Super Librarians – New Breed


Evidence based learning sounds fantastic! And yes, Librarians and Teacher Librarians do seem to be “uniquely placed to model the principles of Evidence-based practice” (Ritchie 1999).  In fact how wonderful our society would be if most areas adopted this method.

However (!), I wonder where this breed of SUPER – Librarians is to come from.  Where they will come from, whether they will be recognized for the work they do, whether they’ll be paid in accordance to their SUPERIORITY and, perhaps more importantly, whether they’ll be given the opportunity to effect the changes to student learning outcomes which the research shows they are able to do?

Idealistically and theoretically I think it’s great.

Practically I just feel scared.

We are required to

a)   read all the current academic research (ongoing)-analyse, integrate, apply, communicate the research

b)   do our own research

c)   advocate for change and challenge the misconceptions of our T/L roles.

(Todd 2007)

In addition we need to do all the other aspects of our roles as so well expressed in Joyce Valenza’s Manifesto for 21st century School Librarians.

SUPER – Librarians indeed!


Even if we were to manage the above, there seems to be no guarantee that governments and education departments will decide to maintain T/L positions. (This seems to be of more concern in states such as Victoria and South Australia)  For the time being at least the Federal government seems to recognize the importance of T/L’s. It is apparent that we need to effect some major changes and adopt much of the EBL and Manifesto’s advice in a very short space of time!

I am heartened by Shellie Pratt’s forum post (ETL 401 Topic 2, 8 August 2012) which reminds us of the Dr Seuss book ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’.

I bought this book for my children, to inspire them and also to comfort them.

Perhaps I need to put down the academic readings for a moment and reacquaint myself with Dr Seuss!


Thanks to Ross J Todd and Joyce Valenza for scaring me silly!

Thanks to Shellie Pratt for pointing me in the direction of inspiration!

And thanks of course to Dr Seuss and his talent!


Ritchie, Ann. (1999). ‘Evidence-Based Decision-Making.’ InCite 20, no. 12:33.

Todd, R. J. (2007). Evidence-based practice and school libraries. In S. Hughes-Hassell & V. H. Harada (Eds.), School reform and the school library media specialist (pp. 57-78). Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited

Joyce Valenza’s (2010) Manifesto for 21st Century School Librarians



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