June 6

My Take on School Library Story and Advocacy

School Library Story from joyce valenza on Vimeo.

As one might expect from an advocacy-oriented video, Valenza (2013) seems to me to present information relating to an ideal, perhaps even mythical, school library. I must admit that I have a hard time believing that school libraries and teacher librarians that meet all of those criteria all of the time exist. If they do, I find it hard to believe that those are the institutions losing out to funding cuts.

I think it is important to have media that promotes the cause of the school library and presents its strengths and potential and relationship to student achievement, creativity and wellbeing. Having access to propaganda such as Valenza’s video is useful, but I think that, as Todd (2015) points out, it is important to link those broad, sweeping generalities of information with real, relatable, local evidence. If you played that video for the parents at the school where I do most of my work and they started asking about the ability to borrow digital equipment or about 24/7 access to virtual library space, you would have a lot of quick-talking and backtracking to do! Valenza is a passionate advocate for school libraries, but she is American. Teacher librarians and school libraries in Australia need advocacy materials that ring true to an Australian context.

References

Todd, R.J. (2015) Evidence-based practice and school libraries. Knowledge Quest, 43(3), 8-15.

Valenza, J. (2013) School library story [Video file]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/82208025

March 6

ETL401 Module 2.1 and 2.2 Reflections

Reflection on information and information behaviour – 2.1

What I have learned in Module 2.1

The first section of Module 2 (Coombes & Fitzgerald, 2016) has prompted me to consider the definition of information and primed me to make myself aware of how an author is defining information in any readings that I do on the topic. I have learned that a common definition for information in the library field is actually a hybrid of the two main theories of information – the semantic and the classical – and requires an item to both contain meaning and to be transmitted between users (whether biological, electronic or mechanical) to be designated as information. This hybrid definition of information fits on a continuum running from chaos – a state of items existing with no organisation, transmission or meaning – through to wisdom – where items are not only organised, imbued with meaning and transmitted but also processed and applied.
Additionally, various attributes of information have been posited that can be used to evaluate behaviours pertaining to information use. These attributes focus mainly on the fact that once you have received information you have it for keeps. It is the cake that you can have and eat too. Processing, implementing or transferring information can be done by a receiver while continuing to retain the information. However, any alteration to information, whether revision, addition, combination with other information or even truncation, changes that information and creates new information if it is then transmitted to another receiver.

How does the behaviour of information affect how we communicate, learn and use information?

Continue reading