Monday, 24 September 2012

First rung - ETL401 - Blog task #3

Information literacy is more than a set of skills.

It is difficult to acquire a conclusive classification of information literacy. The literature presented me with a lack of clarity within the writings of the experts, who themselves appear to be unable agree on a definable understanding on what information literacy is. I believe that Bruce (1997, P. 10), was correct when she stated that as teachers ‘our understanding of Information Literacy (IL) is problematic’. Langford (1998) also believes that those responsible for teaching don’t appear to truly understand the information process let alone information literacy. Eisenberg and Small (1993, p. 269) defined IL as ‘‘acquisition methods, information seeking and problem solving procedures’’ however Eisenberg (2008) later defined IL as the ‘‘basic skills set of the 21st century’’.
To be information literate is, according to Lloyd (2007, p. 182), to be able to “access and evaluate information, to think about information, and to demonstrate and document the process of that thinking”, while Todd, (2000) states that “Information Literacy is the bridge between ‘Learning to read’ and ‘Reading to Learn’”.

My perspective of information literacy has altered from first seeing it as a set of skills to be taught and mastered, to now considering the rote list of skills to be only one part of the adaptive process that is information literacy. This view is supported by the readings that describe information literacy as a process that encourages the learner to discover, understand, evaluate and make use of a range of information from a variety of sources (Abilock, 2004) as a process that can be scaffolded within the curriculum.
The ability to seek, critically evaluate, synthesize and use information conveyed by means of spoken language, print and multi-media, is as an essential skill to learn for information age students as “learning the “three R's” were for people educated in the 1950s”. (Queensland Dept. of Education, 2000, p. 9).

 How will i make it happen in my school.
The development of information literacy as an accepted process within the schools curriculum will require the teacher librarian to collaborate with all stakeholders, showing all involved the benefits of collaboration to themselves, each other and their students (Small). TLs can establish an information literacy model such as Kuhlthau’s ISP, Herring’s PLUS model or Eisenberg and Berkowitz’s Big 6 model to develop the groundwork critical thinking through the scaffolding of IL skills.
TLs must collaboratively format the use of IL skills within the curriculum, ensuring the student are able to transfer these skills from subject to subject and across all media, according to Newman (2010) the term transliteracy, embraces the use of all the developing information medias, and is “the social construction of meaning via diverse media.” (Ipri, 2010, p. 567).

School learning environments are designed to nurture the development of information literacy skills, which are essential to 20th century knowledge. Information Literacy must be an enduring process by scaffolding acquired and transferable skills that will empower students in their “lifelong learning”. Teacher librarians, as a information literacy teacher can contribute to this process by using a guided inquiry model and the school library as a laboratory (Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari, 2007) to provide not only teaching and learning resources for our students, but the skills required to locate, evaluate and comprehend information through the use of multiple ICT technologies and formats, assisting them to continue independently long after they have left the academic arena


Abilock, D. (2004). Information literacy: an overview of design, process and outcomes.

Bruce, C. S. (1997). The Seven faces of information literacy. Blackwood: South Australia. Auslib Press.

Cooke, N. A. (2007), Preventing plagiarism and library anxiety. In Clayton, S. J. (Ed.),
Going the Distance: Library instruction for remote learners (pp. 73-79). London: Neal–Schuman Publishers.

Eisenberg, M. B. (2008). Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age.
DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 28(2), pp39-47

Eisenberg, M. & Small, R. V. (1993). Information based education – an investigation of the
nature and role of information attributes in education. Information Processing and Management, 29 (2). pp. 263-275.

Ipri, T.(2010). Introducing transliteracy. College & Research Libraries News, 71(10), 532-

Kuhlthau, C. C., Maniotes, L. K. & Caspari, A. K. (2007). Guided inquiry: learning in the 21st
century. Westpoint, Connecticut.: Libraries Unlimited

Langford, L (1998). Information literacy: a clarification. School Libraries Worldwide, 4(1),
pp. 59-72.

Lloyd, A. (2007). Learning to put out the red stuff; becoming information literate through
discursive practice. Library Quarterly, 77 (2), pp. 181–198p. Retreved from

Newman, B. L. (2010). The Role of Libraries in a Transliterate World.

Queensland. Dept of Education.  (2000). Literate futures: report of the literacy review for
Queensland state schools.  Brisbane, Qld.:  Department of Education. Retrieved from

Small, R. V. (2002). Collaboration: Where Does It Begin? Teacher Librarian, 29(5)

Todd, R. (2000). A theory of information literacy: In-formation and outward looking. In C.
Bruce, & P. Candy, (Eds.). Information literacy around the world (pp. 163-175.) NSW, Australia: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

First rung - ETL401 - Management

Topic 6 - Management

Managing my time is always my biggest failing… procrastination is my MO, so Wilson's article on opting what to give 100% to was illuminating but very scary… 100%!!

So I must plan my day – and break it down into manageable chunks of time in order to achieve set tasks and balance what I need to achieve against what I can achieve.

Gilman’s article on librarians/library staff not listening to one another struck a chord. In collaboration do we find that we only agree with the opinions we already accept or do we only agree without intending to really ‘change’ anything at all and retain the existing state of affairs. ‘Change’ is not to be found in the vocabulary of some of the older style librarians.

Of the two persons that inspire me the most at my institute, when I thought about them, I discovered that they both exhibit the same approaches when working with both staff and students
They both have a science degree; one is an access teacher and the other a campus Librarian and my mentor, however they both:

Display an incredible amount of enthusiasm, at all times.

Put the requirements of staff and students foremost

Works collaboratively with all other staff, planning with others to organize the best support for classes within the library and in general classrooms

Are extremely good communicators, getting their own ideas across clearly as well as being willing to accept new ideas from others

Does not take work home; they have made a conscious decision to separate work and private life

Passionate about learning and the library and shares this passion with all around them

Love the idea of new technology, the using, the buying, incorporating into teaching

Sunday, 9 September 2012

First rung - ETL401 - Blog Task #2

The Role of the Teacher Librarian in practice with regard to Principal support
The readings have enhanced my understanding of the collaboration required between teachers, teacher librarians (TLs) and school principals, collaboration that is essential to achieve the shared goal of all three parties, a successful student learning outcome.

The principal’s support of any school library program will be essential to its success (Shannon, 2009); and various readings suggest that this support is critical to the successful development of any integrated learning program (Farmer, 2007; Hartzell, 2002; Haycock, 2007; Morris, 2007 & Oberg, 2006). TLs know that successful student learning is determined by their positive collaboration with the school community and explicitly with that of the principal (Farmer, 2007, p. 2). This holistic collaboration benefits not only the individual parties but the school community as a whole (Farmer, 2007; Haycock, 2007; Morris, 2007), as there is evidence supporting increased student achievement being connected with the close involvement of TLs and the services they provide (Haycock, 2007; Todd, 2003).
Within the readings, I have observed that where Principals understand and support collaboration between TLs and teachers, they are more likely to value collaboration and communication between the TL and the administration (Todd, 2003); allowing TLs to assume a central role in student achievement when their essential contributions are recognized (Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari, 2007, p. 55).

Conversely, not all principals are aware of the benefits the TL can present to both students and teachers. TLs must alter this perception as a principal’s primary source of information regarding the benefits of a library program is the school TL (Hartzell, 2002b). Brophy (2001, p. 9) suggests ‘libraries should demonstrate that they are providing viable services, based on improving and supporting teaching, learning and research, because the fact is that that much of what libraries actually achieve is intangible to management’. Farmer (2007) proposes that TLs must lead by demonstrating the benefits of collaboration between all participants; Principals must be shown that with committed support, the teaching role of TLs need not be limited to students, but can be extended to deliver effective professional development to teachers (Todd, Gordon, & Lu, 2011). This can be encouraged by Principals allocating the appropriate professional development funds and time allowances (Hartzell, 2002a; Morris, 2007).

The readings present a disparity in the quantity and quality of cooperation that TLs receive; principals are a major factor in the Library and the TL achieving or not achieving a strong library program (Oberg, 2006). Teachers who recognise the commitment of the principal to the school library and observe its support will also be willing to commit and collaborate with its programs (Todd, Gordon, & Lu, 2011). 
Should TLs trap principals into attending library conferences, as Snyder (2004) suggests, or encourage Principals to observe their teaching programs and planning sessions showing how they contribute to the school and enhance achievement as Haycock (2004) advocates. This is born out by Small, (2002) who stated that, "Collaboration cannot be fully realized without creating a collaborative culture in which all partners see the importance and understand the benefits of collaboration to themselves, each other and their students".

In looking back over the readings, I understand that TLs need to be active in informing their principals in regard to what they do, in order that they can gain support in continuing this process. They need to have an active part in planning, administration and curriculum committees. Collaboration must continue with the library as a central pivot point of learning and the TLs as the ‘gatekeeper’, taking responsibility for ongoing communication with all participants, Teachers, Teacher Librarians and Principals to continue the collaboration (Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari 2007, p. 58).


Brophy, P. (2001). The library in the twenty–first century: new services for the
information age. London: Library Association publishing.

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

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

Hartzell, G. (2002b). The multiple dimensions of principal involvement. School
Libraries Worldwide, 8(1), 43-48

Haycock, K. (2004). Evidence-based practice. Teacher Librarian, 32(1), p. 6.
Retrieved from

Haycock, K. (2007). Collaboration: Critical Success Factors for Student Learning. School
Libraries Worldwide 13(1). pp. 25-35.

Kuhlthau, C. C., Maniotes, A. K. & Caspari, L.K. (2007). Guided Inquiry: learning in the
21st century. Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.

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

Oberg, D. (2006). Developing the Respect and Support of School Administrators.
Teacher Librarian, 33(3), pp 13-18.

Shannon, D. M. (2009). Principals’ Perspectives of School Librarians. School
 Libraries Worldwide. 15(2)

Small, R. V. (2002). Collaboration: Where Does It Begin? Teacher Librarian, 29(5)

Snyder, T. (2004). Gaining the Hearts of Administrators. Teacher Librarian, 31(4). P. 75.

Todd, R. J. (2003). Irrefutable evidence: How to prove you boost student achievement.
School Library Journal. Retrieved from

Todd, R. J., Gordon, C. A. & Lu, Y. (2011). One common goal: Student learning:
Executive Summary of Findings and Recommendations of the New Jersey School Library Survey Phase 2. New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL). Retrieved from

Monday, 3 September 2012

Different levels of appreciation

Different levels of appreciation
It is amazing how you make a mark on the lives of some of our students without realising it. I work in Queensland in a TAFE library with between 600 and 900 students through the doors each day; a majority of our students that we work closely with are English as second language students. Last Friday a colleague and I were discussing the closure of two department libraries and the sacking of all the staff from those libraries, as well as the pending sacking of some of the staff from our own library. An international student overheard us discussing this situation and jumped to the conclusion that our library was going to close: she and the others around her were horrified at the prospect, they offered to sign anything, wanted to know who they could talk to about it, one even offered to protest (somewhere) to get it changed.     
We get thanked by teachers and sometimes by students for helping them with their projects or referencing or IT problems, but I believe that we as TLs or Librarians don’t realise how much some students value the support that we give and a place of learning that we provide. One students summed it up when she said “Oh my God, what am I going to do, where am I going to go to get someone to help me”.
On one hand we have Government who don’t appreciate us and what we do and close us down, and on the other hand we have students who really need us and are willing to fight to keep us, the ‘light bulb’ moments when I can help a student to get it, are why I love working in libraries.