Bit of a hiatus since the last post… I decided to go on holidays.
ROLE OF TEACHER LIBRARIAN
The library and the teacher librarian hold a central position in the school learning and teaching dynamic and thus are ideally positioned to engage in collaborative planning and teaching across the curriculum. Like libraries, the role of the teacher librarian has evolved in response to the metamorphosis of repository spaces to information gateways. ASLA (2016) clearly defines the foci of a modern teacher librarian to; learning and teaching, resourcing the curriculum, management of the library and its resources, providing leadership, collaborating with their peers and engaging with the school community.
Even though libraries and the role of the teacher librarian has evolved, their main purview in a school has not changed. Information seeking is the core of each school library, and the main point of the teacher in teacher librarian is information literacy and the explicit teaching of ICT (ALIA & ASLA, 2004). This teaching role extends to both staff and students, as teacher librarians are required to model good practice, and explicitly teach information seeking behaviour and information literacy to everyone in the school community (ALIA & ASLA, 2004; ALIA, 2014).
All teachers in Australia are required to integrate technology into their teaching and learning, but many classroom educators are unaware of the benefits of emerging technologies such as AR and VR (AITSL, 2017). Consequently, the task of educating staff about emerging technologies falls onto the teacher librarian. This is because teacher librarians are required by ALIA & ASLA (2014), ALIA (2014) and ASLA (2014) to be familiar with emerging technologies, provide access to and integrate them into library practice, programs as well as support the school community in using them effectively.
There are many traditional ways of introducing these technologies, such as staff emails or meetings, but there are innovative ways of introducing emerging technologies to the school community. Townsdin & Whitmer (2017) suggested AR embedded library marketing as an effective way of promoting the library and its services whilst improving information literacy, whereas Wolz (2019) points out that using AR in information seeking covertly introduces colleagues to the technology whilst they overtly search the catalogue. Pope (2018a) proposes that AR can be introduced through team building exercises, and Zak (2014) suggests the use of AR embedded resources as an effective method of introducing AR into classroom practice.
Whilst all those listed are valid methods of introducing the school community to new technologies, the most effective manner is by using AR embedded classroom resources. By using emerging technologies in teaching resources, students and staff are gaining access to high quality information that meets curriculum needs and student development. The secondary and almost furtive asset is that students gain access to these new technologies and are given opportunities to experiment in a low stakes environment. This tactic also gives classroom teachers an opportunity to experiment and play with the technology themselves, so that they can effectively use them in their classrooms (Zak, 2014). From a library management position, teacher librarians are required to regularly evaluate their strategies and services to ensure that it meets the needs of their community, and this extends to AR programming and resourcing (Zak, 2014). This evaluation must also broaden to include any mobile applications, 3D image repository or hardware that the library choses to maintain as part of their collection and digital technologies program (Zak, 2014).