Category Archives: TLship@CSU

Now is the time! My keynote address at Northern Sydney TLs Conference, 15 May 2014

I had a lovely morning in the northern suburbs of Sydney today, connecting with so many of my teacher librarianship graduates from Charles Sturt University. When you work as a lecturer for close on 20 years, it is not difficult to help ‘populate your profession’ as I have done!!

I also enjoyed connecting with this group of 100 TLs in my new capacity as Head of Professional Learning for Syba Academy.

Here’s my slides:

My main message was to ‘unthink the way you live and work’ and rediscover yourself. The introduction of the Australian Curriculum provides teacher librarians with many rich opportunities to establish or invigorate their teaching role. This presentation explores the richness that inquiry learning offers as an interdisciplinary approach to support students in exploring the world, and developing important critical and creative skills, understandings and dispositions along the way.

Dare – Care – Share presentation at RIVPAT 2012

On Friday I presented the opening address for the Riverina Professional Association of Teacher Librarians (RIVPAT) held at Lake Albert Public School in Wagga Wagga, NSW. It was great catching up with the RIVPAT crew, and heartening to see how many local teacher librarians in the area have gained their Teacher Librarianship qualification from CSU. It was also lovely to meet some TLs currently completing their MEdTL degree with us at CSU.

My keynote consisted of a series of 27 challenges for TLs in helping move our profession forward. Participants were asked to select 3-5 of these challenges and then plan a course of action for meeting each challenge, whether some of these be tackled between now and the end of this year, or build into their professional plan for 2013.
Dear RIVPATters, please keep me posted on your progress!

ALA Presidential Task Force: Focus on School Libraries 2012

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries

In the March 2012 issue of the journal ‘School Library Monthly‘ (Vol XXVIII, No 6), Susan D. Ballard (AASL President-Elect and Co-Chair of the ALA School Library Task Force) summarises the current state of school libraries in the United States, and details the focus of the ALA School Library Task Force, which “is charged with “leading a campaign addressing the urgent need for advocacy for school libraries, as well as the impact of the de-professionalization and curtailment of school library instructional programs on students and student achievement” (ALA 2011).

Photo: ‘Science in the stacks‘ by SpecialKRB on Flickr
 

This article outlines the 5 goals of the Task Force and the strategies and tactics devised to achieve each goal. The final section on the ‘Tipping Point’ details the implications for students and society if school age children do not have access to school libraries and school librarians based on ‘what we know’ from research regarding school libraries and student achievement.

Many of the recommended readings and points made can be utilised by the school library profession in other countries to support their own advocacy campaigns. This article is also useful reading for our new students entering CSU’s Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) course as they are exposed to school librarianship issues and trends in Australia and worldwide in the subject ETL401 Teacher Librarianship.

If you find any recent research evidence on the impact of school libraries on student learning, please recommend journal articles, research reports and websites to my curation site on Scoop It! http://www.scoop.it/t/student-learning-through-school-libraries. The more evidence we can collect and disseminate regarding the important and essential role of school libraries in school life, the better!

A Head Teacher’s Thoughts on Leadership and School Libraries – Pedagog Malmö

Via Scoop.itStudent Learning through School Libraries
This interview with a Principal of a school in Sweden demonstrates the critical role of the principal in supporting school libraries to assist them in playing a significant role in supporting student learning. (Note the term Head Teacher is used for school principals in a number of European countries).

Here’s some sound advice for any newly trained teacher librarians about to commence their work as a TL in Term 1, 2012 from this principal regarding the TL role:

“I think it’s important that they (TLs) are visible. Teachers are like actors. You’re up on stage every lesson. They’re strong personalities. As a librarian, you also have to be seen. You have to be an extrovert, whether you are as a person or not. Otherwise you’re just going to get ignored. Once the librarian is visible, the next phase begins, where s/he teaches scientific method, language development and information literacy.”

Edward Jensinger also provides advice to principals planning a school library:

“Firstly, you have to decide what the purpose of having a school library is… The aim must always be for the students to get better results… what you need is an active teaching librarian.”

Good luck to all of our 2011 Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) graduates who are starting their journey as practising TLs in 2012.
BE VISIBLE from Day 1 🙂

Via webapps2.malmo.se

Emily Rodda, Lu Rees Archives & literary learning

OK, so I’m a day late with this news because I have just finished reading the hard copy version of yesterday’s Canberra Times newspaper, but I was really taken by this full page feature on Australian children’s author, Emily Rodda‘s visit to Canberra this week to address the launch of a special exhibition and project managed by the Lu Rees Archives of Australian Children’s Literature at the University of Canberra.

Emily Rodda believes it is "vitally important that children have a smorgasboard of the absolute best stories from every culture to choose from."

In April 2010, the Lu Rees Archives began a project to catalogue 462 Australian children’s books, DVDs, puzzles and games published in 32 languages. The Lu Rees Archives had to employ CAVAL, the professional cataloguing company to  gain access to the language expertise required to catalogue these resources  using specialist translators for languages such as Icelandic, Tetum from East Timor, and Zulu! A number of embassies also joined forces to sponsor the project. This represents the breadth of coverage across countries and languages that the works of many Australian children’s authors now have. The Lu Rees Archives now holds 659 items of Rodda’s work which makes it the largest collection in Australia.

The Lu Rees Archives has become one of the special libraries included on the itinerary of the Canberra Study Visit as part of the School of Information Studiesprofessional experience program, and in the past few years we have found the visit to Lu Rees Archives hosted by Emeritus Professor Belle Alderman is always a favourite of students, especially those students studying in the Bachelor of Information Studies, Master of Information Studies and Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) who are working as children’s librarians and teacher librarians.

Belle is the Collections Development Manager at the Lu Rees Archives and has worked tirelessly in maintaining this unique collection of works and artefacts on Australian children's literature.

Belle has also hosted a number of CSU students as part of our SIS Professional Library Placement program. This is where our students are provided with the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge practically in an information-based workplace, with emphasis being placed on the acquisition of knowledge and the performance of professional activities. As a small special library, students can gain excellent individual attention and hands-on experience in information work, while contributing to special projects and being surrounded by some of Australia’s greatest literary treasures. All the new records for this recent Lu Rees project of translated works are available via Libraries Australia hosted by the National Library of Australia. This way, as Belle states: ‘The world then knows these books exist and are publicly available… ‘Most importantly, such translations demonstrate the importance of children’s stories and their ability to link people of all cultures through common stories.’

In this interview Emily Rodda also makes a distinction between ‘books’ and ‘stories’, particularly now as our world becomes more and more digitally-enhanced. She believes it is important to continue supporting an appreciation of literature and reading of stories, no matter the format (whether as an ebook or printed book), and compares this to listening/viewing ‘story’ portrayed via film or video/online games:

”It’s very, very important we go on reading because there is a logic and a rationality to even the most fantastic story, and a complexity and an understanding of how people work things out, which doesn’t appear in film because it’s all visual.

Things might happen in a logical order in a film but you don’t get that rational explanation of why things happen.

If we want our future citizens to be able to reason and to see propaganda for what it is, for example, or work their way through people trying to persuade them to do something by appealing to their emotions, it’s important, in their childhood, that they’ve learnt about rational argument and I think that’s one thing books do.”

I think this final statement sums up the power of literary learning and why it must remain fundamental to a 21st century education. School libraries are central to building a reading and literary learning culture within a school. As part of the NSWDET 21C school library futures project Envisioning School Libraries in 2009, Ross Todd and I devised a set of eight (8) principles underpinning 21C school library design as an instructional zone within and beyond the school emerged, one of which was:

A centre that supports literary learning, where students become immersed in imaginary worlds, explore personal reading interests, develop sustained voluntary reading practices, develops reading for meaning and independence as critically-capable readers. (Hay & Todd, 2010, p. 16)

I think this reflects what Emily Rodda has emphasised in this Canberra Times feature.

A detailed presentation on these principles of 21C school library design can be viewed in my presentation at the Cairns Diocese Curriculum Conference:

‘School Librarians’ and Libraries – Seeking Relevance & a Future?

As we are about to commence our first session of study for 2010, I thought I should get the ball rolling with some new posts. I look forward to sharing another year with my fellow blogger, Roy Crotty and our School of Information Studies students.

There’s been a lot of discussion among our US-based colleagues recently about AASL’s decision to use ‘school librarian’ as the official title for school library media specialists in all future correspondence, policy and advocacy activities of the association. This news was buzzing in January across a number of professional journals and websites, discussion lists and social networking sites – check out American Libraries magazine, School Library Journal’s Talkback, AASL’s blog, Cathy Nelson’s blog, Bookends blog, just to name a few, and clearly the debate continues.

It comes as no surprise that we struggle as a profession to come to consensus on this issue, whether here in Australia or in other countries, and the US is no exception. No matter what label an information specialist (my preferred generic label) adopts within a school, education system or state, the bottom line is that it is the daily practice and actions of the person holding this position that defines what the role is (and is not) to their school community!

A definite win for our US colleagues is this fabulous article published in Education Week yesterday which features a number of library media specialist movers & shakers. While David Loertscher’s ‘learning commons’ concept gets an airing, I was particularly struck by Joyce Valenza’s ‘take’ on libraries as “no longer [being] grocery stores where students can go to pick up ingredients, but kitchens, where they have the resources necessary to create a finished product.”

What are your thoughts on AASL’s decision to officially adopt the title ‘school librarian’ as the label for 21st century school library media specialists, and how might you use the ideas presented in the above article to inform the development of a vision for your school library and your role as a TL?

Remember: the future of our profession lies in the hands of those who currently practice.

All the best with your studies at CSU in 2010. 🙂

Life Matters interview – “Teacher librarians are a dying breed”

Well done to Mary Manning (Executive Officer, School Library Association of Victoria) for educating Radio National’s Life Matters community this morning about the contribution teacher librarians make to school libraries and student learning. With primary school libraries being targeted as part of the Rudd Government’s Building the Education Revolution, the message that teacher librarian positions have been substantially diminished across some states and territories is certainly a major concern for both the TL profession and the future of schooling in Australia.

With the $12.4 billion investment in libraries and multi-purpose facilities in primary schools, special schools and K-12 schools as part of the nation’s  ‘Primary Schools for the 21st Century’ program, it is timely to ask state and territory governments how they are going to ‘match’ this investment in school libraries, by ‘installing’ qualified teacher librarians into these facilities to help schools transform ‘bricks & mortar’ into a fully functional, dynamic and dynamic learning laboratory that supports the demands placed on students as information and ICT users, both at school and when they are working independently from home.

There has recently been some discussion on the future of school libraries in Australia on the School Libraries 21C blog hosted by the School Libraries and Information Literacy Unit, NSW Department of Education and Training. Discussion has been extended to July 30, so please consider adding your vision for the future of school libraries in Australia as well as your stories about the contributions teacher librarians make in preparing Australia’s young people as engaged and informed digital citizens. Also check out this recent Scan article ‘ School libraries building capacity for student learning in 21C’ which has been published to support this discussion.