ETL507: Professional Reflective Portfolio

ETL507:  Professional Experience and Portfolio

Assessment 6: Professional Reflective Portfolio


Part A –

Statement of personal Philosophy: What do you think makes an effective Teacher Librarian?

A teacher librarian (TL) is a specialist teacher, bringing together knowledge of literacy and literature. TL’s focus on developing a school’s information literacy alongside fostering a love of literature. Overarchingly taking inspiration from the community they work in and 21st Century Learning to develop programs that engage with all stakeholders (caregivers, students and staff). We are custodians of a physical and often digital/online spaces which comes with a responsibility to cultivate a collection that is relevant, easy to access and engaging for our community. Finally, we need to be creative and flexible to meet the changing landscape of information services and engage in ongoing professional development and reflection to continue to grow our own knowledge.


Part B – Critical Evaluation  

Formal reflection has never been a strong part of my study. I struggle to find the time and passion to adequately write down my thoughts in a way that I would consider appropriate to be viewed online and for others to read; as my own form of notetaking is often relaxed and handwritten, drawing on visualisation through mind maps and highlighting. Critically looking back on my blog, I view it as lacking in many ways as much of my own personal reflection was done through notes and forum postings. In hindsight, I wish that I had transferred many of those forum posts and perhaps made the time to digitise my notes to my blog and used them as a deeper reflection tool. In my future career I hope to become more comfortable with formal reflection and perhaps find a colleague to be accountable to, as I often find it helpful to have discussion around my learning. While reading over my reflections I have identified three main themes that have dominated my learning through this degree: librarians having more of a role than just books, technology and leadership. In each of these I have found an interest and a goal for the future.


More than just books…?

When asked what a librarian does most people will mention reading, books and research after all it is common knowledge that a library specialises in books. At the beginning of my degree I would say that I had a better idea than most what a teacher librarian does, due to my own life experiences, my mother having been a teacher librarian for many years and a constant love of being in the library as a teenager (Petterson 2016). I have never truly shared the view of a librarian simply looking after books, nevertheless, throughout the course of this degree I have broadened my view of what a modern TL does. During ETL401 I came up with the acronym TRAILS (teacher, researcher, advocate, information specialist, librarian and supporter) I still feel this adequately sums up my view of the roles of a teacher librarian, highlighting 6 of the key roles we undertake many of which go far beyond just being a custodian of books. (ETL401 Assessment 2, Petterson, 2016)


Inquiry Learning

Inquiry learning is something I remember learning about in my bachelor’s degree and had often pushed aside as a classroom teacher due to a crowded curriculum and behavioural issues. ETL401 introduced me to the value and importance of inquiry learning to all stages of development and how it in many ways underpins the type of learning we should be encouraging in the library: self-motivated, synthesis of ideas and real-life meaning (Bonanno & Fitzgerald, 2014). Halfway through this degree I had a temporary position as a TL and made a decision to implement inquiry learning as the main focus on library lessons due to a school wide focus on comprehension and research skills. Thanks to my study in ETL401 ( ETL401 Assessment 1 , Petterson, 2016) I gained knowledge of a variety of strategies, I chose the BIG 6 (Big 6, 2014) as it simplified the process and would be easy to implement across all years. It worked to varying success but became a discussion topic with classroom teachers when they visited the library, and some began using similar language in their own research-based units of work, utilising the process to explicitly teach research skills.


More than just a tool for literacy

In ETL402 I found a passion for researching science fiction and its role in schools, this formed the basis of one of my assignments, I wrote a literature review that examined the importance of literature for more than teaching literacy. Science Fiction was an excellent catalyst for this as so much of it is centred around teaching ethics and technology (Petterson, 2019). During this I came across a quote that has stuck with me since I read it:

“The ultimate purpose of literature is not to teach something, but to illuminate what it means to be human and to make accessible the fundamental experiences of life, love, hope, loneliness, despair, fear, belonging…” (Short, 2018).

Although books and texts online can be used to teach spelling, decoding and other fundamental literacy skills we must not forget to teach children why they should love great literature. For its connection to the human experience and the ability it has to invoke feeling and tell stories we may otherwise never experience therefore widening our world view and inspiring us to do and be more than we were before. There is a strong argument for science fiction and reading for pleasure in general and its connection to 21st Century learning skills is strong, particularly critical thinking and communication when students are encouraged to discuss texts with passion and meaning (Lamb, Marie & Doecke, 2017).



“The world has changed far more in the past 100 years than in any other century in history. The reason is not political or economic but technological…” (Hawking, 1999).

Technology has become a force of nature in society. As information and literacy specialists it has become a vital part of our role as librarians to educate our staff and students about the value and dangers of technology. Part of our role as TLs is to be literacy specialists, this includes digital literacy. The Australian curriculum (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Agency [ACARA]. (2020) highlights digital literacy as becoming just as important as traditional forms, as we spend more time in the digital space both at home and for educational purposes.


Digital Literacy and Citizenship

“Digital natives” is a term often used to describe the generation that grew up with technology and were thought to take to it naturally (Yang, 2014). In my own writing early on I believed that this was the case for many children (Petterson, 2016) but as I progressed through my degree the research began to change and therefore so did the conversation about how we should teach technology. I now believe that it is vital to teach digital literacy explicitly, starting with the basic building blocks and working up to more complex tasks (Todd, 2009) therefore it should be embedded in our teaching styles and classrooms. Cherinet (2018) discusses the changing role of TL and how we are now change agents, knowledge workers and website developers in order to provide the information needed by our communities, when and how they need it. We should be compelled as change agents to advocate technology inside the library as it contributes so much to how we interact with factual information and increasingly entertainment purposes, including digital texts.


Going hand in hand with digital literacy is digital citizenship. There is no avoiding the footprint we all leave in the digital space and children need be taught acceptable behaviours and their consequences in the online world to keep them safe. During our digital study visits I was inspired by Korodaj & Godfree (personal communication, May 13, 2020) when they discussed the unique programs, they offer in their high school library to teach digital citizenship. By creating their own modules for students to work through it enables staff and students to regularly refer to and develop their skills while also adding value to the TL role within the school. I hope one day to create my own school library website that can be as informative and useful for my school community.



Equity has always been a passion of mine and has drawn me to the role of TL as libraries provide a place where all are welcome and can receive help to better themselves. The library hopefully provides a place where technology is available to use for free. In many schools this takes the form of computer labs or a physical technology collection that is available to borrow. Cushing (2016) and Kelly (2014) provided excellent examples of the impact libraries have when they help bridge the gap of technology and the value they can have to their communities. In my own practice I see this regularly occur at the council library, I often help community members complete basic technology tasks.



Overall learning about the leadership role a TL must take on was one of the most personally challenging and reflective parts of the course. Naturally I shy away from leadership despite having skills and experience in being a leader, I dislike attention and confrontation that often comes with leadership roles (Petterson, 2020).


Leading from the middle

TL’s are uniquely positioned within a school. Often outside of most structures but intrinsically linked to much of the school through the provision of resources. As a result, we hold a position of leadership over our domain but should also strive to take on more leadership so that we can better support out staff and students. Through the process of creating a diagram of the leadership structure within the school (Diagram below) I was challenged to think deeply about where and how a TL should interact with the social hierarchy of a school, settling on a mixture of leadership roles but centred in the middle. This was difficult to overcome as my previous experience’s as a TL and the research were juxtaposed in how I was treated. Previously, as a TL I had been ignored and overlooked with a limited budget, as a temporary position I had little support from school structures to implement a meaningful and engaging library program. I realised as part of this process that much of the disappointment I felt in that role was a result of poor leadership from above and not because I did not try hard enough.


Leading from the middle requires a great deal of communication and collaboration but also requires patience and a strong school culture of innovation and reflective practice.

(Petterson, 2020)



Leadership opportunities in schools provide opportunity to advocate for our roles. Many schools in Australia and beyond are losing their trained librarians because of funding but also due to an image problem, where we are seen as unneeded and outdated. By stepping into more roles and demonstrating our skills we make them obviously valuable and create an irreplaceable resource to the school and community. While on my practical experience I witnessed firsthand how quiet advocacy can have a big impact on a school culture. The TL focused on caring for the school community and providing what students and staff need when they need it. She built relationships with the wider community, bringing in the public library and developing relationships with the nearby preschools. Demonstrating that by merely building relationships we can create a feeling that the library is valuable and engaging.


By connecting to public libraries, we are advocating for lifelong library use and helping families to know what services are available, often for free. This is particularly vital in lower socio-economic areas. My practical experience was unique as I also work at the public library closest to the school I was at. Due to the small size of many of the school libraries nearby a connection with the public library means that families have access to a far larger collection and e-resources the school budget cannot provide. It also engages parents with reading and community events.


Finally, a resource called the Care Continuum (Reinsel Soulen, 2020) was highly influential to my thinking about how advocate and lead within a school context. It was borrowed from the field of medicine and designed to be used with new members of staff to create a culture of positivity. The process emphasis mentoring and partnership to provide ongoing support and encouragement between staff. I hope to in the future utilise this strategy to create meaningful relationships with staff so that there is ongoing support in both directions.


Part C – Professional Standards Connections

This course has taught me a great many things but like all professions the learning never really ends. TL’s more than anyone should understand the value of life-long learning and demonstrate this in our daily practice. The professional standards ( Australian Library and Information Association, 2004) give up an outline of what we should be striving towards as we work in the information services profession.


Professional Knowledge

Through studying this course, I have been given a solid base of information to build upon. Much of the professional standards (1.1-1.3) are equally related to being an excellent teacher as they overlap with the skills needed to teach the English KLA. Throughout the course I feel I have learned the most in standard 1.4 “knowledge of library and information management”. It has been enjoyable to learn about library management systems and to develop a wider understanding of information retrieval and management. I particularly think of my practical experience this year where I spent much of my time in a school library accessioning and developing class sets of texts. This included advocating for them with classroom teachers and raising awareness of the value a class text can have in guided reading and literature studies. In the future I would like to undertake more professional development in regard to 1.1, I often feel a little rusty when discussing the science of reading as it is something I have not deeply engaged with since the second year of my bachelor’s degree.


Professional Practice

Learning about collection management policies and the leadership role of a teacher librarian ties into the second standard. From my experience and networking with other TLs I have found these to be the two of the most challenging parts of the job. This is often a result of poor leadership in the school, a misunderstanding of the role by other staff and a lack of consistency in the library previously. Throughout this degree however, I have been encouraged and made connections with valued TL that demonstrate best practice. As I hopefully step back into a teacher librarian role, I hope to develop skills in collaboration (2.2) to better support implementation of the library and literacy across the whole school setting.


Lifelong Learning

Leadership (3.3) was something I did not connect with teacher librarians consciously at the beginning of this course but has become a key theme in the role of TL. By actively engaging in both formal and informal professional development TL’s can better support innovation in a school. Personally, a targeted area for improvement with professional development is ICT. As a teacher I have had little opportunity to develop my skills with teaching coding, 3D printing or other newer technologies. This is largely due to working in lower socio-economic schools or areas where there has not been a consistent technology teacher for a prolonged period. Over the next couple of years, I hope to attend some professional development to further my skills in this area and continue to build professional connections to create a learning community I can consult with when needed.



 Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Agency. (2020). Digital Technologies.

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

Big 6. (2014). About.

Bonanno, K & Fitzgerald, L. (2014). F-10 Inquiry skills scope and sequence and F-10 core skills and tools. Eduwebinar.

Cherinet, Y.M. (2018). Blended skills and future roles of librarians. Library Management, Vol. 39 Issue: 1/2, pp.93-105,

Cushing, A. (2016). “If it computes, patrons have brought it in”: personal information        management and personal technology assistance in public libraries. Library &    Information Science Research, 38(1), 81-88.

Hawking, S. (1999, December 31). A brief history of relativity. Time Magazine.

 Kelly, C. (2014). Brimbank libraries: building a learning community. Australian Library     Journal, 63(2), 154-164.

Lamb, S., Marie, Q. & Doecke, E. (2017). Key skills for the 21st century: an evidence based review.

Reinsel Soulen, R. (2020). The continuum of care. Knowledge Quest 48(4). 36-42.

Short, K. (2018). What’s trending in children’s literature and why it matters.            Language Arts, 95(5), 287-298.

Yang, Z., Yang, H. H., Wu, D., & Liu, S. (2014). Transforming K-12 Classrooms with       Digital Technology (pp. 1-409). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-      4666-4538-7

Part B: Reflective Commentary – Understanding of leadership and leadership roles for the teacher librarian

Leadership on the surface is easy to understand, simplistically someone who is in charge of others and points them in the direction they want them to go. Before completing this subject I knew that leadership was more complicated than that, I had my own opinions on what makes a good leader and believed that I was unfortunately one of those natural born leaders based on my previous life experience. Throughout this session my beliefs about what leadership looks like have grown and developed in a number of ways.



My learning in the modules has broadened my definition of what leadership is and given me names to place with ideas that I already had. My biggest take-a-way from the modules was the interconnectedness of all the different leadership styles. Really for any organisation to work there is a need for many different styles of leadership. Gardners’ (2013) reading was my influential on creating the big picture of leadership as the “power of persuasion” and how it is often easy to confuse status with leadership. Combined with Moir (2014) which showcased the importance of leadership on morale and how delicate it can be to lead in schools. Baker (2016) gave excellent practical tips on how teacher librarians can be a leader and develop partnership with the principal and teachers. Overall, I learned that leadership is complex, requires passion and hard work and thrives on collaboration, evaluation and clear communication.


I drew encouragement from the Canadian school libraries outlined in Koechlin & Sykes (2014) and how they were fostering learning by completely rejuvenating school libraries. Encouraging me to be a better advocate for school libraries. Finally, the need for strategic planning was discussed something that when I previously worked as a TL was lacking. Wong (2012) encouraged critical reflection, building a community profile and the constant need to set goals and assess regularly.


Case studies

During the case studies I was reminded of my own leadership styles and preferences. I typically lean towards servant and distributed leadership I believe that to be a leader we must also be willing to serve and show others how things are done. I also believe in sharing the load and giving people the opportunity to become leaders themselves. During our first group case study myself and another member of the group took the lead in organising how our group would communicate and bringing us together. I then volunteered to pull together our ideas at the end of the week once everyone had had a chance to contribute which was received well and allowed others to step up in later weeks, which they did. It was also encouraging to see the support given to members of the group that were struggling to meet time constraints in light of COVID-19, weeks where some of us were busy others engaged more and vice versa, though not strictly demonstrating distributed leadership it did show the advantages of collaboration and teamwork.




Baker, S. (2016). From teacher to school librarian leader and instructional partner: a proposed transformation framework for educators of preservice school librarians. School libraries worldwide, 22(1), 143-158. DOI: 10.14265.22.1.011


Gardner, J.W, (2013). The nature of leadership. In M Grogan (Ed.). The Jossey-Bass reader on educational leadership (3rd ed., pp. 17-27). John Wiley & Sons.


Koechlin, C., & Sykes, J. (2014). Canadian school libraries leading learning. Synergy, 12(2).;dn=210689;res=AEIPT


Moir, S., Hattie, J. & Jansen, C.  (2014). Teacher perspectives of ‘effective’ leadership in schools. Australian Educational Leader, 36(4), 36-40.


Wong, T. (2012). Strategic long range planning. Library Media Connection, 31(2), 22-23

Group Case Study 3 (1st as a group)

Reflecting on our first case study.

Leadership styles present –

Situational Leadership – Our group decided to have a video chat to get to know each other. Leaders emerged in the group based on experience with technology, use of wikis and the amount of course completed. Myself and another student took the lead in discussion and creating the wiki.

Transformational Leadership – This transitioned into transformational leadership as goals were set with deadlines for contribution to the wiki. With the shared goal of a paragraph length set and a number of references. This was agreed upon by the group.

Servant Leadership – My own personal style often links to servant leadership. I believe that to be a good leader you have to put others first and be willing to do what you are asking others to do. So I volunteered to compile the information given and present it in the main forum by the end of the week. I hope in turn this will motivate others to put themselves forward and be willing to serve during the next case study.

Initially it was difficult for us to decide upon a way of communicating that met everyones needs. I’m still not convinced we have. The face to face chat was excellent and bridged the gap of technology for many of us. However our group is unsure of how to use a wiki still with many choosing to use the comment section rather than being confident in altering the wiki itself.

To date this is the best video I have seen explaining wikis.


ETL504 – Before we begin

During our first online meeting it was suggested that we complete a blog post about our expectations of Teacher Librarians as Leaders in a school setting. Hopefully to see how we have grown over the course of the semester.

To summarise:

  • Teacher Librarians should have the goal of being specialists in literature and using information services (usually online) e.g. Google, wikipedia. Hopefully this would lead to sharing these skills with the wider school community and taking leadership roles in this regard.
  • We should have the goal to work collaboratively with staff to help them resource and structure students learning to best teach with 21st century learning skills.
  • Often librarians are more of a quiet leadership. One that takes place through building relationships.
  • Librarians need to be willing to reach out of our comfort zone and endeavour to find ways to change the stereotype of the library to benefit our students and wider school communities.
  • Librarians need to fight for professional development opportunities and then pass these on to the wider school community.
  • Librarians need to provide opportunities for other staff e.g. library technicians and our students to explore leadership skills as well. e.g. Library Monitors.

Assessment 2 ETL402 – Reflective Practice

At the beginning of this subject I was familiar with the base understanding of children’s literature and its place in the curriculum. I understood that it should underpin English education and be a part (though often overlooked) of other key learning areas. However, the concept of literature learning was not a term that I was familiar with.

We begun the subject by defining childrens’ literature; I was reminded of the place of technology in todays schools and literature. Hateley (2013) reminded me that new technologies can be seen as just another tool to engage students with reading just as in the past pop ups or textured pages had been added. I feel this is something worth remembering especially when discussing technology with teachers wary of the use of technology in their classrooms. Later on I was reminded of the importance of evaluating etexts and whether they are providing something that traditional texts are not, are they high quality or are we using technology for the sake of ticking boxes on the curriculum (Yokota & William, 2014).

Moving on readings began to be more relevant to our first assignment this focused on students learning beyond literacy skills. I chose to examine science fiction as a genre in upper primary and high school settings. During these readings I came across my favourite quote for the semester:

“The ultimate purpose of literature is not to teach something, but to illuminate what it means to be human and to make accessible the fundamental experience of life, love, hope, loneliness, despair, fear, belonging…” (Short, 2018)

This quote to me outlines the most powerful part of any good literature, its ability to connect people to emotion and real life significance. In science fiction this takes the form of social commentary and the ethical consequence’s of scientific advancement (Dorsey, 2013). Something that with the push for STEM based learning should not be neglected especially as humanities based STEM has been shown to boost female engagement (Chapman & Vivian, 2016).

Moving on, we began to dive into the meat of literary learning, connecting genre and forms to literature response essentially connecting literature to learning. For me the importance of storytelling and its ability to connect emotion to learning became the highlight of the concepts presented. It reinforced my opinion that texts can create a bridge to deeper understanding and foster a student’s love of life long learning and reading. Kane’s (2018) book about literacy enhancing all content areas provides an enormous amount of information about the benefits of connecting all kinds of literature to our students learning.

As a result of this subject I am left some future goals:

  1. I need to read more and read widely, both traditional texts and technology based, so that I can be better equipped as a Teacher Librarian to discuss students’ interests and better connect teachers to literature across the curriculum.
  2. I would like to read more into the importance of non-fiction literature. If I had had the time this semester I would have loved to do some research on where traditional non-fiction texts sit on the ‘literature’ scale. How can these influence students education in a meaningful way beyond factual learning. I touched on this in my last forum post (Petterson, 2019) where I was beginning to think about how literature circles could be conducted with science textbooks.


Chapman, S., Vivian, R. (2016). Engaging the future of STEM. Retrieved from

Dorsey, J.L. (2013). “Peel[ing] apart layers of meaning” in SF short fiction. In P.L Thomas (Ed.), Science fiction and speculative fiction (pp73-93). Rotterdam: SensePublishers

Hateley, E. (2013). Reading: from turning the page to touching the screen. In Wu, Y., Mallan, K. & McGillis, R. (Eds.) (Re)imagining the world: children’s literature response to the changing times (pp1-13). Retrieved from

Kane, S. (2018). Literacy and learning in the contet areas – enhancing knowledge in the disciplines. Retrieved from

Petterson, S. (2019, May 16). Literature circles in a non-fiction setting [forum post]. Retrieved from

Short, K. (2018). What’s trending in children’s literature and why it matters. Language Arts, 95(5), 287-298. Retrieved from

Yokota, J. & William, H.T. (2014). Picture books in the digital world. The Reading Teacher. 67(8), 577-585. Retrieved from

Do you have a vision for the future of children’s literature? Who will be the drivers of change?

Although as a generalization society believes that e-books and technology based literature is the way of the future I would disagree. Society is trending towards a more visual based literature (Short, K, 2018) and those needs are being met in other ways not purely by technology. Short (2018) highlights book design as a method for engaging audiences that are expecting more interaction and visual stimulus.

As we live in a commerce driven society the drivers of change will be the most popular or money making areas. As Short (2018) pointed out children 8-12 and before them the young adult market were where publishers saw growth and therefore invested their money into developing these types of text. However, I hope that publishers will continue to diversify their texts so that we all have stories that we can engage with not just the majority of society or the ‘norm’.

Personally I hope that the future of children’s literature is one where children are engaged, being exposed to a range of societies and cultures through text and developing their love of learning. Possibly a new favourite quote summarises it excellently,

“The ultimate purpose of literature is not to teach something, but to illuminate what it means to be human and to make accessible the fundamental experiences of life, love, hope, loneliness, despair, fear, belonging” (Short, K, 2018).


Short, K. (2018). What’s trending in children’s literature and why it matters. Language Arts, 95(5), 287-298. Retrieved from

“Managing in the Info Era” – Colvin

Module 1


Exploring the Library site – How does the CSU library change information sources into information resources?

  • Granting access to articles and books
  • Running classes to teach skills in information sourcing to students and staff
  • Search Tools
  • Allowing resources to be grouped by subjects and tags
  • Opportunities to gather more resources by requesting articles from outside sources to be added to the collection

How does the content of Colvin’s article relate the school libraries? In point form, note down your thoughts on your blog.

Initial notes:

  • Changing view of education from training factory workers to a 21st century skills in a knowledge based economy – Ken Robinson
  • create, judge, imagine, relationships

When reading through the article I couldn’t help but be reminded of Ken Robinson’s talk “Changing Education Paradigms“. More explicitly about the concept of how schools were designed in the late 18th and early 19th century. This then caused my brain to go ding and remind me of the Framework for 21st Century Learning skills Website. On a more practical level this article made me think about the importance of teaching students in an open ended and Inquiry learning based model where students can practice these skills.

References –

Colvin, G. (2000). Managing in the info eraFortune, 141(5). Retrieved from

Partnership for Twenty First Century Learning. (2007). Framework for 21st Century Learning,

Robinson, K. (2010, October). Changing education paradigms

. Retrieved from



ETL503 – Reflection Assessment 2

  1. How the subject extended your knowledge and understanding of the role and nature of school library collections.
  • The importance of policy to inform procedure

In my everyday life I would not consider myself a particularly orderly or organized person, in fact I often find policy and governing documents difficult to read. I entered the library degree because of a love for literature and reading. This subject and taking my first posting has shown me that policy is needed not so much for me as the librarian, although that is helpful, but to inform others of the role and affects of a teacher librarian within the school context (ASLA, 2007). If the library had of had a policy the library procedures could have been carried over between librarians ensuring continuity for the students. During my last two terms a lack of continuity and documentation of past procedure has proved challenging in regards to organizing whole school events, acquisitions for the library and student expectations.

  • Highlighting the importance of having staff and admin staff involved in creating a tailored policy

When taking my posting this year I was taken a back at the lack of policy in the school in relation to the library. As noted in my blog posts (Petterson (1), 2017) I highlighted the need to collaborate and build connections with staff to create policy documents so that all staff are aware of the libraries role in the school. By involving them they have a sense of ownership and they become more comfortable using the resources available.

A policy needs to be tailored to the school context in my forum post (Petterson (2), 2017) I discussed some of the ways we can evaluate a collection, which too needed to be tailored to the school. Every policy and teaching method needs to be adapted to its environment simply because of what is available in the sense of resources, budget and staffing requirements, among other things.

  • The importance of a varied and relevant collection

Information is now more than ever accessible to people. Students are no exception to this. With the rise of the internet, e-books and social media students are bombarded with information from an early age thanks to technology being a touch away. In my first forum post (Petterson (3), 2017) I noted the debate between e-books and print media and the value they both have in today’s libraries. I stand by that argument as a varied resource collection best suits a primary library. Students in the early years need concrete materials and those in the older years have varying tastes that need to be supported for academic purposes and for their own enjoyment of reading.

A collection needs to be kept up to date, especially the non-fiction section as information changes often, in particular science and history (Johnson, 2014). This needs to be done through the process of weeding and accessioning new purchases selected by a ultimately the teacher librarian with the help hopefully of the community.

  1. The importance of collection development policy as a strategic document

By having a development policy in place it brings to the school and librarians attention to having set goals (ASLA, 2007), ways of work and strategies for dealing with complaints or difficult decisions. Thinking ahead on such issues means that teacher librarians have a community to reply upon and a well thought out structure to follow rather than making rushed decisions which may not be in the best interests for the students or community.

  • to inform decisions
    A policy document should be designed to support decisions being made by the TL or anyone responsible for selecting or deselecting resources.
  • to inform practice

It should also be informing how you select and deselect books. For example: what processes are being put in place to insure that evaluation takes place, how often should you weed sections of the library, who decides what resources are purchased.

  • to ensure that all staff, community members and students are clear the operations of the library

By having a policy it ensures that there is no confusion when it comes to purchases, complaints or the structure of the library and how it is run.

  1. How a collection development policy assists in future proofing the collection.

A development policy puts in place processes for selecting and culling resources in the library. It lays out the rules to follow and gives a time line to follow. It also identifies those in charge of decisions and ensures that everyone involved has the same selection criteria in mind (ASLA, 2007). By making sure that the policy outlines an evaluation period and regular update we can know that the ideas represented are getting updated and evaluated against current government policy, teaching philosophies and technological changes.

In conclusion, this subject has equipped me with the knowledge that policies and procedures need to be in place to support the role of a teacher librarian within the school setting, to encourage accountability and develop a future proof collection. The subject has also helped me to better understand the processes involved in selecting and weeding resources both physical and not within a school library. Finally it has encouraged me to involve other staff members in the selection and evaluation of the library resources and to know that we do not have to be alone with just the books and us when making big decisions.


Johnson, P. (2014). Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management [E-book]. Chicago, United States: American Library Association. Retrieved from

Petterson, S (1). (2017, March 4). Forum 1.1 Group 3 [Forum post]. Retrieved from

Petterson, S (2). (2017, May 17). Forum 5.1 Group 3 [Forum post]. Retrieved from

Petterson, S (3). (2017, May 16). Module 6 thoughts [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Australian Library and Information Association (ASLA). (2016). A manual for developing policies and procedures in australian school library resource centres. Retrieved from

Module 6 Thoughts

After reading through module 6 I thought and jotted down some notes and thoughts about the content.

Since beginning my studies I’ve been fascinated with the concept of introducing ebooks to the primary library. Mainly because I’m not entirely sure how to go about it in a practical manner.

Module 6 got me thinking about the perceived disconnection between acquisitions of ebooks versus physical copies. This year I’ve been working in a school library 3 days a week and come face to face with teachers and admin staff that aren’t really sure about the place of a school library in the modern world of technology. I’ve noticed that many staff prefer the library to just deal in physical copies of things. Whether this is because they aren’t comfortable with new Oliver software or are simply unaware of how this could work.

Secondly I’ve been confronted with students and teachers for that matter that are not comfortable using technology beyond simple apps and google searches. To make matters worse that lack of reliable technology and the funding to improve this technology is seriously lacking which further benefits the argument that libraries should be sticking to physical copies of things.  When you’ve got technology thats unreliable a book never fails or changes on you last minute.

Finally there have been many complaints from staff that there is a lack of support from the admin team in regards to helping teachers with technology and supporting professional development in that regard. Although this is school specific I would not be surprised if this was the case in many schools across NSW.

So what is a Primary School Librarian to do?

As suggested in the readings we need to collaborate and build connections between staff. A collection policy needs to be implemented and staff need to be brought on board and educated about what the library could offer with the right support from the whole school community.