Monthly Archives: May 2013

ETL401 Assignment 2: Part B – Critical Reflection (Portfolio)


At the commencement of this subject I was completely naive to the complex and vital role that the teacher librarian (TL) plays in the school learning community. An essential learning for me has been gaining a deeper understanding of how crucial the role of the TL is in supporting students to become information literate. This subject has shown me that the primary purpose of the TL is to support the learning and teaching needs of the school community.

A proactive role

The TL needs to be proactive in garnering Principal support (Oberg, 2006, p. 16). I stated that one of the reasons why the Principal may not be supportive of the TL is due to a lack of understanding of the TL’s role. The Principal may not read the literature available which illustrates how the role of the TL is vital to student achievement (OLJ, March 25, 2013). I was on the right track when I wrote that the TL needs to demonstrate to the Principal the value they add to the learning community (OLJ, March 25, 2013). I needed to go further in stating how this can be done. These are some the actions a TL can take to garner Principal support:

  • Evidence based practice – collecting evidence to support their claims
  • Initiate collaboration with teachers
  • Be proactive in curriculum design – integrating IL skills into the curriculum (Eisenberg, 2008, p. 45)
  • Nurture the relationship with the Principal – initiate collaboration
  • Strategic planning that is a result of asking the Principal what they expect from you (the TL) and the library (B. Combes, personal communication, April 7, 2013)

Collecting evidence

It is essential for the TL to gather evidence demonstrating how they support students’ learning outcomes (OLJ, April 26, 2013). This subject has given me a better understanding of practical ways to do this. I have learnt that being an advocate is good but it is not enough, the TL needs to have evidence to support their claims (Hay & Todd, 2010, p. 37). Providing students with opportunities for reflective writing about how library instructional lessons support IL is one way to collect evidence (OLJ, April 26, 2013). After doing the assignment on comparing IL models, I can see clearly where opportunities to integrate IL skills into students learning could occur. The ISP and Big6 models offer opportunities for students to reflect on the process of learning and the product. This type of evidence is useful in demonstrating how the TL supports student achievement.

Fostering lifelong learning

An essential learning that I experienced during this subject is the importance of the TL’s role in IL. It is the TL’s role to foster the skills for lifelong learning and critical thinking in students. I understand that the TL can continually be looking for opportunities within the curriculum to integrate IL skills and incorporate the use of technologies (Eisenberg, 2008, p. 45). As information technologies are constantly changing, IL includes students keeping abreast of these changes (OLJ, May 12, 2013). I would add to this that the TL also needs to stay abreast of these changes. The TL is also a lifelong learner, continually seeking more efficient methods of supporting students’ learning needs. An excellent TL understands and uses IL theories and practices. These practices enable the TL to support students to develop and apply skills for lifelong learning (Australian School Library Association, Standards section, para. 9). These skills are essential for students in the 21st century (OLJ, May 12, 2013). As I commented on in my OLJ (April 12, 2013), there are many advantages of the integrating IL in to the curriculum. Kuhlthau suggests that each time students engage in a guided inquiry task they are engaging in five kinds of learning. These are “curriculum content, information literacy, learning how to learn, literacy competence and social skills” (2010, p. 19). This illustrates to me why the TL’s role in implementing IL models in to the curriculum is of enormous importance. The TL can be a leader in the area of IL within their school.


Australian School Library Association. (2012). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from

Eisenberg, M. B. (2008). Information literacy: Essential skills for the information age. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 28(2), 39-47. Retrieved from

Hay, L., & Todd, R. (2010). School libraries 21C: The conversation begins. Scan, 29(1), 30-42. Retrieved from

Kuhlthau, C. C. (2010). Building guided inquiry teams for 21st-century learners. School Library Monthly, 26(5), 18. Retrieved from

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

Walker, M. (2013, March 25). ETL401 – blog task # 1: Principal support [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Walker, M. (2013, April 26). Blog task # 2: Evidence based practice [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Walker, M. (2013, April 26). ETL401 – topic 4.1 guided inquiry [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Walker, M. (2013, May, 12). ETL401 – blog task # 3: Information literacy [Blog post]. Retrieved from


ETL401 – Topic 6


Library & Time Management

How can the TL make decisions about devoting time to aspects of library management:

  • Collaboration: Be a working member of a team, knowing when it would be more effective to work with another team member (Gilman, 2007, Introduction section, para. 3)
  • Be a good listener, listen to other staff members, students and parents (Gilman, 2007, Openness section, para. 10)
  • Be open-minded and flexible (willing to experiment)
  • Communicate with other members of the school learning community regularly, using different formats e.g. formal, informal face-to-face, email, library website, blog or wiki
  • Make time to plan the days activities (10 minutes a day). Using diary or making a list of things to do (“Effective time management”, ca. 2013, Zone 2 section, para. 2)
  • Be realistic – plan for distractions and interruptions (“Effective time management”, ca. 2013, Zone 2 section, para. 4)
  • Be realistic – know when “good enough is good enough” (“Effective time management”, ca. 2013, Unperfect section, para. 1)


Effective time management for teachers. (ca. 2013). Retrieved from

Gilman, T. (2007). The four habits of highly effective librarians. In The chronicles of higher education. Retrieved from

ETL401 – Topic 6: Time Management & Negotiation


3 ideas from the readings that are new to me:

  1. Setting up and using a library wiki is a great way to encourage collaboration between colleagues. I do know about wikis but this seems like a really great way to be able to collaborate in the virtual world (anywhere and anytime).  It provides another platform to talk about ideas and suggestions about best practices, problem solving and feeling a sense of connectedness within the library community. Of course, this may work better in a larger library, with more library staff (Gilman, 2007, Collaboration section, para. 3).
  2. The concept of the “80-20” rule (or Pareto Principle) (“Effective Time Management,” ca. 2013, Unperfect section, para. 1).
  3. Preparation is the the most important and helpful factor in regards to negotiation skills (Sanders, 2004, p. 129).

One thing I could do right now that would make me more productive in my work place:

The idea of making time to plan my day – everyday.  I believe that making a plan preferably the day before (maybe at the end of the working day) would be of great benefit to me. Taking that 10 minutes every day to organise my thoughts about what needs to be done the next day or that day would make me much more effective and hopefully spending less time and energy on those tasks that are less important right now. It sounds very attractive and achievable to be in control of my time and not allowing other people to decide how my time will be used……maybe far less exhausting! (“Effective Time Management,” ca. 2013, Second section, para. 2).


Effective time management for teachers. (ca. 2013). Retrieved from

Gilman, T. (2007). The four habits of highly effective librarians. In The chronicles of higher education. Retrieved from

Sanders, R. (2004). Conflict resolution. In Australian library supervision and management (2nd ed.) (pp. 127-132). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

ETL401 – Blog Task # 3 Information Literacy


Information literacy (IL) is essential for 21st century students. It will be argued that IL is more than a set of skills, it also includes a mindset which values using information prudently, ethically and responsibly. The combination of information skills, generic skills and a certain mindset necessary for a student to be information literate will be discussed (Bundy, 2004).

IL does require information skills. Information skills include recognising a need for information and then competently searching and accessing the information (Bundy, 2004, p. 3). Students need to understand the information and critically evaluate it for quality, relevance and credibility (Bundy, 2004. p. 3). Information skills require students to be able to effectively use information. Students will need to organise and sort the information to enable them to synthesise and communicate new knowledge and understanding to an audience (Abilock, 2007). These information skills overlap with the generic skill of problem solving (Bundy, 2004, p. 3). Information skills include student skilfulness in the use of ICTs (Bundy, 2004, p. 7). Much of the information that 21st century students will access is in a digital format. Students will need to develop skills in understanding the search options available for online resources and recognise which ones best suit their needs. As information technologies are constantly changing, information skills include students keeping abreast of changes (Bundy, 2004, p. 14). Next to be discussed are the generic skills used in IL.

IL incorporates a number of generic skills. Collaboration is a generic skill that may be used in IL instruction. Students will need skills that enable them to work collaboratively with other students to complete information learning activities. Students need effective communication skills to understand how to communicate the content and purpose of the information they are presenting with the appropriate audience. Students need to communicate clear arguments and conclusions and give their sources the appropriate credit (Abilock, 2007, Communicating & Synthesizing section). The generic skill of critical thinking is fundamental to IL. Skills involved in critical thinking enable students to constantly question information, evaluate different points of view, solve problems and gain understanding (McKinney, 2008, p. 1). Next to be discussed is why IL is more than a set of skills.

IL is more than just the set of information and generic skills already discussed. It is a mindset that is guided by prudent and ethical principles that go deeper and are more complex than a set of skills. The ethical issues that students will encounter online include “self-expression and identity, privacy, ownership and authorship, personal and information credibility, participation or conduct in online spaces” (Waters, 2012, p. 4). Information literate students need to be able to understand and acknowledge their social responsibilities and how their participation affects others in the online community (Bundy, 2004, p. 11). The ultimate goal is for students to develop a mindset which guides them in becoming good digital citizens.

IL does require students to develop both information and generic skills. Information literate students will also need to develop a mindset that goes beyond these set of skills. This mindset is guided by ethical principles in the online community that help create good digital citizens for today and in the future. Digital citizens that can understand and manage the vast amounts of information available to them.


Abilock, D. (2007). Information literacy. Building blocks of research: Overview of design, process and outcomes. In Noodletools. Retrieved from

Bundy, A. (Ed.). (2004). Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework: Principles, standards and practice (2nd ed.). Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) and Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

McKinney, S. (2008). Critical literacy. Thinking critically: What does it mean?. Retrieved from

Waters, J. K. (2012). Turning students into good digital citizens. The Journal. Retrieved from



ETL401 – Topic 5


There are a number of strategies that a TL can try if they are working in a school where many teachers see collaboration as a major challenge, or they actually fight against it. Gaining the Principal’s support is fundamental in being able to change the culture of the school to being one that embraces collaboration (Oberg, as cited in Montiel-Overall, 2005, p. 38). The teachers that resist collaboration may believe that they do not have enough time or sufficient resources to support the collaborative process. A Principal that supports collaboration is essential in removing these challenges and providing the vitally needed time and resources (Montiel-Overall, 2005, p. 38). To gain the principal’s support the TL will need to build a case for the benefits of collaboration by gathering concrete evidence. Evidence-based practice will be essential to gather this information. The TL can informally talk to teachers within the school in a social manner to try to find a teacher or teachers that may be willing to attempt a collaborative project (Montiel-Overall, 2005, p. 30). The TL can use the evidence gathered from participating in a number of collaborative lessons or a unit of work with a teacher to demonstrate to the Principal and other teachers that collaboration supports students’ achievement. The TL can be a leader in garnering support for collaboration and its benefits.

Argument for collaboration between the teacher librarian, principal and teachers at a school that you know?

  • Improves student achievement
  • Integrating IL across the curriculum – skills for higher order thinking and lifelong learning
  • Assists the TL to build a library collection that better meets student learning needs and supports the curriculum more effectively
  • TL can contribute to the development & design of curriculum
  • TL can contribute to development and design of evaluation rubrics for research projects
  • TL can collaborate to develop information literacy skills amongst students and transfer across curriculum
  • Collaboration fosters creativity and innovation amongst those who participate, “these are essential components for academic success” (Montiel-Overall, 2005, p. 24)
  • Collaboration builds trust and social connections amongst teachers (Todd, 2008, p. 28)
  • Collaboration between TL and teachers is fundamental in providing students with the skills for living in a world with enormous amounts of information that needs to be understood and managed on a daily basis (Montiel-Overall, 2005, p.25).


Montiel-Overall, P. (2005). A theoretical understanding of teacher and librarian collaboration. School Libraries Worldwide, 11(2), 24-48. Retrieved from

Todd, R. J. (2008). The dynamics of classroom teacher and teacher librarian instructional collaborations. Scan, 27(2), 19-28. Retrieved from

ETL401 – Topic 5: Collaborative practice


What possibilities arise for collaboration between teachers and the teacher librarian?

  • modelling positive behaviour to students
  • improved student achievement
  • creativity / innovation
  • community – feeling connected
  • identifying strengths and weakness – both for students and for teachers, then developing strategies to assist students to move forward
  • continual learning for teachers (life long learning for all school members) – even if challenging & out of comfort zone
  • sharing of new ideas
  • utilising expertise within school
  • culture of respect and trust amongst teachers and TL
  • TL can contribute to the development & design of curriculum
  • TL can contribute to development and design of evaluation rubrics for research projects
  • TL can collaborate to develop information literacy skills amongst students and transfer across curriculum
  • Library collection that meets student learning needs
  • Better communication between TL and teachers


ETL401 – Topic 4.2


Should an information literacy policy be essential for a 21st century school?

An information literacy policy is essential for schools in the 21st century. With the overwhelming amount of information available to students in the 21st century, it is vital that students understand that not all this information is of high quality. Especially information that is located on the internet. Bundy (2004) states that students need to be able to identify a need for information, have the skills to locate information, evaluate the usefulness and credibility of the information, then use the information in an effective manner (p. 3). As stated in the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards for the 21st-century learner (2007) “all children deserve equitable access to books and reading, to information, and to information technology in an environment that is safe and conducive to learning” (p. 2). An information literacy policy would foster this principle and create awareness for the whole school learning community on the importance of information literacy for 21st century learners. An information literacy policy will support the learning needs of the students.

How can a transliteracy approach expand the teaching role of the TL beyond the traditional information literacy paradigm?

Transliteracy is a fairly new term, it includes and goes beyond many of the existing concepts of information literacy (Ipri, 2010, para. 1). The TL can incorporate the fundamentals of transliteracy into how they teach students. The TL can introduce students and teachers to the concept of “mapping meaning across different media” (Ipri, 2010, para. 3). As Ipri suggests transliteracy includes social literacy amongst other forms of literacy, this aspect can be used by the TL to create systems that allow students to share knowledge and also have a part in the creation of information (para. 18). Transliteracy fosters a participatory involvement from students as they learn new ways of communicating.


 American Association of School Librarians. (2007). AASL Standards for the 21st-century learner. Retrieved from

Bundy, A. (ed.) (2004). Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework: principles, standards and practice. 2nd ed. Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) and Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

Ipri, T. (2010). Introducing transliteracy. College & Research Libraries News, 71(10), 532-567. Retrieved from