“Its the Skills that matter” – 401 – Task 3 – Part C

The ability to seek, use and create information successfully is an imperative in this modern world.  I have previously discussed this societal change and I have spent an inordinate amount of words prophesying the importance of fluency in information literacy (IL) to the point where I even wrote an essay on digital literacy, its impact on pedagogy and the role of a teacher librarian.

I thought I had exhausted this topic, but then it occurred to me that I have not reflected upon my own understanding of information literacy and how that impacts the role of a Teacher librarian.

…….Eh… What? More words?


Let us review what I have learned this semester… (briefly, I promise!)

  1. Society has evolved from product based to information based (Ricaurte, 2016) and people are not coping with this information overload (Thomas et al. 2016).   Check out my amazing ‘Porridge pot’ analogy in Module 2.1
  2. Literacy levels are reducing (Lanning & Mallek, 2017).
  3. IL is poorly articulated and not embedded across national curriculum (Farmer, 2014; Lupton, 2014)
  4. …an attempt was made (Bonanno & Fitzgerald, 2014) but it was poorly planned and executed (Why not review my review of Lupton’s review 2014?).
  5. IL needs to be explicitly taught and assessed so that students see its value (Jacobson et al. 2018; Qayyum & Smith, 2018, p257; McGrew et al. 2018)… and please don’t say just do a research task and the skills will be accidentally learned.  It won’t (McGrew et al. 2018).
  6. Evidence shows that Inquiry learning improves information literacy (Kuhlthau et al, 2012) as well as boosting…
  7. student motivation and self-regulation (Buchanan et al. 2016).
  1. Curriculum embedding of IL is important (McGrew et al. 2018; Berg, 2018)  and
  2. classroom integration of IL boosts IL competency (Kong, 2014)
  3. Lack of IL leads to poor decision making skills and life outcomes  (Berg, 2018; Wood, 2017; Kachel, 2016)

The lightbulb moment came about…. NOW!

Donna did phrase it better when that light switched on.  BUT I do digress…

Anywhoo… back to the task.

So from  the readings and modules in this semester I can deduce:

  1. There is a need for a IL framework in schools.
  2. IL needs to be a planned learning experience
  3. that allows students to build new IL skills upon prior knowledge.  (Christy reckons from kindy and I agree!)
  4. Therefore, IL needs to be embedded across the curriculum and year levels,
  5. As  IL is cumulative (Carolien explains this far better). 

BASICALLY – Schools and education departments need to have a  framework that addresses IL and implement a school-wide approach for the best outcome… on an aside, I find it amusing that P E Island on the Canadian east coast has such a policy. Anne Shirley would have been so proud!!

There are numerous ways that IL can be implemented in schools but for the sake of efficiency and word count, I am going to fast track the the conversation to what matters to TL in schools.

Inquiry learning is a method of increasing information literacy and promoting soft skills.  There are several models of inquiry learning available, and I could spend another inordinate number of words describing and analysing these different models but Yvette has ‘taken one for the team’ with her analysis of the various models.   So read hers.

My preference is the Guided Inquiry Design (GID).  Why?

  1. It is based upon extensive research.  As a practicing scientist for many years, I am a great believer in basing my practice on research and evidence.  GID is considered the GOLD standard, which is AMAZING for my neurotic brain!
  2. GID  places equal importance on the cognitive and affective aspects of the ISP.  Affect plays a strong role in student (and my) motivation.  So by understanding when students are having low affect, guidance and mediation can help them overcome this hurdle successfully
  3. Naturally,  there are difficulties in implementing Inquiry learning in schools.  The presence of standardised testing, is a big prevention of authentic teaching and learning within schools (… there is an elephant in the room…).  And unless ACARA and government bodies realise this, then inquiry learning may always struggle to gain a strong presence in all the KLAs.

Oh look – The elephant’s name is NAPLAN!

So what does this mean for me?

A TL role in schools is no longer just about books, referencing and plagiarism lessons (Lanning & Mallek, 2017).  Rather, the role has become more dynamic in nature, much to my surprise.


The role of a TL has evolved from

TL can affect IL by:

  1. Creating and implementing  an IL framework that executes ACARA’s general capabilities across the curriculum (working on one now at work!!)
  2. Co create and or collaborate to create: (see my GID task – NAILED IT!)
    1. Units with embedded IL
    2. Inquiry units  IL with skills
      1. Embedded within
      2. Taught explicitly
  3. Providing resources that
    1. Support content
    2. Support inquiry skills
      1. Connecting students to resources
  4. Explicitly teach information literacy skills  ie referencing, bibliographies, search terms. (Ntuli, 2016)

Trombetta (2017)

As you can see, a TL does more for IL than just occasionally teach a class about referencing.  Rather, a TL  implements a framework that embeds important literacy skills into and across the curriculum.  This makes the role of a TL extremely important to students, schools and the wider community.

(Now guess who is feeling smug?)

What’s your skill? This is mine.



Berg, C., Malvey, D., and Donohue, M. (2018). Without foundations, we can’t build: Information literacy and the need for strong library programs. In the Library with the Lead pipe.  Retrieved from http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/strong-school-library-programs/

Bonanno, K. with Fitzgerald, L. (2014). F-10 inquiry skills scope and sequence, and F-10 core skills and tools. Eduwebinar Pty Ltd.

Buchanan, S., Harlan, M., Bruce, Christine S., and Edwards, Sylvia L. (2016). Inquiry based learning models, information literacy, and student engagement: A literature review. School Libraries Worldwide. 22(2), pp. 23-39.

Garrison, K., and FitzGerald, L. (2016). ‘It’s like stickers in your brain’: Using the guided inquiry process to support lifelong learning skills in an Australian school library.  A school library built for the digital age. 45th IASL Annual conference. Japan.

Jacobsen, R., Halvorsen, A., Frasier, A., Schmitt, A., Crocco, M., and Segall, A. (2018). Thinking deeply, thinking emotionally; how high school students make sense of evidence. Theory & Research in Social Education. 46, 232-276. DOI 10.1080/00933104.2018.1425170

Kachel, D. (2015). The calamity of the disappearing school libraries. {Blog Post} Theconversation.com. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/the-calamity-of-the-disappearing-school-libraries-44498

Kong, S. (2014). Developing information literacy and critical thinking skills through domain knowledge learning in digital classrooms: An experience of practicing flipped classroom strategy. Computers & Education. 78, pp.160-173,  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.05.009

Kuhlthau, C., and Maniotes, L. (2010). Building guided inquiry teams for 21st century learners. ZZ School library monthly.  Volume 26: 5.

Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L. & Caspari, A. (2012). Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Libraries Unlimited. USA.

Kuhthau, C., Maniotes, L., and Caspari, A. (2015). Guided inquiry: learning in the 21st century. 2nd Edition. Libraries unlimited, USA.

Lanning, S,. and Mallek, J. (2017). Factors influencing information literacy competency of college students. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. 43: 443-450.  DOI: 10.10.16/j.acalib.2017.07.005

Lupton, M. (2014).  Inquiry skills in the Australian Curriculum v6, Access, November

Lofton, J. (2016) Students are makers! Building information literacy skills through makerspace programs. CSLA Journal.  40 (2). Retrieved from https://www.questia.com/magazine/1P3-4305515741/students-are-makers-building-information-literacy

Maniotes, L., and Kuhlthau, C. (2014). Making the shift. 43:2. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1045936

McGrew, S., Breakstone, J., Ortega, T., Smith, M., and Wineburg, S. (2018). Can students evaluate online sources? Learning from assessments of civic online reasoning. Theory & Research in Social Education. 46, 165-193, DOI 10.1080/00933104.2017.1416320

Qayyum, M., &  Smith, David. (2018). Changing research behaviours of university students with progression through a course. Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association. 67: 3 pp256-277 DOI: 10.1080/24750158.2018.1502243

Ricaurte, P. (2016). Pedagogies for the open knowledge society. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. 13:32 DOI: 10.1186/s41239-016-0033-y

Thomas, J., Barraket, J., Wilson, C., Cook, K., Louie, Y., Holcombe-James, I., Ewing, S., and MacDonald, T. (2018). Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide: The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2018. RMIT University, Melbourne, DOI: https://doi.org/10.25916/5b594e4475a00

Trombetta, S. (2017). 17 quotes that prove librarians are the best. Bookbub. Retrieved from https://www.bookbub.com/blog/2017/01/19/quotes-about-how-much-we-love-librarians



“It is in the DNA” – Assessment 2 – Part B

Whats on the shelves?


School libraries (SL) are more than books on shelves.  To a fledgling teacher librarian (TL), libraries often imagine warehouses, where books awaits death and then reincarnation at Lifeline.   The reality is different; collections are not inert. SL are dynamic; they constantly evolve to suit the needs of their community.  

Framework = DNA

What makes a SL so dynamic?  Well, like any organism, it’s all in the DNA, or for SL, it’s in the Collection Development and Management Policy (CDMP).  The CDMP is the DNA of a SL and contains strategic data for growth in today’s splurge and is flexibliity in tomorrow’s freeze.  If the DNA of a SL is without clear direction and missing data, then its ability to thrive, or even survive is in jeopardy. Consequently, TL need to be aware of the duality of a CDMP that prepares the collection for today’s needs, and tomorrow’s growth.

Not faint hearted

A school CMDP exists primarily to address the curriculum, the teaching and learning needs of its community as well as provide well-being (IFLA, 2015; ASLA & VCTL, 2018).  Therefore, the policy needs to clearly reflect those needs when framing the purpose, selection principles, acquisition and censorship procedures. Along with other maintenance endeavours such as deselection and collection evaluation; all whilst staying within budget, bolstering literacy and well-being.  It is not a small task and definitely not for the faint hearted. But then TL are not faint hearted (Templeton, 2019a).

The development and management of a collection involves many facets.

Print or Digital?

  1. Understanding the information evolution and its implications on education and wider society is crucial.  TL need to be aware that previous resource acquisition has evolved now into information facilitation paradigm (Kelly, 2015). With publishers rapidly changing their delivery from print to digital formats (Templeton, 2019b), the repercussions on formats and licencing are momentous.
  2. Online Subscriptions – Cheaper? or Not?

  3. Being able to select resources using criteria to ensure the collection is balanced and addresses the needs of the community. (Templeton, 2019a)
  4. Knowledge of how resources may be packaged for cost efficiency, and evaluating that against the value of each of those titles is a challenging task (Templeton, 2019c; Templeton, 2019d.  (Module 2 – Online Access) (Module 2 – Bundling together)  
  5. Being able to manage collections thriftily is necessary when SL budgets are constantly squeezed (Softlink, 2018; Templeton, 2019e). 

    Shrinking Budgets


  6. Information literacy is an essential aspect of future focused learners (MCEETYA, 2008). The CDMP policy needs to make provision for information literacy to ensure that students have the skills to access and utilise the collection.  The inclusion of literacy programs only further strengthens a SL position within a school (Templeton, 2019l; Templeton, 2019f).  .  
  7. Awareness of censorship and its role in SL (Templeton, 2019g).

    Challenging the censors

  8. Linking budget to student population is an effective manner to secure funds that suit the growth/decline of the school community (IFLA, 2015, p.6) versus being dependent on yearly fixed sums.

Besides building a collection, a CDMP contains procedures that maintains its value and  its ability to service the needs of their community.  

  1. Measuring outputs and outcomes are useful in analysing the effectiveness and efficacy of a collection (Templeton, 2019h).
    1. Being able to link the collection value to qualitative and quantitative data validates the collection and program (Templeton, 2019i). A recent study by Sutton et al., (2017) show that altmetrics are useful in the evaluation of collections. Power (2019) suggests that both qualitative and quantitative methods are used.
    2. Linking educational outcomes to collections as evidence for continuing financial support for resources, especially digital subscriptions, is judicial.  Journal subscriptions are very expensive and a TL would need to prove value if there is insufficient evidence to indicate positive outcomes (Jubb et al., 2017). Journal databases, like many other electronic resources, may be economical up front, but often require long term subscription.

 Technology is rapidly changing and consequently now, the same information is available in multiple formats.  TL need to be aware of this paradigm when committing to subscription resources as it is more than just a commitment for the current cohort of students (Anderson, 2008).  It is a financial commitment for future generations.

A strong CDMP ensures that a library collection addresses the needs of their community, and the rewards are high resource outputs and user outcomes.  What TLs all over the world do not want are libraries with numerous books that are not utilised or under utilised. Tsundoku is the affliction of purchasing resources that no one uses (Templeton, 2019j).    

An unused collection is an ineffective collection.  It is very hard to justify a collection that has failed to prove their value their community.  It is even harder to justify the presence of TL with a collection that is not relevant.



Anderson, R. (2008). Future proofing the library; Strategies for acquisitions, cataloguing and collection development. The Serials Librarian. 55 (4). doi:10.1080/03615260802399908

ASLA & VCTL (2018). A manual for developing policies and procedures in Australian school library resources centres 2nd Edition.  ALIA. Retrieved from https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/policies-procedures-manual_ed2.pdf

IFLA (2015). School library guidelines.  Retrieved from https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/school-libraries-resource-centers/publications/ifla-school-library-guidelines.pdf

Jantti, M., and Cox, B. (2013). Measuring the value of library resources and student academic performance through relational datasets. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. 8 (2), 163-171. {Conference Paper}

Jubb, M., Rowlands, I., and Nicholas, D. (2013). Values of libraries: Relationships between provisions, usage, and research outcomes.  Evidence Based Library and Informative Practice. 8(2), 139-152 {Conference Paper}

Kelly, M. (2015). Collection development policies in public libraries in Australia: A qualitative content analysis. Public Library Quarterly. 34, 44-62

MCEETYA (2008) Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Curriculum Corporation. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf

Power, K (2019) Forum 5.1 – Methods of Collection Analysis. ETL503 Discussion Forum. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147540_1&message_id=_2304873_1

Softlink (2018) Australia and New Zealand school library survey. Retrieved from https://www.softlinkint.com/downloads/2018_Softlink_Australian_and_New_Zealand_School_Library_Survey_Report.pdf

Sutton, S., Miles, R., and Konkiel, S., (2017) Is what’s “Trending” whats worth purchasing? Insights from a national study of collection development librarians. The Serials Librarian. Vol 72 (1-4) pp.134-143. DOI 10.1080/0361526X.2017.1297593

Templeton, T. (2019a) Benign or Malignant. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/24/benign-or-malignant-how-do-you-diagnose/

Templeton, T. (2019b) Shatzins files – publishers to perish. Forum 1.1.  ETL 503 Discussion Forums. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147529_1&message_id=_2152285_1

Templeton, T. (2019c) Online access. Forum 2.3.  ETL 503 Discussion Forums. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147533_1&message_id=_2185290_1

Templeton, T. (2019d) Bundling resources. Forum 2.3.  ETL 503 Discussion Forums. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147533_1&message_id=_2185169_1

Templeton, T. (2019e) Module 3 – Managing collections thriftily. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/04/20/managing-collections-thriftily/

Templeton, T. (2019f) Module 5.3a– Information literacy. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/05/21/module-5-3a-information-literacy/

Templeton, T. (2019g) Modules 2 & 6 0 13 reasons why – censorship and selection. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/12/13-reasons-why-censorship-and-selection/

Templeton, T. (2019h) Forum 3.1.  ETL 503 Discussion Forums. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147536_1&message_id=_2249448_1

Templeton, T. (2019i) Module 5.1 – Evaluating the collection.- Keeping it real. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/04/29/evaluating-the-collection-keeping-it-real/

Templeton, T. (2019j) Module 1 – Library collections. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/11/library-collections/

Templeton, T. (2019k) Module 1 – Curriculum + information + access = Superhero. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/13/curriculum-information-access-superhero/

Templeton, T. (2019l) Reluctant readers – would fact be better than fiction? Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/11/reluctant-readers-would-facts-be-better-than-fiction/


Convergence – Module 5.4b

How is digital citizenship approached in your school or experience?

TukTukDesign / Pixabay

Digital literacy was only recently implemented with the year 7’s.  Last year I ran a few HASS classes with the then Yr 7’s and realised that they were absolutely incapable of doing very simple tasks such as saving documents, referencing with more than URLs, uploading documents and even using MS word.  I was flabbergasted. So I set up a formative assessment task with a rubric to see what the students were capable of doing and then present that information to the AP for teaching and learning. I used the general capabilities continuum, specifically the ICT and CCT components; and used the stages of the continuum as benchmarks to assess the students. The task showed me that nearly ⅔ of the year 7 students from last year were unable to do very simple tasks and were averaging at a year 4 level.  Their information literacy was minimal!! The ramifications of this information were immense. How were these students going to progress through high school and complete their educational tasks sufficiently if their baseline was so low? How were they going to be active and informed citizens? How did these students get this way after being mostly at BYOD schools? And, how did we miss this?

Most of the teachers assumed a basic level of digital literacy and citizenship due to the ‘digital native’ tag.  After all, these students were adept at using youtube, playing music, taking photos and using Snapchat! There are also expert at hiding their screens when teachers are nearby, and consummate at switching screens when caught out!

The upshot of my assessment of last years Yr 7s is that there is active interest in embedding ICT and the GC within the curriculum.  I am in the process of re-writing the Year 7, 8 and 11 RE units of work to make sure that ICT and CCT are appropriately addressed and assessed.  As there is no explicit curriculum for RE, I have free range to make it skills based and use inquiry to teach the content. The only problem I am having is with some of the teachers that are disagreeing with my approach.  Luckily I have permanency and am willing to take the risk.

Has the school in which you work (or know best) developed an information literacy policy?

My school is currently in the process of implementing an information literacy policy. My colleague is writing it in collaboration with the AP of teaching and learning.  The plan is to align information literacies with the general capabilities continuum and then coordinate them to the year levels. The theory is that once we have the framework we are going to use it to implement the various aspects of across the stages and curriculum.

geralt / Pixabay

We are using a few of ANU policies as an end point for our framework.  Ideally we would like our students to be at this level by the end of year 12 so we thought if that is the goal then we can use the ‘backwards by design’ process and stage the levels backwards according to year levels.  I am using the framework that my colleague is writing as a basis for my work with RE.

These are the policies we are using to structure our framework on;




How is information literacy approached in your school or experience?

geralt / Pixabay

Information literacy is still currently a disorganised program.  Whilst some teachers implement aspects of it in their teaching and learning, there is no whole school approach to informational literacy.  In addition, there is limited true inquiry within our school. Granted there are a plethora of ‘research’ assignments that bore both students and teachers.  But real, true inquiry projects are missing. This is primarily due to teachers citing overcrowded curriculum and lack of time. But here in the ACT, there is such a large range of flexibility allowed with the national curriculum.  There is no need for so much explicit content instruction and rigid assessment tasks. Unfortunately, there is a strong cohort of teachers that persist in repeating the same teaching and learning activities that were taught from two decades ago.  The only difference is that students now present their tasks on MS Word and or a powerpoint. But by the same token, we have other teachers that inspire students to do their best within the parameters they have thrust upon them.

The challenge is real – Module 5.3b

EliasSch / Pixabay

There are many challenges to teachers implementing guided inquiry lessons into their teaching and learning. They include among others; a misunderstanding of what inquiry learning is; inability to implement their own teaching activities; inability to collaborate with colleagues, lack of time and fear.

The first reason is that teachers (not teacher librarians who know better!) often confuse guided inquiry learning which is deep in knowledge, rich in skills and meaningful to the student,  with a superficial regurgitation of facts that accompany a traditional research task (Maniotes & Kuhlthau, 2014). Students are exasperated, teachers are frustrated, yet the loop of insanity continues from kindergarten to year 12.  Maniotes & Kuhlthau (2014) says STOP this insanity!

 Freedom to implement authentic teaching and learning practices is often hampered by the hierarchy within schools.  Whilst many teachers are given the flexibility to plan their own lessons and thus choose their pedagogical practices, they are often bound by the school and departmental parameters in regards to timelines and assessment (Templeton, 2019).  This is very evident in high schools where there are department heads and year level coordinators that manage assessments and their timelines for historic reasons, often completely unknown to anyone in this century. These obstinate teachers are unwilling to adapt and or modify their teaching practice with the advent of an information society.  The adage, “but we’ve always done it this way”is a common theme (Templeton, 2019 & Maniotes & Kuhlthau, 2014). These parameters translate to an inability to structure longer guided inquiry units of work as teaching hours are crammed with explicit content instruction aimed at superficial tests and mindless research tasks that no one wants to do and even fewer want to mark.

 Lack of collaboration is often blamed for ineffective teaching practices by both teachers and teacher librarians.  These intransigent educators are reluctant to participate in collaborative practice and balk at co-creating teaching and learning activities (Ezard, 2019).  Often these stalwarts of inflexibility are also the ones that struggle to hand over the reins of learning to the students and or willing to practice team teaching.  This loss of controlling the learning is often translated as loss of control of a class, which is a complete contraindication of what a guided inquiry unit is. A vibrant class that is engaging with learning task is going to be noisy as noise usually is entwined with social discourse.  It does not mean that the students are disrespectful, nor does it mean that there is disharmony. Learning is a social construct and students learn better when engaging with their peers (Kools & Stoll, 2016). Teacher librarians need to understand that the resistance to guided inquiry is often due to the unwillingness of collaborative practice and not themselves as individuals (Ezard, 2019).

 As mentioned previously time is an issue in schools.  Teachers lack the time to collaborate with their peers to co-create inquiry tasks, and they often also lack time to allow actually put a guided inquiry into practice.  But what teachers often forget is that guided inquiry does not have to be a long unit of work that ends in a presentation. Guided inquiry can be as long as a term or as short as a week.  Ideally, the practice does require time to build and teach skills, but the flexibility of the framework allows the teacher to guide the lesson as much as the students require.  The true point of a guided inquiry task is to TEACH the skills, not the content.  Learning of these skills is a cumulative effect that requires constant practice across all classes and year levels.

 The last reason that inhibits the implementation of guided inquiry is fear.  Fear of the unknown; fear of rebelling against the system; fear of unemployment due to the previous rebellious behaviour; fear of losing control of a class; fear of failing to meet expectations; fear of not achieving learning outcomes; fear of trying something new; fear of failing.



Ezard, T., (2019) Leading the Buzz in your school. ASLA 50th Conference. Canberra

Kools, M. and Stoll L. (2016), “What Makes a School a Learning Organisation?”, OECD Education Working Papers. No. 137, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jlwm62b3bvh-en

Maniotes, L.K, Kuhlthau, C. (2014) Making the shift. Knowledge Quest. 43(2) 8-17

Templeton, T., (2019) Rantings of an emerging teacher librarian. I lost my mind 3 children ago. Retrieved from … lost weblink.

Module 5.3a – Information Literacy

How might the TL help the school move towards integrated information literacy instruction?

The change in societal expectations of students has meant that students need to have strong fluency in information literacy and the inclusion of inquiry learning within the curriculum was the ACARA’s response to this change.  Information literacy is cumulative and needs to be embedded across the curriculum and year levels. Unfortunately, information literacy is not integrated into the curriculum, but rather aspects of it can be found within some subjects and their inquiry strands.  This disjointed learning means that the skills that inquiry promotes are taught in a haphazard manner instead of being practiced in sequential and regular intervals. Information literacy is cumulative and thus requires it to be embedded across the KLAs and year levels rather than in ad hoc stand alone units (Lupton, 2014).  Therefore, IL needs to be part of the content, structure and sequence of learning.

Fitzgerald & Garrison (2017) reinforce that consistency is important and a school wide focus is important.  The central position of the library within a school allows a teacher librarian to have an holistic view of the school’s teaching and learning.  This holistic vision means that a TL is able to liaise and collaborate with their colleagues to implement a framework for inquiry learning within the school so that those essential skills can be practiced at regular intervals (Kuhlthau et al., 2015).  This framework, once designed by the TL, can be then adapted by the classroom teacher and or TL to suit the needs of the subject and or year level. As the keeper of the framework, the TL is also able to differentiate the scaffolding to suit the learning needs of the students in anticipation of the unit of work.

What challenges lie in the way of such instruction?

The biggest challenge for the implementation of inquiry units is time, or the lack of time.  The curriculum is already very crowded and with the prevalence of standardised testing and the emphasis on traditional assessments, there is insufficient time to properly run inquiry units at regular intervals.  Additionally, whilst inquiry units are popular in primary schools and in lower secondary, it is deemed less rigorous in senior years. This is a fallacy, but old habits often die hard. The other challenges for inquiry units are lack of collaboration within the teaching staff and reluctance for students to work in collaborative groups.  As mentioned in other posts, many teachers struggle to work collaboratively with their colleagues for numerous reasons. Teacher librarians are often excluded from curriculum planning and assessment design due to the presence of subject silos within schools. This inability to collaborate often leads to poorly designed and implemented guided inquiry units that fail to engage students and provide lacklustre results.  This inability for teachers to collaborate effectively is then often transferred to their reluctance to let students to work in similar groupings. Inquiry units are best done collaboratively as learning is enhanced when based within social constructs. These groups are often called inquiry circles or focus groups. Unfortunately some teachers are reluctant to have their students working in groups as they differ from the traditional classroom setting and upset their preferred teaching style.

How teacher librarians and teachers might encourage students to transfer information literacy skills and practices from one subject to another?

The library is often a neutral zone and utilised by all subject areas.  Therefore, students are able to view the TL as the ‘inquiry teacher’ regardless of the subject that the task is for.  This means that it is plausible that students would be able to transfer their skills in inquiry learning from one subject to another simply because the teacher teaching the subject has not changed.  Additionally, the TL is already aware of the learning needs of the students and thus can scaffold them appropriately. This scaffolding can be tailored individually to allow all students to participate to varying degrees.  Fitzgerald & Garrison (2017) point out that reflection within an inquiry unit forces students to contemplate their learning and ruminate on the processes they used to achieve their goal. This reflection helps students determine their strengths and weaknesses for future tasks and thus be more conscious of their learning. This cognisance of learning is an essential part of the process and can be used as feedback as well as determining the zone of proximal development (Fitzgerald & Garrison, 2017).

Doyle, A., (2019) The hard skills employers seek. The Balance Careers. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-are-hard-skills-2060829

Fitzgerald, L. & Garrison, K. (2017) ‘It Trains Your Brain’: Student Reflections on Using the Guided Inquiry Design Process. Synergy, 15/2

Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L., & Caspari, A. (2015) GI: Learning in the 21st Century. 2nd editon, Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Lutheran Education Queensland (n.d.) Approaches to learning. Inquiry based learning. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/media/1360/lutheran-education-queensland-inquiry-based-learning.pdf

McLeod, S., (2018) Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html

Symbiosis – Module 3.3

Teacher librarians and Principals have a symbiotic relationship in which each person’s role is intricately woven into each other (Farmer 2007).  Principals are the leaders of a school. Their role is to create a culture of learning that enables effective teaching practice and promotes learning that is independent, enthusiastic and with life long potential.  Teacher librarians collaborate with principals to make this vision into reality by taking this vision of academic integrity and making it real. How do T/L do this?

 We collaborate with heads of departments to embed the general capabilities into the curriculum across units of work and year levels  (Haycock 2007). We work with individual teachers in creating units of work that are creative and inspire deep thinking. We work with the inclusive education department to help structure modified units of work that promote equality and equity.  We resource the library with materials that encourage students to engage with the content, promote literacy via recreational reading programs, and we do it wearing co-ordinated twin sets with pearls (Lipton 2016).

 Principals enable teacher librarians by enabling the teacher collaboration that is essential for TL practice.  They agree to school wide reading and digital literacy programs. They minimise or eliminate teaching lines so that we can dedicate our days to assisting our colleagues in their professional practice.  Principals who need teacher librarians give them time and money to do their job. Teacher librarians need principals who value and respect them, their roles and their positions in the school.


AITSL (2017) Principal Standards. Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/lead-develop/understand-the-principal-standard/unpack-the-principal-standard

Farmer, L. (2007). Principals: Catalysts for collaboration. School Libraries Worldwide, 13(1), 56-65.

Haycock, K. (2007). Collaboration: Critical success factors for student learning. School Libraries Worldwide, 13(1), 25-35.

Lupton, M. (2016). Adding value: Principals’ perceptions of the role of the teacher librarian. School. Libraries Worldwide. 22/1 49-61

Its the standards that matter – Module 3.1


I recently moved from provisional /graduate teacher to proficient teacher whilst I was working as a Teacher librarian.  I’ve only ever taught as a casual teacher for about two years and only just scraped  my 180 days minimum as TQI required in the ACT when I moved to proficient.  Gathering evidence for my ATSIL standards was ridiculously hard when you never have had a class to yourself.  So the thought of having to even think about ASLA TL standards was enough to make me avoid this task for a week.

Then I spent a week assisting the RE co-ordinator and his 2IC plan next semester’s units from Years 7-8.   Using their unit plans I worked with the teachers to embed the general capabilities curriculum firmly into the teaching and learning.  I used scootle to find resources that would promote critical and creative thinking, inter cultural understanding and ICT.   I assembled a range of fiction titles that would support the units of work, including locating an audio-book for our visually challenged student.  I also looked for interactive websites and videos that would enhance the learning process.  Then I collaborated with the inclusive education team to work on modified programs for the students with learning needs.  It took us all day but we came up with several scaffolded tasks that could be used interchangeably.

It was then the TL standards made sense.  The standards set the benchmark of professional behaviour of what teacher librarians bring to the school community.  I am too new a teacher and  definitely too new a TL to be proficient at all the standards.  But what I can do is achieve each one slowly, bit by bit.


2.2 Learning and teaching

Excellent teacher librarians:

• collaborate with teachers to plan and implement information literacy and literature programs that result in positive student learning outcomes

• ensure that their programs are responsive to the needs of learners in the school community

• support learning and teaching by providing equitable access to professionally-selected resources

• assist individual learners to develop independence in their learning

• teach the appropriate and relevant use of ICTs and information resources

Module 2.1 – The Porridge Pot

RitaE / Pixabay

This section has changed my perspective on the concept of information.  Prior to this unit, I had seen this word to be simply informative. A transmission of knowledge from one to another.  The continuum was very helpful in understanding the difference between raw data, information and knowledge. I particularly liked how the types of knowledge was described.  It made me think of oral traditions of many cultures, that transmit vast knowledge and traditions across generations via story telling. In the eras of near universal illiteracy, information was communicated via stories and tales by tribal elders.  Even now, Indigenous peoples across the world maintain their societal traditions and cultures by a rich history of oral traditions.

It was interesting to describe information as a commodity.  Arguably, one could use schooling as an example of information as a commodity, as it is transmitted from experts to apprentices at a cost.  The very nature of information and its ability to be transferred from one person to another without loss to the original person makes it an excellent business practice.  In fact, one could go further and suggest that education systems use information and its inherent properties as an unending source of income. I find this rather amusing as it reminds me of the story of the magic porridge pot  by the Brothers Grimm.

In the children’s story, the porridge pot overflowed and overwhelmed the town.  This is very similar to what is happening with the information quantities present in society today.  The attributes of information that make it such a viable commodity also means that it is being constantly created and this ‘self multiplication’ is leading to an glut of material.  Combined with technology that is rapidly changing and expanding, this overabundance of knowledge is increasing dramatically as our ability to produce information is also increasing.

‘NATIONAL SORRY DAY’ – Annotated bibliography






Appropriate for students in

Mainly STAGE 4 & some STAGE 5

Appropriate for History, English, Drama, Visual Art, RE and Mathematics subject areas.

Appropriate for students who identify as Indigenous people across Stages 4 & 5.  


Citation 1 Various Authors (2011) Yarning strong guided reading series. Oxford University Press, Australia.



Mixed formats print/audio/images.  

Copyrighted for person and educational use but not for distribution.


Description This is a set of novels, graphic novels, anthologies and a teacher kit that covers issues such as identity, family, law and country.  The anthologies include poems, images as well as a teaching kit.
SC 1A 1B 1C 2A 2B 3A 3C 4A 4D
SA Booktopia


Recreational reading     TR Std 2.4 OI – 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

The box set is aimed at Indigenous students as they would identify with the storylines and characters and thus be more likely to engage with it.  The language is colloquial and could be considered a Hi-Lo series for older readers. Since many Indigenous teens have lower literacy than their non Indigenous peers, it is important to have books that cater to their ability and interest (AIHW, 2017)

The resources allows for development of a subtle and covert knowledge and understanding of indigenous peoples.  Authenticity and perspective has been maintained as all stories have been compiled by Indigenous authors and anthologies led by tribal elders.


Citation 2 Pascoe, B., (2018) Little Red Yellow Black Book. 4th Edition. Aboriginal Studies Press. Australia
Format /Licensing Book = owned and with copyright attached.
Description This book has been written from an Indigenous perspective and thus assists with encouraging appreciation and reconciliation between both non Indigenous and Indigenous Australians.  It makes strong connections to the concept of Country and culture. The stories within, cover a range of socio-political issues and this edition also will challenge stereotypes and educate the reader as to the contributions made by ATSI peoples in past and present times.
SC 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2c, 3a, 3b, 4a,
SA Better Reading blog
Evaluation and use TR and/or RECREATIONAL reading   TS: 1.4 & 2.4

OI: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9

This book is excellent at initiating educators to Indigenous culture and histories especially those who have had limited exposure to Australian and Indigenous culture such as overseas born staff and students. There is an accompanying website listed in the book with additional materials. It is aimed at adults as a teaching resource, but can be read recreationally by both staff and senior students.


Citation 3 Manning, N., (1994) Close to the bone. Currency press. Australia
Format/licencing Class set currently in collection. No production permissions purchased.
Description This play is about the forced removal of a young Aboriginal child from her family and the reawakening of her Indigenous identity twenty years later.  An excellent story about the importance of identity and kinship ties.
SC 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 4a,
SA Part of current collection
Evaluation and use Stage 4 – Drama – (ACADRR046); English –  (ACELT1806) (ACELT1806) (ACELT1806)

Stage 5 – Drama – (ACADRR053); English – (ACELT1772) (ACELT1636)


OI: 2, 5, 8

This play, whilst dated, can be used as a culmination for National Sorry Day or similar units of work. The themes may be distressing for younger students, so class discussion is essential.  The play uses common language that resonates with the reader. It can be analysed from an Australian perspective and it can be performed to a groups as informative drama or as a dramatic reading. Good for kinesthetic learners.


Citation 4 ABC Education (2018) National Sorry Day. Retrieved from http://education.abc.net.au/home#!/digibook/618742/national-sorry-day
Format/ licencing Digibook – chapters and videos

Downloading/editing/embedding with citation permitted

Description This eBook is embedded with videos showcasing interviews with various stakeholders detailing the political and social events that eventuated at the Rudd Apology in 2008 and the ongoing process of Reconciliation.
SC 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4b,
SA Scootle – TLF-IDM019082
Evaluation and use Stage 5 History – ACHMH072 and (ACDSEH106)

And. (ACDSEH023) (ACDSEH104)  (ACDSEH134) (ACDSEH149)

OI: 2, 4, 5, 6,7,8,9

This resource is heavy in learning outcomes, capabilities and ATSI CPP.  The multimodality will support teaching and learning in discrete lessons and as part of NAIDOC week and National Sorry Day.  

The resources are appropriate for a school setting and are of mixed literacy ability and an inclusive school.    The main downside of this digi-book is that it does not belong to the school and there is no guarantee of its continuance.


Citation 5 AHRC (1997) Bringing them home report. Retrieved from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/pdf/social_justice/bringing_them_home_report.pdf
Format/Licencing Digital PDF – CC 4.0 International.
Description This report offers insight to the scant schooling, systemic abuse and trauma that affected several generations of Aboriginals, and offers understanding to the current gap in education and health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.  There are very confronting stories of physical and sexual abuse within. It also elucidates the loss of culture, tradition and language.
SC 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b
SA Reconciliation Australia
Evaluation and use Stage 5 – History – (ACHMH072) (ACHASSK013)


OI: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

This report has a narrow use in a school setting. It is NOT to be disseminated to the students but rather excerpts used in specific teaching and learning practices.  Teacher discretion required. For example, to provide ‘voices’ for a yarning circle as a classroom exercise which would highlight the importance of oral traditions for Indigenous peoples and thus in turn, the significance of mother tongue.  Or as stimulus for class discussion and debating targeting CCP and CCT.


Citation 6 Behind the news (2018) 10th Anniversary of Stolen Generation Apology – 13/02/2018. ABC ME. Retrieved from https://online.clickview.com.au/exchange/videos/6054563/10th-anniversary-of-stolen-generation-apology-13-02-2018
Format/ Licencing Interactive Video. Licence permits sharing and embedding.
Description This short video is an excellent introduction to the CCP and is accompanied by a worksheet that can be done individually or in collaborative groups.
SC 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a.
SA Clickview
Evaluation and use Stage 5 – History –  (ACDSEH020)

As this video is short it can easily be used to introduce this topic to elicit discussion.  The video is aimed at upper primary, and its interactive aspect has low level Bloom’s questioning so can be used as an activity for students with learning needs.  The theme of reconciliation would be useful in an RE context too.






Citation 7 Screen Australia (N.D) Australian History Timeline.  Retrieved from http://www.aushistorytimeline.com/
Format/licencing Interactive website. Can be used but not amended.  
Description This interactive graph gives snapshots of information of Australian history major events such as the Mabo decision and the Apology.  It is easy to use, multi user ability and has good graphics.
SC 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b.
SA Scootle TLF ID M012862
Evaluation and use Stage 4 & 5 History



OI: 1,6,9

This website is strong on digital literacy due to the depth and layers present.  The embedding of videos, images and hyperlinks work seamlessly to inform the view of events significant to Indigenous and non-Indigenous history.  This tool would be great to use across the History KLA but also for the ATSI CCP in identifying key dates. Additionally, data can be searched for by date, event and decade. Whilst the language used is stage appropriate, digitally illiterate students will need guidance due to the multi-layering of information.  




Citation 8
Format Interactive video
Description This movie is about three girls, removed from their family in WA based on legislative assimilative policy and sent to a mission to train as domestic workers, from which they escaped and followed the infamous fence home.
SC 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b,
SA Clickview
Evaluation and use Stage 5 – History  (ACHMH072) (ACDSEH106) (ACDSEH104)  (ACDSEH143)

Stage 4 – English  (ACELA1541) (ACELT1619)  (ACELT1806)


OI: 2, 5, 6, 8, 9

This interactive movie is rated for 13+ and whilst appropriate for Stage 4 students, it can be used in both History as a social viewpoint or in English (without interactive) from a technical language perspective. The video, with embedded questions would be a great choice for homework and the resulting critical and analytical collaborative discussion held in class.  The book is also in the collection already.


Citation 9 ABS (2018) Estimates of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Retrieved from  https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/3238.0.55.001Main%20Features1June%202016?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=3238.0.55.001&issue=June%202016&num=&view=
Format Interactive website/  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Description This summary commentary summarises the ATSI statistics for Australia on population, population growth, age structure, state and region prevalence as well as additional documents about birth and death rates.  As this resource is free, the narrowness of its applicability is accepted.
SC 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b 2c, 3a, 3b, 4b.
SA Mathematics HOD suggestion
Evaluation and use Stage 4 – Mathematics –  (ACMSP169)  (ACMSP171)  (ACMSP172) (ACMSP284)

Stage 4- Geography –  (ACHGS048)  (ACHGS051)  (ACHGS052)

Stage 5 – Mathematics – (ACMSP227)  (ACMSP283) (ACMSP253)

GC: Numeracy, CCT, ICT.  OI: 1, 6,

This document and accompanying materials are ideal for statistical analysis activities.    The students could analyse the raw data and account for variances as well as question the disparity.  The resource would also supplement HASS/Geography as it would provide evidence for discussion/analysis.  

Stage 4 will need scaffolding which licencing permits, whereas Stage 5 could criticise and evaluate the raw data.  It would also provide good material for test papers or as an extension supplement for advanced students in all KLAs.  Bloom’s Taxonomy of Questioning can be used in its varying formats with this resource.

An example would be the age structure breakdown analysis –

Indigenous lifespan graph has no bell curve graphically – Identify reasons why and justify with evidence.


Citation 10 Songlines – Tracking the Seven Sisters Exhibit. (2018). Canberra: National Museum of Australia.
Format Touring exhibition by the NMA
Description This is an excursion/incursion which will lead attendees on a journey through the Dreaming stories via art, multimedia and integrated displays.  
SC 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2c, 3a, 4a, 4b.
SA Teacher referral
Evaluation and use Stage 5 – Science  (ACSSU188)

Stage 4 Arts – Visual art ACAVAM125 ACAVAR131

Stage 4 – RE – World religions

Stage 4 – English ACELA1552

GC – Literacy, CCT, PSC, ICU.  OI 1,2,3,4, 5, 7, 8, ,9

The exhibit will be exemplify the importance of Country, kinship and oral traditions to attendees and thus the ramification of the stolen generation had on communities then and now.   It will challenge both students and teachers in their perceptions of the ancient culture. The oral traditions during the exhibit use powerful imagery and evocative language to complement the paintings and thus force the viewer to engage deeply with the subject matter.   

Educators can use this multidisciplinary exhibit as stimulus, a unit of work itself or culmination for a unit of work.  The supporting text resource will provide background to the exhibit and guide the educator in understanding the imagery present within the artefacts.   Whilst this excursion is expensive, the multidisciplinary nature and CCP coverage makes it valuable.