Sunday, October 3, 2010

CSU ETL 401 Ass2 Part C: The role of the teacher librarian— a reflection

The role of the teacher librarian— a reflection
There are generally gaps between preconceived ideas and theories and actual reality and this certainly existed in the beginning of this ten-week learning journey discovering the world of the teacher librarian. The following reflection will summarise the most new and practical knowledge discovered during this intense study period. This reflection will be divided into three themes: teacher librarian and the school community; collaboration and professional practices; and pedagogy, learning and assessing.
Teacher librarian and the school community
The teacher librarian is an integral member of the school community who has a variety of roles and responsibilities and relationships extending from whole school management and organisation to individual students. This understanding of the extensive role of the teacher librarian is also described when comparing international, national and state professional teacher librarian standards statements as discussed by Armstrong (2010, 28 July).
A teacher librarian is a leader and advocate of information literacy and Henri (2005) and Herring (2007) discuss this and the vision of an information literate school community. These reading argue that the teacher librarian because of unique knowledge and professional and community relationships can play a vital role to establish, coordinate, manage and report on collaborative teaching activities that are centred on student learning. The most profound aspect of this is that a teacher librarian can build learning partnerships over the whole school to encourage a discourse of learning and sharing and improving that will permeate throughout the school community. This idea is most compelling as a beginning teacher who is struggling with the gaps between teaching and learning theories and actual school practice and a dream of what teaching and learning could be.
Collaboration and professional practices
The work of the teacher librarian also includes participation in planning and policy committees, curriculum and programming planning and membership of the school executive as discussed by Henri (2005). These collaborative roles place the teacher librarian in a position to advocate for resources and equipment and promote information literacy within all areas of the school. The teacher librarian is also a professional who must manage all aspects of the library from access to resource management.
Pedagogy, learning and assessing
An information literate school community is characterised by learning partnerships that focus on increasing student ability to access, analyse and use information for a variety of purposes. The teacher librarian does not work in isolation but collaborates with the principal and classroom teachers to develop information literacy skills of students through designing and implementing authentic research and information tasks for the classroom, computer laboratory and library. The inquiry-learning model as discussed by Kuhlthau, Maniotes and Caspari (2007) provides an excellent framework to build these learning plans as this model encourages students to construct knowledge through a series of scaffolded tasks and stages resulting in the creation of an assessable product. Information processing models provide a structure to teach researching skills. Therefore to actively fulfil this collaborative role a teacher librarian must have knowledge of available multimodal resources and knowledge of the curriculum, school learning programs, and individual students learning differences. This knowledge combined with action research initiatives that assess effectiveness of programs will benefit student learning.
When I began this course I thought that the teacher librarian role would be divided into collections maintenance, teaching basic cataloguing and research skills to students and promoting new resources. Library lessons would be divided between reading, skill development and borrowing. I was actually hesitant that this would not be professionally satisfying but I am relieved to discover that the work of the library extends to the whole school and its impact to teaching and learning is only limited by the efforts of the teacher librarian. This role is so much more and the skills in technology, communication, organisation and management developed before my teaching study will be called upon to deliver with my colleagues learning programs to build student information literacy skills. This learning journey has opened my eyes to the transformative role of teacher librarians and libraries as discussed by Hay and Foley (2009), a role that is dynamic and one that leads innovation in technology in a school. It is a role that inspires through demonstration of new practices and it is a role that communicates performance through presentation and reporting. A teacher librarian is no longer locked inside a library but influences and guides all school policy and practice. Today’s teacher librarian requires a passion for information and learning, a love of technology innovation and a determination to implement change to ensure students develop sound critical literacy skills needed to communicate in the 21 Century. I am inspired more than ever to complete these studies.
Armstrong, M. (2010, 28 July). MegTopic2TLRoleStatements. Retrieved from
Hay, L. & Foley, C. (2009). School libraries building capacity for student learning in 21C. Scan, 28 (3), 17–26)
Henri, J. (2005). Understanding the information literate school community. In J. Henri & M. Asselin (Eds.), The information literate school community 2: Issues of leadership (pp. 11–26). Australia: Charles Sturt University.
Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.), Libraries in the twenty-first century : charting new directions in information (pp. 27–42). Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.
Kuhlthau, C. C., Maniotes, L. K., & Caspari, A. K. (2007). Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century. (Chapter One). Retrieved from

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Brainstorming session

Dear All
I have decided to venture into yet again unknown technology waters and rather that do the unusual brainstorm on paper, today I discovered a feature in Google Docs and a great brainstorming temple. So here is my brainstorm for Part C of the second assignment in subject 401. From this I will now synthesis and add references to somehow tell the my TL Role story in 750 words. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Freedom to read Freedom

Dear Fellow Readers and CSU TL Students
Well I could have blogged a million more times than this but I find I reflect best on my learning when going to sleep and I am not about to jump out  of bed and write my experiences then. My learning journey is having ups and downs. Like some others my mark for the 401 first assignment was not that good, but I really appreciated the markers comments and these have really helped with some more reflecting. It gives rise to the importance of divergent input and how valuable this is to practice. Sometimes you cannot see the forest for the trees.
So my head is meshing the two tasks from subject 401 and 501 and they are inter-related to a point. Quetions that keep me pondering is how much is enough information for kids in primary school. Do they really need 15 resources. I remember my projects were based on the World Book Encyclopedia and another resource. There used to be school project guides from news agencies and you use the information (rewrite it in your own words-ha! ha! Ha!) and use the pictures as well. The whole thing could be cut up as it was an inexpensive resource. Those were the days my friends. Well now we have the Internet and I am not so sure that all that information is a good thing.
TL work is much more complex and demanding than I ever imagined and synthesing the readings and trying to analysising the purpose fof assignments is causing a lot of brain strain.
Well back to dinner, reading, reflecting
I am really looking forward to reading Franzens Freedom. Did anyone else read the Corrections. Just got to finish the assignments first.
Calling all muses to help me make the connections and join the dots

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Voki and reading

Today I have made a voki which I will be able to use here as well in the pathfinder I want to create.
The site said to paste in this information but I am not so sure that this the correct way.
I am learning more about the work of the teacher librarian and I am beginning to start the second assignment. I can see now that I am experiencing the first phase of Dewey's Reflecting Thinking: Suggestion (doubt due to incomplete situation), hopefully I can move into the final phase, Action (Idea tested by overt or imaginative action). The other thing I like about Dewey's idea is that procrastination is part of the process which he titled 'Intellectualisation' conceptualising the problem. Cheers

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Assignments are never easy

Dear Web readers
When will I ever learn that assignments are a continual struggle of joining the dots to make the picture. The trick is trying to work out the code and then justifying why you did it. I realise now that TL worlds are huge and we have the capacity to change the look of teaching. Yeah lets go collaborative, inventive, and inquire. Build the learning together- it has got to be better than devising day plans and roaming the web for suitable resources or making resources again again. Go the sharing- then you have more time for invention and reflection....

The assignments are not in yet

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Oh my the weeks are flying by
I planned another great teaching day
Only to be reflecting on the issues that will not go away
The children keep talking not matter what I say
Oh to be a new teacher
If only a fairy godmother with a magic wand would come my way to make it all a lot better
The plan for next week is to have learning time and break time
30 minutes learning means 10 minutes of play
Teacher librarian reading has focused on the who, what, where and how
And I now have a jumble of ideas that need to be ordered before the 23 August comes around
I have found another blog maker so if you have the time have a butchers hook
So onto topic 4
To clear the floor before that 501

My thought for the day is: are Teacher Librarians a luxury in a school or an essential human learning resource

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time wasting has started already

Well I have now reorganised the desk and filed teaching materials. I have pulled weeds. But I will not clean the oven until this semester is finished.
To more serious matters I have read one of the essential readings, mulled over issues of libraries in the 21C and can see great divides between theory and actual practice. I can see a very changing role of librarians in future but I still hope in this era information literacy there will still be time for sharing the joy of reading and how this can contribute to our social literacy.
Tomorrow I will complete my program of reading and assignment writing (well hopefully..)