Portfolio of Learning – Part A – Personal Philosophy


A teacher librarian (TL) is a valued member of a school community because they are able to effectively support 21st century learning through the promotion of literature, learning and literacies.  However, in order to do so effectively, a TL should be themselves a lifelong learner, have the capacity to collaborate effectively with their peers, ensure that the collection meets the needs of the community, have a keen interest in emerging technologies and be able to competently lead innovative pedagogies by modelling best practice. Most importantly, a good teacher librarian is a teacher first, because education is at the heart of a teacher librarian’s practice.

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Part B – Theory into Practice – Literacies.

Placement Report Section 3: Reflection and References

The learning capacity of a library is dependent on the efficiency of the librarians to maintain the functionality of its spaces, collection robustness and program variety so that the needs of the community are met (Hughes, 2013).  This efficacy is essential in academic and school libraries as they are linked to improved student learning outcomes (ACT Education Directorate, 2019).

Workplace goal 1 – Development of a positive learning environment

Lewins Library has a well designed physical space that enables users to browse, read, use the wifi and opportunities to work individually or in small groups.  It also has a virtual environment that connects users to digital resources, course materials, referencing assistance, as well as information literacy sessions.  It is within this space that users get access to Primo, a federated search engine, which makes the library webpage the point of information access and retrieval in both the physical and virtual environments.

The extensive ACU library virtual environment is rarely mimicked in schools because online learning is not the desired format for many children and teenagers.  This reluctance was made clear during 2020’s remote learning as the pandemic highlighted the difficulties students faced, such as a lack of devices, poor internet access and an overall lack of digital literacy, with students from Indigenous, rural, remote and low socioeconomic areas were even more likely to be at risk of marginalisation.  This means that libraries need to be flexible in their delivery of resources, services and programs so that students can interact successfully with online learning (Templeton, 2020b).

Workplace goal 2 – Collection development that supports curriculum

ALs use LG to connect students to pertinent materials.  Reviewing the LGs identified that whilst they were all similar in structure and format, there were differences in volume of content and frequency of use.  However, there were significant differences in volume of content and frequency of use between the LG with the Health Sciences ones most frequently used.  Those elevated statistics could be due to high student numbers in Nursing, Midwifery or Paramedicine courses, or it could be because other LG were complex and caused information overload.

Upon reflection, it would have been more efficient if the statistics compared resource access between the LG, course pages and reading lists, because then the ALs could identify which pathway is most effective with students.  This would then mean that the ALs could target delivery of course materials and directly influence student learning through that mode (Hicks, White & Behary, 2021, p.2).  Additionally, it was interesting to see little uptake on the “How To” and “other” guides, which lead to the quandary if students are generally disinterested in using LG, or if there is a larger level of disinterest about information disseminating from the university about non-academic topics.

Paramedicine LibGuide environmental Scan (Project 1)

An environmental scan is an effective tool to identify relevant course resources (Hicks, White & Behary, 2021, p.3).  The Paramedicine LG environmental scan showed that ACU’s database list was comparable to other institutions, however had fewer books, no weblinks and lacked an Australian-centric resource such as Informit.  Unfortunately, as Informit currently directs all users to its landing page rather than the individual database, excluding this resource was a tactical decision to minimise student access issues.

Theology LibGuide analysis (Project 3).

Theology LG was analysed using usage statistics because ACU is the only institution to offer Theology from a Catholic perspective.  Digital texts from the collection were suggested to replace poorly used resources, but unlike other faculties, a ‘digital first’ policy is not essential because providing the right source is more important.  This is because accessing appropriate Australian-centric digital theology texts is very difficult.  Additionally, most students study on campus therefore the presence of print texts is possible.

I did review CSU’s Theology LGs to determine which resources both institutions valued and to seek additional resources for my school library.  As a Catholic high school, we need to hold theology texts and this task has made me realise that I am not the only one struggling to find Australian-centric resources.

Workplace goal 3 – Library Learning and Teaching (LLT) – Information Literacy Program

Librarians are responsible for developing the information literacy capabilities of their communities and remote learning has required them to expand their programs online (ACU Library Directorate, 2020; Dewey, 2017, p.26; Mallon, 2018, p. 115).  Although some argue that reducing physical presence makes outreach more difficult, ACU library statistics show that technology can be sufficiently harnessed to deliver an efficient virtual program because it allows all the ALs to assist in the learning, not just the ones at the local campus (ACU Library Directorate, 2020; Perini, 2016, p.65).  Analysis of the LLT program usage data determines which delivery modes resonates the most with the students and can also assist the ALs in guiding staffing and future practice so that the LLT continues to meet the needs of their community.

University and school based information literacy differs in that ACU students are required to self navigate through the program.  However, in schools information literacy is embedded into teaching and learning because students require repeated practice to develop competency.  This means that Teacher librarians need to make a more concerted effort to collaborate with their peers so that they can teach these essential skills across the curriculum within classroom practice.


ACU. (2020). ACU strategic plan 2020-2023. Office of Planning and Strategic Management. https://www.acu.edu.au/-/media/feature/pagecontent/richtext/about-acu/strategic-plan-2020-2023/v3_ritm0083397-strategic-plan-2020-2023_b5.pdf?la=en&hash=EB3EDA6C3B6448FCBAE24E29126BCD2B

ACU Library Directorate. (2020). ACU Library learning and teaching framework. Library Learning and Teaching Team. https://library.acu.edu.au/teaching/library%20learning%20and%20teaching/library%20learning%20and%20teaching%20framework

ACU. (2018). Organisational structure. Leadership and Governance. https://www.acu.edu.au/-/media/feature/pagecontent/richtext/about-acu/leadership-and-governance/_docs/organisational-structure-chart.pdf?la=en&hash=E358CE0B18ABAE0FE69911F921269D1A

Dewey, B. (2017). Chapter 2: College and University Governance. In Gilman, T. (Ed.). (2017). Academic librarianship today. ProQuest Ebook Central. CSU Library

Forbes, C. & Keeran, P. (2017). Chapter 6: Reference, instruction and outreach. In Gilman, T. (Ed.). (2017). Academic librarianship today. ProQuest Ebook Central. CSU Library

German, E. (2017). Information literacy and instruction: LibGuides for instruction: A service design point of view from an academic library. Reference & User Services Quarterly 56(3). pp162-167.  https://journals.ala.org/index.php/rusq/article/view/6257/8146

Gilman, T. (Ed.). (2017). Academic librarianship today. ProQuest Ebook Central. CSU Library.

Hicks, S., White, K., & Behary, R. (2021). The correlation of Libguides to print and electronic book usage: A method of assessing LibGuide usage.  Journal of Web Librarianship 15(1), pp1-13. DOI:  10.1080/19322909.2021.1884927

Higgins, S. (2016). Managing academic libraries: Principles and practice [ebook]. Amsterdam. Chandos Publishing. ISBN: 9781780633114

Hossain, M. J. (2016). Determining the key dimensions for evaluating service quality and satisfaction in academic libraries. The International Information & Library Review 48(3), p.176-189. CSU Library.

Logan, J. & Spence, M. (2021). Content strategy in LibGuides: An exploratory study. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 47(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2020.102282

Mallon, M. (2018). The pivotal role of academic librarians in digital learning. ProQuest Ebook Central. CSU Library.

Perrin, J.M., Yang, L., Barba, S. and Winkler, H. (2017), “All that glitters isn’t gold: The complexities of use statistics as an assessment tool for digital libraries”, The Electronic Library, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 185-197. https://doi-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1108/EL-09-2015-0179

Perini, M. (2016). The academic librarian as blended professional: Reassessing and redefining the role [ebook]. Cambridge, MA. Chandos Publishing.

Schaub, G., McClure, H. A., & Bravender, P. (2015). Teaching information literacy threshold concepts: Lesson plans for librarians. Association of College and Research Libraries.

Showers, B. (Ed.). (2015). Chapter 3: Using data to demonstrate library impact and value. In Library analytics and metrics : Using data to drive decisions and services. ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Swiatek, C. (2019). European academic libraries Key Performance Indicators (KPI): How comparison helps decision making. Performance Measurement and Metrics 20(3),pp. 143-158. https://doi-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1108/PMM-08-2019-0041

Templeton, T. (26th April 2020a). The implications of using digital literature in secondary schools. Trish’s trek into bookspace. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2020/04/26/the-implications-of-using-digital-literature-in-a-secondary-schools/

Templeton, T. (29th July, 2020b). Digital divide or digital elite? What is the cause of the digital divide? Trish’s trek into bookspace. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2020/07/29/digital-native-or-digital-elite-what-is-the-cause-of-the-digital-divide/

Walters, W. H. (2016). Evaluating online resources for college and university libraries: Assessing value and cost based on academic needs. Serials Review 42(1). Pp10-17. DOI: 10.1080/00987913.2015.1131519


Placement Report Section 2: Theory into practice.

Section 2: Theory into practice

University structure and the Library’s position within academia.

Practice: The ACU Libraries directorate is under the guidance of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor as Figure 1 indicates.   However, it would make more sense for Libraries to be part of the teaching and learning team under the Provost because the Library is intrinsic to academic success. 

Theory: ETL504 highlighted the importance of embedding the library into teaching and learning in order to improve student learning outcomes.  If the library and the Teacher Librarian (TL) are considered separate from the learning process, it is then much harder to embed programs such as inquiry learning, school wide reading programs and information literacy into pedagogical practice.  However, at ACU the library is essential because reading lists must be submitted to the ALs to ensure sufficient access is available to the students and that copyright laws are adhered to.

Library Learning and Teaching: Framework, program implementation and evaluation.

Practice: The Library Learning and Teaching (LLT) Framework (2020) is aligned to the university’s mission statement and divides information literacy into two components; seeking and accessing relevant information, and the ethical use of information.  It uses ability rather than level of study as a differentiation tool because the framework supports self-navigation from foundation to advanced, through the relevant LLT Libguides, videos, instant chat, facilitated teaching sessions as well as online consultations and drop in help desks.  The ALs evaluate the effectiveness and efficacy of these programs and sessions to guide future practice so that students can continue to get the assistance that they need in the format that they prefer.      

Theory : ETL 401 pointed out that information literacy is an intrinsic aspect of educational librarianship because it is essential for critical thinking, research success, and academic integrity (Mallon, 2018, p.1). Information literate students are also more adept at using the collection and have increased knowledge of how to ethically use that information.  However, the delivery of information literacy differs as information literacy sessions occur sporadically within universities and additional support is student initiated.  Whereas, ETL401 clearly elucidated the importance of embedded information literacy in classroom practice and that inquiry learning is the most efficient instructional method because the guided inquiry design can be adapted to suit any age or unit of work.  However, it was ETL504 that highlighted the importance of leadership so that these programs can be effectively facilitated into pedagogy practices across the curriculum.

Library guides – Resourcing the Curriculum

Practice: The key role of an academic library is to actively participate in the education of students and LibGuides (LG) are commonly used to connect users to services and other relevant academic materials for specific units of work, classes or course (Walters, 2016; German, 2017, p.163; Hicks, White & Behary, 2021).  The quality of sources is more important than the amount, therefore it is essential that these LGs only link to the most relevant resources to minimise information overload (Logan & Spence, 2021).  Additionally, ALs are required to regularly verify LG links to ensure that they function and retain their user friendliness (Logan & Spence, 2021; Walters, 2016; German, 2017, p.165).  

Theory: The fundamental principle of ETL503 is that a library’s collection and services’ primary purpose is to meet the needs of its community.  Therefore any LG created needs to match the learning outcomes of the course, the numbers of students and their relevant learning needs and comply with copyright.  It is also important that resources are prioritised from the collection before acquiring new materials.  However, whilst ACU has a distinct ‘digital first’ motto with their resources, this is not a viable plan for schools due to the lower lower digital literacy competency of children and teenagers.  ETL402 and INF533 both explained the increased cognitive load that digital literature places on low literacy students.  Therefore, whilst digital resources are ideal in a digital society, there needs to be consideration for students with diverse learning needs.

Evaluating the Collection – Analytics of LibGuide usage (Project 2).

Practice: LibGuides from 2019-2021 were analysed to examine their usage statistics.  The Law LG was the most complex with multiple subsections and had the largest number of resources with minimum ‘clicks’.  Whereas Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine LGs were concise and their resources were accessed more frequently by students. 

Theory:  The collection can be successfully evaluated for its value to the curriculum and students by running analytics to determine LG usage.  This process highlights which LG and corresponding resources are valued and which are not.  ETL503 pointed out the importance of regular collection evaluation to ensure that it still holds its value.  However, analytics often do not discriminate between faculty and student visitors, nor do they always identify accidental and meaningful interactions (Perrin et al., 2017).  This means that high results should be viewed with caution, however low data can be correctly inferred to be low use.



Placement Report Section 1: Lewins Library

Lewins Library as an information organisation:

Lewins Library is the main information repository for the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Signonou campus and supports its community’s search for knowledge through academic inquiry and intellectual discovery.   As part of the wider Catholic society, the library facilities and resources are also used by the constituents of the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, for their theological, educational and academic pursuits.

ACU has multiple campuses and it is imperative that the libraries directorate embrace technology to deliver services and programs across all the locations.  Some of these strategies include, a ‘digital first’ policy on collection maintenance and development, a framework for information literacy with a multimodal delivery, as well as providing support for academics and researchers in their practice and ensuring copyright compliance (ACU, 2020). However, whilst members of ACU have unfettered access to both the physical and digital collections, the general public is limited to the physical collection due to licencing requirements.   Unfortunately, access to the physical collection has been limited due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home edicts.

 Lewins Library as an academic library:

The core purpose of academic libraries is to support independent inquiry, develop critical thinking and actively assist in the pursuit of knowledge construction (Higgins, 2017, Ch.1).  Nevertheless, the capacity of an academic library to provide information access is proportional to the value the educational institution sees in them (Gilman, 2017, p.7; Higgins, 2017, Ch.1).  Therefore it is important that the library continues to illustrate its capacity and efficacy to maintain that value.   This means that as part of its evaluation process, the library’s collection and services need to be examined regularly.  This is because a rarely used resource, albeit a book or a service, holds no value to the user and ends up just being a liability.  However, whilst analytics can determine the number of times a resource is accessed or a service is used, it cannot determine the productivity of that interaction, nor can it determine if that interaction translates to increased learning outcomes (Walters, 2016).  Nevertheless, it can be inferred that low usage means low use and thus that resource or service needs to be re-examined for its value to the community.

 Lewin’s Library and its Academic Librarians.

Lewins Library academic librarians (AL) are passionate about the vital role they play in the academic success of their community.  Their role includes research development, information literacy development, faculty assistance, and client interaction which requires regular interaction with multiple stakeholders (Forbes & Keeran, 2017; Perini, 2016, p.65). However, ACU is a multicampus university and this means that the ALs are challenged to meet the dual needs of their own library and the needs of multiple campuses through the introduction of consortia collection building, digital reference services and campus wide information literacy skill development (Higgins, 2017, Ch.1).   However, in order to complete these range of services effectively, regular evaluation of programs, collection and services must be undertaken to ensure that the ALs and the library continues to meet the dynamic needs of their institution (Perini, 2016, p.65; Hossain, 2016).