PART A: Context for Digital Story Telling Project 

This digital story telling (DST) project is for Stage 3 students studying about the life of refugees. The inspiration for this digital story came after co-teaching the unit on refugees to Year 5 students.  The literature unit text was Mahtab’s Story by Libby Gleeson- the real-life story of Mahtab, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan. The focus of the digital story is to compliment the text. Students will be engaged deeply in this digital narrative which will enhance students’ understanding about the journey of refugees. Students will gain an enriching experience and will be able to understand this complex issue through this powerful medium.

This digital story project on the life of refugees. Zara’s Story is a historical fiction that tells about the harrowing journey of refugees and unimaginable dangers in their life. Digital story telling (DST) is an excellent way to generate interest, attention and motivation for the students in the classroom. 80% of the students come from a non-English speaking background. Students will get a virtual experience and learn about the life of a refugee. This digital story will include a range of literary materials including images and poster.

This video is created to build students’ skills in response to literature and recent events surrounding asylum seekers and refugees in Australia and around the world. Students will explore Australian identity in the context of change and continuity and will get insight into the life of individuals and group as refugees. This digital story will enhance current lessons within a larger unit, as a way to facilitate discussion about the topics presented a story and as a way of making abstract or conceptual content more understandable. This experience will allow students to make deep connections to the content.

It will be incorporated into English curriculum and will also integrate information and communication technology (ICT); requirement of NSW National Education Standards Authority (NESA) Syllabus. The outcomes that will be covered ACELA1525, ACELA1518, ACELA1520, ACELT1613, ACELT1615, ACELT1617, ACELT1618, ACELT1800 and English Syllabus outcomes EN3-1A, EN3-3A, EN3-5B, EN3-7C, EN3-8D, EN3-9E.

Digital storytelling allows opportunities not just for reading, but for creating as well. For any curriculum area that entails writing, digital storytelling could transform students’ perceptions of and their actual abilities to express themselves through the written word (Tackvic, 2012).   It will assist students who struggle with writing.

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (2014) General Capabilities state that by the end of Year 6 students use ICT effectively and independently or collaboratively create and modify digital solutions, creative outputs or data representation/ transformation for particular audiences and purposes. Digital story telling can fulfill these criteria. When these kinds of topics and issues are taught in school, it develops empathy and tolerance in students.

Teachers and students will benefit from this resource as it will inspire to dig deep and learn more about the topic. The digital story is told by using the digital tools such as Adobe Spark and Canvas. These digital tools add a positive dimension to traditional literacy (Tackvic, 2012). Adobe spark is easy to use, and it allow students to co-edit their projects and share via twitter, Facebook, email, Instagram and more. Adobe Spark is free to use and supports all the web browsers as well as chrome books. It allows to tell story into a captivating animated narrated video form and also makes it possible to import only creative commons licensed images. All the images used in the video are from Adobe Spark.

One of the main objectives of this DST is to provide the diverse learners in the classroom with multiple opportunities to familiarise with the topic and gain better understanding. DST can be beneficial to diverse learners as instructional multimedia create opportunities for all learners to become active and empowered learners by facilitating problem solving and creativity and enhancing student learning. Also, students with disabilities often feel confident with the use of technology to support learning (Rhodes, 2007).

This Adobe spark video will be used as an experiential learning resource for students to support the understanding about seeking refuge and migration. Students can also create and share their digital project with sister schools as they are learning the same topic. Overall, it will demonstrate the richness of learning that will occur as students engaged in reading and writing through a great deal of talking, listening, observing and viewing with concrete materials, print and digital texts (Walsh, 2010).

At the end of the video, teachers can ask students to make posters to create awareness regarding the aid we can provide to refugees using tools such as canva.

Part B: URL

PART C: Critical Reflection

As I had mentioned in my blog 1, that I had experience with only the traditional literature presented in digital form. This subject has given me the exposure to different ways in which literature can be used in the digital world to provide engaging experience to students. Lamb and Walsh’s articles gave me an insight in to evaluating a digital literature.

I strongly agree that digital literacy has the ability to make meaningful connections between disparate ideas and to apply existing knowledge in new ways are key aspects of creativity (Sukovic, 2014). Digital storytelling provides a wealth of opportunities to engage students in content learning; no matter what content they explore, the process of research, writing, creating, and editing a digital story builds essential 21st century literacy skills.

Digital story is more than just technology. It gives students rich experiences and enhances their perceptions as it is a medium of expression, communication, integration, and imagination (Malita & Martin, 2010). Books with multimedia elements deepen the reader’s understanding and appreciation of the story. When students collaboratively create a digital story, they develop communication skills, learn to ask questions, express opinions, construct narratives and write for an audience, improving also their language and computer skills by using software that combines a variety of multimedia: text, images, audio, video and web publishing(Malita & Martin, 2010).  Also, when digital stories are created, students not only become more technologically literate, but they also become designers, listeners, interpreters, readers, writers, communicators, artists, and thinkers (Kajder, 2004). It combines hands on creativity and technology making literacy a fun learning activity.

It is challenging for educators to continue to maintain students’ motivation to read books and to engage in sustained reading.  However, the interweaving of digital technology motivates students and allows for a holistic learning experience with talking, listening, reading and writing being interdependent (Walsh, 2010). We need to incorporate basic aspects of digital communication technologies in relation to syllabus outcomes. I found Kinglesy (2007) article on 20 ways to empower diverse learners with educational and digital media very interesting. It provides practical ways to utilise digital tools to support classroom teaching and learning.

Today anyone can publish their digital book relatively easily and put it in the digital world and therefore it is very necessary to evaluate the quality of digital texts. Through this subject, some of the ways that I learnt to evaluate the digital text are as follows

  • To check the content of the text
  • To read the book and seek out the recommendations of others before suggesting it to children.
  • To consider the ease of use, the promotion of understanding, and the literary worthiness of the text.

In today’s digital world, students come to school with a wealth of experience in the use of digital technologies for personal entertainment, learning and social interaction, schools need to provide an environment that exploits this digital familiarity (O’Connell, 2015). According to Dobler (2013), as educators we should teach children how to make wise decisions about book selections of all types, and also make these selections for children when necessary.

Teachers need to be aware of the copyright issue and fair use of digital learning materials.  Module 6 provided insight into creative commons licensing and alternatives to source free digital literature. Through this subject, I became aware of the free digital resources. I emailed staff at our school and also included in the school’s newsletter regarding project Guttenberg, International Children’s Digital library, Aust Lit children’s Digital Resource and iBook store free iBooks or eBook Apps. As mentioned in my blog 1, the school has no eBooks subscription, so these free digital resources were highly beneficial and appreciated by the school community. During pandemic, these resources provided equitable and fair use to all our students.

To address this national expectation of the Australian Curriculum: English which aims to ensure that students ‘listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose’ (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority, 2014), the learning of this subject of incorporating eBooks, interactive text and digital story telling will be very useful to me in future. I have thoroughly enjoyed making digital story telling video using Adobe Spark. I will continue to learn, explore and use digital storytelling further in my professional life.


Adobe Spark. (2020). Designing like a Pro. Retrieved from

Brahmbhatt, P. (2020, September 4). Critical Reflection of Experiencing Digital Literature Experiences. Retrieved from

Canva. (2020). Canva- Collaborate & Create amazing graphic design for free. Retrieved from

Dobler, E. (2013). Looking beyond the screen: Evaluating the quality of digital booksReading Today, 30(5), 20-21.

Kajder, S. (2004). Enter here: Personal narrative and digital storytelling. The English Journal, 93, 64-68

Malita, L., & Martin, C. (2010). Digital Storytelling as web passport to success in the 21st Century. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences2(2), 3060-3064.

O’Connell, J., Bales, J., & Mitchell, P. (2015). [R]Evolution in reading cultures: 2020
vision for school libraries. The Australian Library Journal64(3),194-208. 10.1080/00049670.2015.1048043.

Rhodes, J. M. (2007). Teacher-created electronic books: Integrating technology to support readers with disabilitiesReading Teacher, 61(3), 255-259

Sukovic, S. (2014). iTell: Transliteracy and digital storytelling. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 45(3), 205–229.

Tackvic, C. (2012). Digital storytelling: Using technology to spark creativity. The Educational Forum, 76(4), 426. Retrieved from

Walsh, M. (2010). Multimodal pteracy: what does it mean for classroom practice? Austrapan Journal of Language and pteracy33(3), 211–239. Retrieved from

ETL 507: Reflective Portfolio

Part A

Statement of personal philosophy

21st century education is about creativity, cultural awareness, problem solving, innovation, civic management, communication, productivity, collaboration, exploration, initiative, leadership, making classrooms dynamic. An effective teacher Librarian’s will continue to foster a recreational reading culture by building a passion for print, eBooks, graphic novels and audio books in all readers from struggling to gifted. 21st century library is building learning through literacy and technology. Educators are constantly developing newer and better ways to teach. Yet they’re stuck in obsolete spaces that prevent them from giving students the best. Designing each space for a different type of experience – rather than a subject or teacher – will allow schools to curate far more powerful experiences by virtue of having environments that are more supportive and far more compelling to be in.

Part B

Theme 1: Genrefication

Teacher librarians need to set up their collection in a manner that is accessible to students as the availability and accessibility of collection in a library encourages students to read. The question then arises, how this can be achieved? The answer is Genrefication. I was introduced to this term in ETL 505 (Describing and Analysing Resources).

According to Wall (2019), Genrefication just means organising books, either fiction or nonfiction, by category in a scheme other than DDC or general alphabetical order. Some librarians believe that the tried and true system of shelving alphabetically by author surname is the best way to shelve fiction; others believe that by genre shelving they can encourage students to read more. A third group prefer a middle ground, where author arrangement and genre stickers combine to promote exposure to different titles as well as independent access.  When the collection is classified by genre into a catalogue, a teacher librarian can identify the most popular genre as well as each genre’s most popular books.  It makes it far easier, for example, to find the most popular horror books. It will enable in making the right decision making for purchasing new books.

The inspiration for genrefication project came from ETL 505. I got really interested in this topic and decided to put this into my practice. I started with arranging the fiction from the middle ground and so I approached my principal. I was fortunate to get a positive reply. School Catalogue Information Service (SCIS), National Library of Australia and Department of Education SCAN articles were really helpful in this process.

SCIS pre-determined Genre Headings were used to identify the genre of the book. Genre stickers were then placed on the spine label will be beneficial. Students were educated regarding the genres in the library through explanation, power point presentation and displaying genre posters. It has also encouraged students to read more as they enjoy what they are reading and at the same time find variety of similar titles in their favourite category. The purpose of genrefication is to enhance students’ ability to browse a library collection without staff or technological assistance. The teaching program for each school library should always include awareness and developing skills on how to use a library catalogue or to locate information.

On the other side, it was noticed that students were limiting themselves to one kind of genre and were not experiencing different genres. National Library of New Zealand (2020) suggests that students might be encouraged to keep track of their reading life with a log, which records what they read and from which genre and teachers could encourage students to try a different genre, and possibly even require at least a few titles from each genre over the course of a year. Following this advice, a genre wheel was introduced, where students can read five books from one genre and then they had to move to a different genre.

Generifying fiction was the best thing I ever did as my borrowing rates have jumped and what’s more, I believe some of the kids are actually reading wider. Students will be self-selecting books with greater ease and the resources will be more engaging. To bring this change in school libraries, the role of teacher librarian has to make all the stakeholders aware of the changes and also to educate the students through posters, talks and other displays with genre information and title examples. This has assisted readers in finding the right book at right book, providing guidance in trying new authors, themes and genres and providing reading, literacy and library use. However, it is considering cultural and ethical understanding is necessary before generifying. Currently our nonfiction is based on Dewey Decimal classification. I have read about schools getting rid of non- fiction section, but I believe that completely getting rid of print non-fiction in primary school is not a good idea.

Theme 2: Teacher Librarian as a leader

The role of teacher librarian is often not noticed. In my first blog post in ETL 401, I really undermined the role of teacher librarian. However, over a period of time through this course, my opinion has completely changed. I have understood the different hats a teacher librarian wears.

ETL 504: Teacher librarian as a leader has inspired me to think one step further. Teacher librarian also wears a hat of a leader, and leads from the middle. AASL’s guidelines (2009, p. 45) states that the school library program is “built by professionals who model leadership and best practices for the community to ensure that learners are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the technological society of the 21st century”.  Teacher librarians works from the library but leads within and beyond the library. Taking on a leadership role in the school means making the library visible and an integral part of the teaching and learning in the school. To achieve this goal, a teacher librarian need to collaborate with staff. This type of leadership is often called as leading from the middle.

Teacher librarian uses instructional leadership by providing professional development and empowering and involving teachers to lead innovation and change. To embrace change positively, it should be introduced with understanding, direction, commitment, time and resources. I will always remember the 3 c’s I have learnt in ETL 504. They are collaboration, communication and connectedness. According to Colvin (2000), 21st Century teachers and librarians will be valued for their ability to create, judge, imagine and build relationships. I have understood that it is extremely important for a teacher librarian to build a rapport with the students and the teachers to make the library and librarian visible.

Another way of achieving this is through advocacy. A teacher librarian mentors and fosters the school through student leadership body and also acts as a coordinator for National reading programs such as Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC). At my current school, I am the coordinator of PRC program for K-9 students.  I contribute in the school newsletter and keep the school community informed about the library happenings. The school community should be familiarise with the campaign such as School libraries matter.

This subject also emphasised that the learning environment is also a key force that foster and facilitate active, authentic and relevant experiences that embrace critical thinking and problem solving. This can be done by providing exciting, dynamic learning space in the library such as flexible seating and maker space in the library. In my ETL 504 assessment 2, I have discussed the need for flexible seating and makerspace and how it enhance the use of library space. The learning space should be designed to accommodate flexible academic groupings, different levels of independence, and collaboration between mixed-age groups. I have implemented flexible seating in my library however due to limited space in library, makerspace is still on my list of agendas. Makerspace is about teaching students more than just how to use technology but how it can transform students’ learning and thinking.

ETL 504 also consisted of group work and case studies. The actual case study scenarios themselves have broadened my awareness of potential issues that will assist me in making informed future practice and leadership directions. I have developed my knowledge and understanding of teacher librarian as innovators, mentors, motivators, entrepreneurs, catalysts, and illuminators. We are reading specialists who provide leadership in emerging areas such as multi- function digital platform. We continue to foster a recreational reading culture by building a passion for print, eBooks, graphic novels and audio books in all readers.

Teacher librarians are rarely members of the top executive tier in a school. Despite carrying out all the responsibilities of a middle leader because of the stereotype, I still believe that it is a long way for all the stake holders to consider teacher librarian as leader. This type of stereotype is harmful, because the information landscape is now more complex than ever before and the teacher librarian’s role has extended beyond the physical collection and into the virtual world.

Theme 3: Digital Citizenship in Schools

Libraries struggle to justify themselves in the age of google. There are many who believe libraries are no longer necessary, I am of a strong opinion that libraries and teacher librarians are necessary than ever before as they are the experts who can teach children to be safe and productive in the digital world.

The Australian School Library Association (2013) identifies the significant contribution teacher librarians can make within their schools and networks by approaching the challenges of addressing a 21st century teaching and learning agenda. We live in an era of rapid change and innovation. Students in 21st century should learn to think critically, check facts, interpret and evaluate all the information they receive. The school library enhances student learning outcomes by providing a range of programs, services and resources which support teaching and learning. This also include digital citizenship program. It would be totally incorrect to assume that students are digital natives. I will ensure that digital citizenship becomes a prominent part of my teaching programs. I have already taken Top of Form

the first steps toward joining Common sense network of innovative educators, schools, and districts who are making digital citizenship a part of their classroom and school cultures. Students will use digital technology and tools more meaningfully, make good choices and informed decisions.

My school has a very little concept of digital learning environments. Hence, the biggest step as a result of my study is, I have understood how vital it is to teach digital citizenship to students. As a result of ETL 523: Digital citizenship in schools, I have registered myself to attend the online training for teaching Digital Citizenship run by Common sense media for educators.

The library should offer print and electronic resources that are age appropriate and according to the ability of the students. With changing times, it is so important to give students exposure to variety of digital texts such as eBooks, enhanced eBooks and interactive books. One of the biggest questions facing school libraries at present is what impact digital content and changing publishing models will have on collection. Currently, the school I work at has no eBooks, but a proposal is already made to the management for eBooks and we have received trial for World Book Online till November. I am already feeling positive about it.

ETL 523 has strongly inspired me to promote and nurture a ‘whole school focus’ on information literacy policy and implementation (ALIA, 2004). Coteaching and working alongside with all key stakeholders can be key contributors in cocreating a vital system of bringing change, trust and support. This program will prepare young people not only to become informed and watchful citizens but also to promote their participation in civic life through internet-based volunteering, campaigning and lobbying (Greenhow, 2010). The whole school approach will help identify the potential opportunities, challenges and likely future development relevant to the school.

ETL 523 introduced me to digital tools such as Canvas, Powtoon, Padlet and Weebly. This is an example of infograph made using Canvas. Now I am confident using it. Weebly was done as a group. Our topic was evaluating information for reliability, accuracy, credibility, and perspective and media literacy. My part was to discuss credibility and media literacy. I will also use Canvas for my INF 533 assignment on digital story telling.


The group work was a positive experience and it is also mentioned in my ETL 523 blog 1. Here is the link to the website

I will use my professional expertise that I have gained throughout the course to identify a range of print and digital curriculum that the students can use in information gathering, note taking, copyright and the impact of digital footprints.

The key takeaway from this subject was for digital learning environment management is shared by Lindsay & Davis (2012) is ‘Stop, Screenshot, Block, Tell, and Share.’ This strategy works within a single class setting or in an online global collaboration. I will focus on working with teachers in areas such as information literacy, information technologies, cooperative planning and teaching and curriculum development as well as developing and maintain collection that will meet the needs, interests and abilities of the school community. This will help me achieve my ultimate goal to develop independent learners who know how to expand their knowledge and expertise through skilled use of variety of information sources employed inside and outside school.

Part C (500 words)

When I started this course, I must admit that I had a very basic understanding of the role of teacher librarian. ETL 401 blog clearly shows how I underestimated the role of a teacher librarian. However, my understanding has drastically changed. I strongly believe that a teacher librarian is a resource to a school as an information agent who supports and implements the vision of their school communities through advocating and building effective library and information services and programs that contribute to the development of lifelong learners (Australian Library and Information Association, 2004).

This course has given me an exposure to different digital tools such, canva, Adobe Spark, Padlet, Powtoon and Weebly. I will be able to now explore these tools effectively and use them more frequently in my teaching. I will be also confident to try new digital tools to enhance my teaching and learning. I will be more proactive in consulting teachers and coordinators to ensure that the resources selected will align to the key skills and content of each learning area. I will also constantly review my own library programs.

I also learnt about cataloguing, subject headings and acquisition. This will enable to appreciate the importance of good cataloguing

I gained insight into the need of library policy and collection development policy.  This has helped me understand that professionally managed and resourced school libraries are crucial to the achievements of the school community (ALIA, 2004). I will now be able to use my professional expertise to identify a range of print and digital curriculum resources that the students and teachers can use. This will enable me to plan, implement and evaluate the learning needs of a range of children.

This course has given me an opportunity to develop my Professional Learning Network (PLN) nationally and globally. I am now part of teacher librarian groups on different social media platforms. Personal Learning Networks (PLN) through Twitter, Facebook and blogs is crucial because by doing so our teaching Practice will become more transparent as we begin to share and reflect with other educators. An extended PLN, is able to use educational technology for teaching and learning and understands the implications of being a connected, collaborator learner who creates and shares across the world.

In order to achieve the status of an excellent teacher librarian, I will participate in continuing professional development and promote library and information services to the school and the wider community. The major focus of EER 500 research study is to find out whether the promotion of school libraries on social media increase the use of parents and carers. The conclusion was that the benefits of social media in today’s digital world to promote a school library are obvious, starting with healthier parent-teacher relationships and all the way to permanently changing the way our children will learn. Not only teacher librarians but all members of school’s community can play a role in promoting the social media by following the school’s social media guidelines.

This reflective portfolio has allowed me t reflect on my own learning journey of a simple role of teacher librarian to multiple, positive and effective roles of a teacher librarian. My growth through this course has also given me the confidence to approach administrators in my school about the role of the teacher librarian. Teacher librarian should be versatile to build a dynamic school library.


Australian Library and Information Association (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from

Australian School Library Association. (2013). Future learning in school libraries. Retrieved from

American Association of School Librarians (AASL). (2009). Empowering learners: Guidelines for school library media programs. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Colvin, G. (2000). Managing in the Info Era. Fortune, 141 (5). Retrieved from

Greenhow, C. (2010). New concept of citizenship for the digital age. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(6), 24-25.

Jennifer LaGarde, Library Girl(2011). Arranging library fiction by genre. Retrieved from National Library New Zealand

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2012). Flattening classrooms, engaging minds: Move to global collaboration one step at a time. Allyn and Bacon.

Wall, J. (2019). Genrefication in NSW public school libraries: A discussion paper. Retrieved 11 September 2020, from–2019/genrefication-in-nsw-public-school-libraries.

ETL 505: Genres

Teacher librarians need to set up their collection in a manner that is accessible to students as the availability and accessibility of collection in a library encourages students to read. The question then arises, how this can be achieved?

Some librarians believe that the tried and true system of shelving alphabetically by author surname is the best way to shelve fiction; others believe that by genre shelving they can encourage students to read more. A third group prefer a middle ground, where author arrangement and genre stickers combine to promote exposure to different titles as well as independent access.

However, students need to be taught and educated regarding the genres. It is likely that the Primary school students might not be aware of genres. It will be beneficial in High school as students will be able to quickly and autonomously find similar titles to ones they know that they enjoy. Regardless of whether it is a Primary library or a High School library, it is extremely important to teach students library skills. Even, the genre stickers on the spine label will be beneficial.

Classifying an item based on genre will be different for fiction and nonfiction. When the collection is classified by genre into a catalogue, a teacher librarian can identify the most popular genre as well as each genre’s most popular books.  It makes it far easier, for example, to find the most popular horror books. It will enable in making the right decision making for purchasing new books. It will also encourage students to read more as they will enjoy what they are reading and at the same time find variety of similar titles in their favourite category. It is important that there has to be uniformity across libraries in assigning genres to an item.

On the other side, there is a concern that students may limit themselves to one kind of genre and may not experience different genres. If students have to physically browse the shelves in their current A-Z configuration, they will be exposed to the full variety of literature available. Another, drawback is that the books by the same author may be in different locations.

Even if a student knows how to find a genre book in the catalogue, that skill may not translate onto the non-fiction section. Dewey decimal classification system (DDC) is used over last 137 years and has been revised several times. Organising the nonfiction by genre does not indicate the end of DDC in school libraries. SCIS also reviews the DDC and tailors it to suit the needs of school libraries.

By implementing generification in resources, the teachers will be able to help their students choose books; students will be self-selecting books with greater ease and the resources will be more engaging. To bring this change in school libraries, the role of teacher librarian will be to make all the stakeholders aware of the changes and also to educate the students through posters, talks and other displays with genre information and title examples.



Davenport, Susan (2017). Genrefying the fiction collection. Connections, 102, 6-7.

Education Services Australia. Guidelines to using SCIS Subject Headings 2015. [Online] Available at:

Eichholzer, Brendan (2014). Taking the guesswork out of genre. Connections, 91, 4-5.

Gordon, Carol A. (2013). Dewey do or Dewey don’t: A sign of the times. Knowledge Quest, 42(2), 2-8.

Jennifer LaGarde, Library Girl(2011). Arranging library fiction by genre. Retrieved from National Library New Zealand

Styles, Julie (2016). Architecture of genres. Connections, 96, 9-11.



EER 500: From Research Question to Research Design

This research study is a continuation from assignment 2 where we looked at our own wiki and also the wiki of other person and then further refined both the research questions. The statement of problem (Appendix 1), research question (Appendix 2) and statements that explain how the research question arises from or is connected to the literature and is of practical importance (Appendix 3) was discussed in assignment 2.  Assignment 3 will further discuss the research methods, research design, ethical issues and paradigms.

The library is a bridge between classrooms and home. The major focus of this study is to find out whether the promotion of school libraries on social media increase the use of parents and carers. There is a significant lack of scholarly research focusing on school library marketing and promotion through social media. Research in this area will assist in raising awareness and advocating the school libraries through social media. Therefore, this study seeks to examine librarians’ use of social media for promoting library’s resources, activities and services in a primary school in New South Wales.

Research Question:

According to Bryman (2012, p. 14), a research question is a question that provides an explicit statement of what it is the researcher wants to know about. According to McMillan (2010, p. 9), the following questions should be consider when evaluating a research question.

  1. Is the general purpose of the study clear?
  2. Is the study significant? Will it make a practical or theoretical contribution?
  3. Is the introduction well organized and clear?

The research question from assignment 2 was modified as it was too broad. Considering that this is a small scale research over a period of 4 weeks, the following research question would be more appropriate.

To what extent does the promotion of the primary school library on social media increase the use of parents and carers?

Research Statement

In this 21st Century, where a paradigm shift in communicating library services to users is evident, a modern and contemporary tool would be needed to promote library and information resources service. Social media is an integral part of current culture. It is a modern and contemporary media for effective promotion of library and information services in the technological era.

Social media in the education sector has become popular and proved to be useful and successful. There are a lot of good primary schools with Facebook pages that do a good job and serve their purposes. Parents have a huge role to play in encouraging children, not only to read but also to participate in the activities and use the resources provided by school. Bulletin boards and marquees are great, but these days it’s not enough to capture everyone’s attention. Social media can positively change the perception of a library and promote all that we do in the library. Activities like book fairs, book clubs, competitions, National Simultaneous Story time can be promoted online by tweeting the information or posting it on Facebook. Scholastic has made it easy by offering a webpage for my book fair and pre-scripted messages for Facebook and Twitter. Social media is a great tool to publicize library hours, library club information, library resources, share library programs and promotions online, and it will give everyone limitless access to library information. Social media gives us a chance to be our own publicist, and set the tone of the library brand we create (Brown, 2017). Mark Moran co-founder of Sweet Search states librarians should be enthusiastic marketers of themselves, the library, and its programs and promotions. Instead of putting your lesson plans in a

journey into using social media for school library services.  The article also stresses the need for social media guidelines and its importance in a school setting where the age of students, institutional values, and parental concerns necessitate consideration. Another gem we have uncovered is that one of the affordances of social media is the almost instant data that users can collect as feedback to inform future practice. When we share our programs, events, and tutorials on Facebook, we quickly learn if a particular post is important for parents by the number of views, likes, and shares it receives (Stower, 2016).

The following guidelines developed by National library of New Zealand would be helpful in developing social media policy. This is especially important for volunteer members of your library team and those new to using social media.

Guidelines should clarify:

  • who can do what, on which platforms
  • issues of privacy and security — your own and your students’
  • what is appropriate content
  • permissions for sharing content such as students’ work or material covered by copyright
  • how your library’s social media use complies with school-wide policies.

Schools can decide which social media platform suits their needs.

The following section will discuss the research design.



Research design

A research design provides a framework for the collection and analysis of data (Bryman, 2012 p. 46). The purpose of research design is to specify a plan for generating empirical evidence that will be used to answer the research questions (McMillan, 2006 p. 2) Research design is a very important part of an investigation, since certain limitations and cautions in interpreting the results are related to each design and because the research design determines how the data should be analyzed (McMillan, 2006 p. 22).  Different research designs such as experimental design, cross sectional or survey design, longitudinal design, case study design and comparative design were taken into consideration. Each of these designs is discussed in brief.

Experimental design has a particular purpose in mind: to investigate cause-and-effect relationships between interventions and measured outcomes (McMillan, 2006 p. 24). True experimental design is not suitable for this research design as physical and biological sciences frequently use true experimental designs because they provide the most powerful approach for determining the effect of one factor on another (McMillan, 2006 p. 24). True experiments are especially difficult to employ in applied research, in which researchers minimize changes to naturally occurring conditions. (McMillan, 2006 p. 24). Randomized experimental research involves something very specific, namely, the use of comparison groups that have been randomly assigned. Random assignment means what it says: assignment of subjects to comparison groups has been done completely at random, like flipping a coin or drawing names out of a hat. Random assignment strengthens the argument that any apparent effect of the intervention is not due to other factors, such as inherent differences among the groups. A quasi-experimental design approximates the true experimental type. The purpose of the method is the same-to determine cause and effect-and there is direct manipulation of conditions (McMillan, 2006 p. 24). However, there is no random assignment of subjects. This will not be suitable for this small piece of research.

The most appropriate design for this small scale piece of research would be a cross sectional research design. Cross-sectional studies provide a clear ‘snapshot’ of the outcome and the characteristics associated with it, at a specific point in time. In regards to the current research, the outcome can be compared as the survey will be given to parents and carers two weeks before and two weeks after the social media promotion. Unlike an experimental design, where there is an active intervention by the researcher to produce and measure change or to create differences, cross-sectional designs focus on studying and drawing inferences from existing differences between people, subjects, or phenomena. While longitudinal studies involve taking multiple measures over an extended period of time, cross-sectional research is focused on finding relationships between variables at one moment in time. Since this research is small scale and done over a period of four weeks, it is more appropriate choice for current research project. In cross sectional research design, data are collected by questionnaire or by structured interviews. This research project also involves a likert survey for data collection.

However, there are limitations to cross sectional designs. Results obtained are static and time bound and, therefore, gives no indication of a sequence of events or reveal historical or temporal contexts. Studies cannot be utilized to establish cause and effect relationships. This design only provides a snapshot of analysis so there is always the possibility that a study could have differing results if another time-frame had been chosen. Also, there is no follow up to the findings.

Case study design is also not suitable as the basic case study entails the detailed and intensive analysis of a single case. Secondly, it is carried over a lengthy period. Comparative designs entails studying two contrasting cases using more or less identical methods. Here a researcher may collect data from number of countries and that are comparable. Comparative design are carried on a large scale over the countries and hence cannot be carried in a small scale research.

The quantitative method will be used to answer the research question using cross sectional likert survey. This will be discussed in the next section.

Research Methods

The most fundamental difference in methodology of research is whether it is quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method.  According to McMillan (2010 p. 5), quantitative research involves the use of numerical calculations to summarize, describe, and explore relationships among traits whereas in qualitative research, the emphasis is on conducting studies in natural settings using mostly verbal descriptions, resulting in stories and case studies rather than statistical reports and finally mixed methods has qualities of both quantitative and qualitative designs.

This would involve beginning with quantitative Likert scale survey questionnaire given to parents and carers two weeks before and two weeks after the social media promotion begins on their awareness of the social media campaign and its influence. Cross sectional designs generally use survey techniques to gather data, they are relatively inexpensive and take up little time to conduct. This will be suitable for a small scale research. Survey research comprises a cross sectional design in relation to which data are collected predominantly by questionnaire or by structured interview on more than one case and at a single point in time in order to collect a body of quantitative or quantifiable data in connection with two or more variables, which are then examined to detect patterns of associations (Bryman, 2012 p. 60).

Survey designs are procedures in quantitative research in which you administer a survey or questionnaire to a small group of people (called the sample) to identify trends in attitudes, opinions, behaviours, or characteristics of a large group of people called the population (Creswell, 2012 p. 15). The Likert scale is essentially a multiple- indicator or multiple- item measure of a set of attitudes relating to a particular area (Bryman, 2012 p. 166). The goal of the Likert scale is to measure intensity of feelings about the area in question (Bryman, 2012 p. 166). It comprises of series of statements called items and the respondents is asked to indicate their level of agreement starting from strongly agree to strongly disagree. This approach is suitable for small scale research because it uses multiple indicator to measure a concept.

However, there are errors in survey research. Sampling error arises because it is extremely unlikely that one will end up with a truly representative sample, even when probability sampling is employed (Bryman, 2012 p. 205). Non sampling error arises from activities or events that are related to the sampling process and that are connected with the issue of generalizability or external validity of findings (Bryman, 2012 p. 2015). In this small piece of research, non-response from respondents can be an example of non-sampling error.  There may be data collection error. This source of error includes such factors as: poor question wording in self- completion questionnaires or structured interviews; poor interviewing techniques; and flaws in the administration of research instruments (Bryman, 2012 p. 205). The final error is data processing error that arises from coding of answers.

In this small piece of research, the data collected before and after will be compared to check whether the promotion of social media increase the use of parents and carers in a primary school.

Ethical Issues

In all steps of the research process, it is necessary to engage in ethical practices. Ethics should be a primary consideration rather than an afterthought, and it should be at the forefront of the researcher’s agenda (Creswell, 2012 p. 17). Educational researchers need to be aware of and anticipate ethical issues in their research. They have been usefully broken down into four main areas (Bryman, 2012, p. 135). Each of these areas will be discussed in turn, outlining how they apply to the design and methods of this research.

The first ethical principle is whether there is harm to participants. Research that is likely to harm participants is regarded by most people as unacceptable. Harm can be physical harm, harm to participants ‘development, loss of self-esteem, stress or inducing subjects to perform reprehensible acts. The participation in this small scale piece of research is voluntary. The issue of harm to participants is further addressed in ethical codes by advocating care over maintaining the confidentiality of records (Bryman, 2012 p. 136). Participants will be free to withdraw at any time. However, Bryman (2012, p. 136) also points that the need for confidentiality can present dilemmas for researchers.

The second ethical principle is whether there is a lack of informed consent. This issue is highly debatable in social research. Informed consent means that prospective research participants should be given as much information as might be needed to make an informed decision about whether or not they wish to participate in a study (Bryman, 2012 p. 138). Parents and carers will be informed about this research through school’s websites and newsletters. Informed consent forms will be signed by research participants. The advantage of such forms is that they give respondents an opportunity to be fully informed of the nature of the research and the implications of their participation at the outset (Bryman, 2012 p. 140).

The third area of ethical concern relates to the issue of the degree to which invasions of privacy can be condoned (Bryman, 2012 p. 142). Participants’ survey questionnaire will be anonymous for this piece of research. Participants will also have a choice to refuse to answer to certain questions on whatever grounds they feel are justified.

Finally the last ethical issue is whether deception is involved. Deception occurs when researchers represent their work as something other than what it is (Bryman, 2012 p. 143). In this small scale research, there is a very less chance of any kind of deception. Research should be designed, reviewed and undertaken to ensure integrity, quality and transparency (Bryman, 2012 p. 144). Considering all these principles in mind, a proper social media policy will be formulated. This policy will align with NSW Department of Education social media policy.

Research Paradigms

A paradigm is a ‘cluster of beliefs and dictates which for scientists in a particular discipline influence what should be studied, how research should be done, and how results should be interpreted. (Bryman, 2012 p. 630). Paradigm as a term is used here to refer to a world view or to a high-order way of thinking about or categorizing the approach or logic that underpins all aspects of a research undertaking from the intent or motivation for the research to the final design, conduct and outcomes of the research. This small scale research was initiated by a research interest followed by research question. This part of research question sits within a positivist paradigms.

The constructivist researcher is most likely to rely on qualitative data collection methods and analysis or a combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods (mixed methods). Quantitative data may be utilised in a way, which supports or expands upon qualitative data and effectively deepens the description. (Mckenzie and Knipe,2006). This paradigm is not appropriate for this small scale research.

The pragmatic paradigm provides an opportunity for “multiple methods, different worldviews, and different assumptions, as well as different forms of data collection and analysis in the mixed methods study” (Creswell, 2003, p.12). For this small piece of research, pragmatic paradigm will be more suitable. The pragmatic approach can be used in both qualitative and quantitative methods which are matched to the specific questions and purpose of the research. The data collection tools may include tools from both positivist and interpretivist paradigms. E.g. Interviews, observations and testing and experiments. (Mackenzie & Knipe, 2006).

Pragmatism is not committed to any one system of philosophy or reality. Pragmatist researchers focus on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the research problem (Creswell, 2003, p.11).. The pragmatic paradigm places “the research problem” as central and applies all approaches to understanding the problem (Creswell, 2003, p.11). With the research question ‘central’, data collection and analysis methods are chosen as those most likely to provide insights into the question with no philosophical loyalty to any alternative paradigm (Mackenzie & Knipe, 2006).


After reading the literature, I am able to understand the purpose of educational research and how research studies are designed and conducted.  This small piece of research project outlined a research design which attempts to answer the research question presented in the introduction. To improve upon this study, a further study on promotion of school libraries through social networking among parents and carers will be helpful. The purpose of this is not to review but rather to suggest that such platforms might be of invaluable help for a school library. The bottom line is that social media is a big part of our day to day life and there’s no point of keeping it away from the education process. School, college and university staff should be encouraged to make use of technology for student and parent communication. The benefits of social media in today’s digital world to promote a school library are obvious, starting with healthier parent-teacher relationships and all the way to permanently changing the way our children will learn. Not only teacher librarians but all members of school’s community can play a role in promoting the social media by following the school’s social media guidelines. This study points to the use of social media to promote a primary school library. However, it is important to note that this is only one perspective to promote school libraries. Further studies and research on addressing these should contribute to clearer understanding of the topic.



Brown, T. (2017). 5 Reasons School Librarians Should Use Social Media. Accessed January 18, 2019 from


Bryman, A. (2016). Social research methods (5th ed.). Oxford, UK: OUP.


Creswell, J. W. (2012). The process of conducting research using quantitative and qualitative approaches. In Educational researc.h: planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.) (pp. 8-24). Boston: Pearson.

Lambert, M. (2012). A beginner’s guide to doing your education research project. London: Sage.


Mackenzie, N., & Knipe, S. (2006). Research dilemmas: Paradigms, methods and methodology. Issues in Educational Research 16 (2), 193- 205. Accessed January 16, 2019 from


McMillan, J., & Schumacher, S. (2006). Research designs and reading research reports. In research in education : evidence-based inquiry (6th ed.) (pp. 21-49). Boston : Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.


National Library of New Zealand. Guidelines for social media use. Retrieved on January 18, 2019 from


Punch, K.F. & Oancea, A. (2014). Extract from Theory and method in education research. In Introduction to research methods in education (2nd ed.) (pp. 19-20). Thousand Oakes, Cal: Sage Publications.


Stower, H (2016). Using social media to support school library services. Connections, 98, 5-7.





Appendix 1

Draft research question 1 (Brahmbhatt, 2018)

How to promote the significance of school libraries to all the stakeholders in this digital world?


Bryman (2012, p. 9) states that a research question must be interrogatory and the draft question is interrogatory. Bryman (2012, p. 11) also suggests that research questions are crucial because they will provide your readers with a clearer sense of what your research is about. The draft research question clearly states the purpose of doing the research. It is about the importance of promoting school libraries among staff, students and parents community. One of the criteria for evaluating a research question is it is should be relevant and the above problem is relevant in Australian schools context.

Areas for improvement

The above research question fail to specify the targeted audience; whether the focus of research is high school library or primary school library. Also the word ‘stakeholders’ includes everyone in school community; parents, teachers, students. This makes the research too broad. Hence, it is best to focus only on students at this stage. However while collecting data, surveying or filling up a questionnaire, parents and teachers opinion can be taken into consideration.

Lewis and Munn (2004:5) called research questions ‘the vital first steps in any research’. As Lewis and Munn (2004:14) pointed out: ‘It is unlikely that the first set of research questions you produce will be the set you finally use’. After putting a question or even a couple of questions down on paper, it is vital to evaluate these questions to determine whether they would be effective research questions or whether they need more revising and refining.

A recommended version of draft research questions will be as follows.

Refined question 1: What will be the impact of promoting primary school libraries on students ‘achievement?

Appendix 2

Some researchers prefer statements to research questions. A statement of the problem in research is a claim that outlines the problem in the study. In some studies the specific research questions will replace a general statement of purpose. Questions to ask 1. Is the general purpose of the study clear? 2. Is the study significant? Will it make a practical or theoretical contribution? 3. Is the introduction well organized and clear? (Wergin, 2010 p.4)

Both the above researches by Brahmbhatt and Coates is current and relevant in Australian context. Recently, there had been a conference where the need to advocate the school libraries was discussed and therefore the research by Brahmbhatt is relevant. Whereas, there has also been a debate on whether generification will help to increase the circulation and encourage students to read for pleasure. This is also very relevant in this time. According to Creswell (2012), the research statement contains the major focus of the study, the participants in the study, and the location or site of the inquiry. This purpose statement is then narrowed to research questions or predictions that you plan to answer in your research study. The following statement by Brahmbhatt (2018) and Coates (2018) in the wiki post, also explains how the research question arises from literature.

Brahmbhatt (2018) statement- Soft link announced the campaign at the 2017 ASLA conference in Sydney, and the response was immediate, positive and huge.

The first and foremost problem is to identify a research problem. Australian School Library Association also explains that our role as a teacher librarian is to promote the school libraries and therefore the question arises whether generification can one of the steps in achieving this.  The basic aim of both the researches is to promote school library and encourage reading.

Brahmbhatt (2018) statement is taken from Softlink which is a very authentic source and is also this campaign ‘Students need school libraries was started in 2017. Libraries should be right in schools and we must give pupils the opportunity to go a quiet place to do extra study or to choose a book to read (The Guardian, 2016) shows the need for the promotion of school libraries.

The range of source seems adequate for the contextualised claims made.

One of the characteristics of a good research by Lambert (2012) is that the research should be ethical. It should not cause harm or disadvantage to yourself or your participants. Four main areas have been isolated by Bryman in relation to ethical issues of research. These are harm to participants, lack of informed consent, invasion of privacy and whether deception is involved (Bryman, 2012). Both the researches meet this criteria.

Both the research is more focused on qualitative methods and failed to take into consideration the quantitative methods. Also there is moderate degree of generalisation. There is also a small range of

Appendix 3

Brahmbhatt (2018) – Libraries plays such a major role in shaping students ‘development. It is highly frustrating when the role of school libraries and teacher librarian is questioned. Teacher librarian are expertise who works along with teachers in planning and programming the syllabus. Therefore the research question by Brahmbhatt is of practical importance. Also ‘The Guardian’ (2016) newspapers article states, in recent years the picture has changed; the proliferation of personal electronic devices means information is instantly available almost anywhere and the printed words is in decline’. This statement clearly explains how relevant the research topic is in today’s digital context.

However in both the cases, other factors that could also affect the research are not taken into consideration. For example, what could be other possible factors that also affect the research in action?

Finally to conclude with, as a teacher librarian I am very much interested in this topic of promoting the school libraries. Today’s libraries are about more than books- they are valuable centres for people to access information and learn new skills. Not only school libraries but even public libraries are facing funding issues. NSW public libraries budget in the 2018-19 was slashed down by 5% and hence the campaign ‘Renew our Libraries ‘was started.

All this factors had inspired me to learn more about the topic. The steps in the research process has help me to gain the understanding of how research works.


ETL 504: Assessment 2: Discussion Paper Future Ready School Library


Highly effective schools are expected to educate students in a way that is conducive to how new generations learn and how society function in the present and future. In the twenty- first century, citizenship requires level of information and technological literacy that go far beyond the basic knowledge that was sufficient in the past (National Education Association, 2012). A school library is integral to the education process. This paper outlines how the school library can develop as a learning space and resource centre to accommodate and respond to twenty- first century learning expectations.

Education at school filled with meaningful, applied learning environment, has the capacity to enrich students learning and better prepare them for life and work in the twenty- first century. The skills needed to seek and comprehend information, as well as the tools we have available for information sharing, “are rapidly changing and developing” (O’Connell, 2008, p. 51). Recent education reforms call for a shift in pedagogy to provide students with the skills necessary to be competitive in a global society. The new Australian Curriculum pays serious attention to what are referred to as 21st century skills. The General Capabilities are Australian version of 21st century skills. The Melbourne Declaration (2008) emphasises the importance of knowledge, understanding and skills from each learning area, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities as the basis for a curriculum designed to support twenty- first century learning. By nature, twenty- first century learning activities are often open-ended, involve unbounded sets of information, and there may be ongoing redefinition of the goal of the task (Scoular & Heard, 2018).

The 21st century skills cannot be learned in isolation. It includes critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration and teamwork, personal and social skills, and information and communication technologies (ICT) skills. These are supported by associated skills that elaborate on the 21st century skills (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, September 2017).  As educators, it is our role to develop these skills through inquiry learning, guided inquiry and information literacy models. In particular, there is a large movement around teaching general capabilities using problem-based or inquiry-based learning – most likely because problem solving is one of the most frequently mentioned ‘in demand’ skills and features consistently across frameworks (Scoular & Heard, 2018). The combination of General Capabilities combined with the explicit emphasis of the Australian Curriculum on inquiry skills increases students ‘engagement, prepares students for 21st century skills making them lifelong learners (Fitzgerald, 2015). Inquiry learning involves the process of asking questions, investigating, creating, discussing and reflecting. Herring (2007) also points out that constructivist theories of learning have become more accepted in schools.

Our students need libraries that are dynamic learning hub of general capabilities that blends books and technology. With public libraries closing at a worrying rate, school libraries are becoming even more important (National Literacy Trust, 2017). School library professionals play a vital role in helping students and faculty focus their research in a growing digital landscape. They teach students how to locate the best resources and, more importantly, how to assess and analyse the information they find (Softlink, 2017). School libraries ensure that students and staff in the school have equitable access to resources that are appropriate and relevant to the curriculum and enrich and support different abilities, learning styles and maturity levels of the students. The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) supports the position that an effective school library program has a certified school librarian at the helm, provides personalized learning environments, and offers equitable access to resources to ensure a well-rounded education for every student (AASL, 2016). Both Kuhlthau and Herring (2007) also refer to the need for the library to become not just an essential part of schools but a key driver in the development of the school vision.

Vision Statement

  • To promote a culture of inquiry learning in a dynamic environment to enhance achievement and foster self-directed learners and to learn future ready skills incorporating collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and citizenships to adapt and thrive in a changing global environment.

Strategic Focus

To achieve the above vision and to cater the needs of 21st century learner, teaching and learning practises need to be altered. This kind of vision provides both space and resources for the development of future ready citizens, who embody a lifelong love of reading, innovative thinking, competent research skills, and collaborative work relationships. The three directions that will be discussed in this paper to transform library into interactive learning environment are technology that focus on inquiry learning, flexible learning space and use of library as maker space.

Technology: Digital Citizenship

As Child (2019) suggests, technology is a powerful tool to enhance learning and using a constructionist pedagogy, it gives students opportunities to collaborate, create, communicate and think critically, skills for 21st century. Teacher Librarians as experts supports the pedagogies and curriculum by collaborating with teachers and developing a collection and preparing library programs and personalising the library services to meet the needs of the school community. Teacher librarians are the information who enhance classroom teachers ‘capacity to teach age- appropriate website evaluation, teach smart searching strategies, find resources from search engines other than google, determine usage rights for images found online and differentiate online resources according to reading level (School libraries: The heart of 21st century learning, 2019). This will teach students digital literacy and make them good digital citizens. A digital citizen is a person with the skills and knowledge to effectively use digital technologies to participate in society, communicate with others and
create and consume digital content (Office of safety commissioner, 2019). The skills needed to be a digital citizen are skills school librarians, or media specialists, possess and are often called upon to teach (Hays, 2019).

Libraries extend and enhance the classroom experience: a place where students, teachers, and librarians can explore, learn, create, and collaborate. Teachers cannot do this alone (Kuhlthau 2010). Teacher librarians support teachers in delivering the subjects through supporting the curriculum through inquiry learning. Librarians foster a love of reading and learning in addition to modelling and utilizing current technologies to assist students in becoming proficient and responsible users of information. As information specialist, teacher librarians can best support the teachers by collaborating and designing tasks and by also team teach the skills that are most relevant to students.

Pedagogy: Flexible Seating Arrangement

A future focused, 21st century for teaching & learning had a great impact on the decision to select the furniture chosen. Research confirms that the learning environment has a huge impact on student engagement (Saunders & Kardia, 2019). One of the ways that educators are making their classrooms more conducive to 21st century learning is by rethinking their seating arrangements. The idea of flexible seating settings maximises student engagement and facilitates different types of learning. Delzer (2016) firmly believes that this simply cannot be done when kids are sitting in rows of desks all day. According to Markle (2018), the forefront of job descriptors are collaboration and problem solving and therefore the classroom environment should mirror what students will encounter in their future careers, and should be meaning making. Flexible seating allows students to experience all these skills. It will provide students with choice in how and where they learn and encourage open space that can be changed to accommodate style of learning and technology. Flexible seating is about more than simply having a variety of different, fun seats in the classroom. It is about utilizing student voice, creating buy-in, heightening collaborative learning, and prioritizing students’ needs concerning the environment in which they learn (Markle, 2018).

Curriculum: Collaboration through Makerspace

School libraries offer more than just books and technology. School libraries are continuing to evolve from the outdated notion that they are simply repositories of knowledge stored within the bound pages of books (Harte, 2016). In this 21st Century, where a paradigm shift in communicating library services to users is evident, a modern and contemporary tool would be needed to promote library and information resources service. Makerspaces are the next in evolution of resources that we provide our students. School libraries: The heart of 21st century (2019) states that makerspace foster collaboration, creativity, problem solving and exploration through a STEAM.

Makerspaces provide students with the opportunity to learn a range of skills and meet a number of curriculum objectives, including digital technologies and computational thinking, coding, mathematics, humanities, the arts, prototyping, and engineering — just to name a few. The library is the perfect environment to expose and integrate many innovative technologies to enhance students’ learning and engagement by providing students’ exposure to makerspace in a flexible learning environment. Library as a place for makerspace is the need in a future-focussed education setting. All of the core skills, knowledge, understanding, and mindsets that we consider key to our children’s success can also be found and learnt in a makerspace; students can learn resilience, as well as gain skills in problem solving, teamwork, and communication (Harte, 2016). This freedom to choose is one of the things that distinguish makerspaces from traditional curriculum-driven classrooms.

Learning in the makerspace has no formal assessment and is simply full of joy’. Harte (2016) suggests that the outcomes for makerspaces are driven not by standards, curriculum, and in-case learning, but by curiosity, authentic problem solving, and in-time learning. All of the core skills, knowledge, understanding, and mindsets that we consider key to our children’s success can also be found and learnt in a makerspace; students can learn resilience, as well as gain skills in problem solving, teamwork, and communication.

The following section will discuss the implementation requirements to bring these changes and to achieve the vision.

Implementation requirements

The above strategic focus in the library will create and sustain a student centred learning environment and will provide opportunities to work towards shared vision.

Implementing change can be a challenging and imposing changes may not bring the desired results. Lancaster (2019) advises that change leaders must consider and respect individual notions of what school should look like, while at the same time convincing people that what they’re proposing will be better.

Planned changes will meet the educational goals and vision of the school.  Developing positive and productive lines of communication with staff will help to implement the changes. Starting with small and visible changes can bring positive outcomes. To bring this change in place, an effective change management plan needs to be in place. Trust and respect needs to be established.

Principal and teacher librarian work together as transformational leaders would help teachers to bring these positive changes and support the school’s vision. Educating all the stake holders about the need for the change is essential. As Kotters (2016) explains, the first step in change management is to create urgency. Involving staff and using distributed leadership style in decision making and the change process will build trust in staff. This will ensure that staff are committed to working towards the vision. There will be shift in thinking and acceptance that change in pedagogy will improve teacher and student engagement and outcomes.

For libraries to have an effective hub of learning in twenty- first century, a teacher librarian can lead, teach, and support the General Capabilities and vision of their school through their professional practices, programs, and spaces. Librarians lead from the middle using instructional leadership by providing resources, strategies, and connections. Gottlieb (2012) has defined leadership from middle as a function of showing someone his or her best self, and creating a favourable environment in which they can be that self. It is the power of all those “best selves” working together that makes Leading from the Middle a quiet force for change.  Teacher librarians has a broad overview of the curriculum and therefore they lead from middle. This enables them to provide targeted differentiation and resourcing support to staff, students and parents. This allows them to facilitate innovative learning opportunities.

In the ACT Government Education report on School libraries: The heart of 21st century (2019, p. 8), clearly states that the support and counsel of teacher librarians greatly enhances classroom teachers’ capacity to skilfully embed the Australian Curriculum ICT and Creative Thinking General Capabilities into their lessons. As Godfree (2018) clearly states that school library services provide tailored resources and skills-based lessons for each particular community, saving time, filling ‘gaps’ and reducing workload for classroom teachers who are then able to spend that extra time and energy planning better lessons.

Librarians using the servant leadership styles plan along with teachers and can create curriculum integrated programs and actively contribute to students’ learning process through inquiry learning. Inquiry learning provides teachers and teacher librarians with a designing tool to create Guided Inquiry units of work, as well as developing twenty- first century skills for students. Teacher Librarians also specialise in differentiated, inquiry learning, which is a strong focus in the Australian Curriculum (Lupton, 2013; Nayler, 2014; ACARA, 2018) and the Early Years Learning Framework (Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009).

As an instruction leader, teacher librarian assist teachers in resourcing the curriculum, providing Professional Development on topics like use of Library Management System, ICT skills, Coding and Maker space. Librarians can lead from the middle by providing professional development. The ability to use the right information and the right resources are learnt by using information literacy models. The role of teacher and teacher librarians is to teach these skills to students. Librarians should be promoters of information literacy programs. Teacher librarians works from the library but leads within and beyond the library. Teacher librarians provide opportunities for innovation to occur.

Makerspace program can be started in library with low- tech projects and can be integrated into core subjects such as maths, history or geography by challenging students to build their own games. This will provide students with the opportunity to learn a range of skills and meet a number of curriculum objectives, including digital technologies and computational thinking, coding, mathematics, humanities, the arts, prototyping, and engineering — just to name a few. These activities will not only bring collaboration in students but also among teachers. Collaboration among teachers can be done through observation, constructive feedback, mentoring and team teaching.

To conclude with, twenty- first century skills are vital to students’ learning and the school library and the teacher librarians are the best resource to lead and help teachers and students embrace twenty- first century learning. This is also the most effective way of advocating school library to all the stakeholders.

Final recommendations


  • Inform and encourage all stakeholders about the change and to collectively achieve shared vision.
  • Strategic planning to ensure staff are working towards common goal.
  • Communicate and convince the staff of necessity of change and allow them the influence to ensure that it will be worth their effort.
  • Regular professional development to support staff.
  • Plan budgeting and funding.
  • Distribute leadership by involving staff and collaborate effectively to encourage innovation.
  • Inform the staff about short term wins and review them in timely manner.
  • Assess and evaluate new directions in response to changes in library.



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Lupton, M. (2013). Inquiry pedagogy and the Australian CurriculumPrimary and Middle Years Educator, 11(2), 23-29.

Madsen, S. (2016). Kotter’s 8 step change management model [Video file]. Retrieved Mar. 2017 from

Markle, B. (2018, August 20). Reflections on Shifting to a Flexible Classroom [Blog post]. Retrieved from

McNamara, C. (2017). Problem solving and decision-making. In Free Management Library, Retrieved October 26, 2019, from

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (Australia). (2008). Melbourne Declaration on the National Library of Australia. Retrieved October 30, 2019, from

National Education Association (NEA). (2012). Preparing 21st century students for a global society. An educator’s guide to the four Cs. Retrieved from

National Literacy Trust, 2017, School Libraries: A literature review of current provision and evidence of impact

Oxley, C. (2018). Strength in numbers: Encouraging every staff member to work to capacity. International Information & Library Review, 50:1, 69-75. doi:10.1080/10572317.2018.1422907

Pennsylvania School Library Project (Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, Health Sciences Library Consortium and Education Law Center of Pennsylvania). (2012).Creating 21st-century learners: A report on Pennsylvania’s public school libraries.

Richard Milner, H. (2019). The Ultimate Guide To Future Focused Learning – BFX Furniture. [online] BFX Furniture. Available at: [Accessed 8 Nov. 2019].

Scoular, C. and Heard, J. (2019). Teaching and assessing general capabilities. [online] Australian Council for Educational Research – ACER. Available at: [Accessed 4 Nov. 2019]. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Nov. 2019].

The College of St. Scholastica (2016, May 2). What is 21st Century learning? How a master’s degree can enhance the effectiveness of your classroom [Blog post]. Retrieved from

PART B: Critical Reflection of Experiencing Digital Literature Experiences

Before I commenced this unit, I was familiar with the first level of digital narrative as described by Walsh (2013) that is traditional literature presented in digital form. As mentioned in Lamb (2011), in a 2010 study of young readers published in Reading Teacher, Lotta Larson found that digital reading devices promote new literacy practices, such as digital note-taking, and provide readers control over how they engage with the text. My understanding of digital literature has drastically changed after this assignment. This assignment gave me good understanding and insight into other forms of digital literature and also the characteristics of a good digital text. According to Walsh (2013, p. 186), one way of evaluating the appropriateness of a digital narrative for literary text is to compare its literary qualities with the text’s digital features and consider how both integrate into a literary text in digital form. Digital text enriched with multimedia material is rapidly spreading out.

After gaining understanding of enhanced e book and interactive books, I believe that it is extremely important for students to experience print and digital format because the experiences that the digital product can offer the child that the print book cannot. This will also in future provide students with the skills to be digitally literate in 21st century. My understanding

However Yakota & Teale (2014) recommends that as teachers we should examine any potential digital story just to make sure there is no abundance of potentially distracting instances such as decorative fonts that distracts the reader and overlaying word on the illustration as well as the mismatch between what is seen in the illustration and what is said in the text.

Lamb (2011) has influenced me that the affordances of this new form of literature allowed for a positive impact on the way we read and interacted with information in 21st century. In mu future teaching, I aim to use more digibooks for inquiry learning as it is highly appealing and will encourage students’ creativity and motivation. I will also use the nonfiction digibooks for our sustainability club at lunch time for stage 2 students. ABC education digibooks are cost effective and easily accessible.  I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the digibooks on ABC Educational website. I have already asked the IT department at my school to install Animalia in Ipads as there is a free version available and will be beneficial to students.

Yokota (2013) Well-designed digital picture books integrate illustration, text, sound, and sometimes also movement so that each complements the other and, together, they provide a multimedia text experience. The ability to process and produce multimedia texts is central to what it means to be literate in then the 21st century, and interactions with digital picture books is an excellent way to begin building these skills. However, Yokota (2013) cautions that  for digital picture books to play an integral role in early literacy development rather than merely being window dressing, it is important that educators select wisely from an ever- increasing flood of such materials into the market, knowing when a digital choice is appropriate and stands to benefit the child and not allowing nostalgia or assumptions to guide choices (i.e., “if it was a good/well- known children ’ s book, it must be good as an app” kind of thinking, without fully analysing the app’s features).

Digital literature helps the student to gain a better understanding of the abstract content. In my assessment blog 1, I was still very much of an opinion that physical books are better than eBooks, personally for me, but that opinion has changed after this assignment.

School libraries that adapt to the digital needs of their community not only continue to build a reading culture in the school, but facilitate the divergence and convergence in media needed to support motivation, differentiation, a variety of platforms, collaboration and connections necessary for the new learning ecology of the twenty-first century (Gogan & Marcus, 2013; Hay & Foley, 2009; Lamb & Johnson, 2010; Marcoux & Loertscher, 2009). Considering the advancement in digital technology, it is out role as a teacher librarian to integrate and enhance our content of teaching with any new format that comes along. Dobler (2013) advises that it is necessary for children to express various genres and formats of books, both print and digital in lots of different contexts, to prepare them for the wide variety of reading experiences they will encounter in their future. Since this assignment has given me an understanding on evaluation criteria for digital texts, I will be able to make more informed decisions and structured opinions. Overall, this assignment has given me a rich experience in exploring the world of digital literature.


Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=67371172&site=ehost-live

O’Connell, J., Bales, J., & Mitchell, P. (2015). [R]Evolution in reading cultures: 2020
vision for school libraries. The Australian Library Journal64(3), 194

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

Yokota, J. & Teale, W. H. (2014). Picture books and the digital world: educators making informed choices. The Reading Teacher, 34(6). Retrieved from Making_Informed_Choices


ETL 507: Professional Placement Report

Section 1: About the placement organisation

I undertook my placement at Amity College High School Library. Amity College is a K- 12 Co-educational, independent school built in 1996 in South- west suburb of Sydney. The total number of enrolment is 1570 students. Amity College has 3 campuses in Sydney; Prestons, Illawarra and Auburn.

There are three libraries at Prestons campus; one for primary students, Boys High School library and Girls High School library. All the three campuses has a well-resourced library with a set budget for each library every year. This shows that school library plays an integral role at Amity College. The librarians are currently reviewing their library policy, working on libguides and are also under the process of designing a new library website. Subscription to SCIS, Click view and Destiny is managed by the teacher librarian. Weeding is an ongoing activity and is done by respective librarians in each library.

The school has a BYOD policy for High school students. The school provides Wi-Fi access to students in order to support BYOD learning environment. The library also has an AV room. The school has a separate IT Department and all the technological issues are dealt by them.

The library promotes lot of reading activities in both Primary and High School libraries through events such as Book tasting, Australian Reading Hour, Premier’s Reading Challenge, and competitions and by displaying new titles. The collection includes academic books as well as recreational reading books.

Teachers, Head teachers and teacher librarians’ work together to build the school library collection. Resource selection is also evidence-driven with a combination of shelf-ready publisher subscription packages, resource usage report analysis and patron-driven acquisitions. As a result, the collection is well-rounded and satisfies all users’ needs. There is also a suggestion box for students to recommend books. The library has an interactive library management system and a library kiosk, which is very popular among students. Students use kiosk to place holds, write reviews and recommendations and also to search up items in the catalogue.

The library has variety of formats such as print materials, DVD and graphic novels to cater to different learning needs. It is essential to provide students with variety of formats and resources because school libraries that provide an array of engaging high-quality materials enable students to choose books that appeal to their individual interests, reading preferences, and abilities. Non-fiction is not very popular among students in High School except some cooking books, Record Breakers book and magazines. Magazines are not allowed to borrow but can be used in the library. There is a separate section for Teachers Reference books. The school also runs Turkish and Arabic language classes and the library has language books. The collection meets the diverse needs of the staff and students.

The Fiction section of the library is generified. The genres are Fantasy, Adventure, Biography, Humour, Graphic Novels, Mystery, Science Fiction, Horror, Diary, Crime, Supernatural, School, Sports Fiction and Animal Stories. Humour and Graphic Novels are the most popular genres among students.

The library staff from all the campuses meet once a term to collaborate on projects, exchange ideas and update on library events, activities and also professional training. The meeting agenda is shared on Google Drive so staff can add any agenda items and discuss in the meeting. The minutes is recorded and shared with the Principals and other librarians. All the librarians work congenially and with passion to meet the goals.

Section 2: Theory into practice

During my placement, I could understand the difference in the way the high school library operates as compared to a primary school library. The range of collection, activities and the displays in the library caters the needs of the girls in the High school. I had the opportunity to experience and also get involve in a wide range of activities in the High School library.

The library is a busy place as it is in the midst of the school office, computer lab, IT help desk and study rooms. The library also provides service such as printing, photocopying, laminating and loaning laptops to students. I also assisted the librarian in performing number of desk duties such as check in/ check out of books, shelving, photo copying and assisting students in completing their Premier’s Reading Challenge log. The library provides a safe place in which students can interact with their peers and access the available library resources Amity College uses Destiny as their Library system. Students place holds for their items, write reviews and recommendations for the books and the librarian approve it before it is published. My knowledge of the system was beneficial as I was able to work independently with needing guidance from the librarian to keep the holds ready for the students and teachers. To encourage students’ reading and borrowing, the new resources were displayed in the library.

The library was refurbished recently with all modern furniture that suits the needs of a modern, flexible and accessible environment. Year 12 students are allocated a study period in the library under the librarian’s supervision.  During ETL 504, in my Discussion Paper on Future Ready School Library, I had emphasised the importance of flexible seating. I have seen how this library has transformed from traditional seating arrangement to future oriented hub of learning. This has created opportunities for all learners to collaborate and work together.

During ETL 505 I learnt about key concepts and principles of information resource description. During this subject, I gained the understanding of some cataloguing concepts such as metadata, Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), and Resource Description and Access (RDA). I had very limited experience on how to access resources using the Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS) and no experience on cataloguing the items that are not listed on SCIS. Through this placement, I was able to understand the rules, guidelines and standards require in describing, analysing and organising resources. I also had an opportunity to understand the cataloguing of DVD’s and Periodicals (Magazines).

However, the school does not have any e books for staff or students. This year’s Pandemic has proved that technology is of utmost importance in these times. During remote learning, students did not have any exposure to reading and therefore I believe that the school must invest in e books and familiarise students with the digital formats of books to provide equity of access to all resources. I had a personal enthusiasm for learning about cataloguing and I think that was my biggest achievement.

During the time of placement, there were few resources that were urgent requirements from some teachers. This has helped me understand how to set priorities. One of my professional goals was to observe and understand how the librarians prioritises meeting the expectations of its students and teachers.

The library has a large room where the teachers’ resources are stored. Over a period of time, with the access to digital resources, the borrowing for teacher’s resources have declined. To prepare for stock take of teachers’ resources, a lot of items were weeded on the basis of library’s weeding policy. The resources that were not located were marked missing. The planning is underway to use this space in more productive way rather than occupying it for the unused resources.

Next year, Amity College will open its campus in Leppington too. The Boys’ High School will be moving to Leppington Campus and Prestons campus will be expanded. This means the libraries will be expanded too. The Principal asked Mrs Bashir to come up with a plan for the future library. I was fortunate to be a part of the planning process and gave my input. I suggested that the library can have glass walls with a designated area to collaborate, communicate and share.

Finally, the school is going to organise Book tasting with social distancing in the first week of August. A lot of time and efforts go in the planning and preparation of the event. I assisted the librarian in making posters, bookmarks and the activity cards to promote the event. This reminds me of the research project I undertook for EER 500 where the research outlines the need to advocate the library and the activities as mentioned in Australian Schools Library association (2018), one of the roles of the librarian is to promote services in the library. The main purpose of this activity is to motivate the reluctant readers and also to expose all students to a variety of genres. As a teacher librarian I am very much interested in this topic of promoting the school libraries. Today’s libraries are about more than books- they are valuable centres for people to access information and learn new skills.

Section 3: Critical reflection

This placement has given me a diverse and varied experience. I was able to compare and contrast the way the Primary and High School library operates especially the students’ cohort. Whenever the office admin staff is away, my supervisor also fills up the role of the administrative staff. I highly value the organisation skills of my supervisor and her passion for library.

I have great emotional attachment to all the items in my library but now I have already started decluttering my desk and collection after understanding the weeding process and doing a lot of weeding during my placement. Some of the weeded items were put on sale for a gold coin donation. All the proceeds raised will go for purchasing library supplies. This experience will allow me to keep my bookshelves and materials neat and orderly.

My supervisor is responsible for ordering textbooks and study guides for Amity College’s Girls High School library as well as Boys High School library. I saw the excel sheets she uses for record keeping with all her notes written for her reference. This process gave me an insight into how the school libraries support the curriculum and the teachers in a High school.

During my placement review meeting with my supervisor, she stressed the importance of building a good connection with all the stakeholders and advocacy. The librarian has built a very good rapport with staff and students and hence the library is a welcoming place for all. In healthy and productive interpersonal relationships between teachers and students, students feel close to their teacher and they trust and value him or her.

One of my tasks also involved going through the series books and ordering the missing copies from Booktopia. I realised how important it is to regularly do this to keep the collection updated.

Research has proved that school library has a positive impact on students’ achievement.  It was a pleasure to see that the staff and students value the library as heart of the school that makes a difference by building capacity for lifelong learners. It is evident that a librarian wears many hats in the smooth functioning of a library.

It is very motivating that during my placement meeting, my supervisor Mrs Bashir remarked positively about my work. I had first-hand experience in working collaboratively in a high school library and achieving my professional goals. I look forward to applying my new knowledge and skills in my professional life.

INF 533: Online Reflective Journal Blogpost

INF 533: Assessment Blog Task

Using your readings and interaction with the subject to date, develop a statement about your current knowledge and understanding of concepts and practices in digital literature environments, tools and uses, within the context of your work or professional circumstances.

In these unprecedented times, digital world has made it possible for professionals to work from home and students to learn from home making education more accessible and flexible. However, when it comes to reading, I personally prefer reading the traditional way as compared to digitally. For me, browsing a bookstore or library and flicking through books is a social, embodied experience whereas clicking on the screen is not (Sadokierski, 2013).

I am a teacher librarian at K-6 Independent school where there are no eBooks for students or teachers. As a result of this, many children lost access to books during pandemic as some students did not have adequate books to read at home. This has left us to think about the need to provide digital literature to our students. However, the school has subscription for Reading Eggs and ClickView.  Leu (2011, p.6) suggests, literacy is dietic and the traditional nature of literacy will require us to continuously rethink traditional notions of literacy.

Since my experience with using digital literature is limited, I look forward to gain understanding and using it effectively in future. The timing for this course is perfect, in the sense, that it has further emphasised the need for incorporating digital literature in our teaching.

Technology can now be a tool, but it will be incorrect to assume that teachers and students are already digitally literate. The internet has become a fundamental part of information, education and entertainment and therefore ICT should not be taught as a separate subject but should be integrated into all key learning areas. Lamb (2011, p.15) suggests that social technology has become a core element of transmedia storytelling for young adults.

Digital technologies have provided greater access to larger amounts of information, it is our role as teacher librarian to teach students the efficient use of information skills. Digital citizenship is an umbrella term that broadly covers responsible, appropriate behaviour when using technology. But specifically, it can cover anything from “netiquette” to cyber bullying; technology access and the digital divide; online safety and privacy; copyright, plagiarism, and digital law, and more.

Leu (2011, p.6) points out that online reading comprehension is not isomorphic with offline reading comprehension; additional practices, skills, and strategies appear to be required (as cited in Coiro & Dobler, 2007; Leu, Zawilinski, et al., 2007). As teachers we need identify and classify what is quality literature within all the digital variations available (Walsh, 2013, p.186).  When using the print or digital version, it is necessary to consider whether it will enhance students ’understanding and motivate students’ to read and respond further.

Last year for Book week, we used Scholastic story starters web page for students to create their own story. Students were very engaged and innovative in creating the digital version of their story. It was very encouraging to see that students of all abilities participated enthusiastically and were able to express their story using the prompts.

I am looking forward to gain further understanding and apply this knowledge in my role as a teacher librarian.


Coiro, J., & Dobler, E. (2007). Exploring the online reading comprehension strategies used by sixth-grade skilled readers to search for and locate information on the Internet. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(2), 214–257

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=67371172&site=ehost-live

Leu, D.J. et al (2011). The new literacies of online reading comprehension: Expanding the literacy and learning curriculumJournal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(1)5-14. Doi: 10.1598/JAAL.55.1.1

Sadokierski, Z. (2013, November 12). What is a book in the digital age? [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

ETL 523: Reflection

ETL 523: Reflection

To cater to the learning needs of students in 21st century, it is important to have a highly effective school that has high levels of parent and community engagement along with all the staff members in school. The current global pandemic has made it clear that the role of technology in 21st century is highly significant. In these unprecedented times, technology has made it possible for students to learn from home and for professionals to work from home. The move to remote learning for schools during Covid 19 has seen students and educators rely heavily on digital technologies like never before. Students and teachers might find a bit overwhelming to manage change. However, technology can now be seen as a tool and a catalyst for change as it has made education more accessible and flexible. Schools all over the world have suddenly and unforeseeably have been forced to work remotely. It will be incorrect to assume that teachers and students are already digitally literate. Since students are also now the users of technology. The timing for this course was perfect, in the sense, that it has further emphasised the need for teaching digital netiquettes and citizenship to children from very young age. Our virtual spaces should abide by the same forms of etiquette as do our actual spaces. It would be totally incorrect to assume that students are digital natives. I will ensure that digital citizenship becomes a prominent part of my teaching programs. Frallion (2020) advises that we need to plan to support students to be able to make effective use of digital technologies in their learning, teachers too need support to manage this process.

As teachers, we need to prepare our students as global, connected, digital citizens. This can be done by modifying existing tasks and by encouraging students to use web2.0 tools, contributing to wiki or writing a blog post. Such tools support contribution and collaboration. Lindsay and Davis (2013) states that there are three new R’s in education that have to do with global collaboration and they are receive, read and respond. Digital citizenship programs should be a holistic approach which teaches students that good online behaviour is directly and inextricably related to good behaviour in general (Chen & Orth, 2013).

I have never used Twitter before. I now have a Twitter account and follow many other librarians. This subject has been a worthwhile elective as I learnt about web 2.0 tools like Powtoon and Adobe Spark. Currently I am in the process of designing our school’s library webpage using Weebly. I feel confident using Weebly after our group assignment. I have already started implementing what I have learnt in this subject. We need to model and expose our students to areas of technology that may spark a lifelong interest. This subject also emphasised the awareness of cultural understanding in global collaboration in the online learning environment. My takeaway about global differences is that we need to research other cultures before we start to communicate, to at least avoid innocently offending or alienating others by our own cultural presumptions.  I feel I am a global, connected, lifelong learner who is now more confident to explore, learn, create and collaborate in 21st century.


ETL 507: Study Visit Blog

Topic: What role does technology play in the relationship information agencies develop with their users? (1200 words)

The current global pandemic has made it clear that the role of technology in 21st century is highly significant. In these unprecedented times, technology has made it possible for students to learn from home and for professionals to work from home. The move to remote learning for schools during Covid 19 has seen students and educators rely heavily on digital technologies like never before. Students and teachers might find a bit overwhelming to manage change. However, technology can now be seen as a tool and a catalyst for change as it has made education more accessible and flexible.

In keeping up with 21st century the role of all the information agencies have changed through the use of electronic technology from library curators to information and research facilities. Effective integration of technology into subject area gives opportunity to Technology-enabled learning and also allows learners to tap resources and expertise anywhere in the world. Technology will clearly have a massive impact on the library and information sector and will need to focus on the user experience, not only in terms of content, but also how the service looks and feels in the real world and online. (ALIA, 2014).

Almost all the information agencies had Online Public Access Catalogues (OPAC) and eBooks, audio books and databases that meets the needs of their users. This allows the users with round the clock access to information. Some of the agencies have a contact us form for the query that were answered in less than 48 hours. Lee (Softlink, 2018) states in her blog that libraries should have a message encouraging visitors to register, with clear instructions for contact and registration. Lee (2018) also emphasises that modern library management systems make it easy to create a visually appealing experience for the user, without having a graphics design qualification.

Technology can connect users without any geographical boundaries. Effective integration of technology into subject area gives opportunity to personalised learning or experiences that are more engaging and relevant. Technology can help classrooms move beyond the four walls and help students connect through tools such as Skype to learn and interacts with students from all over the world. Technology acts a bridge between tangible and abstract learning allowing easy access to resources.

For instance, Mount Alvernia College believes that we as teacher librarians should keep ourselves updated with technology so that we are able to provide support to our students in a safe environment. They also have a function on their library website called ‘Ask a Librarian’ tab that they think is very user friendly. It is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) school where students have the option to buy computers through a company that has a tech on site as a tech support person. Students are taught every year how to search catalogue, how to use tags and there are also research guides to assist students. The school also has research guides and the teacher librarian believes that the research guide for each school might look different depending on how the students engage with the catalogue/library resources.

Another speaker, Anna Griffiths from Special Libraries at Albury Wodonga Health points out that most of the library users are multi modal, however, it is important to keep the demographics of users in mind. Digital transformation may be a tough thing for some users. Technology in a regional area can sometimes be a challenge due to connectivity issues.

Lake Tuggeranong College, Canberra has chrome books for students. There are also standalone desktops available to give equity of digital access to learning. The college website has a key resource called ‘Digital backpack’ that gives students’ access to lot of useful resources such as clickview, Oliver, Google Drive, different databases to gain quality information. The College also conducts various ‘Key to success’ webinars for students. Through the bibliographic statistics table that was shown, it is evident that the college has a wide collection of ebooks, audio books, kobe ebooks for textbooks. All of this is available through SORA overdrive app. Google forms are used to get students feedback. It was very interesting to know that the last question was an open ended question- ‘What else do you want us to know’? This allows students to give an opinion on the topic that was not listed in the question list. The speakers at Lake Tuggeranong College gave an understanding of how important it is to teach students’ research skills as it underpins the Australian Curriculum and General Capabilities. Technology can provide users to access resources at any time. Lori stated that students submit assignments at unearthly hours and therefore it is necessary to be able to make available great websites for students and also professional learning for teachers. We need to teach students how to evaluate which sources (books, blogs, tweets, websites, databases, etc.) are most appropriate for their research.

Another important topic for this study visit was advocacy. Since in many parts of the world, libraries and librarians are increasingly becoming an endangered species, it is very important, more than ever, that we start advocating our roles as teacher librarian. Australian school libraries’ staffing and resources have been in decline for many years now, particularly in primary schools (Tarica, 2010; Hay, 2013; Mitchell & Weldon, 2016; Softlink, 2015; Softlink, 2016; Softlink, 2017). Holly Godfree stresses the importance of advocating the role of a qualified teacher librarian. In the article on School Libraries Matter: The missing piece in the education puzzle ( 2018), Godfree and Neilson, clearly states without a teacher librarian, no information or digital literacy skills will be taught and no collaborative teaching and planning will happen. In this digital age, it is very essential to teach students right from Kindergarten the information skills such as note taking, plagiarism, referencing.

Virtual study visit also gave a positive insight on shelving fiction through genres that motivates user with a visible increase in circulation.

Lack of budget was a common problem for all the information agencies. Kari stated that, the IT infrastructure we have in place is a challenge in day to day operations. Technology is moving quickly and our systems aren’t agile enough to move at the same pace. Funding is always a challenge and COVID-19 may exacerbate this challenge but equally could present opportunities. However, all the speakers managed and purchased resources within the given budget. Library is used by whole organisation and therefore libraries need to be a priority in regards to computer technology infrastructure and hardware. This allows equitable access to resources and information.

Technology can also help people to stay connected with their Professional Learning Networks where learning happens in an informal manner through exchange of ideas and opinion e.g. Twitter. Through all this, we can see the connecting role of technology and the relationship between information agencies and their users.


The virtual study visit was an alternative to actual study visit that was offered by the University. At first I thought it would not be same as the face to face experience, but I must admit that it was a quality experience. All the speakers were terrific in giving insights about their role and about the institution. Unlike every year, this year all our study visits for this session were online. It was an unusual experience to have virtual study visits but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. This was only possible because of technology and therefore it is clearly evident that technology is an integral part of all the information agencies. TL’s in order to continue to be resourceful to our students and teachers need to keep up with the trends and use of current technology. If not experts, but able to know the basics of Google suite, MS Office. Knowing how to use eBooks, podcasts, databases, online streaming resources, teach about digital literacy.

Before undertaking any new project, it is necessary to be mindful of Cultural differences. For example, in Generification. Communication via digital means really needs to be approached carefully, because our interactions might lack the face to face nuances that show we are trying to be respectful or that we are unsure if a question is appropriate.

Students need to be taught to be digital natives. It is incorrect to assume that they are digitally literate.

My main takeaway from this study visit is being versatile with can do attitude is an important skill in our profession that can build a positive work environment. Libraries are a flexible, dynamic learning space that provides access to physical and digital resources where users gain information and uses web tools to empower learning through creativity, discovery, inquiry, cooperation, and collaboration.

References 2020. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 May 2020].

Godfree, H. and Neilson, O., 2020. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 May 2020].

Lee, K., 2020. The Role of Technology in Library Outreach – The Library Homepage – Softlink – Library Software and Services. [Online] Softlink – Library Software and Services. Available at: [Accessed 17 May 2020].