Created by Glenda Morris, a teacher librarian at an all-girls secondary school from Melboune. Interested in all things Web 2.0 and assisting teachers to integrate technologies into the curriculum.
The Role of Teacher Librarian
My studies improved my understanding of what a teacher-librarian means. It empowered me for a role that entails teaching learners, managing the library in the face of limitations, changes in learning, pedagogies, information and technologies including Web2.0 tools to meet the needs of 21st century learning, school’s mission and acquire lifetime skills.
I’ve realised that if I’m to be an excellent teacher-librarian as ALIA and ASLA (2004) state in the Professional Knowledge standards I should “1.1 understand the principles of lifelong learning ”and “3.1 model and promote lifelong learning” I have acquired many valuable lessons by teaching students techniques or skills through inquiry/research on how to critically and independently decide and identify what they need, take out quality information from the great number of relevant sources and use it effectively. These transferable skills will assist the students in problem-solving, studies, research or work. It is hoped that teaching students how to learn independently will empower them in acquiring key competencies, tackling future challenges, gaining self-confidence and valuing their contribution to the society. To address individual differences, tutorials, lectures and activities will be promptly provided to help any student in need of direction or motivation. I must encourage learners to keep studying, observe ethics in creating and sharing information using new technologies and encourage reading throughout their school life and beyond in readiness for the future.
Another essential standard is “1.2 know about learning and teaching across the curriculum areas and developmental levels” which can be seen through collaboration with teachers and school community members through curriculum resourcing, classroom lessons and projects for learning and teaching through different year levels. I was able to adapt what I have learned through the library lessons I have given to different classes with regard to researching for their assessments in art, religion and science in collaboration with teachers. Such partnerships built community spirit, personal relationships, respect and understanding for teachers as well as students also allowing mastery of the curriculum and “1.3 have a rich understanding of the school community and curriculum”.
My studies and readings equipped me to “1.4 have a specialist knowledge of information, resources, technology and library management” and guide students how to critically evaluate information, formats and resources in the library through the research they did on artists for their assessment. I helped students complete their work by using the online catalogue, laptops and iPads efficiently. For their work they were able to create PowerPoint presentations and share with others what they have learned.
For professional development as recommended by ALIA (2012), I should join conferences, online training, Incite, SCAN and Australian Library Journal and professional development schemes. I must attend seminars by Syba Signs such as The Daring Librarian, Hands-on workshops and How2 of Web2.0: online learning program. I must be forward-thinking, flexible and dynamic in undertaking my duties in the library with teachers, students and other school community members. I should exchange ideas and strategies with others through social networking within and outside the school community.
I’ve learned how to “2.1 engage and challenge learners within a supportive, information rich learning environment “ by running a library that is responsive to the needs of students to read, improve their information and computer literacy and develop critical and independent thinking. I was able to achieve this by helping put up book displays and competitions on reading, guiding them through the research process, providing the best available resources in various formats and assisting them in using laptops and iPads that truly involved them. In the process they were able to report in class and get good marks on their test.
I learned to “2.2 collaboratively plan and resource curriculum programs which incorporate transferable information literacy and literature outcomes” and “2.3 provide exemplary library and information services consistent with national standards”.
My studies and readings assisted me in collaborating and consulting with teachers, parents and students in assessing what resources or services are needed, recommended and required to support the curriculum. The library acquired good reading and study materials that both interest teachers and students as well as comply with the Australian standards. Moreover, library lessons on research were organized to instil good study habits that students can use in tackling assignments, reports and tests. The combined effort encouraged the search for knowledge, created learning opportunities, and developed good study habits. Another outcome of this collaboration was the chance to “2.4 evaluate student learning and library programs and services to inform professional practice”. I have learned that as an efficient teacher-librarian I must ensure that students learn through the resources and services the library provides. To show evidence is to collaborate, consult, study, survey, interview and test the learners. The regular evaluation can be used for improvement and development. I must focus on teaching and providing fundamental information literacy lessons, literary appreciation and services to students through interaction, using various formats, levels or languages required. They must motivate students to learn, create and share.
Created by Jennifer LaGarde , a former language arts, now a teacher-librarian at Myrtle Grove Middle School, has only been in the library field for five years. Yet she’s having a big impact. Her knowledge-sharing presentations and library advocacy, most notably through the North Carolina School Library Media Association, influence librarians statewide. She is also one of the winners of the 2011 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times American Library Association I Love My Librarian! award.
I must consult ACARA’s (2011) curriculum developments to update me on resourcing and changes that will impact the students. I must undertake ALIA’s (2012) professional development workshops, CEO (2012) training to educate me on current educational innovations or pedagogical changes, read SCAN for resources and educational developments and undertake TAFE’s professional framework for teachers, leadership or management courses to become an effective teacher-librarian. I should use Web2.0 tools to explore for more learning opportunities and growth.
Collection Development and Access
I learned to “3.2 commit to the principles of education and librarianship”by appreciating more than ever the importance of a library collection development policy in realizing the library’s mission, fulfilling the students’ needs and committing to professional service. To succeed here is to plan well, specify, concisely present and clearly write it with school community members to support the curriculum. I realised that an exchange of knowledge or ideas through networking can help in policy making. To “3.3 demonstrate leadership within school and professional communities,”I must lead in promoting reading- centered on learner’s needs and access to resources and services. As teacher-librarian, I must be proactive, flexible and attuned with 21st century learners by using new reliable technology and advancing literacy and development in the school community and beyond.
My studies encouraged me to “3.4 actively participate in education and library professional networks “ by supporting, connecting and exchanging of ideas with community members in school and teacher-librarian organisations like OZTL_Net, oz-TeacherNet and ALIAnet (Cartwright, 2010). I need to improve professionally by participating in teaching, learning and library management courses or training workshops as recommended by ALIA (2012) and CEO (2006) to be an excellent teacher-librarian.
Maybe I can take part in what teacher librarians are doing for professional development as shown in the Australian school libraries research project, Report 1 created by ASLA, ALIA and ECU.
ACARA (2011). Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/curriculum.html
ASLA/ALIA (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from
ALIA (2011). Finding your way. Retrieved from http://www.alia.org.au/education/pd/finding.your.way.with.PD.pdf
ALIA (2012). 60+ideas for your Professional Development. Retrieved from http://www.alia.org.au/education/pd/60_ideas_for_your_PD.pdf
Catholic Education Office, Sydney (2012). Professional development. Retrieved from http://www.ceosyd.catholic.edu.au/Teachers/Learning/Pages/ProfDev.aspx
Syba Signs (2008). Seminars. Retrieved from http://www.sybasigns.com.au/seminars.htm
TAFE (2006). The NSW Professional framework for teachers. Retrieved from http://lrrpublic.cli.det.nsw.edu.au/ lrrSecure/Sites/Web/13289/aboutus/ ourwork/pdmodels/framework_teachers.htm