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Archive for March, 2009

Urgent Update

Posted by arlekeno on March 30, 2009

All work on Masters has stopped. I have pneumonia and am too ill to read for long periods of time or to concentrate.


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The Pitfalls of overwork

Posted by arlekeno on March 23, 2009

Alas, This saturday was the first chance I have had in a month to properly look at my ETL503 coursework.

Which led me very quickly to realise I had no time to do all the work required before the deadline for the first assesment. This means I have had to drop Collection management until a time when I am not ill, have a set timetable and in general am less stressed and have more time.

This is a pity because from what I read, it seemed like a very in depth and useful subject.

Whats another year to a masters?

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Listen to what “the man” says. (well, handbook really).

Posted by arlekeno on March 16, 2009

I finally have a period free in a day and am going over the officialNSW Department of Education & Training Document on Library policy.

Objectives – Policy statement

Libraries are an essential resource within New South Wales government schools to support teaching and learning in the context of syllabus and curriculum requirements.
Libraries provide teachers and teacher-librarians with resources to teach the curriculum and students with resources for individual learning and recreational reading.
Principals and teacher-librarians are responsible for the development of an educational program and a detailed description of the support each library provides to meet the particular needs of the students of the school.

1) Now I like this already, Libraries are essential. TLs do have a purpose and job and the TL and Principal develop and support educational programmes.

I have always thought all these things were happening before reading this, as it just seemed logical. I would like to see the word ESSENTIAL added next to teacher Librarian as well in 1.2 though.

.Audience and applicability

This policy applies to all school principals, teachers, teacher-librarians and administrative staff.
The purpose of the school library is to support teaching and learning within the total program of the school. Teacher-librarians collaborate with teachers in the planning, implementing and evaluating of teaching and learning programs, including the integration of Information Communications Technology and literacy.
Teacher-librarians provide students with opportunities to develop information skills and to use these skills competently and with confidence for lifelong learning.
Document history and details

2) This policy applies to everyone in schools, good, some people tend to think Library processes do not apply to them.

3) Yes, we do support teachers, and we COLABORATE with teachers. The teachers who best use the library and the TLs at my school are the ones who do acept the invitiation to talk to us at the start of they year and let us know what they would like to use library for, we have a good relationship especially with Art and English, but also some science teachers ( the current Head TL is an ex-science teacher).

You will note we also develop skills in the students as well. I do particularly like this role, as it is often one on one with students who need and want help at the time, which does make teaching a lot easier.


Responsibilities and delegations

The teacher-librarian is:

  • a member of the school’s total teaching staff and as such is actively involved in collaborative teaching and learning, school curriculum planning and in program development
  • involved in the provision of the information-related resources integral to the planning, implementation and evaluation of the curriculum of the school
  • a specialist teacher who develops, manages and evaluates, on behalf of the Principal, systems and procedures which include:
    • library budgeting
    • selection and culling
    • ordering and acquisitions
    • cataloguing and classification using the Schools Catalogue Information Service
    • processing of materials
    • circulation
    • stock control.
The principal and the teacher-librarian together are responsible for implementing the school’s library policy.

4) Perhaps the most important part of this document, the role statement. Referring to my original blog where I wrote of what I thought the role was, you can see that I was, for the most part, spot on.

Where I was a somewhat off was the whole school role involved in planning, which sometimes the librarian is not included in. but essentially, I do all of the above.

The lack of whole school co-operation however, can cause challenges, especially when decisions are made which do not consider the impact on the library, but this may be a quirk of my particular school.

As for 4.2,  this would appear to me as the Teacher Librarian answers only the Principal and both are required to make sure the policies are being followed within a school unitl you reach point 5.

Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements

The Manager, School Libraries and Information Literacy, will monitor the implementation of this policy and will report as required, to the Director, Curriculum.

Where if problems arise, an external body can come in and judge if this is being done.

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Challenge of the Library.

Posted by arlekeno on March 14, 2009

One of the things we are asked to do for one of our assignments is to identify challenges faced by teacher LIbrarians in schools.

The biggest challenge I have seen so far is that most other people in a school, have NO IDEA of what a Teacher Librarians Job is.
Since I have started the first commetn everyone makes is something along the lines of how easy it must be. There is a general view that all we do is sit around, read books and occasionaly loan them out.

Now this problem is constant in most schools. English people think maths have it easy because the answers are all right or wrong with no in betweens. Maths look down on p.e. who just go out the back and throw a football around. P.E. etc. Becaause no one leaves their faculty they have no idea what anyone else is doing (having taught in at least 6 faculties in my school , I do).

This is not a problem, but usually there are only one or two librarians, and when it comes time to allocate funding or alloacte teaching lads, they have no say.

As a result Libraries in school are underfunded, or staffed with leftovers from other faculties who have no idea of anything but the most basic role of the librarian and no interest in learning.

In case you are wondering I will NOT be publishing my name or school in this blog. But so far this year I have been taken of Library to work in other areas, Library has been understaffed and i haev been unable to find any time to even look at most of my readings.

If Library was respected, or even understood, i doubt this would happen.

In my next blog I will give the official description of my job ( or what should be my job) from the library handbook.

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Hello world!

Posted by arlekeno on March 4, 2009

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Sounds like a good starting line. A rote reply to joining but nice all the same.

I am required to start this blog as a reflective learning journal for my Masters degree in Teacher Librarianship.

It will be used throughout the entire 2 years of my course but for now it is for ETL401 Assignment 2 task c. Which is …

A critical synthesis of your reflection on how your view of the role of the teacher librarian may have changed during the subject. This should include examples captured from your personal blog and from your contribution to and reading of the ETL401 forum ( about 750 words).

As you can see, I have to use the forum as well.


Before I tell you what I think the role of a T.L. is now, I will tell you what I used to think it was.

In primary school, I thought the School Librarian was there to loan books, teach us how to find books and read to us.

In High School ( the one I am at now as a matter of fact). With the exception of the reading to us, I thought the same. On top of thies, they were there to guide us in finding the books we needed for assesments.

In College I really only chatted to the Librarian  since by then I knew how to find most of what I needed ( he was a nice chap too).

When I started teaching I thought the librarians role was all of these things ( well, again not reading to me), but aside from borrowing, they were a resource, the person who knew what teh school had and where to get it.

If I had a class they were another teacher capable of helping provide learning (and control). An ally in education.

I knew I wanted to get into Libraries though, I think in Systems, I am a generalist when it comes to knowledge, and I prefer small group or team teachign to regular classroom teaching.

And when I started, FINALLy, after 5 years got into the library, I thought my job was to find the resources for other teachers. Help manage classes in the library. Manage the collection, ( I particularly liked buying graphic novels and loathed the culling), and do other general library tasks, such as computer lab boookings and photocopying.

What do I think now? Well, that will be my next blog.

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