Prior to commencing ETL401 Miss Lizzie’s view of the teacher librarian was largely based on interactions with and observations of teacher librarians with whom she had worked. These views are reflected in the New South Wales Department of School Education’s [NSW DSE, 1996] teacher librarian role statement (cited in Miss Lizzie 2013a). So, her perception of the role was:
· assisting teachers and students to design and implement research projects presented in print or PowerPoint format;
· teaching information skills;
· providing resources for teaching and learning;
· exposing students to quality literature;
· promoting reading;
· ordering and covering books;
· acquiring teacher resources;
· shelving books;
· managing student library monitors;
· organising displays during book week.
Miss Lizzie’s view of the role of teacher librarian whilst accurate in some ways, presented a shallow understanding of the professional knowledge, skills and commitment required to perform at a level of excellence. Her lack of awareness was particularly pronounced in understanding:
· the complex concept of information literacy (IL), how it is developed in students and its role in lifelong learning;
· the responsibility and leadership required to promote and coordinate a whole school focus in information literacy policy and implementation;
· the role as technology specialist in information and communication technologies (ICTs), web sites, web 2.0 tools, online curation tools, software and hardware and how to use them in teaching and learning;
· the expectation and value of engaging with professional literature and the community of teacher librarians for continuing professional development in the use of best practice;
· evidence based practice and its role in promoting and justifying the work of the teacher librarian and informing best practice;
· the provision of high quality resources accessible to all students regardless of reading level, learning style or disability
On March 21 Miss Lizzie (2013a, para. 5) demonstrated the beginning of understanding the librarian’s role in “leadership, professional involvement and development, promotion of the library and innovation.” However, there is little or no awareness of the role of evidence based practice, information literacy, digital technology and tools, the provision of high quality resources, equipping students for lifelong learning, or what “professional involvement and development” actually means (Miss Lizzie, 2013a, para. 5), despite exposure to ASLA’s (2004) Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians.
However, by March 22 Miss Lizzie (2013b, para. 4) demonstrates awareness of the teacher librarian as “information specialist and technology expert” and of lifelong learning through analysis of Herring (2007), Lamb (2011), Purcell (2010) and Valenza (2010). A stronger awareness of the role as leader in teaching the inquiry process to both teachers and students is emerging (Miss Lizzie, 2013c). At this stage Miss Lizzie believes that the role of teacher comes before the role of leader because “a leader must first have the skills and knowledge in programming, curriculum development, teaching strategies, classroom management, behaviour theory, information literacy, technology and so on in order to be able to develop (these) skills in others” (2013b, para. 9-10). She decided the way to create change is to “devise a library policy and plan, present it to the school leadership team and staff to discuss a change in culture and thinking about the library, the librarian and what can be offered or achieved by working collaboratively to improve student skills in information literacy and information technology” (Miss Lizzie, 2013b, para. 8).
However, on May 8, 2013 after readings regarding collaborative planning and teaching, Miss Lizzie (2013n) now believes it is better to start with small changes. Start by collaborating with one or a small group of teachers to teach information literacy through guided inquiry, to build a change in culture. Use data from evidence based practice and teacher advocacy to demonstrate the effectiveness of library programs, then a whole school approach to the development of information literacy can eventually be established along with principal support (Hay & Todd cited in Magner, 2013b; Hay & Todd cited in Miss Lizzie, 2013d).
Miss Lizzie’s emerging awareness of the importance of evidence based practice to the role of the teacher librarian was demonstrated in Blog Task 1 – ETL401 (Miss Lizzie, 2013e) and later confirmed and expanded in Assessment 1 – ETL401 (Magner, 2013c). Evidence based practice is an important and powerful tool for teacher librarians to use in the development of support for library programs and collaborative practice, but most of all for the development of best practice across all areas of library teaching and the provision of services (Todd; Lamb & Johnson, cited in Miss Lizzie, 2013c & 2013e).
Arguably one of the most important roles of the teacher librarian is to develop information literate students through inquiry learning, project based learning and through the use of an information processing model (Collins et al. cited in Miss Lizzie, 2013f; Callison, Eisenberg, Herring, Kuhlthau & Sheingold cited in Miss Lizzie, 2013h; Miss Lizzie, 2013l; Magner, 2013e). This view was formed over several weeks of study involving:
· the complex concept of information literacy, the skills and attributes it comprises as featured in Blog Task 3 – ETL401 (Miss Lizzie, 2013g);
· the transfer of information literacy practice across different contexts (Herring cited in Miss Lizzie, 2013k); and
· assessing inquiry learning (Miss Lizzie, 2013m).
After reflecting on the readings in these areas, especially those with practical examples of implementation such as in Sheerman 2011, Scheffers 2008 and Fitzgerald 2011, Miss Lizzie understood how to develop information literate students who are able to function in and contribute to society in the 21st century, which is ultimately the teacher librarian’s most important role.
Australian School Library Association. (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from: http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.aspx
Fitzgerald, L. (2011). The twin purposes of guided inquiry: Guiding student inquiry and evidence based practice. Scan, 30 (1), p. 26-41. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University Library.
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, NSW : Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.
Lamb, A. (2011). Bursting with Potential: Mixing a Media Specialist’s Palette. Techtrends: linking research & practice to improve learning, 55(4), 27-36. doi:10.1007/s11528-011-0509-3. Retrieved from: Charles Sturt University Library EbscoHost http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=c64def89-3898-47f4-ac4e-87cf3f408c8e%40sessionmgr11&vid=2&hid=24
Magner, E. (2013a, March 22). The Role I see Myself Fulfilling in the School as Teacher Librarian [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL401_201330_W_D/page/76dcc6a5-5ca4-4542-0021-bc0bd55b876d
Magner, E. (2013b, March 26). What is strategic thinking? [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL401_201330_W_D/page/57a326a0-4f42-4cbe-808d-b3033e63e519
Magner, E. (2013c, April 15). Assessment item 1: Teaching role of the teacher librarian. Winmalee: Elizabeth Magner
Magner, E. (2013d, April 27). Guided enquiry. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL401_201330_W_D/page/a8049058-9750-444e-8054-0966873990f5
Magner, E. (2013e, May 5). The convergence of information literacy and digital literacies. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL401_201330_W_D/page/6db26a1a-5e70-42c2-0024-aed54dd1461f
Miss Lizzie. (2013a). School librarian role statement. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/school-librarian-role-statement/
Miss Lizzie. (2013b). Compare and contrast the views of Herring, Purcell, Lamb, and Valenza. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/compare-and-contrast-the-views-of-herring-purcell-lamb-and-valenza/
Miss Lizzie. (2013c). The role of the teacher librarian – Forum 2.1. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/the-role-of-the-teacher-librarian-forum-2-1/
Miss Lizzie. (2013d). Making Priorities Clear and Palatable to the School Community – Think Strategically – Forum 2.2. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/making-priorities-clear-and-palatable-to-the-school-community-think-strategically-forum-2-2/
Miss Lizzie. (2013e). Evidence Based Practice and the Role of The Teacher Librarian – Blog Task 1 ETL401. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/evidence-based-practice-and-the-role-of-the-teacher-librarian-blog-post-1-etl401/
Miss Lizzie. (2013f). The teacher librarian and the curriculum. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/the-teacher-librarian-and-the-curriculum/
Miss Lizzie. (2013g). Information literacy is more than a set of skills – ETL401 blog task 3. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/information-literacy-is-more-than-a-set-of-skills-etl401-blog-task-3/
Miss Lizzie. (2013h). Information search process models. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/information-search-process-models/
Miss Lizzie. (2013i). Guided enquiry forum 4.1. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/guided-inquiry-etl-forum-4-1/
Miss Lizzie. (2013j). The role of the teacher librarian in the guided inquiry approach to learning – ETL401 blog task 2. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/the-role-of-the-teacher-librarian-in-the-guided-inquiry-approach-to-learning-etl401-blog-task-2/
Miss Lizzie. (2013k). Assessing information literacy and inquiry learning. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/information-literacy-and-transfer/
Miss Lizzie. (2013l). The convergence of information literacy and digital literacies – ETL401 forum 4.2. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/the-convergence-of-information-literacy-and-digital-literacies-etl401-forum-4-2/
Miss Lizzie. (2013m). Assessing information literacy and inquiry learning. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/assessing-information-literacy-and-inquiry-learning/
Miss Lizzie. (2013n). Collaborative teaching and planning. In The lively librarian: Learning to create stimulating spaces. Retrieved from https://thelivelylibrarian.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/collaborative-planning-and-teaching/
New South Wales Department of Education [NSW DET]. (2007). Information skills in the school: Engaging learners in constructing knowledge (2nd Ed.). School Libraries and Information Literacy unit, Curriculum K-12 Directorate, State of New South Wales through the NSW Department of Education and Training. Retrieved from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/teachingideas/isp/docs/infoskills.pdf
New South Wales Department of School Education. (1996). Handbook for school libraries: Second edition. New South Wales Department of School Education Curriculum Directorate.
Purcell, M. (2010). All Librarians Do Is Check out Books, Right? A Look at the Roles of a School Library Media Specialist. Library Media Connection, 29(3-), 30-33. Retrieved from: Charles Sturt University Library EbscoHost http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=f494ffe1-f549-45bb-91fa-246b7fbe1075%40sessionmgr4&vid=2&hid=24
Scheffers, J. (2008). Guided inquiry: A learning journey. In Scan, 27 (4), p.34-42. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University Library.
Sheerman, A. (2011). Accepting the challenge: Evidence based practice at Broughton Anglican College. In Scan, 30 (2), p. 24-33. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University Library.
Valenza, J (2010) Manifesto for 21st Century school librarians. Retrieved from: http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2010/12/03/a-revised-manifesto/