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.