Critical Evaluation of the 4C’s

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The ASU’s library channel shows interesting and innovative – at least to me- uses of social networking media to enhance and improve it’s role and function within the University life.

But is the ASU successful at utilising Web2.0 technologies as well as the underlying concepts of the 4C’s (collaboration, conversation, community and content creation)?

Let’s begin with the 1-minute videos, which are posted on the library channel.  These are short, informative, interesting, humorous and fun.  They update the image of the library whilst informing students and the public on various topics. Do they incorporate the 4C’s?  Collaboration is only occurring on the level behind the scenes between the presenter, camera person and presumably the librarian.  Collaboration with the audience is not occurring though.  Similarly, a conversation is not happening and there is no interactivity between the presenter and the audience.  However a conversation may occur after viewing a video between viewers and also between the viewer and library/librarian as they utilise the information presented. The community is addressed by effectively getting the audience in to and using the library. A community is not created though of people watching videos. This is true also of content creation.  The content is one way from the library to the audience.

Let’s look at the library’s Facebook page. It appears to incorporate all the 4C’s. A conversation is created and ongoing with the freedom to go in the direction of any of the viewers as well as the library.  Whilst a lot of the content may initially be uploaded by the library, this can be added to and other content uploaded by the Facebook users.  The library is able to also build on its community within the Facebook platform.  Finally there is capacity for collaboration to occur easily in this platform as well.

Another of the library’s Web 2.0 tools is the Twitter account.  It appears to also incorporate the 4C’s in a way very similar to Facebook.  The major difference is Twitter is limited in its length of posts. The home page for the Twitter account is also more limited than that of Facebook.  For the purpose of the library I believe both Twitter and Facebook allow it to achieve the 4C’s.  Twitter is perhaps more immediate in its reach.

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INF506 Assignment 1 Nov 19

A) DEFINE WHAT SOCIAL NETWORKING IS (IN YOUR OWN WORDS)

Social networking is using the Internet -specifically WEB2.0- and all its myriad of apps, sites and programs to interact. The interaction can be between individual users, between businesses, between users and businesses. It is about building networks. The networks come together either due to similar interests and or needs.

A misconception of social networking is that it only serves a purpose for social reasons. Despite its name, this is not the case. Whilst it does also do this, social networking encompasses many needs beyond that. Businesses and governments using social networking sites can inform and even influence many people quickly and easily. Conversely individuals can effectively place pressure on businesses and governments to change policy and procedures through social networking sites (e.g. the recent Alan Jones online petition).

Social networking is the voluntary interaction of people, groups of people, businesses and governments due to similar interests and /or needs. Social networking achieves this by using the Internet and WEB2.0 tools.

B) WHAT SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES DO YOU USE?

Prior to beginning my Masters earlier in the year, I was pretty much avoiding the use of social networking sites. I occasionally ventured onto Flickr if a friend posted me the link to their photos and allowed me access; this is the same with Facebook. I relied primarily upon texting and emailing as my form of social interaction which did not happen face to face. Online voucher sites (Scoopon, Cudo) were also subscribed to.
ETL401 got me using Delicious, RSS feeds and a blog. Somewhere along the way I became aware of Google Docs.
Now, INF506 has got me having twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr accounts in addition to my blog and Delicious accounts.

C) DESCRIBE WHAT YOU EXPECT TO LEARN AFTER COMPLETING INF506.

I hope to learn how to use the social networking sites I’ve now subscribed to in an effective and useful way. I hope to learn how to use the sites within the school, library and educational contexts.

Assignment 2 Part B Critical Reflection

Provide a critical synthesis of your reflection on how your view of the role of the teacher librarian may have changed during the subject.

This should include examples captured from your three compulsory blog tasks, other personal reflections posted on your blog, and from participation in the ETL401 forums. Since this a university assignment, you should also include in-text references and a Reference list at the end of the blog post using the APA referencing format.

Word count: 750 words +/- 10%

 

 

 

Reflecting back over the last couple of months of study has been an interesting experience. It has proven helpful as an acknowledgement of how much I’ve learnt and how much I didn’t know at the beginning.

 

Initially I found I was in awe of the ‘fullness’ of the role of the TL – the potential for what the role could entail.  I like so many others had little idea of what exactly an excellent TL could accomplish.  Although these were initial understandings, they have remained with me unchanged since then.  They fill me with terror as well as pride.  Terror at the precedent set by all the hard working TL’s in the world and pride at the thought that I was to be joining their ranks and might one day be increasing student learning outcomes throughout an entire school.

 

Misconceptions of the TL role are a recurrent theme throughout my semester of study, first appearing in ‘Where to Now – teacher librarians?’ (Eyre, 2012). I discuss the misconceptions and how TL’s can counteract them.  I mention the online discussion via NSW TL listserv into proving a TL’s worth and the necessity felt by these TL’s to get their message out. My tone (an important indicator in reflecting feelings) at this stage was one of ‘professional observation’. These ideas were new to me and I was absorbing them with very little personal investment.  Blog Task 1 (Eyre, 2012a) saw the theme continue with direct quotes form sources AASL and the Australian House of Representatives report into School Libraries and Librarians in the 21 century.  The task also introduced the idea that technology has changed the TL role, as well as the importance of the school principal to the role.

 

With regards to technology my view has developed into a more measured and detailed one and I no longer believe technology is the catalyst for the role changing. This change in view started to become apparent in ‘Teacher Librarian priorities for the 21st century’ (Eyre, 2012b) where I explain the TL’s priorities haven’t really changed over the previous 60 or so years. The tools (digital technology) used and physical environment in which a TL works have changed but not the priorities. Eyre, 2012b also reveals a shift in tone. The use of capitalization and exclamation marks for emphasis reveals a greater investment in the topic.

 

Principal support was a major part of the Blog Task 1.  I quoted from required readings, newspaper articles and the NSW Principal’s Association to prove that Principals often overlook the library when it comes to funding as well as not fully understanding the role of the TL. These ideas are reiterated in ‘Feelings at the end of Subject 1’ (Eyre, 2012c). The tone of Blog Task 1 is one of cautious optimism. ‘Teacher Librarians should embrace this time, ‘step up to the mark’ and be a part of the race towards better student outcomes’ (Eyre, 2012c, final paragraph)

Another theme to be found in my writings is that of TL responsibility. In Eyre 2012b, I state that if all TL’s had been following the basic priorities, then perhaps there wouldn’t be such a conversation happening around their role and worth today. I make a call to ensure that TL’s are performing at their peak and adhering to core values.  My tone was starting to reflect a level of frustration with members of the profession. TL responsibility is continued in Eyre, 2012d; Eyre, 2012f and Eyre, 2012g. I question whether TL’s are doing enough to support the continuation of their roles.  I discuss the necessity of using Guided Inquiry (GI) and wonder at the employment of unqualified people into the roles of TL.

 

Another source of frustration revealed in several blog posts is directed at governments, education authorities and also teacher’s unions (Eyre, 2012c; Eyre, 2012e; Eyre, 2012f).  I recognise the irony that the solution to many of the concerns about TL’s and their role is the education of the very bodies (governmental, educational) that are in the business of educating our students.  As the semester progresses the tone of my posts starts to reflect my apprehension about the future role of TL.

 

Forum posts generally reflect the same however a feeling of security does come about when I’m quoting research which explicitly shows correlations between well-funded library programs and literacy levels and/or student learning outcomes.

 

So how will these reflections inform my future practice?

Firstly I will ensure that decisions are made upon the premise that increased student learning outcomes are the main objective.  Using a proven model of Inquiry Learning and involving the wider school community will achieve this whilst also helping to provide evidence of the worth of the TL and the library. Essential to this is ensuring a strong and vibrant interaction with the student body.  A strong and vibrant working relationship with the school principal is also required.  A positive and strong attitude will be needed in order to achieve these goals and the process will be an ongoing one with challenges and successes.

 

 

REFERENCES

Eyre, K. (2012). Where to Now? – Teacher Librarians? [Blog Post].  Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012a). Blog Task 1, The Role of the Teacher Librarian and Principal Support. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012b). Priorities of the TL in the 21st Century. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012c). Feelings end Subject 1. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012d). Super-Librarians- New Breed. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012e). Thoughts after Topic 2 readings. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

 

Eyre, K. (2012f). Evidence Governments Can’t Ignore! [Blog Post]. Retrieved from,

Kitkayte.wordpress.com

Blog Task 3 – Is Information Literacy more than a set of skills?

Literacy is a term which first came into regular use in the late 19 century and is defined as the ability to read and write (Macquarie concise dictionary, 2nd ed 1998).  Information literacy is a more recent term, which has evolved from ‘library skills’ in the 1980’s to information/study skills of the 1990’s. (CSU ETL401 Modules). It is perhaps the evolutionary nature of the term, which has led to difficulties in pinning a suitable definition on to it.  Langford (1998) questioned if information literacy was a concept, process or indeed a whole new form of literacy. Whilst Abilock (2004) defines information literacy as a process the student/learner uses for personal, social or global reasons.  On the other hand some argue it is ‘the basic skills set of the 21st century (Eisenberg 2008).  It is generally agreed that information literacy is more than just finding and reading information. Students are ‘no longer confined to simply decoding and comprehending the printed word’ (NSW DEC, 2010). The new technologies of the 21st century demand more from learners.

Intepretation, analysis, synthesis and reflection are all common elements required to be information literate and these can be found in various models for information literacy teaching (e.g. ISP, Big 6). According to Herring (2011) it is the ability to use the various skills of literacy to allow a person to function well in our society, which defines information literacy. Mckenzie (2000) tells us the importance of students being information producers rather than information gatherers. The teacher and teacher librarian can teach these skills, the ability on the other hand must come from the learner making the links and transferring the skills, into all the situations, which they may encounter through their lives.  It is this point I think which takes us from defining information literacy as a ‘skills set’ through to another level. These skills need to be used across a plethora of media from the traditional print-based to the ever-changing and extensive digital media. More importantly these skills must encourage and facilitate ‘lifelong learning’.

Information literacy is most definitely more than just a set of skills.  At the beginning of this topic I was confused and somewhat bemused by the many definitions of information literacy.  Initially the definitions seemed to be saying essentially the same thing just with slight differences in the wording.  I questioned the importance of discussing the definitions and I certainly then questioned why we had to think about information literacy being more than a set of skills.  However NOW I understand and realise how essential an understanding of information literacy is to informing the role of the 21st teacher and teacher librarian.

Information literacy goes beyond being a set of skills, it goes beyond being a process, it goes beyond the limitations of one sector be that technology, education, governmental or business.

The 2012 Moscow Declaration on Media and Information Literacy, in addition to the Prague Declaration of 2003 reveal the importance placed on Information Literacy to the wider society.  These declarations encourage governments as well as education authorities to promote information literacy and make ‘structural and pedagogical reforms’ as necessary.  Taking this a step further, information literacy can be described as a ‘basic human right’, as an aspiration or ideal, as evidence of a successful society, but it cannot be described simply as a set of skills.  Information literacy is made up of skills. A car is made up of many parts but is not called an engine or a seatbelt. Information literacy is made up of many skills but the sum total is not a group of skills but a new product – an information literate person.

References:

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

NoodleTools. Retrieved September 2012 from  http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/1over/infolit1.html

Charles Sturt University, ETL 401 Module 4. Accessed September 2012, from,

http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL401_201260_W_D

Eisenberg, M. B. (2008). Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age.

DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 28(2), (p. 39-47)

Herring, James (2011) Improving Students’ Web Use and Information Literacy (p. 62-63). Facet Publishing, UK.

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

Mackenzie, James. (2000). The Research Cycle. Retrieved September 10 2012, from,

http://www.fno.org/oakharbor.html

Macquarie Dictionary (2nd Ed.) (1998). Macquarie Publishing

New South Wales Dept. of Education (2010) Literacy Learning and Technology (p. 3). NSW DET

Prague Declaration ‘Towards an Information Literate Society’. Retrieved September 10, 2012 from,

http://www.praguedeclaration.org

UNESCO, 2012. Moscow Declaration on Media and Information Lliteracy. Retrieved September 10 2012 from,

http://www.ifla.org/files/information-literacy/publications/moscow-declaration-on-mil-en.pdf

Feelings end of Subject 1

My T/L journey has taken me on a long, bumpy, pot-hole filled road and it’s not the end of my first subject yet!

In the beginning I was very excited.  Excited to be learning again and educating myself. Overwhelmed was another feeling that was closely associated with the excitement. Having assessment due dates again, after almost 20 yrs was overwhelming enough, but added to this was the fact I was now a mother of 3 children, a wife and an employee.  University life at 19 seems like a breeze in comparison.

Early on in my readings about being a T/L I was very excited and kept thinking to myself that – wow I would be one of the highest educated members of staff (with my Masters of Ed) in the school! I’d be active in the school leadership and be highly respected – sought after by staff members and executive teams to forward our vision of educating students! Mmmm – I’m not so sure that will be the case anymore!

It appears Principals don’t always know, value, respect, understand or care about the role of the Teacher Librarian in their school or about the Library as a central learning space within the school.

It also appears that teachers don’t always know, value, respect, understand or care about the role of the Teacher Librarian in their school either, or about the Library as a central learning space.  Teachers may use the library but for very limited purposes.

In addition to this it appears the NSW state government with its recent announcement of education funding cuts to the amount of $1.7 billion is at the very least placing other issues above education in terms of priorities.

On a more local level, I’ve been disturbed to read postings on the NSW T/L listserv about qualified T/L’s NOT being appointed to positions, and unqualified people being appointed in their place.  Surely this speaks volumes about the respect and importance placed upon libraries and the role of the Teacher Librarian by school principals and indeed the teachers taking on these roles. Makes for feelings of despair rather than excitement and enthusiasm – don’t you think?

We must also look to some of the current people working as Teacher Librarians and ask if they are ‘up to the job’.  The answer is no – some are not and some are seriously letting down the rest of the profession, future Teacher Librarians, themselves and most importantly of all – the students.

The problem with T/L’s not doing their jobs properly (aside from the obvious educational  concerns) is that it is obvious to the ENTIRE school – students and teachers alike.  It also impacts on a large number of people – students and teachers.   A bad teacher on the other hand, or a teacher not doing their job properly is known about only by a small group of people in the school – not the whole school as with Teacher Librarians.  A poorly performing teacher also impacts only upon their own classes and the students within those classes – once again this is in contrast to a poorly performing Teacher Librarian.

A teacher librarian has a great capacity to influence many students and staff in the school and have wide-ranging impacts upon school programs and student learning outcomes, this means that a poorly performing Teacher Librarian is worse than a poorly performing Teacher.

So what do I think can be done about these issues? Ironically enough education is of course one of the solutions.  Politicians, school principals, classroom teachers AND existing Teacher Librarians need to be educated about current research into benefits of Teacher Librarians to improved student learning outcomes. They also need to be educated in the fact that most Teacher Librarians are highly educated with Masters in Education.  In addition to education, I believe the teacher’s unions need to agitate and publicise until certain things (particularly the employment of only qualified Teacher Librarians) become mandated, either at a federal level or at a state level.  Once mandated then certain issues will disappear and the importance and profile of Teacher Librarians should be lifted.

So what are my current feelings after 2 months of studying? The excitement of learning again is still there, it is now tempered by feelings of concern for the profession and future job prospects. I’m frustrated at governments and education departments for their lack of knowledge, foresight and innovation.  I’m deeply annoyed at lazy Teacher Librarians, ineffectual Teacher Librarians, unqualified Teacher Librarians and Teacher Librarians who ‘hide out’ in their libraries and fail our students.

These issues aside, I’m still very happy with my decision to retrain and am enjoying the aspects of being a Teacher Librarian which I’ve learnt so far.

 

ETL-401Task 2 …

ETL-401

Task 2

The Role of the Teacher Librarian and Implementing a Guided Inquiry Approach

The 21st  century  T/L is no longer simply the custodian of books and reference materials.  They no longer simply teach students how to find a resource in their library, or expose students to the joy of books.  Today’s T/L must ensure they are active, visible and effective members of the school community.

An active T/L is one who is collaborating with class teachers in developing units of work.  A visible T/L is one who not only collaborates with class teachers, but assists in the teaching of units of work, as well as presenting new ways of teaching and learning to the teaching body.  An effective T/L is one that can show evidence of learning goals being reaching by students and improved learning outcomes.  The teaching and learning approach called Guided Inquiry allows the T/L to do all of these things.

Guided Inquiry owes its origins to the early 20th century theorists, John Dewey, George Kelly and Jerome Brunner (Kuhthau, 2007). It was they who started to believe the way we learn is fundamentally about ‘construction’.  Learning occurs when the learner takes the new information and constructs the learning in their own mind.  The learner experiences different feelings at different stages of the learning /constructive process.  With this basis research was further undertaken by Kuhlthau (2004, 2007), which resulted in the Information Search Process (ISP).  This model explains that learning occurs in stages and each stage is accompanied by different feelings. The model shows the feelings accompanying each stage of the learning.  For the Teacher Librarian this information is vital.  They are able to use the model to show at which stage students may need extra support and guidance.  An understanding of the students’ feelings can also impact upon the types of tasks given at any particular point.

Guided Inquiry is used in conjunction with ISP. It is a unit of inquiry, which is taught by an instructional team to allow students to develop deep understanding of curriculum content and information literacy concepts.  Students are guided toward developing skills and abilities for their current and future learning needs (Kuhlthau, 2007). As T/ L’s have the knowledge, expertise and experience in many avenues of information ‘seeking’, they are ideally placed to be central to the Guided Inquiry implementation.

Guided Inquiry has proven successful in achieving higher student learning outcomes and motivational levels (Scheffers, 2008 p. 35). There is also evidence that Guided Inquiry enables students to ‘reach a level of deep personal knowledge’ (Sheerman, 2011 p. 25). These outcomes fall well within the Teacher Librarian’s role.

The Standards of Excellence for Teacher Librarians produced by the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) state that T/L’s ‘assist individuals to develop independence in their learning’ and ‘empower other in the school community to become lifelong learners’.

Similarly, the NSW Department of Education’s (NSW DEC) Information Skills in the School Policy Document clearly states it is the role of the Teacher Librarian to implement Information Skills (p. 3) and that a Guided Inquiry approach may enhance information literacy skills (p. 5)

The T/L, following the above guidelines must work to implement Guided Inquiry in their library and also in the wider school.  The historical research into ‘how we learn’ combined with the evidence of successful outcomes of Guided Inquiry make this approach integral to the Teacher Librarian of the 21st Century and indeed beyond.

References

Australian School Library Association. (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from Australian School Library Association website, July 30: http://www.asla.org.au

Kuhlthau, C. C. (2004). Learning as a process. In Seeking meaning: a process approach to library and information services (2nd ed.) (p. 13-27). Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.

Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L., Caspari, A. (2007). Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century.Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unllimited.

NSW Department of Education and Training. (2007). Information Skills in the School. Retrieved  September 2012, from website:

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/teachingideas/infoskills

Scheffers, J. Guided Inquiry: a learning journey. Scan. Vol 27 No 4 November 2008 (p. 34-42)

Sheerman, A. Accepting the challenge: evidence based practice at Broughton Anglican College. Scan. Vol 30 No 2 2011 (p. 24-33).

Evidence Governments CAN’T ignore!

Finally some quantitive evidence for governments to NOT ignore!

 

A couple of weeks ago after reading some forum posts about Victorian schools allowing school libraries to dwindle away, references to South Australia’s lack of T/L positions and also statements about the general decrease in T/L positions (House of Reps Report), I naturally became very frustrated.

I turned to my husband and explained what was happening and said the Governments and education authorities don’t seem to be listening (or reading) the research out there and they are certainly NOT acting on it in any substantial way. (I may be wrong here – hope I am actually- but this is my first course so my reading/research is still in its infancy).

I said the governments need to be shown in a different way – given proof in a way they ‘understand’.  I said if Victoria and SA have been suffering reductions and major cutbacks in T/L’s and School library services then is there any evidence to be shown from falling Literacy rates in these states? Is anyone doing research into this?  The research tells us school libs  and T/L’s make a difference, so why isn’t anyone looking at the reverse and finding out what happens when T/L’s and School libraries aren’t given the chance?  I said with the Government emphasis upon NAPLAN and the publication of literacy and numeracy there must be some evidence to prove either way!!!

YEY! I’ve finally found it – and it was referred to in one of our modules – Softlinks’s 2011 Australian School library Survey.  This survey was first conducted in 2010, repeated in 2011 and the 2012 results are shortly to be published. Whilst not specific to Victoria or Sth Australia the report does use the survey along with NAPLAN literacy results to draw its conclusions.  Two of the main findings which are relevant to my point are:

 

1) ‘There is a significant positive relationship between a school’s NAPLAN reading literacy score and the school library’s budget and staff allocated to the library.’  In other words, cut the budget and staff and you lower your school’s NAPLAN reading literacy score.

 

2) ‘The difference in funding and literacy outcomes can be quantified.  In general, low performing schools allocate 30% less to the school library budget than average schools.  Higher performing schools allocate twice as much to the school library budget as average schools.’ Powerful stuff!

 

A third finding of interest. although not directly related to my point above is;

 

3) ‘Larger government schools have significantly less staff allocated to the school library , compared to the larger Catholic and Independent schools.’

 

Let’s cross OUR fingers that such compelling evidence coming out of the flavour-of-the-month – NAPLAN will encourage our governments and education bodies to  pull THEIR fingers OUT and promote libraries and Teacher Librarians!

 

 

 

 

 

Priorities of Teacher Librarians in the 21st Century

Priorities of Teacher Librarians:

 

First priority for a successful T/L regardless of the year, is to get the kids in!  Get the kids into the library, borrowing the resources, using the in-house resources, using the library spaces, using the T/L, feeling happy and comfortable in the library space. GET THEM IN!

 

Next priority – get the teachers in! Get the teachers in and get them doing everything the students are doing; borrowing the resources, using the in-house resources, using the library spaces, using the T/L, feeling happy and comfortable in the library space. GET THEM IN!

 

The third priority is to GET OUT OF THE LIBRARY! Yes the Teacher Librarian, once they have achieved the first 2 priorities of getting teachers and students IN to the library, must now GET OUT of the library. The T/L must get out and show themselves, show their worth, show their programs, show the principal, the parents, the wider school community what they are doing for students outcomes.

 

I don’t believe the above priorities are new.  I believe they hold true today in the 21st century as much as they did 60 yrs ago when the profession was in its infancy. If these were the basic tenets of T/L’s and if they had been followed by ALL T/L’s over the passing years then I doubt there would be such a conversation going on today about the value of School Libraries and the Role of the Teacher Librarian.

 

Successful School libraries are vital for successful student learning outcomes.  We need to ensure every school library is successful and that every Teacher Librarian is performing to their peak.

 

Thoughts after Topic 2 Readings:

Quick thoughts:

Further research once again shows the direction T/L’s and school libraries need to take.  It also shows what governing bodies and education authorities need to be thinking about and acting on.

So the research is out there pushing us along – what is the problem? Where is the ‘paper jam’ occurring? Where is the process being stopped?

One problem is of course that in a discussion report such as ‘School Libraries 21C’ most of the respondents were teacher librarians.  The wider community, have very little awareness of, or interest in these issues, despite the great impact they may have on them.

Another problem may be the ‘lag’ between the research and the reality of what T/L’s actually do and achieve.  The ‘ideal’ versus the ‘practice’. Have T/L’s done enough, or are doing enough to engineer the changes the research is pointing towards?

Of course there will also be a ‘lag’ between the research and the governing bodies.  This lag can be due to bureaucratic functions and processes.  It can (and most realistically) also be due to funding concerns.

1)  research is out there

2)  how much are current (and soon to be) T/L’s embracing this research and also adapting to the new ‘digital’ world we live in? How well equipped are they and who is responsible for equipping them?

3) How do we get the message out beyond the immediate school library community in a practical, forceful, immediate and EFFECTIVE way? What are ASLA and ALIA doing to achieve this? What are teachers’ unions doing about this?

4) Are government bodies listening to the experts and developing policies accordingly?  How can they be made to sit up and pay attention and by doing this fund more of this education area?

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