The process that I have gone through in completing this assignment task as well as my learning over the entire subject has been immense. I have a better understanding of what is involved in evaluating a school library collection. I have gained a clearer understanding of how collection practices impact on the effectiveness of the collection in meeting learning needs. The development of a collection policy has given me knowledge about all the areas that need to be addressed to create a strong school library collection.
When evaluating the collection it is essential for the TL to continually be mindful that the main purpose of the collection is meeting the needs of the school learning community (“E-resources: A Taster of Possibilities,” 2010, p .31). It is essential for the TL to take into account the context of the school learning community during evaluation (Koren, 2012, p. 7). I have learnt that a balanced collection is extremely important and creating this is a crucial role of the TL. Every collection will have it strengths and weaknesses, it is part of the TLs role to identify these factors. The TL can then promote the strengths of the collection and address the areas that are lacking.
I have learnt that it is essential for the TL to evaluate their collection practices. I now have an understanding of how collection practices affect the educational needs of the students in a positive or negative way. I understand how important it is for the TL to be well organised and systematic in their approach. It seems that the TL needs to always be striving to be more efficient and effective in their collection management practices (Bishop, 2007). The TL has a very full plate when considering all the areas that need to be addressed through their collection practices, including; creating budgets, selecting resources, organising resources, weeding, evaluating the collection for gaps, supporting student interests through the collection, supporting the curriculum, supporting teaching requirements and supporting the learning needs of the students.
Developing a new collection policy was a daunting task. On completion I understood why it is so important for the school library to have such a policy. During the process it became apparent to me that in order for the TL to demonstrate what a vital role they play in supporting the school learning community they need demonstrate this information to the school community. Such policies enable the TL to be accountable for the role they play and be transparent about how they are achieving their goals and plans for the future. I understand how crucial a collection policy can be in justifying funding for the school library.
Overall, the knowledge and understanding that I have acquired during the process of this assignment and a culmination of the learning from the entire subject has been immense, at times overwhelming. I have learnt that each school library collection will be unique in its own way and that the context of the school community will influence greatly what a balanced collection will look like.
Bishop, K. (2007). Community analysis and needs assessment. In The collection program in school: Concepts, practices and information sources (4th ed.) (pp. 19-24). Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited
E-resources: A taster of possibilities and issues. (2010). Scan, 29(4), 30-43. Retrieved from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/e-restaster.pdf
Koren, J. (2012). Collection and community: The context [Powerpoint Slide]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/joh5700/collection-and-community-the-context-16197346