Module 1- Organisational Management

It is clear that as a manager, the teacher librarian has their own domain to lead. While anyone who cares about improving students’ education is an educational leader (Crotty, 2011, Module 1 interact module notes), it is clear that a leader is the lynchpin that provides the direction and vision for those they lead.

Citing Bennis, Donham (2005) outlines leadership attributes:

  • technical competence- set of skills and knowledge
  • conceptual skill- conceptual understanding of information systems
  • people skills- collaborative networks
  • judgement- decision makers
  • character- set of beliefs
  1. Leaders know and respect the limits of their circles of influence.
  2. Leaders act from an internal locus of control- the person has the power to control the outcome of his or her actions
  3. leaders look within their circle of influence for a solution
  4. Leaders are ‘can-do’ people who look to themselves to make programs great and inspire others to join in the enterprise
  5. Leaders are proactive people who look for change opportunities, anticipate and prevent problems, take action and tend to persevere.
  6. Leaders understand what they are best at and pursue what they are already deeply passionate about.

Leaders have a vision. According to Fullan (Donham, 2005) a vision should have 3 attributes- sharedness, concreteness and clarity. Outlined, this is the degree to which this vision can be shared with others, others have a concrete image of it and the degree to which people are skilled to carry it out.

In order to make a vision realised, TL’s require collaborative skills- ability to communicate effectively; ability to listen actively; ability to negotiate; the ability to earn professional confidence and the technical skills of abilityt o organise information sources effectively.

The leadership TL’s hold is collegial rather than superior. Therefore, TL’s need to lead through influence.

According to Reeves (Donham, 2005), Strategic leadership is simultaneously executing, evaluating, reformulating strategies, focusing on most effective strategies to achieve desired outcome. This requires setting standards for performance and then measuring the performance against these standards.

Cited by Beare, Caldwell and Millikan (1989), Caldwell and Spinks outline the ‘Collaborative School management Cycle”-

  • Goal setting and needs identification
  • Policy making- policies consisting of statements of purpose and broad guidelines
  • Planning of programs
  • Preparation and approval of program budgets
  • Implementing
  • Evaluating

All the above information appears to be sound common sense to me, although no doubt not everyone would consider it so. I admit this isn’t a topic that I am excited by, but as leadership is an important part of the role of teacher librarian, it is important to understand how to do this properly.

Ultimately it is about ‘change’. Good leaders are continuously evaluating the effectiveness of their role and programs. To do so requires a clear vision and an ability to manage change for themselves and the people who work with them.




ETL 504 Introduction

The introduction to this topic covered some general information about educational leadership.

Donham (2005) summarised a number of writers’ thoughts about this topic.

Bennis (1999) states that leadership attributes are:

technical competence, conceptual skill, people skills, judgement, character.

Hartzell (2000) says that leaders are proactive people who look for change opportunities, anticipate and prevent problems, take action and tend to persevere.

Collins (2000) suggests the starting point is knowing what you are good at and passionate about.

Reeves (2002) states that strategic leadership is simultaneously executing, evaluating, reformulating strategies and focuses on most effective strategies. He also states that it requires setting standards for performance and measuring performance against standards.

Leaders know and respect the limits of their circles of influence p. 297

Leaders are ‘can-do’ people who look to themselves to make programs great and inspire others to join in the enterprise. p. 297

The leadership position held by teacher librarians is collegial, not superior leadership. This means TLs lead through influence. Library leaders should always look for learning opportunities to expand and update expertise. They always reflect and utilise self- assessment as well as put themselves in influential positions in a range of areas within the school.

They must start with a vision.

To make a vision shared, that is real, requires collaborative skills and technical skills including:

the ability to communicate effectively

the ability to listen actively

the ability to negotiate

the ability to earn professional confidence

the ability to organise information sources effectively

Donham, J. (2005). Leadership. In Enhancing teaching and learning: A leadership guide for school library media specialists (2nd ed.), 295-305. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers


Assignment 1

This assignment required an evaluative approach to teacher librarian searching tools to find resources for a particular curriculum area of our own choice.

I found that there were many tools available, but have a suspicion there are many more available to working TL’s. I didn’t find it difficult to locate the resources, but given the topic of convict settlements, a historical approach meant that there were some resources just not available through public approaches.

In particular the SCIS catalogue and Scootle gave access to educationally specific resources.

SCIS provides an advantage over other bibliographic tools and publisher’s catalogues that are not precise enough in their parameters to identify the necessary educational value of resources as selectors would still be required to identify “suitability of content and presentation for target users” (Kennedy, 2006, p.51). SCIS has the added benefit of already being reviewed in relation to the educational value and its application to the curriculum standards. It presents a comprehensive overview of both print and digital resources available in stipulated topics relating specifically to education, making it a beneficial step in the search.

Scootle (Education Services Australia, n.d.) provides a database of digital objects ranging from interactive stories and games through to assessment and teaching resources. This provides easy access to subscribing school libraries. The interface allows you to search in subject areas and refine with keywords. It is possible to filter further with the type of resources and appropriate year level group you wish to view. Each listed resource helpfully provides the age suitability and a brief description of the item. Using such a tool ensures key quality criteria are covered (Kennedy, 2006, p. 51) to address the specific needs of the specialized collection required.

If search engines can be used effectively, such as using kid specific search engines and advanced search techniques, the internet is a wonderful source both directly and indirectly to a wide range of resources. It would be of benefit to teach teachers how to do effective searches on the internet.

I found there was so much available through a small number of tools that I didn’t have to spend much money at all. Does this mean that in the future libraries will simply be a repository of databases for digital content? I think there is certainly a place for such and would expect to see a greater emphasis of this area in the future of school libraries. However, I also believe that there is a joy to discovering a book’s content that needs to be fostered.

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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in ETL503- Resourcing the Curriculum


Module 2- Selection and supporting teaching and learning

Selection is defined as

‘choosing resources that contribute to  the development of the collection of quality resources at appropriate levels to support curriculum needs and competencies of all students. Contribution to student learning outcomes is the ultimate resource selection criteria.’

(Learning for the Future, 2001, p28-29)

This brings up some important questions in regard to the ability of the TL to maintain such expert knowledge in order to select resources. I don’t believe the TL should have the sole right and responsibility to determine what resources are included. This highlights the ‘collection centred model’ as outlined in the last post.

I don’t think the TL can maintain the sort of expertise required to make these decisions alone; however, I don’t think the responsibility for collection management should be passed on either. Other interested parties, such as students, teachers, curriculum leaders should be limited to the right to suggest resources, allowing the TL to oversee the purchasing based on knowledge of financial and policy requirements.

I believe students and teachers can be active participants in the process. I like the idea of forming an acquisition committee, calling for interested parties to collectively make suggestions and decisions. At my current school, I remember a time when the TL had me look through a box of resources and ask me which ones would be most useful. Clearly she was asking for my expertise in the subject area. Unfortunately, no one else, as far as I know, got a chance to do the same and I believe the resources I selected were purchased based on my decisions alone. I was only 1 teacher with 1 grade level. A collection committee would be a good idea, especially if the participants were from a range of grade levels and subject areas.

I like the idea of conducting interest inventories with students. Reviewing journals can be routed to teachers. I know very few dedicated teachers who don’t get excited by resources. I like the idea of putting out a format for teachers to request resources. Something that asks them to identify what it is, how they will use in the classroom and why it is important to maintain over a period of time in the collection. Having resource expos where publishers are asked to display their resources and have teachers look through them on site, as happened recently at my school.

I think it would also be important to attend curriculum or sub-school meetings to specifically ask teachers where there are holes in the current collection. Ultimately, the teacher librarian would have veto powers.

The sort of materials that need to be addressed in a school library include the following:

I would suggest that school library collections is increasingly composed of three areas: the ‘inhouse’ collection of physical resources such as print books, periodicals, newspapers, posters and DVDs and computer software; resources provided online such as selected websites, online reference tools, newspapers and periodicals and e-books; and access provided to digital repositories or collections such as TLF, EdNA, Trove, Picture Australia and Google Books. These areas can overlap and a resource could exist in more than one area. For example, a television program might be recorded onto a DVD, held in a digital repository created within the school perhaps using a commercial program such as ‘Clickview’, or accessed through an online repository of television programs.

Freeman, A. (n.d.). Selecting resources to support teaching and learning [ETL503 Module 2.2]. Retrieved December 5, 2011, from Charles Sturt University website:



“Collection Management for Youth”

This post relates to my thoughts of a reading around Module 2 using “Collection Management for Youth” (Hughes-Hassell, S. and Mancall, J.C., 2005).

The text describes 3 models of collection management.

The collection centred model is a traditional approach where the TL is an expert. Using criteria that is set out in policy to select, often focused on quality, the TL may purchase resources ‘just in case’. The curriculum defines what is purchased, but the guiding factor is the development of a quality collection. Acquisition is based on what vendors offer, rather than searching for the best resource. Weeding is often neglected due to the time consuming examination of each resource.

This is definitely an example of how the school library at my last state school was run. The last TL there was ineffectual. The staff were rarely consulted regarding collection management and was offset by a lack of collaboration or curriculum knowledge.

The learner centred model is an approach where the TL acts as a guide rather than an expert. The learners, whether they are students or teachers, are the experts who provide knowledge of their needs. A knowledge of the learner characteristics is essential when using this model. The collection would need to have sufficient resources to meet the needs of the learners at various times. Knowing the curriculum and when topics are completed would seem important here. The TL using this model would have to have a good knowledge or management of information dissemination, or strategies that get the knowledge to the learner.

The Collaborative Access Model asks the TL to again act as a guide; however, this model is influence by constantly shifting pattens in internal and external relationships. There are many changing forces, such as learner characteristics, partnerships, teaching-learning context and resources knowledge base. Each force requires data to support decision making and policy to clarify relationships and expectations. The TL is a guide who understands the needs, interests, capabilities of the school and its learners. The focus is on collecting and making available the most appropriate materials on time.

This model relies on much greater collaboration and the TL acts as a true guide with ultimate decision making regarding resources due to a knowledge of the ‘big picture’ including financial constraints. This approach seems more conducive to the role of TL that I have been learning about in ETL401. This is the way I would like to approach collection management when I am in a school library.


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Posted by on December 5, 2011 in ETL401- Teacher Librarianship


Module 1- Collection Management

What is collection management?

Collection management includes any and all activities involved in the SELECTION, ACQUISITION, EVALUATION, PRESERVATION and DESELECTION of library resources.

Each step of this process needs to be outlined in policy to ensure a controlled approach. I have heard that some schools no longer have a teacher librarian and the person who makes the decision regarding ‘weeding’ or deselection is the administration. It is hoped that this may be done in consultation with staff or curriculum leaders; however, it is more likely that the only criteria is the age of the resource or the cost.

Teacher librarians need to be curriculum leaders; that is, knowledgeable of curriculum needs. If true collaboration is taking place, it is hoped that the teacher librarian would keep abreast of the needs of teachers and students.


Module 8- Learning Websites

Much of what I learned about this topic is better said by others and I hope that my choices of what I have included in this blog says what I agree with about the topic.

Further Reading links:

  1. Durst, J. (2009) Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School – animoto,
  2. Hill, P. (2010) Thoughts on using Prezi as a teaching tool.
  3. Lynch, P and Horton, S. (2008) Web Style Guide: Basic design principles for designing websites. 3rd ed., New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. (Online edition,
  4. Lowe, K, Lee, L., Schibeci, R., Cummings, R., Phillips, R., and Lake, D. (2010) Learning objects and engagement of students in Australian and New Zealand schools. British Journal of Educational Technology 41(2), 227-241.
  5. Marcinek, A. (2009) Hello Animoto. Classroom 2.0,
  6. Pappas, P. (2000) Design your website from the bottom up,

Clare Treloar, a fellow student of ETL501 in 201160, shared this post in the forum, which provides some great links:

Below is a list of learning sites which I have used for various reasons to support me as a beginning TL. This is my third attempt at starting this subject (kept deferring due to baby and Library refurbishment project) so I’ve been collecting and using pathfinders for a while. The LibGuides search engine is really useful.
This wiki has great pages relating to different class levels and their reading activities as well as pages on reader’s cup and promoting library activities from OLMC Heidelberg.
This wiki foregrounds using web2.0 and librarian help in study. There are pathfinders and research help pages.
Catherine McAuley Library Website of links for different Library and online resources and pages of subject links.
Emerson High School Media Center wiki promotes the library resources and research tools well.
Amazing detail with loads of pages and links – great examples to get you started but would it overwhelm students?
FDR Media Centre webpage with subject links
Lincoln Elementary Virtual Library has web links organised by Dewey.
Great links to wikis that support resourcing for science and history – elementary level but good examples.
DC Library’s glogster collection shows great use of this tool in a Library!

This is an area I know little about and will continue to learn more. I have been inspired by the scope and value of such tools and look forward to delving in when I do get to be a TL.

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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in ETL501- Information Environment