a democratic society only if individuals have unrestricted access to information and ideas” (ALIA, 2015, para. 3).

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So, one of the potential reflection questions that I came across in ETL503 regarding responsibility for resource selection was Who should have the final say on what is included [in a collection]? Why? In my experience in school libraries, the Teacher-Librarian (TL) selects resources for the library. I had never questioned it or considered that there would be an argument for anyone else to be involved. After some further reading it becomes clear that selecting resources can involve many people – school administrators, teachers, students, parents and other community members, to name a few (Jenkinson, 2002). In fact, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) states that not only is collection building a collaborative endeavour, but that such collaboration should be made clear in a school library’s policy (2015, p. 34). This is supported by a joint statement between the Australian Library and Information Association and the Australian School Library Association that states a collection policy should contain an element that includes responsibilities for collaborative decision making when selecting resources (Australian Library and Information Association, 2016 para. 6).

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