ETL 507 Final Reflective Portfolio

Throughout my studies of Masters in Education (Teacher Librarianship), my views, understanding and knowledge have grown dramatically. Developing a deeper understanding of the critical role that teacher librarians (TL) play within schools including: supporting curriculum outcomes, being proactive and responsive in the successful library management, as well as effectively managing information services, has been essential in expanding my understanding of the crucial role of TL within schools.


Library Wordle

Following are critical learning points that developed deeper learning and understanding of the concepts related to teacher librarianship throughout my studies.

In reflection, ETL401 provided an excellent basis to introduce many of the key concepts related to TL. Having just completed my Bachelor in Teaching /Arts degree, I had not had any experience working or teaching in school libraries. Many educational advancements have occurred since I was last in a school library. This subject highlighted the importance of the TL in demonstrating how evidence based practice and research skills were essential. Having the ability to not only teach but also use effective search strategies, exposing students to learning that was resource and inquiry based. In addition, I built an understanding of the necessity to use and understand Information Search Processes (ISP) when interacting with digital literacy within a wide variety of Information Process models. The importance of the implementation of this process was discussed in the ETL401 Reflective blog
Building a deeper understanding of the essential role of the teacher librarian when supporting the learning outcomes of students through well-planned, instructional teaching and learning activities occurred during this course. The exploration of information process and enquiry learning models enabled me to see the relationship between positive digital citizenship and information literacy. I adapted my practice within the classroom almost immediately. More guided lessons were introduced and instead of assuming students had these 21st century learning skills, I was explicitly teaching students the skills they would require to become lifelong learners. Since then my knowledge and understanding has expanded greatly. My lessons still contain similar themes, but are essentially less teacher directed and more student lead. This allows me to take advantage of the knowledge and understanding students currently have and build on their skills and research abilities. These lessons are additionally no longer taught in isolation, but are integrated into many classroom activities.
The role of the TL in supporting not only student learning outcomes, but working collaboratively with the school community to enable students to develop the knowledge and understanding to actively engage and participate in the online community, is vital. One of my most critical learning points within this subject was related to building an awareness and understanding of the ISP model outlined by Carol Kulthau. From gaining awareness I now regularly use and refer to this model both individually and with my students. It allows students to see that their feelings of frustration and confusion are normal and encourages them to continue working through the information search steps in order to achieve an outcome. I ensure that when using this model within the classroom, we reflect on how the processes were used, the way that we felt as we were going through the processes, and again at the completion of the task. This metacognitive reflection has resulted in improved attitudes and results with students’ work. Furthermore, metacognitive reflection also allows me to assess where my students require additional support. I am also more easily able to identify what teaching and learning activities have been most effective in order to improve my teaching in the future.
In addition to this, I have placed additional focus on teaching students more effective information literacy skills. Students are then using these critical analysis skills to assess and consider digital information when interacting and communicating online. This has shaped me into being a more effective leader. I am now able to recognise how to more effectively cater for students in order to guide inquiry skills and then transfer this knowledge when operating in 21st century learning environments. This knowledge allows me to provide students with the opportunity to practice the skills of locating, evaluating, considering articles and information. The implementation of information literacy model has also provided my students with the knowledge and foundations to become more successful and independent learners.

ETL501 Information Environment
I experienced several key learning experiences within this subject. Creating my first pathfinder changed the way that I teach and view resource creation. I developed the skills to critically analyse the resources and information that I was using within my teaching and was able to see that some of the information was old, outdated and wasn’t engaging the students. I was able to modify the format and presentation of the information, locate more up to date and relevant information and create a learning and teaching tool that would fundamentally change the way I taught in the future.
By creating resources that would be used within the learning environment I found myself assessing other online resources in order to recognise the most effective way to store and display information that would be most effective for student retrieval. This knowledge has been utilised to address Australian Curriculum ICT learning capabilities.Screenshot_2015-02-01-17-12-16-1 Deepening my understanding of the Organising Elements and Learning Continum has additionally expanded my professional knowledge and expertise.

Another key learning experience came when investigating and critically analysing Web 2.0 tools. I had not previously been aware of the educational benefits of Web 2.0 tools before commencing this subject. These Web 2.0 tools enable students to engage with Information Commutation Technologies (ICT), resulting in improved information literacy skills. I now regularly integrate web 2.0 tools into my lessons, for example mind mapping tools such as have been invaluable during literacy lessons where students are practicing the Focus on Reading (FOR) skills and summarizing information. The bubbles allow the students to create a personalised document that they can engage and manipulate in order to record their ideas. This work was then presented at FOR training days and has been implemented across many of the primary classes with great success.


Click here for Best Teacher Resources Link

Investigating websites using websites evaluation criteria for collection development was essential in developing my ability to recognise and later create my own resources and utilize Web 2.0 tools within the classroom. The Best Teacher Resources Blog was a fantastic foundation to start my inquirey and exposed me to a wide variety of available Web 2.0 tools. Furthermore, these tools provide students with the opportunity to participate with ICT and an essential part of the curriculum. It is fundamental the TL has the capacity to support students in the use of ICT. These Web 2.0 tools additionally provide students with creative and individualised opportunities when presenting their ideas and work. Despite not working as a TL, I have found that I am working in conjunction with the current TL, discussing and implementing a variety of these tools, not only in my own class, but across the school. This knowledge has resulted in students increasingly having the opportunity to engage and interact with technology that has been embedded into a wide range of learning opportunities. Furthermore, students have developed confidence and competence when collaborating with peers, as well as sharing and presenting their ideas. Students are increasingly motivated and engaged with directing their own learning and are requesting these activities more regularly. They are additionally noticing their skills and competence have increased and enjoy ‘teaching’ other students about technologies that they are engaging with in class.
I am additionally finding that students have developed competency in developing critical thinking skills when locating information in a 21st century learning environment. From teaching and learning activities undertaken within this topic I have been explicitly ably to teach students Information Literacy Skills that have resulted in:
– Improved information literacy skills inclusive of multimedia and digital literacies.
– Developed thinking skills and the ability to deconstruct and establish meaning from information
– Confidence in knowing when to seek assistance and what assistance they require in order to complete an activity.
-The ability to investigate, create, manage, store and communicate relevant information, this is increasingly being done through the utilization of Web 2.0 tools.
– Seeking and locating appropriate information and actively demonstrating good digital citizenship skills.

Furthermore, this subject highlighted how the TL operates as an information manager and specialist. Although I am not currently working as a TL in a school I have used this knowledge and understanding to provide programs for the stage that I work. It was essential that I reflect on and learn the most appropriate way to conduct searching and location of information because as teachers and TLs we must have the skills to be information literate in order to provide students with a range of effective searching skills (Herring, 2011). This additionally provides students with the opportunity to engage in activities in order to build deeper knowledge and understanding further supporting curriculum outcomes and quality teaching and learning.

This personal learning has resulted in increased knowledge and understanding and the expertise to provide students with engaging and varied technologies. I am additionally more proactive in researching and trialing technologies with the view of implementing their use in the classroom and throughout the school. This information is then shared within the school network allowing other teachers to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise I have built within the course. This school network allows me to contribute to the implementation and integration of technology within the school whilst acting as a classroom teacher. It is done in collaboration with the school TL and ensures that a whole school approach is made when integrating technology and ideas across the school. Furthermore, reflection and discussion allows us to modify, reflect and discuss how these tools were used and implemented in order to improve practice, adapting and modifying learning activities to ensure they are most effective as outlined in the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) Standard 2.4.

ETL 503- Library Collections
Another key learning outcome came during the ETL503 course. Having had no previous experience with collection policies this subject was invaluable in building knowledge and understanding as to the importance of implementing and maintaining a collection policy. Building a collection policy gave me the expertise that I will require to ensure that the resources are relevant and purposeful within my own library in the future. I am able to additionally recognise how having these resources as outlined within the collection policy, will improve student engagement. I have developed the foundations and knowledge to identify and weed a collection.
Additionally, I have used this knowledge to update and revise the programs and teaching resources that we use across the stage. This has resulted in more engaging and up to date resources. Students are more motivated to engage with these resources as they consider them to be more visually appealing and not, ‘old fashioned.’ Furthermore, this has altered the way students learn, as the resources are increasingly online and have been collated in web quest styled sites. I now feel both students and teachers have increased their skills and knowledge when engaging with technology. This has built confidence and increased self-efficacy. Furthermore, students’ IPS and IL skills have indirectly improved as a result of regularly practicing and engaging with a variety of technologies and resources and implementing the skills that they have been taught in class. As an additional result of implementing these changes, students are more positive and proactive in researching and engaging with their learning. I can recognise that these changes and adaptation to teaching and resource collection should not be stagnant, but are ongoing. I have also revised the original document in order to improve my practice further. This reinforced Kennedy’s (2006) concept of a collection policy being a working document.

ETL505 Practical uses of cataloging and ETL507 The Changing Environment of Libraries.
Participating in the ETL505 course fell at the same time I completed Semester 1 of ETL507. This was very beneficial at it allowed me to work in collaboration with experts in order to gain the understanding I required in completing the assessment tasks related to cataloging. I had initially struggled with the ETL505 course as I found that there were conflicts in my results when classifying items and the Philip Hider, Information Resource Description (2012) text broadened my understanding. I felt more confident when returning items to shelves than deciding on the classification itself. Completing my placement during this course meant I received a lot of practice in locating and re-shelving items as per the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC23) system. Their coding patterns quickly became familiar and by the end of the first week I found it easier to locate information and subjects by topic. During this placement the collection was additionally weeded of a variety of items. I generated and operated off a list that identified resources that had not been borrowed for four years. These books then were required to be collected and were given to the head librarian so they could decide if they would be removed or re-shelved from the collection. Many items were re-shelved as they were deemed to still be relevant to the teaching topics within the Hunter TAFE Library system. I found this gave me additional practice at re-shelving and returning items.
During the second week of my placement I was provided with more time to practice my cataloging skills. The library had purchased new items and I was instructed to use the DDC23 manuals in order to reference the books. The head librarian had me write down my steps and thinking, as I was working through the texts and then compared my results to the cataloging that the National Library and other TAFE libraries used. I found that practicing my cataloging was very useful as it build a deeper understanding of why resources would be located in different positions. There was one item however, that I cataloged with the same Dewey Decimal Classification as the National Library that we changed the DDC23 coding on. This was due to all texts on Indigenous people being located in the one area. Developing this understanding also allowed me to identify that sometimes, in order to cater more fully for the clientele that you are working with, items needed to be moved to improve access and usability. These changes had been trialed previously and the borrowing results showed that the items began to circulate more regularly and the students preferred that all the texts they required on that specific topic were located together. It reinforced the importance of being aware and catering for the users within our facilities.
In future, if I was needing to catalog items I wouldn’t try to “re-invent the wheel” and create the coding for each item, instead I would refer to the codes the supplier and other institutions use before considering if this would be the most effective cataloging of this item in order to support the users within my Library.
During the second week of my placement, the Hunter TAFE Library I was completing my placement, catered for a large cohort of early childhood students. Many of these students were required to visit the library with infants and interact with them during observation lessons. This meant that the cataloging in the junior fiction area was displayed and stocked differently from the rest of the resources in the library. Books were displayed by topic (using a dot system to catalogue) such as beaches, the bush, Australian stories and fantasy. The books were not shelved, spine out but were placed on racking displaying their front covers. Although the display was visually more appealing and made it easier to select items based on the image on the front cover it was a more difficult system to work with when trying to retrieve different texts for interlibrary loan or borrowing purposes.

The ‘study visits’ completed at the start of ETL507 (CSU, 2014) also provided an excellent experience for observing a variety of library venues. Receiving a tour and having the ability to ask questions in order to expand our understanding of how different instructions worked was invaluable. It was positive being able to compare how different libraries operated and presented their resources in order to cater for their clientele. One of the biggest influences to the physical spaces was the financial expenditure budgets that each library was allocated. Some libraries had spent a lot of money on resources and others had made smart investments with the money they had received in order to make an environment that was visually appealing and inviting. These facilities especially were wonderful in allowing me to see how things like portable shelving, or attaching caster wheels to shelves can enable displays and shelving to be relocated in order to cater for a variety of flexible situations in a small space. As I currently work in the Public School system, these considerations ensure that I can provide my users with a space that is purposeful, engaging and inviting in addition to being practical. I think that maintaining an awareness of not only the physical resources but an understanding of the best ways to present and engage with our learning communities is essential. Since then I have joined several online forums with TL and they regularly suggest ways that they have improved their learning spaces, things they would change or do again. This has provided me wisdom, experience and excellent ideas when I do gain a position as a TL.

Ongoing Education
The completion of this degree does not mark the end of my learning. In reflection I am more proactive in seeking, locating and trialing new technologies and ways of teaching. My motivation to implement and improve on my expertise has crossed over into many aspects of my life. Personally, I am now a more successful learner and teacher. I have a deeper awareness of ASLA’s Standards of Professional Excellence and the knowlege and skills required by TL and strive to achive these standards within my own teaching practice. I exercise and improve on these skills continually. My skills at leading and interacting with my peers to support and provide professional development have strengthened my self-confidence and have resulted in improved results for my students. I am continuing to participate in professional networks to expand my knowledge and how to most effectively use it.

ASLA. (2014). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from

Australian Curriculum,  Assessment and Reporting Authority.  (2014). Information and and communication technology ( ICT ) capability. In Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from

Australian Curriculum,  Assessment and Reporting Authority.  (2014). Organising Elements of ICT capability (image). Retrieved from

Best Teacher Resources Blog. (2014). 101 Web 2.0 Tools that Every Teacher Should Know About. Retrieved from

Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (2014). Wagga Wagga: NSW: Interact, Subject unit ETL507, Professional Practice, Study Visits and Professional Placement.

Foster, N. (2013). Critical Reflection-Assessent Item 5-Part B. Retrieved from

Herring, J. (2011). Improving Students’ Web Use and Information Literacy: A guide for teachers and teacher librarians. London: Facet Publishing.

Hider, P. (2012). Information resource description. London: Facet.

Kuhlthau, C. (2013). Information Search Process. Retrieved from

Library Image. (2014). Library Wordle (image). Retrieved from

National Library of Australia. (n.d.). Catalogue.  Retrieved from


ETL505: Describing and Analysing Resources

Assignment 2 Part C Reflections

This course has dramatically changed the way I think about cataloging and developed my understanding immensely. It has also left me with the realisation that I have a long way to go before mastering any of the systems that I have learnt about.  I found this course to be one of the most challenging of the degree thus far.  I was overwhelmed by the information at hand and found some of the activities in the modules contradictory. When attempting to participate in the module activities, I found that other people’s concerns left me feeling more confused and overwhelmed. Where to from here? The answer was simple, continue reading, continue practicing and ask for help.

The complexity of the Metatdata standards and the existence of different standards were overwhelming. Hider, (2012) describes librarians as ‘information and bibliographic organisers’ and to do this, I needed to build an understanding of metadata, its associated vocabularies, classifications and tools and systems. What did I need to do to improve my knowledge and understanding when I currently don’t work in that field of specialisation?

One of the most beneficial learning tasks I undertook whilst doing this subject was the ETL507 Placement. It allowed me to consolidate the information I was learning about and put it into practice. I was able to witness first hand how the storage of resources and archives differed based on the metadata standards. Specifically, I could recognise how a failure to use metadata standards had resulted in dramatically reduced accession rates. My knowledge and understanding of Dewey Decimal classification (DDC) within the TAFE Library context developed dramatically. I developed my ability to build DDC numbers, to organise texts so they are located more easily, to classify items and research item classification numbers (because we don’t have to keep re-inventing the wheel) in order to consistently and systematically locate items (Svenonius, E. 2001). I developed an understanding of why this system is also implemented in so many school libraries and how. Additionally I developed an understanding of how the SCIS standards influence the way we located and catalogue items (CSU Module 5 forum). Hider & Harvey (2008) identify that we must be aware of the users, their needs and how we can adapt our systems to meet their needs, and in this case, DDC works. It additionally enforced the essential requirement to have metadata system that organises information effectively in order to locate and retrieve relevant information when required. Essentially, how could standardised vocabularies enhance my ability to access and organise collections?

I studied the Subject access spectrum, and considered-what search strategies do I use the most (CSU Module 4 forum)? Are these effective? What strategies do my students use? Continuing to interact and research the SCIS headings expanded my understanding and built my confidence. I am increasingly aware of how the requirements of school students and teachers impacts the way we organise information both physically and virtually. How can I use this new knowledge and improved vocabulary to assist my students in locating information?

I am increasingly developing a systematic understanding of the methods that information resources are being portrayed in with the purpose of accessing information across a vast range of contexts. Obtaining this knowledge and understanding is not a stagnate process. I can see how past and future trends in information organisation will continue to shape how we describe, organise and access educational resources.  The big question now- how will I adapt my own practice to continue to grow and expand my knowledge? Will social tagging and folksonomies move from social metadata  and shape the way we view and use metatdata as a whole in the future (Hilder, 2012)? I look forward to finding out and continuing to build confidence and understanding as I adapt and in an ever increasingly technological age.


CSU Forum 4 (2014) Retrieved from:

CSU Forum 5 (2014) Retrieved from:

Hider, P. (2012). Information Resource Description Creating and Managing Metadata. London: Facet Publishing.

Hider, P., & Harvey, R. (2008). Organising Knowledge in a global society. Principles and practice in libraries and information centres. Wagga Wagga: Centre for information studies. Charles Sturt University

Svenonius, E. (2001). The intellectual foundation of information organization. Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Critical Reflection- ETL504 Assignment 2

My knowledge and understanding of the essential role of Teacher Librarian as Leader within this subject has evolved and expanded dramatically. In addition to this, I have a much richer understanding of the reality of executing change within the school itself. Conducting, considering and reflecting on activities and readings have allowed me to establish a deeper understanding of the essential role of the Librarian as Leader and essentially, how best to facilitate change.

In addition, this course has making me more aware and driven to implement change. I am now coming to the realisation that in order to successfully achieve this change, I need to prioritize the most essential and important aspects first. I can recognise that for students to become more engaged 21st Century learners, they need to not only demonstrate their Information Literacy skills in the school library but additionally engage these skills in the classroom and their everyday activities. Furthermore for this to occur, professional development of TL and staff is essential in order to maintain and implement innovative change within the school environment. This realisation was driven by a desire to implement 21st century learning more effectively within the school community.

Reading and considering other students’ forum posts has provided me with an insight to the functioning in a variety of school libraries. The ability to clarify ideas and read other people’s opinions challenged my thinking and ideas, especially as I am not currently working in a library. This additionally allowed clarity questions on a topic whilst building a sense of belonging within a collaborative environment.

However, I can now recognise that it is unrealistic to think this change can all occur immediately and this process is not solely driven by the one decision maker. I now recognise that is will be more successful if driven by a committee of like-minded people with clearly defined goals. Jennings (2008) discussed collaboration as being the way forward and this concept illustrates dramatic change in my thinking.

Upon reflection on my initial blog posts I considered this role of leadership as more singular, however my understanding has now evolved dramatically. Stone, Russell and Patterson’s (2004) concept of dynamic leadership that is both proactive and reactive, whilst providing multifaceted, where as a leader I can lead, guide or alternatively support and provide others with the tools to implement change is essential. This was without a doubt my single greatest learning curve within the subject. Prior to this I was so driven to guiding change by explicitly teaching and demonstrating changes I wished to implement, that I had failed to engage and provide others with the tools to help me achieve these goals. The ability to work and lead successfully in a collaborative environment is essential in every school. I had however underestimated the importance of working with those around me to achieve these shared goals. This has allowed me to recognise that an effective leader isn’t always the face and driving force that I once considered, but is a leader that additionally enables and supports others in order to achieve a purpose.

Additionally, the ability to communicate, collaborate, resolve conflict, negotiation skills and working with others in a respectful and positive environment is essential and should be demonstrated and reinforced by successful leaders (MBA, 2012).

Macbeath & Dempster’s (2008) “Leadership for learning” article further reinforced that learning whilst leading can result in mistakes. In comparison there has been times where I had been hesitant to take a leadership role for fear of making an error. In reflection however, I can now recognise that in the past, I should have had more confidence because despite the fact that I may have made a mistake I was one of the best education and most qualified there to undertake the leadership role. In addition to this, I can also recognise that working with a collaborative committee or group within this same context would have additionally improved the overall outcomes.

Critically analysing and comparing my ideas within this modules has allowed me to realise that I have additionally expanded and reinforced my ideas and beliefs influenced by Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005). These beliefs are that successful leaders guiding teams with expertise, knowledge and understanding. I feel that the knowledge and understanding obtained by completing this assignment does not conflict my beliefs prior to commencing my studies but has provided a much deeper and enriched concept of leadership allowing me to more successfully implement and plan change for the future. Additionally the course has prompted me to look past leadership in schools and libraries to expand my understanding of skills that strong leaders in other industries implement that can be transferred or adapted with a school setting.


Jennings, M. (2008). Dynamic Educational Leadership Teams : From Mine to Ours. Retrieved from:

 Marzano, R., Waters, T. and McNulty, B. (2005). School Leadership That Works : From Research to Results. [e-book] Alexandria, Vancouver: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. pp. 13-27. Available through: Charles Sturt University

 MBA, (2012). Let your ears do the talking: how good managers listen. [Video file]. Retrieved from

 Stone, A., Russell, R. & Patterson, K. (2004) Transformational versus servant leadership: a difference in leader focus. Emerald.

Assignment 1- ETL504 Reflective Critical Analysis

The first modules within the ETL504, Teacher Librarian as Leader has forced me to re-assess my view of the role of the Teacher Librarian within the school setting. As I am not currently working as a Teacher Librarian, this assignment has required me to critically consider Teacher Librarian’s practice that I have been involved with. It has allowed me to critically analyse aspects of leadership that have been successful, whilst allowing me to recognise areas that I would personally modify given the leadership opportunity.


I additionally have analysed the role that I have taken on within the school setting as a leader and compared it to circumstances where I was a team member and was being lead by a peer. This metacognitive reflection guided my practice when creating the mind map. I identified the key specific skills demonstrated by successful leaders, in order to expand my understanding. I found the goals for best practice discussed in the Standards of Professional Excellence for TLs (ASLA, 2004) was aligned to my thoughts and feelings towards leadership.


Articles by Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005) re-enforced my opinion that effective leaders guide their teams in decision-making and problem solving by demonstrating their deep knowledge and understanding. Furthermore, deep technical understanding, high interpersonal skills and conceptual knowledge are essential to successful leadership. I realised that successful leaders are proactive and involve a team in the collaborative process, further enabling others (Hay and Todd, 2010). The leader ensured that the task was more successfully implemented, additionally increasing the self efficacy of the team members involved. This process avoided situations where a stage or group leader made decisions independently within the school. Such as purchasing resources or implementing a new system, to only have it fail because other team members were not invested or did not fully recognise how to incorporate this into their teaching.


The Stephen Covey questionnaire, made me recognise how little leadership I have been directly involved with in the school setting. This is reflective of my short career as a teacher. However, I was able to draw upon leadership roles I have had in the corporate world and reflect on what had worked well. These same leadership attributes could be transferred to the school setting. I additionally analysed the questionnaire options and recognised approaches that I had seen other leaders implement less successfully. When taking this into consideration I initially used post-it notes to identify and collate my ideas for the concept map. However, the more I expanded my knowledge and understanding through course readings and my own independent research, the more I changed my ideas and priorities. At his point I found it was more practical to use the map creation tool ‘’ as I could move and manipulate my ideas, exporting them to ensure I had a saved copy that I could come back at a later date to readdress.


This reflection allowed me to recognise that effective leaders were those who not only had a deep contextual knowledge and understanding but also were additionally guided by a direction, effective communication and vision of where they wanted to more forward to (Sergiovanni, 2005). This moral purpose gave guidance and ensured that when decision-making was required there was a clear direction to move towards. These leaders encouraged collaboration between staff members, achieving the most from their team as people contributed and become involved. This in turn increased the ownership of the task for all team members, ensuring that once the final decision was made colleagues fully understood the results and wanted to implement the changes and take action.


ASLA. (April 2013). Future learning and school libraries. Retrieved from…../2013-ASAL-futures-paper.pdf 

Hay, L. and Todd, R. (2010). School Libraries 21C: the conversation begins. SCAN, 29 (1).

Marzano, R., Waters, T. and McNulty, B. (2005). School Leadership That Works : From Research to Results. [e-book] Alexandria, Vancouver: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. pp. 13-27. Available through: Charles Sturt University

 Sergiovanni, T. (2005). The Virtues of Leadership. The Educational Forum, 69 (Winter), Retrieved from:

ETL504 the Teacher Librarian as Leader- topic Introduction

Organisational Theory commencing a unit of Study.

Before commencing my teaching degree I had worked for over a decade in the private sector in a varity of roles. I had worked closely with my managers and had operated in different management roles myself. Despite my clear personal beliefs of what makes a good leader in a corporate setting I had not considered the TL in the role as a leader of a committee or group. I recognise the collaborative nature of the role in supporting and guiding staff but most of the teacher Librarian I have worked with do so in more of an independent manner. Decisions are made by the TL in relation to the Library and are approved by a Principal.

I’m looking forward to expanding my understanding of ;

Transactional Leadership

Situational Leadership

Transformational Leadership

Servant Leadership, and

Instructional Leadership

When I consider my own leadership I would describe it as proactive, engaging, and I try to encourage positive purposeful communications. I recognise the role of the TL in maintaining their knowledge and understanding of emerging technologies and passing these onto other students and teachers but I had not fully considered what management experience I would draw upon to implement into my own Library in the future.

I additionally find, that many of my preconceived ideas on the role of the TL as leader are shaped by the Librarians that I have witnessed in schools. I need to challenge myself to analyse what I would do to change or improve their practice and bring their roles into a modern setting as many are doing the same things as they were 15 years ago. These librarians who I have respected and admired may also not demonstrate the leadership skills to bring libraries into the 21st century in their current format. 


Critical Reflection- Assessment Item 5- Part B

Previously I had recognised the importance of the role the Teacher Librarian (TL) plays in guiding and implementing research-based inquiry. I had used constructivist learning approaches and Blooms styled activities within the classroom and seen the positive effect and results from students guiding their own learning. However, before commencing this course I was not aware of the instructional guidelines described by Kuhlthau within the ISP model. I can see this model as being invaluable, both in the classroom and personally in my own studies. Critically reflecting on the processes and stages I have moved through within this course in researching, reading and writing assignments, has mirrored the stages that Kuhlthau has described. I have become more metagonitivly aware. My understanding of my own affective domain is deeper. I’m aware that the feeling of being overwhelmed and unsure mirrors that of my students in their research processes.

In addition to my new recognition of the learning processes, my skills and research techniques have also improved. I found the readings and instructional activities in the introduction to the course honed my research skills. With practice and experimentation, I developed a research process that resulted in faster, more accurate research results than I have used previously. The ability to access more accurate search results has also improved my information management skills. I have developed confidence in categorizing and storing information and sites that have been most beneficial for later use. The ability to collate and store this information will allow me to guide my students more successfully, assisting them when they require guidance on a particular topic. With this additional skill and knowledge I can now recognise how much time I have wasted trying to find relevant, current resources when studying previously. The ability to successfully manage databases, to catalog information, to utilise citation tools has also improved my learning and teaching processes.

The role of the TL is essential in educating both students and teachers within the school community to improve information literacy skills. There is a distinct need to teach students to use and identify resources effectively and responsibly. The readings throughout the course highlighted students’ inability to critically analyse and assess resources. I found these results worrying, in such a technological age. With access to a plethora of information we are failing our students if we do not teach them to think independently. Furthermore, this inability to critically analyse and assess sources was a cause of concern. In maintaining high expectations, had I failed to recognise students’ analytical skills? It was refreshing to see this critical reflection and questioning, interwoven through the variety of information literacy skill process that I discussed on my course blog. Students increasingly require the skills to navigate technology, react to changes and adapt thinking processes. The information literacy models (ILM) discussed achieved this successfully. The ability to work with information, to locate, evaluate and comprehend, not only the content of an article but its purpose, is invaluable. In utilising and analyzing this new information students also learn to link and shape new knowledge to pre-exiting schema making it more relevant and purposeful. As I developed my own knowledge and understanding through my education with this course, it further reinforced the value and necessity of implementing a successful information literacy model.

The course has reiterated the significance of utilising a whole school approach when implementing and maintaining a successful ILM. It has reinforced the need for TL’s to work in collaboration with peers in supporting and creating units of work that relate to students and are shaped around curriculum. The utilisation of the ILM should be encouraged in a diversity of situations. I now recognise, that information literacy is more than skills, it shapes lifelong learners. ILM encourages the ability to recognise, utilise and build cognition from a variety of media. Students can recognise their own knowledge and understanding, have the ability to recognise the need for additional information and have the skills to find and access it.

The role of the TL is less teacher directed than it has ever been. However, we have now become facilitators and experts on learning and information search and retrieval. There are times when we need to encourage critical reflection, and give guidance. This course has convinced me of the significance of maintaining and continuing my own knowledge. In having positive relationships with students, knowing how they learn best and how to support their learning. Quality teachers and TL all need to plan and structure quality lessons. The course has demonstrated how to not only become a better teacher, but a more informed, higher skilled learner.

Assignment 4 Information literacy is more than a set of skills!

Information Literacy is more than just a set of skills, it has increasingly become a way of life. The term Information Literacy describes our behaviors related to information technology and the mental models we need to acquire to achieve success in utilising the Information Literacy process (Christine, 2003). The ability to effectively use Information Literacy in everyday life is progressively becoming more important in creating quality citizens. The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has described the results of Information Literacy as, ‘a thriving national and global culture, economy and democracy will best be advanced by people able to recognise their need for information, and identify, locate, access, evaluate and apply the needed information’ (ALIA, 2003 p.1). This way of learning and information utilization that follows a specific process and is not merely just a research skill.

Traditionally, the use of Information Literacy refers to the ability to locate and organise information within a library in order to analyse, interpret and sharing findings (Kuhlthau, 2004). Information Literacy is most commonly used in research or academic based activities; however, the skills and lessons that we learn within this process are transferable into everyday life in an increasingly technological age. With technological changes allowing us access to a much wider variety and numerous amounts of resources, it has become even more vital that we adapt these strong Information Literacy abilities to daily life. Doing so will successfully allow learners to navigate through information, research and communicative technologies to construct their own understandings (Australian School Library Association, 2013). It will encourage critical thinkers, allowing us the knowledge to explore, whilst teaching us how to use and share information more successfully.

When presented with a problem, a student that displays strong Information Literacy understanding is capable is recognising what information is required, demonstrate the capability to establish, assess and effectively utilise it successfully (Langford, 1998). As active citizens and consumers we need to be able to use these same techniques. Hence enabling us to critically analyze information to ensure that we use this knowledge in everyday contexts. The information that we have access to in our daily lives is created for a variety of functions. It can be to persuade us as a consumer to purchase goods, to influence us to act, or vote in a certain manner. The information that we have access to has a purpose. It is vital that we recognise that these sources may be outdated, secondhand, biased, misleading and as active citizens we must question the purpose of the creator in shaping our ideas and actions as a result of our understanding. ‘Information literate citizens are able to spot and expose chicanery, disinformation, and lies’ (ALA, 1989, para, 17). In this context, the Information Literacy expertise extends beyond being a classroom skill.

Information literacy plays an increasing role in society. Not only to do processes achieved through Information Literacy create lifelong learners, they teach us how to create own knowledge in all aspects of our life. Herring (2010, pg. 95) discusses the wide implications of using Information Literacy outside the classroom stating that ‘an educational, social and cultural approach to the information environment is particularly important in a workplace context.’ ALIA’s statement on Information Literacy describes the objectives it hopes to achieve for all Australians, announcing ‘to promote the free flow of information and ideas in the interest of all Australians and a thriving culture, economy and democracy’ of being of vital importance (2003, pg. 28). These objectives are not archived by simply demonstrating a set of skills.

In summary, Information Literacy is more than a set of skills, it describes a process, our attitudes and knowledge to learning. The implications and techniques can be modified to all aspects of our lives. Adapting the ideas and concepts will allow a deeper understanding and more thoughtful citizens. The expertise gained from applying Information Literacy techniques and information technologies will affect every aspect of our lives.


American Library Association (ALA). (1989). Presidential Committee on Information Literacy Final Report.
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Australian Library and Information Association. (2003). A library advocate’s guide to building information literate communities; Information Literacy Forum Advocacy Kit. Retrieved from

Australian Library and Information Association. (2011). Statement on information literacy for all Australians. Retrieved from

Australian School Library Association. (2013). Statement on information literacy. Retrieved from

Christine, B. (2003). The seven faces of information literacy : towards inviting students to new experiences.
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Herring, J.E. (2010). Year seven students, information literacy skills and transfer: a
grounded theory. Retrieved from

Herring, J.E. (2010). Year seven students, information literacy skills and transfer: a
grounded theory. Retrieved from

Kuhlthau, C.C. (2004). Seeking meaning: A process approach to library and information services. Westport,Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.
Langford, L. (1998). Information literacy: a clarification. Retrieved from