Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Information Literacy

Information Literacy

Just as the capacity to read, write, and understand has evolved to include the current technology of the day, the learned ability to understand information, be it called Information Literacy, critical literacy, digital literacy, functional literacy, information literacy, information skills, study skills and even environmental literacy is evolving and seems to be changed by how it’s used and the perspective of who’s using it (Langford,  1998)    

An intriguing argument arises where 'information literacy is a concept that has been developed by academics, business and government’, but I find it a bit strange that they cannot agree on what comprises Information Literacy, while we as TL’s (and Librarians) have to develop programs that will achieve this and in the meantime still instruct students what is, how it’s used and when they might use information literacy skills.
  • reflect on their ability to identify a purpose for and creative use of information and ideas both within the school and elsewhere
  • transfer information skills across subjects and year levels in the school
  • transfer relevant information skills from school to further/higher education and to the workplace
  • learn and adapt to new information skills required in many workplace setting

The last 4 points of Herring and Tarter’s (2006, p.3) view of information literacy is close to the model that we use at TAFE. Where the literate student can:
I instruct students every day on ‘information literacy’, but after the reading I find that I still have so much to learn.  

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

First rung - ETL401 - Principals and TLs

Principals and TLs

Many of the reading have stressed that it is the TL (or media specialist), not the Principal, that has the responsibility to start discussions in regard to developing collaborative learning programs between the TL’s and the teachers within the school environment.
The abilities that TL’s exhibit have contributed to improving student learning outcomes, confirming that students can benefit from TLs who create and implement effective  library programs. This should not come as a surprise to school principals, as TLs and education Librarians have existed for quite some time and their skills have been developing over that time, they have not just suddenly arrived. Besides they hired them they, (principals) should know what they are capable of.

I have known Librarians/TLs who have large staff and bigger operating budgets than educational managers, but are still not treated by Directors /Principles as any more than manipulators of texts and ignore their actual abilities. In reality, as stated by Oberg, numerous ‘Principals aren't even aware of the potential of the teacher librarian’. On the reverse side some Directors /Principles go out of their way to support and encourage TLs to do everything in their power to influence and improve student learning outcomes.        

Librarians and TLs are introverted by nature, we (on this forum) and elsewhere tell each other what we can do and achieve but are we telling those who can make a difference, to our field and from us to the students.

Farmer, L. (2007). Principals: Catalysts for collaboration. School Libraries Worldwide, 13(1), 56-65.

Hartzell, G., (2002) 'What's It Take?' (presented at the Washington White House Conference on School Libraries)

Haycock, K. (2007). Collaboration: Critical success factors for student learning. School Libraries Worldwide, 13(1), 25-35.

Morris, B. J., & Packard, A. (2007). The principal's support of classroom teacher-media specialist collaboration. School Libraries Worldwide, 13(1), 36-55.

Oberg, D. (2006). Developing the respect and support of school administrators. Teacher Librarian, 33(3), 13-18.