TL Ponderings


A Paradigm Shift

How does the school library fit into the big picture? – we are not only about the services, providing the resources for our users but more acutely about teaching information literacy within the context of the curriculum.

Of the public libraries i looked at, the National Library of Australia was really fantastic. I loved the look and feel of it and the ease of use, i was interested to see that it places accessibility to services at the forefront of its policies and that it plays an active role in the world of libraries. All of the large public libraries i looked at were promoting their digital content.  For me this will mean ensuring my users have access to ‘evaluated’ web sites. How do i rate against the ALIA’s core knowledge, skills and attributes – i know i do some of these things (info seeking, info access, generic skills and attributes); i try to do some of them (info infrastructure, info services, sources and products,info literacy education); and i realise that i need to perform better in some areas too (generation of knowledge). Although i work cooperatively with the teachers, invariably it is their agenda that drives the lessons – i need to be more assertive with the incorporation of a structured info literacy scope and sequence – i hope to develop one within this subject.

From my initial readings i feel that the literature will help me articulate what i try to do in my library, my goal will be to better document what i do through the rewriting of policies and procedures as well as evaluating my impact in the school. I instantly think of guided inquiry as a means for collecting the evidence to drive our content and secure our role. Like all other sectors of our community, i feel that accountability has become the agenda for the leaders in our schools of which TL and school libraries are not immune.

Was it the 80’s when the great paradigm shift from the system as the centre of the library to the user as the centre of the library occurred? With this, constructivist learning as the optimum method for students to learn rather then teacher centred classrooms seemed the next step. Herring’s chapter on TL and the school library (2007) (apart from giving me much food for work within my own library) pointed out that we should be about teaching students to learn rather then giving them a set of skills. I agree. We are embracing open/agile learning spaces in my school and I hear teachers saying ” it didn’t work in the 70’s why are we going there again?” The failure in the past lay not with the space so much as with the pedagogy and the lack of teacher PD to improve and adapt pedagogy. I see my role as integral to this change in our school – as modeling constructivist pedagogy, of placing the student in the centre through the use of RBL, cooperative learning and the Quality Teaching Framework – I try to do this in my library lessons.

What are the key concerns for this decade?

  • Creating independent learners by teaching students how to learn within an information literacy scaffold that embraces Quality Teaching
  • Further harnessing the ICT world to facilitate the creation of independent learners
  • Promoting TL and Libraries as integral to the creation of independent learners
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