ETL503 Part C: Reflection
Throughout this Teacher Librarianship course I have been especially interested in all of the readings about library collections and their management. Whilst I was evaluating library policies and existing library collection practices it was a valuable to look through all the policies that are relevant to the library and the role of the librarian. Mitchell (2011) states that ‘the role of the school library continues to focus on working with learners and teachers, selecting resources to support the curriculum, organising curriculum resources and facilitating access to these resources at the school level.’
It is the teacher librarian’s role to be ‘resource manager’ and ensure teachers know about resources in the school library collection that can support their teaching. ‘All the resources in the world are of no use if teachers and students don’t know they exist.’ (Mitchell,2011)
Up until recently my school library was a neglected space overflowing with old, outdated material of no interest to its users. Based on all the information I have gained throughout this course it has been especially valuable to learn about building up a library collection relevant to its users, a library which benefits the whole school. Building effective information services (ASLA 2013) is essential and a significant responsibility with far-reaching implications.
This course has taught me how to better evaluate a library collection and plan and prepare ways for de-selection in a more evidence-based manner before re-stocking it with new resources. After I was more informed of the practices of evaluation of resources and de-selection I could see the strengths and weaknesses in my current library school collection
I have found this course to be extremely practical in looking at the nature of my current library collection as it has helped me to prioritise jobs I need to carry out aswell as clarify my thoughts. It allowed me to make more informed decisions about future selection and acquisition of resources including the use of selection criteria and selection tools. I am now aware that professional selection tools, such as those recommended by Hughes-Hassell & Mancell (2005) are essential in ensuring a valuable and supportive collection is present.
Now that I have drafted my School Library Collection Policy it is a valuable document, even in its draft form, to show to my principal and maybe even ask for my library budget to be increased.
Most importantly a school library needs to keep ‘relevant’ and continue to reflect its usefulness to the school community. As stated by Mitchell(2011) with ‘there is no justification for maintaining 20th century models for resourcing the new Australian Curriculum.’
This course has shown me the importance of teaching information literacy skills and implementing an information search process model in a school, providing the relevant resources needed. In order to provide students with support in their research path ‘school libraries may first have to do a little spring cleaning, weeding out bland books with limited points of view, which just don’t cut it. Librarians need to hunt for databases and other online resources to supplement their collections.’ (Hill, 2012)
Hill, R (2012). ‘All aboard! Implementing Common Core offers school librarians an opportunity to take the lead.’ School Library Journal, 58.4 (Apr.2012): p26
Hughes-Hassell, S., & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection Management for Youth: Responding to the needs of learners. Chapter 4, ALA Editions, Chicago
Mitchell, P (2011) Resourcing 21st Century Online Australian Curriculum: The Role of School Libraries.FYI Autumn 2011,pp 10-15.