ETL401- The role of a TL


The role I see myself fulfilling in the school as a TL will be “multi-faceted” (Herring, 2007, p. 30). I have never had any practical experience as a TL to date and have been inspired and at times overwhelmed by the complex and varied roles that TLs are responsible for on a daily basis. After all the thought provoking reading that I have completed over the past few weeks, I feel clearer about needing to be to be an information literacy leader in the school. As Herring describes, “the key role is developing information literate students” (Herring, 2007, p. 32). Herring’s idea focuses more on education as a priority rather than administration. I too see my role more as a teacher rather than predominately administration. I do acknowledge that administration is an essential role of the TL and is listed as a key role in some form or another by Herring, Lamb, Purcell and Valenza. I would aspire to be the type of TL that is innovative, proactive and involved in helping the school to reach its learning goals and objectives. I would aspire to collaborate with teachers and others in the learning community to create a dynamic learning environment for the students. As Valenza (2010) writes “you see the big picture and let others see you seeing it. It’s about learning and teaching. It’s about engagement.” I would aspire to have the same passion and enthusiasm for my role as a TL as Valenza. Effective communication with the school community and commitment are all part of the role I see myself fulfilling as a TL in the future.

I have had little experience with how principles perceive the role of the TL, coming from a TL’s point of view. The experience I have had as a teacher, is that the library was a place separate and isolated from the rest of the school. It was visited to get books and certainly not the hub of the school as I have been reading about in this course. Therefore, after reading articles by Oberg and Hartzell, it may suggest that the principals in these few schools didn’t support the library program and TL as well as they could have.

What can I do to change some of the negative, limited and old dated perceptions principals may have about TLs. Two strategies are:
• Professional development, building on my knowledge, skills and expertise, therefore highlighting professional credibility (Oberg, 2006).
• Talking to the principle regularly. Communicating to the principle, ideas, initiatives and understanding of the school library program (Oberg, 2006).


Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.) Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp.27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Lamb, A. (2011). Bursting with potential: Mixing a media specialist’s palette. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 55(4), 27-36. doi:10.1007/s11528-011-0509-3

Oberg, D. (2006). Developing the respect and support of school administrators. Teacher Librarian, 33(3), 13-18. Retrieved from

Purcell, M. (2010). All Librarians Do Is Check Out Books, Right? A Look at the Roles of a School Library Media Specialist. Library Media Connection, 29(3), 30-33. Available from

Valenza, J. (2010, December 3). A revised manifesto [Blog post]. In School Library Journal. Retrieved from:

One response »

  1. Pingback: The Role of a Teacher Librarian | Confessions of a Teacher Librarian

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