Tag Archives: School of Information Studies

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. 🙂

Concluding comments from Roy and others at the close of Library & Info Week

May 31 saw the close of another week of library advocacy in Australia hosted by the Australian Library & Information Association (ALIA). The theme for Library and Information Week 2009 was Libraries your passport to discovery!, which was a great opportunity for our information profession to promote the value of libraries in today’s society. I noticed Sue Hutley‘s (Executive Director, ALIA) statement that “libraries offer every Australian a chance to discover, access and connect to a much wider world – and in these tough economic times, it’s a lot cheaper too!”, was a message that resonated through a number of comments in the media this week, including those of Robert McEntyre (Public Libraries NSW Metropolitan Association Executive Director) in the Herald article Book now: libraries are top shelf in family attractions by Rachel Browne (on May 31).

It was also great to see  the words of Roy Crotty (fellow studentslearn blogger, President of ASLANSW and Associate Lecturer with us at the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University – love the concluding quote in the article Roy:

“If anything, the digital era has made a teacher librarian’s job even more relevant.”

The ALIA media release highlights the cultural, educational and economic benefits to society afforded by libraries and information agencies, noting that each year “Australia’s 1,500 public libraries lend over 178 million items to 12 million registered borrowers” which is over half of Australia’s population. Additional figures quoted by Sue Huntley provide the public with an idea of the breadth of library services across the nation including “approximately 9,000 school libraries, 42 university libraries, 387 TAFE campus libraries, and thousands of health libraries, law libraries and other special libraries.” In addition, the Herald article Students can borrow to boost chances outlining public libraries’ support of school children’s reading habits through the provision of multiple copies of books on the Premier’s Challenge reading list each year, demonstrates how public libraries are ‘switched on’ to the needs of kids and in supporting school libraries to resource public programs that can sometimes be beyond the capabilities of an individual school library’s budget. 

Sherman Young’s article Is the book dead? published on ABC’s Unleashed on May 26 and National Simultaneous Storytime on May 27 capped off a busy week for libraries, authors, publishers and booksellers in promoting the value of libraries, books, reading and literacy for all Australians.

An interesting antidote to the good work presented in the media this past week about the value of libraries in Australia, can be found in ABC’s Unleashed article The vulgar modernisation of our libraries (published at the end of April) is you missed it. Love to hear your feedback on any or all of the above!

ASLA & ALIA release new & revised policy statements for school libraries

Whooa…hooo… I’m really excited to see today’s release of (some) new and revised policy statements on the Australian School Library Association website. Information policies are cool!This is hot-off-the-press today!

Congratulations to the Australian School Library Association and Australian Library and Information Association collaborative effort that has resulted in new policy statements such on guided inquiry and the curriculum, school libraries & ICT and revised statements on resource-based learning and information literacy just to name a few.  

The TLship academic team here at Charles Sturt University frequently refer our students to these national policy statements and guidelines throughout our Graduate Certificate and Masters courses in teacher librarianship. I’m particularly impressed with the new policy statement design which includes explicit links of each policy statement to both ASLA and ALIA objectives. Thank you to both associations for continuing to provide Australia’s teacher librarians with such professional leadership.

New information policies for TLs… thanx ASLA/ALIA!
 

CSU TLship residential schools a success

On February 21/22 we had over 80 students enrolled in ETL401, ETL402 and ETL503 for Autumn session attend our Sydnay residential school held at the State Library.  Roy Crotty, Dianne Lane and myself enjoyed an action-packed 2 days getting to know our students face-to-face, and preparing everyone for a new session of study in teacher librarianship with us at Charles Sturt University. This year I think we broke a record of attendance in that we had student representation from every Australian state and territory (yes, even WA, SA, NT and Tassie!). Congratulations to all who travelled long distances and gave up their weekend to learn about the teaching role of the teacher librarian, information literacy & collaboration, collection management and the integration of literature in education.

Four days later Roy and I found ourselves back in Sydney (this time with Ashley Freeman, ETL503 Subject Coordinator), to meet  the group of 51 NSWDET teacher librarians who are enrolled in ETL401 and ETL503 this session. After another hectic 2 days, we came back exhausted but excited about the level of interest, enthusiasm and engagement our new students displayed upon returning to tertiary study (hey folks, how are you feeling now…remember Sampson?)

Welcome to the Student Learning through School Libraries blog

This blog has been created by Lyn Hay and Roy Crotty to engage with students enrolled in Charles Sturt University’s postgraduate teacher librarianship programs. Throughout each of the subjects taught within our Graduate Certificate and Masters courses in TLship, a major theme that is addressed is the important function of the school library in supporting student learning. This blog will be used to share new research and literature highlighting the many ways school libraries support teaching and learning in schools. It will provide a commentary on new resources and ideas, emerging theories and technologies, and best practice in teacher librarianship. We look forward to sharing our learning journey with you.