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What is a T.L: my views, then and now.

Posted by arlekeno on June 1, 2009

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).

 

I can say without a doubt, that my view of being a T.L. has changed over the last 6 months.

Looking back at my first blog, you can see what I thought the Role of the T.L. was before I started working as one. 

https://liberalibro.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/hello-world/

These opinions were based on what I observed and the interactions I had with T.Ls.  first as a student, and then a teacher.

During my Dip.Ed, my practicum and my first years teaching, what a Teacher Librarian did was never discussed. They handled the books, they watched kids with you in the Library and otherwise you did not have much to do with them

A big change came when I finally started in the Library. All I had thought about before was there, but there was more.  Then I started ETL 401.

I would say that there are 3 main areas in which my view of a TL has changed.

1) Advocacy and leadership:

From reading Lundin (in topic 2.2) I saw that T.Ls have always had to fight to be recognised, both by legislators and within school by staff.  Lundin and ASLA recommend staffing levels roughly double that of the NSW education system (and thus my school) which led me to ask in the forum if I should only be doing half of the duties recommended by ASLA.

The need for advocacy became a reoccurring theme throughout all the readings. Haycock (2003) recommended, ASLA even has a guide on Advocacy.

Inhttp://www.asla.org.au/advocacy/advocatesguide.pdf

 

In regards to information literacy and the role the role the T.L can play Henri: The information literate school community 2: Issues of leadership bBelieves it is the T.L.s job to push for IL to occur, and take a leadership role.

In fact, I would say ALL the readings in topic two (see previous entries) were on gaining support from community and executive for the Library. This repeated theme through the majority of the readings, and the evidence from my own school, where the Teacher Librarians are shown very little respect and the library designated funding syphoned off for other programmes,  make me want to start collecting examples of Library praise from students, and to start posting articles such as “how collaboration can boost student learning” to our webpage.

(Update, some advocacy has worked  in my school this month, where pressure from P&C students and other staff has led to an increase in my hours in the Library… SO IT DOES WORK!)

 

2) Information Literacy

 The teaching of Information literacy, as described in the readings of topics four was something I had not thought explicitly about as part of the T.L.s job.

I had often thought we should teach proper typing, to speed production and to avoid RSI in future (especially with the small keyboard size on the Lenovo notebooks), but looking at the role statements for T.L.s both from ASLA and the Board of studies (see entries March 16 and April l5) I see that this is an essential part of the job that is not being undertaken at my school (due to lack of awareness and advocacy).

The readings from Topic 4 almost all start with stating how important information literacy/fluency will be in the future, (leading me to ask in the forums, what will happen to the student who is not information literate in a modern society), and that teaching I.L. is a perfect role for T.Ls and a way to maintain our relevance. as, Lorenzo, G. (2007). Catalysts for Change: Information Fluency, Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the New Education Culture, quotes the OCLA saying

“It is time to rejuvenate the library brand, which is still strong in the category of books but needs to be made stronger in leveraging its brand to incorporate growing investments in electronic resources and library web-based services.”

Lorenzo’s research on net-genners show that many see the internet as just as good, if not better than Libraries. With the future of libraries being a topic of much discussion in the internet age, As was shown in Sunday May 31st Sun-Herald http://www.smh.com.au/national/book-now-libraries-are-top-shelf-in-family-attractions-20090530-br1b.html

marketing the library as a place of expertise in Information fluency is a way to ensure Librarian’s survival. As Ray Crotty said in the Herald article,

“There are plenty of issues about how to teach students to research online,”

“Anybody can alter Wikipedia. It’s not necessarily a credible or authoritative source. So teachers have to teach students those information literacy skills.

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

(N.B. My teacher librarians think the Marker should ask if this source is credible J )

 

 

 

3) Collaborative teaching.

From my first blog, you can see that my thoughts on collaboration extended to teaching library skills, collecting resources for classes and helping to manage classes that were in the library.

It did not extend to anything as specific as planning the lessons with other teachers, leaving the library or teaching the IL skills in another teacher’s library lesson.

 

Topic 5 talked a great deal of ways to build collaboration, and the benefits (see post https://liberalibro.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/topic-5-collaborative-practice )

 

I would particularly like to help teach Information fluency, using the Information processing models I have studied. Something some of my Primary school Librarian friends have been able to do.

 

However in a library which can have up to 4 classes in it at a time, 30 senior students on  study breaks who the T.L. is expected to supervise  and with many teachers with little time to plan a collaborative lesson, It will take a lot of effort to do so.

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