ETL 507 Portfolio

Teacher Librarian – a learning journey in progress!

As a child I loved going to school because I had an inquiring mind and wanted to learn as much as possible, as well as reading five novels a week to indulge my imagination! As I progressed along my life journey as a mother and teacher, I continued my ‘love affair’ with learning on a daily basis by encouraging my children and students to recognise the value of becoming ‘lifelong learners’, and stressing the relevancy of their learning and how I was learning with them too. Hopefully my enthusiasm for learning has been emulated!  Thus, in 2013 I began my Masters of Education Teacher Librarianship course as a distance education student with Charles Sturt University, as a means to combine my love of reading and literature with learning new knowledge and skills as a teacher librarian in the context of school libraries.

My portfolio is a combination of all the ‘deep learning that has emerged’ of the constantly changing information environment which impacts 21st century school libraries, and how the role of the teacher librarian has become multi-faceted and constantly evolving, as changes occur in how information is delivered and accessed (Barrett, Dr. H, n.d.). It is a big jigsaw-puzzle of learning, beginning with ELT401 Teacher Librarianship as the background, and all of the other units providing the missing pieces, supplemented by Study visits to a selection of Melbourne libraries and a professional practice at Padua College, Mornington (Charles Sturt University, ETL401, 2013).

I consider this my new learning journey in progress; where I have experienced times of exasperation and frustration when not understanding a concept, searching for suitable websites, or navigating the intricacies of the World Wide Web because I wasn’t born a ‘digital native’! As a classroom teacher in a primary school who knew absolutely nothing about school libraries and how they operated, I experienced feeling totally overwhelmed at the complexities of what I had undertaken, especially classification, cataloguing, blogs, wikis, or widgets. Reflecting on feeling helpless and not knowing what to do, and actually failing an assessment because I didn’t ask for help from my coordinator or a teacher librarian from one of the local schools (CSU, ETL503, 2013). Yes, I now know exactly how students feel when faced with searching, finding, selecting, and using information resources from the huge amount of information available to them from Internet websites, and their anxiety of being unsure of what to do and who to ask for help (Kuhlthau, 2004, conclusion). As a student myself, I can now relate to the junior secondary students from my professional practice placement at Padua College Mornington, who often came and asked for help and advice because of the sheer enormity of searching for relevant information, and lacking the skills to find and access what they wanted (CSU, ETL507, Professional Practice Report, 2014). I call these my ‘lightbulb moments’ and will refer to these times of enlightenment throughout my portfolio!lightbulb 4

These experiences have shaped my attitude towards taking an iterative approach when planning inquiry research tasks for my students, and encouraging them to return to a previous stage in the rubric if feeling uncertain of how to proceed, as well as asking their peers or a teacher/teacher librarian for assistance (Herring & Tarter, 2004, & Kuhlthau, 2004). Kuhlthau in her article Building Guided Inquiry Teams for 21st-Century Learners, argued the importance of student attitudinal behaviours towards seeking information, and the introduction of a teaching team designed to implement the information literacy inquiry approach at all educational levels, to meet the needs of 21st century learners (2010, p.18). Information Literacy is now part of the National Curriculum and has been integrated into all areas of the curriculum at Padua College to encourage students to effectively select, evaluate and utilise websites and online resources. It is particularly effective when combined with inquiry based learning as students can use a range of skills and abilities involving higher order thinking skills such as question formulation, evaluating information, and building new knowledge, to complete a task or solve a problem (Collins et al., 2008). I have found that like all initiatives implemented into a school’s curriculum it generally depends on the teacher to integrate it into their learning activities, and this often doesn’t occur especially with the older teaching staff who are resistant to change. However, as in the case at Padua College, the principal is actively involved in supporting the initiative it usually becomes a permanent feature within the learning programs (Padua College, 2014).

I wholeheartedly agree with the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL)  who consider information literacy to play a central role in the lifelong learning process as essential information skills within a global perspective (Bundy, 2004, p.1). I believe that if teacher librarians introduce information literacy skills which are consistently practiced by students within classroom contexts aswell as research tasks in the library, these skills can be transferred into whatever future life or work context students find themselves in. On the other hand, I have found that with junior students in particular this is an ‘uphill battle’ for both teachers and teacher librarian’s, because even though students have the research structures in place for them to follow and specific search engines to use, they will still automatically use Google (2014) as the preferred search engine because it is easier to access information instantly of whatever quality, and easy to use on any digital or mobile devices inside or outside of school.

This tendency of students to automatically download unfiltered information of uncertain quality information as instant digital sources has been another ‘lightbulb moment’ for melightbulb 4, because as a teacher and future teacher librarian, I struggle with communicating to young adolescents the implications of uploading or downloading information available through multi-media such as InstaSnap and Instagram, and social media Facebook and Twitter. This raises questions about authenticity, validity, and reliability of web sources, and challenges in evaluating, understanding and using information in an ethical and legal manner (Bundy, 2004), p. 2). Students need to understand how to use information effectively in this 21st century digital information world if they want to become responsible global citizens. Especially in the light of recent hacking issues in relation to Apple’s iCloud (Cook, T. 2014) storage facility for digital photographs or information, and student’s failure to understand the repercussions of their digital footprint (Cybersmart Kids, 2014).

As a future teacher librarian I feel we need to show leadership in this regard, and collaborate with staff members at all levels to formulate and implement policies within our school communities, specifically designed to address the important issues of copyright, creative commons, and legal and ethical issues that arise with student’s use of social media and mobile devices within the school context (CSU, ETL503, Module 4, 2013). For example, privacy issues of student’s using smartphones for taking photographs of other students and uploading them to the web (CSU, ETL507, Professional Practice Report, 2014).

Leadership was another lightbulb moment lightbulb 4for me when it was introduced in the unit ETL504 (2013). I had previously only considered leadership as a classroom teacher within a primary school context which included taking on extra responsibilities in  coordinating areas such as Wellbeing, Literacy and Religious Education. However, this unit opened up my eyes to the opportunities a teacher librarian has to work collaboratively with teaching, library and administration staff as a leader to improve student learning outcomes, as well as support the information needs of all staff and students (CSU, ETL504, Module 5, 2013). Planning effectively for the future is another area where a teacher librarian can demonstrate great communication and leadership skills, by initiating strategic plans for the development of the library and its services, as well as any other program such as Clickview (Professional Practice Report, 2014) that will have a positive impact on the role of the school library aswell as learning outcomes (Matthews, 2013). As Padua College has three campuses there are plans in place for all of them, particularly taking into account the school’s implementation of Apple iPad technology and the move towards electronic texts to replace printed texts in the next two years (Professional Practice Report, 2014).

With Web 2.0 technology providing revolutionary new ways of creating, collaborating, editing and sharing user-generated content online, I have witnessed first-hand how effective professional development initiated by teacher librarians for all staff members on the use and mastering of digital tools, technologies and literacies has been, especially when creating pathfinders or wikis (CSU, ETL 501, Module 4, 2013). I agree with Valenza (2013) that wikis are more versatile when building and utilising pathfinders as they are easy to upload and link. I hadn’t thought of the collaborative aspect of wikis other than at school with other staff members, but that’s what’s so great with Web 2.0 tools, the ability to learn and share collaboratively outside the school context, as well as part of a teacher librarian’s role in 21st century digital learning.

By taking such an active part in the professional learning of staff, teacher librarians are positioned as leaders integral to the learning process within the whole school community (Herring, 2007). It is interesting to note that my experience of Padua College’s teacher librarians collaboratively working with teachers to integrate information literacy programs and formulate information resource wikis for teachers from all disciplines, has been a work ‘in progress’ and hasn’t happened over night. The teacher librarians have been aware of the nature of the school culture and the process of change, and it has been both risk-taking and challenging for the library staff to initiate change especially within the curriculum areas which were resistant to change (CSU, ETL 504, Module 7, 2013).

Herring (2007) also stresses that the school library is “a vital part of the school” and the forefront of school life, and this has been my experience at Padua College Library where students don’t just go to the library to find information or research topics, they gather before, during, and after school as a hub for social interaction and to view exhibitions of their peers work, or a particular author who will be visiting in the future, play chess or other board games, and to access the computers at lunchtime (Padua College Library, 2014). On my study visits (CSU, ETL507, 2014) to some of Melbourne’s largest community libraries, such as the City Library, I was astounded to find how many facilities and services they offer their clients, such as music streaming and electronic games facilities, amongst many other services which include different language formats to suit their multi-cultural community needs. The City Library’s new addition at Docklands has a recording studio, creative editing suite, a performance venue for 120 people and community space to suit the needs of the local community, workers and visitors (City Library, The Dock, 2014). Certainly not just a book repository anymore!

lightbulb 4The biggest ‘learning curve’ for me during this course and a large part of my jigsaw puzzle, was engaging with the intricacies of cataloguing and classification in units ETL 503 and ETL505. My limited knowledge of library management and organisation through cataloguing and classifying brought me many frustrating moments and anguish, but I persevered and now feel most of the puzzle pieces are in place! ETL503 Resourcing the Curriculum (2013) introduced me to school library catalogues and how they are constantly changing to meet the needs of their users, predominantly through the use of electronic resources from the Internet from digital technologies.

Part of this the ETL503 unit also introduced the concept of ‘weeding’ a catalogue, and Padua College had weeded thousands of non-fiction texts, videos, DVDs and CDs from their school library collection, and have retained a small reference section in their main library at their Mornington Campus. I found storage problems and continual weeding (discarding unused or out-of-date items) were similar issues with the other libraries I visited on my Melbourne Study Visits (CSU, ETL507, Study Visits, 2014). Fiction texts were also being replaced by e-books and the library had an extensive e-library sourced from their publishers Wheelers (CSU, ETL507, Placement Report, 2014). Increasingly, the library was replacing journals, periodicals, national newspapers and magazines with electronic copies for use by students and staff, and annual subscriptions for access to websites from databases were replacing library acquisitions of information resources. Websites were becoming the research information resource instead of factual texts and Clickview (2014) provides content delivery systems which allow schools to add digital content to their digital library and provide the means for students and teachers to access this content (Placement Report, 2014).

I found a major factor in all the libraries I visited and worked in was the issue of budgets. Expansions, new items and technologies, staffing, and resources were all dependent on budgetary constraints, from the largest community libraries, school libraries, to the smaller more selective libraries such as the Shaw Library and Fairwork Commission Library (CSU, ETL507, Study Visits, 2014). A common thread throughout all the libraries too was the trend towards retaining one hard copy of a text together with an electronic copy, and storing or archiving all other material to create more space. Significantly, all libraries retained hard copies of texts due to demand from users, even though electronic websites and databases satisfied factual information requirements. I found it interesting that the Dewy Decimal Classification scheme (DDC23) for cataloguing library texts had been dropped by the large community libraries because publishing companies were pre-cataloguing texts which enabled librarians to be more time efficient (Study Visits, 2014).The smaller libraries and school libraries such as Padua College still use DDC23 classification for their reference sections as it suited their needs and is more practical.

ETL 505 Describing Educational Resources became the most significant unit for me after my initial introduction to teacher librarianship with ETL 401 at the beginning of my course. This unit finally provided many missing pieces of my jigsaw puzzle and provided me with many ‘lightbulb moments’, particularly after my Study visits to the State Library and Melbourne University, and my placement at Padua College resulted in many frustrating occasions when I was unable to comprehend what the speaker was referring to, and completed the visit in a state of confusion (Study Visits, 2014). I did mention this in my Study Visits Report but have since reflected on these occasions and realised that I was only one of 3 students (all TLs) out of 30 CSU students (the others were Information Studies students) on the visit unable to understand the terminology and concepts, and that I could use this experience to relate to students at school who are similarly frustrated when they don’t understand a process or concept but the rest of the class do. A ‘lightbulb moment’!lightbulb 4

After completing ETL 505 I now understand the terminology of metadata and am familiar with the management systems that were previously mentioned on the study visits. I have a good knowledge of the management system Access-It used by Padua College Library, and I am also familiar with the Schools Catalogue Information Service (2013) that I was introduced to back in ETL 401! (2013). I knew from my placement at Padua College that the library staff used SCIS (2013) to catalogue and classify texts, but I really fully understood how useful it was as an organisational tool for school libraries when I completed the Resource Description and Access (RDA)(2014) Module 4, and DDC23 (2014) Module 5 exercises, which enabled me to work with specific examples of classifying and subject headings within a meaningful context, and the two assessment tasks further enhanced the learning experiences (CSU, ETL 505, Assessment tasks 1 & 2, 2014). When working through the ETL 505 unit I was heavily reliant on the subject text by Philip Hider, Information Resource Description (2012) which became almost like an information ‘bible’ to me, because it was so clearly written and informative especially with the concepts of metadata, and standardised organisation of resource description through RDA and its Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (2013), together with Marc2 encoding. The unit forums of ETL 401 and ETL 505 were also particularly helpful to me for guidance and support throughout both units, and I felt a sense of achievement when I completed the very tricky ETL 505 second assessment on SCIS subject headings and WebDewey classification. This is when I really felt my learning jigsaw was almost complete!

When concluding my learning journey in Teacher librarianship as I am close to completing my course, I felt that my first Blog posting would be an appropriate way to end my portfolio.

My initial comments recorded as part of the first week’s activity, demonstrated how I perceived a teacher librarian’s role within a school library to be mainly involved with library management, organising appropriate websites, data collection, and teaching students technology skills to access and use a range of electronic resources when researching inquiry projects. There was a clear assumption that the teacher librarian worked independently as a specialist rather than part of the teaching staff, and took no part in collaboration with the principal or other staff members when planning a library collection or implementing an information literacy program. Through course readings, activities, forum postings and comments, together with Blog Tasks, this perspective has completely changed and a new respect for the multi-faceted and constantly evolving role of a teacher librarian within the 21st Century educational context has emerged’ (Kerlin, WordPress, Blog, 2013).

Of course I can now also mention my use of and familiarity with information organisation tools such as Scootle, Diigo, Pinterest, Flickr, Bing and Noodle Tools, all names I had never heard of prior to beginning this course, let alone use with such familiarity now! I also enjoy accessing Edublogs, TechSmith Learning Lounge, 21st Century Library Blog and Judy O’Connell’s Hey Jude blog, along with many more educational and library orientated websites. However, I know that as technology is changing so is the role of a teacher librarian as an information expert, and I have to continue challenging myself to keep up with the latest information tools and concepts within the school library context.

I know I still have a lot to learn in the information world of Teacher Librarianship – but after all, my learning journey is still in progress!

 

References:

Barrett, Dr. H. (n.d.). Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement: Retrieved from: http://electronicportfolios.org/digistory/epstory.html

Bundy, A. (ed.) (2004). Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework: principles, standards and practice. 2nd ed. Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) and Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (2014). Wagga Wagga: NSW: Interact, Subject unit ETL401, Teacher Librarianship, Topics 1, 3.

Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. Wagga Wagga: NSW: Interact, Subject unit ETL503, Resourcing the Curriculum, Modules 4, 5, 6, 7.

Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (2014). Wagga Wagga: NSW: Interact, Subject unit ETL501, Information Environment, Topics 3, 4, 5, 8.

Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (2014). Wagga Wagga: NSW: Interact, Subject unit ETL504, Teacher as Leader, Modules 2, 3, 4, 5.

Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (2014). Wagga Wagga: NSW: Interact, Subject unit ETL505, Describing Educational Resources, Modules 4, 5.

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

City Library (Melbourne). Retrieved from: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/MelbourneLibraryService/FindUs/Pages/
CityLibraryLocation.aspx

Clickview. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.clickview.com.au/

Collins, Trevor; Gaved, Mark; Mulholland, Paul; Kerawalla, Cindy; Twiner, Alison; Scanlon, Eileen; Jones, Ann; Littleton, Karen; Conole, Grainne and Blake, Canan (2008). Supporting location-based inquiry learning across school, field and home contexts. In: Proceedings of the MLearn 2008 Conference, 7 – 10 Oct 2008, Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, UK.

Cook, T. (2014). 9 to 5 Mac. Tim Cook addresses iCloud photo hacking, says major security improvements coming soon, article September 14 2014. Retrieved from: http://9to5mac.com/2014/09/04/tim-cook-addresses-icloud-photos-hacking-says-major-security-improvements-coming-soon/

Cybersmart Kids. (2014). Get the Facts. Digital footprint. Retrieved from: http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Kids/Get%20the%20facts/Digital%20footprint.aspx

Diigo Inc. (2012). Diigo. Retrieved from https://www.diigo.com/

Edublogs. (2013). Retrieved from: http://edublogs.org/

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (1998). IFLA Series on Bibliographic Control. Munich: K. G. Saur. Vol. (19) UBCIM publications. Updated June 2014.Retrieved from: http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/cataloguing/frbr/frbr_2008.pdf

Google. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.google.com.au/

Herring, J. E. & Tarter, A. (2004) Progress in developing information literacy in a secondary school using the PLUS model. Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia and Ripon Grammar School, Ripon, Yorkshire’

Herring, J. (2007). “Teacher Librarians and the School Library.” In Libraries in the Twenty-First Century: Charting New Directions in Information, edited by S Ferguson. Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

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

Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA. Resource Description and Access. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.rda-jsc.org

Kerlin, J. (2013). For my teacher librarian course. Retrieved from: https://jennykerlin.wordpress.com/

Kerlin, J. (2014). Ancient Civilisations: Egypt.  Retrieved from: http://jkerlinteacher.wikispaces.com/Library+Home+Page

Kuhlthau, C.C. (2004). Learning as a process, in Seeking meaning: A process approach to library and information services, Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.

Kuhlthau, C. K. (2010). Building Guided Inquiry Teams for 21st-Century Learners. School Library Monthly, 26(5), 18.

Lib Guides Community. (2014). Retrieved from: http://libguides.com/community.php?m=i&ref=libguides.com

Matthews, Steve. “Library Strategic Planning Process Overview | 21st Century Library Blog.” 21st Century Library Blog | A 21st Century Library Discussion Forum. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2013.

Noodle Tools Inc. (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.noodletools.com/

O’Connell, J. (2013). Heyjude: Living in an online world. Retrieved from http://judyoconnell.com/

Online Computer Library Centre. (2011). WebDewey. Retrieved from: http://dewey.org/webdewey/login/login.html

Padua College, Mornington. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.padua.catholic.edu.au/

Padua College Library. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.padua.catholic.edu.au/library.html

Pinterest Inc. (2013). Pinterest. Retrieved from https://pinterest.com/

RDA Toolkit. (2013). Retrieved from: http://access.rdatoolkit.org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/

SCIS standards for cataloguing and data (2013 edn.). Compiled by School Catalogue Information Service. Carlton South, Australia: Education Services Australia Ltd. Retrieved from:  http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/SCIS_standards_2014.pdf

Schools Catalogue Information Service. (2011). Retrieved from: http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/home.html

Valenza, J. (2013). Ten reasons why your next pathfinder should be a wiki. Retrieved from: http://informationfluency.wikispaces.com/Ten+reasons+why+your+next
+pathfinder+should+be+a+wiki

Wikispaces Classroom. (2014). Retrieved from: https://www.wikispaces.com/content/classroom

WordPress. (2014). http://wordpress.com/

Yahoo7 Pty Ltd. (2013). Flickr. Retrieved July 26, 2013 from http://www.flickr.com/

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Padua College Library

 

Padua College is served by three library resource centres.  The primary objective of Padua College libraries is to support the information needs of all levels of the College, particularly those demands that arise out of its various teaching programs. Our teacher librarians support students and teachers in developing information and digital fluency skills as part of the curriculum. We also foster a lifelong love of reading and learning through programs with all students in Years 7 – 10. All Libraries have areas dedicated to reading, researching individual work, all within an open plan environment. Our inter-campus loan system gives extensive access to resources for library users. At each Library there is a comprehensive and well-appointed Audio Visual facility.

Opening times:

8:00am – 4:00pm Monday to Friday (Mornington and Rosebud)

8:30am – 3:25pm Monday to Friday (Tyabb)

The Mary MacKillop Resource Centre, Mornington (Years 7-12) is located at the heart of the school. It opens onto the Main Quadrangle which is a central meeting place in the school, encircled by garden beds and protected by shade sails. The Library is a well-appointed and dynamic space which is always well utilised. It includes a Seminar Room which is available for presentations by students, video viewing and group discussion work and meeting area.

The Rosebud Campus Library (Years 7-10) is designed in keeping with the rest of the school. Surrounded by native vegetation, it is a pleasant, homestead-style building which is conducive to study.

The Library at the Tyabb Campus (Years 7-10) complements the newest campus in the Padua Community with state of the art facilities designed to support teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Teaching program to include research and information skills and use of the ICT.

Computers: for Internet searching*, Newspaper and Magazine Indexes, World Book Encyclopaedia, Magazines

Non-fiction books

Fiction collection which is constantly evolving

Extensive collection of eBooks and audio books

Inter-campus loan system

Reference section – including encyclopaedias, atlas, dictionaries, yearbooks

Photocopying & printing assistance

Individual research assistance

Digital equipment borrowing including cameras

The option to request purchase of resources

Lunchtime activities

* Students must complete the ‘Acceptable use of Technology’ Agreement before accessing the Internet

Curriculum and teacher reference materials

Comprehensive and up to date AV resources

DVD selection and accompanying material

Clickview and Campfire subscription access to film and video libraries.

Professional Development materials

Specialist colour photocopying

Literature Clubs offer students in Years 7-10 the opportunity to further their reading experiences and share the company and comments of other students, authors, publishers and reviewers. The groups meet each fortnight in the Library under the direction of the teacher-librarians, aiming to:

  • promote extension work in English literature
  • help balance the reading of books with learning technologies
  • provide enrichment activities that cannot be offered in class time
  • offer an experience that at the present time cannot be offered to the avid reader in class time

Literature Clubs’ Activities

  • Discussion of novels and literary reviews
  • Meeting authors, publishers, reviewers
  • Book buying
  • Author visits
  • Attending literature festivals
  • Participating in literature seminars

Placement Report- Padua College

The role of the library?

Padua College is a multi-campus Catholic co-educational secondary college situated on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, incorporating three library resource centres. The primary role of all libraries is to support the information and Curriculum needs of the College community, and foster a lifelong love of reading and learning through innovative programs and activities designed for all Years 7 – 10 students. Teacher librarians support both students and teachers in developing information and digital fluency skills as part of the curriculum, and work closely with Information Technology staff to encourage awareness of cyber safety, and implement social media and copyright school policies.

To this effect, each library has an open-plan environment with designated senior and junior areas for wide reading and individual researching work, together with Seminar Rooms and Curriculum Learning Areas available for whole class research activities or teaching programs. Besides providing opportunities and areas for research and teaching however, another important role of each Padua College library is to provide the opportunity for students to meet and socialise in a warm, inviting, comfortable environment, where they can read and borrow books or magazines, access technology, play board games (chess) or socialise within an informal atmosphere. These occasions were significant opportunities to interact with the students in an informal setting and encouraged establishing student/ staff relationships as an extension of Homeroom and Pastoral Care. Carefully arranged displays/exhibitions throughout the library area celebrating students’ achievements, also encourage a sense of community engagement and creativity, which appeal to a student’s feelings of inclusiveness and belonging, a very important holistic school library role in the 21st century.

What does the Library Collection comprise of?

The Padua College Library Collection is managed through the Mornington campus Library and comprises of an extensive range of fiction books in a variety of themes, genres and formats, such as Dystopian fiction, Manga and Anime, graphic novels, picture books, audio books. An e-Book library is easily accessed through the school Intranet by students and parents on all campuses and is steadily becoming more popular due to its easy access and availability.

Non-fiction texts were weeded heavily two years ago resulting in twenty thousand out-dated books removed from the collection and replaced by online information databases. Currently there is a small non-fiction hardcopy collection in the library which is weeded during stocktake every year and continually updated.  New items are purchased specifically for curriculum use or high interest books requested by students, such as sports, hobbies etc. As both Tyabb and Rosebud are junior campuses (Years 7-10) where students predominantly use iPad mobile devices to access information and for research, there are very few non-fiction books available in either library.

The collection also comprises of subscription based items such as magazines and newspapers in hard copy and digital format, e-journals and audio-books, together with DVDs and audio visual equipment such as cameras, tripods, projectors and screens. Headsets and audio recording equipment to pre-record programs or podcasts from television, radio or YouTube onto the Clickview Database for easier access by teachers and students, are heavily utilised items of the Library Collection too as 21st century digital technology is transferred into the school curriculum context.

How is the library staffed?

Padua College has three campuses each with its own library that is linked to one management system at Mornington. There is a Head of Library Services who oversees all three resource centres and works collaboratively with the Principal and Department Heads to plan for future development and growth of the Tyabb and Rosebud campus libraries. She is responsible for the smooth operation of an inter-campus loan service which is an invaluable link between the three libraries, and makes all decisions relating to the daily management of the College Library Collection. In her role as Teacher Librarian she also teaches Research Skills and Information Literacy to junior students in Years 7-10, and Website Evaluation Skills to senior students.

Teacher Librarian’s at each campus are responsible for the cataloguing of all items in the library, and the non-fiction collection at Mornington. The Librarian’s responsibilities at Mornington include coordinating the library assistants and the library information/service counter, together with assisting the Teacher Librarian with the LibGuides development of a school web resource database for students and staff to access. The three Library technicians are responsible for the loaning of the Audio and Digital Equipment besides the DVDs and audio books. The Mornington Library Technician’s role also includes pre-recording media programs and podcasts for teaching staff to utilise, and liaisons with heads of departments to compile a data file of all relevant DVDS in the Clickview data base, which she also manages. As Mornington Library is the largest of the three, there are three library assistants to assist with the general library duties and student information queries.

How is the library managed?

Prior to April 2014 the Padua College Library used the Bibliotech Library software as its management system but found that it was too slow and unreliable to keep up with 21st century technology and education initiatives, in particular the development of whole- school iPad technology.  The Head of Library Services, Principal and Senior staff decided to upgrade the library management system and researched suitable replacements. They decided to purchase outright the New Zealand based Access-It and just pay a yearly maintenance fee. Access-It had good reviews from several schools, libraries and tertiary institutions on how well the management system operated and it was also conducive to the Wheelers Online store Ebook Library the college had chosen as the best option for the school library collection. The company held several Professional Development training days for all library staff and they found the system was very user friendly, easy to operate, low maintenance and with good backup and service. The system is more comprehensive in regard to reports and data and is connected to Administration and the school Intranet for access to data and information. It has 100% usage since implementation and is considered by library staff to be a reliable and proficient means of managing all aspects of library services over the three campuses.  Library staffs maintain ongoing weeding and extracting in all areas of the library collection and are constantly reassessing services in order to effectively meet the constantly changing needs of the school community due to changing educational and technology trends.

 

As Padua College is multi-campus, progressive management and strategic planning is essential to how effective the three resource centres meet the needs of its users at all levels of the school communities. Mornington Resource Centre is central to the successful organisation and management of all three libraries, and provides fundamental library services such as the loaning of fiction and non-fiction texts, a comprehensive DVD collection, a reference section, computers for research and private study, and photocopying and printing, for daily use by the school community. The Audio and Digital department plays an invaluable role in providing and lending equipment, audio books and DVDs to both staff and students as part of the schools curricular activities such as Musical Performance Concerts and VCE assessment activities. Displays and exhibitions within the library not only celebrate the students work but the library’s close connection to the curricular context of the school as a partnership rather than an isolated entity.

Five year plans for the Tyabb and Rosebud campuses are initiatives specifically orientated towards building fiction collections for wide reading purposes, and open-plan environments designed to provide   Teaching/Learning Areas, together with computer technology for curriculum use and individual research or study. Both students and staff access non-fiction resources by utilising iPad technology, with requests for non-fiction texts is through the inter-campus loan system which gives extensive access to resources for users from the Mornington collection. This system has proved to be both practical and efficient, with success attributed to careful planning and constructive liaison with Heads of Department and teaching staff. Efficient utilisation of space is particularly effective in the Mornington Resource Centre which contains extensive student areas for wide reading, two Seminar rooms, and Senior and Junior Teaching/Learning Areas reserved directly by staff through the library management system.

With the introduction of iPad technology and the school’s intranet, parents and students at home and at school have easy access to the library’s extensive eBook collection, and have been very effective in encouraging wide reading. Literature Club activities, under the direction of a teacher-librarian, reinforce a love of reading and developed mentor programs with senior students assisting junior students in creative writing, and organising Author visits, such as James Phelan.

The library’s most effective and successful initiatives for staff to utilise have been the introductions of the Clickview database and LibGuides Community Site. Clickview enables teaching staff to easily access the entire DVD collection through a video file on the library’s management system which is also conducive with the student’s iPad technology, ensuring fast and concise access to resources. LibGuides is a Web Publishing Platform for libraries to create web resource guides or pathfinders for staff and students to utilise, by searching the community’s site to source web resources and liaison with department heads to develop a comprehensive curriculum resource compilation. However, both acquisitions are subscription based, which is a significant expense for the library budget and have to be constantly monitored to remain cost effective.  Library staff are prepared to be flexible to change and constantly evolving technology in regard to effectively meeting the school community’s information needs.

On my placement I felt a great sense of achievement after I had mastered the daily routine of the library assistants when manning the service counter to assist students in borrowing, renewing, or returning books, learning simple aspects such as sensitising/desensitising books for security purposes, shelf reading (putting books in their correct order), the Dewey system of classification for the non-fiction collection, assisting students with photocopying using different types of materials such as transparencies etc, and stamping and covering new books.

As a teacher librarian research skills are taught to Year 7-10 students in collaboration with teaching staff and I was fortunate to observe one class and teach another class for year 7 students. I followed a prepared PowerPoint Presentation but was able to competently answer questions and demonstrate skills to the students who were able to follow my instructions and understood the process. I felt it was a successful lesson after feedback from several students, and I enjoyed the experience and felt more confident to teach information researching as a future Teacher Librarian.

Have a Date with a Book

Have a Date with a Book

I was given the challenge of creating a display to connect students to reading and after researching various activities I decided on a fun activity called ‘A Blind Date with a Book’ which involved covering selected wide reading books so students would have to read the book sight unseen, without being influenced by the front cover or blurb on the back.

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They were asked to read the book and briefly review it on a ‘Rate the Date’ form attached to the book. I advertised the activity through the school intranet in the Student Bulletin, in the School Newsletter, and Daily Notes of the teaching staff, especially the English Department. The Head Librarian wasn’t very confident the promotion would work well in a co-education school context but to her surprise (and my relief!) the teachers encouraged student participation and included the reviews in their literature lessons, and all books were borrowed by the students. The majority of reviews were positive and several students admitted they wouldn’t have usually read a particular genre but enjoyed the book, which was the sole intention of the exercise, so I was really pleased with the experience and it has given me ideas for future projects!

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My final activity was the most enjoyable, and it involved travelling with the famous author James Phelen of the ‘Chasers’ series for teenage boys,  to presentations for years 7 and 8 students at all three campuses. James was an engaging speaker who interacted well with the students, who gained many insights into his struggle to be accepted as a writer and have his work published, and also how his characters were based on his four brothers, which intrigued and delighted the students. It was an interesting experience and gave me the opportunity to learn how to organise visits from authors and the value of these visits to the students.

During my placement at the Padua College Library at the Mornington campus I gained invaluable insight into the management of a school library on a daily basis and how important an efficient and well resourced information centre was to the teaching and learning school community over three campuses. This became more evident over the two weeks I worked in all three college libraries and came to recognise how hard library staff worked and how much students relied on their knowledge and expertise in searching for information from both print and digital sources, and teachers with research and resourcing.

The main value of this experience for me was the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and theory I had learned from my first year Teacher Librarian course, and really understand the nature of the role of the teacher librarian as part of the information world of a school library in the 21st century. As a teacher with no library experience I had struggled to understand the theoretical concepts, terms and technology skills required for this position, but as a hands-on learner I was able to transfer this knowledge into a practical environment and gain more self-confidence in my ability to perform the tasks and responsibilities required in the role of a teacher librarian, and will only continue to add to these skills as I gain further experience. Thus, as a student myself, this experience has enabled me to empathise with students who find it difficult to pick up new skills and understandings, and will enable me to structure my information literacy and research skills lessons to accommodate all learning levels and skills development.

Working in the library I now understand the value of the Library Collection and how important it is to have a clear understanding of how it meets the curriculum and information needs of students and staff within a school context. Also, how a warm and inviting library environment creates a sense of community and belonging for students, where they can engage with technology when researching or studying, utilise the extensive range of wide reading genres or eBook library, relax with a magazine or newspaper, or just interact socially.

I think most of all I enjoyed working collaboratively with staff to research and source resources for their curriculum programs and as part of the LibGuides development. Being a teacher helps me to recognise and appreciate the value of how creative many different ideas can be, and how satisfying and successful outcomes can be from teamwork and collaboration within any library context. After my placement experience I am now far more familiar with the skills and knowledge required to be a teacher librarian and will only add to this experience in the future.

 

Study Visits in June 2014

Melbourne Study Visits 1.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my Study Visits, especially the smaller specialised libraries where it was easier to experience how library staff manage and coordinate their specific area of information and research. All the libraries I visited had one thing in common; their role had changed through the use of electronic technology from library curators to information and research facilities, in keeping with 21st century digital technology. This knowledge reinforced my learning from my university course.

I also recognised how several common themes emerged throughout the visits and identified with those similar to the school library I hope to work in as a Teacher Librarian. Lack of space was a consistent problem for all of the libraries, and all have utilised off-site storage facilities and Archives Repositories to address this issue. With policies of only one hard and digital copy of printed items in the collection, any additional materials needed to be stored too. However, the smaller specialised libraries found their members were resistant to electronic technology and preferred hard copies of books and printed material to digital copies, which is the opposite to schools and Melbourne University where electronic books and resources are popular and there is a trend towards digital resources.

Several libraries have also replaced the Dewey catalogue system with databases and publishers supply books ready to be shelved, which is less time-consuming and a more efficient management procedure. Funding and budgets are another important factor to all of the libraries whatever the size or category, as they affected the capability to purchase items or pay for technology, online subscriptions or licenses, wages, expansion and public or community engagement. This was evident with the Shaw Library and Discovery Centre where their internal data systems desperately needed to be upgraded but no funding was available.

Community and public access and engagement was another priority for the libraries I visited, even the Parliament Library, and the utilisation of space through storing items is creatively used to encourage public  use of the library facilities and technologies. This factor is so necessary for libraries to survive in the 21st century, especially as information and research facilities using electronic technology. The City Library is a perfect example of a library adapting to change in our digital world and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn and experience from all of the libraries in my Study Visits.

State Lib.

State Library of Victoria

State Library of Victoria

As I hadn’t visited the State Library before, I appreciated the opportunity to explore the impressive library setting and historical content, and particularly how the collection was developed by Sir Edmund Barry in the 1850’s to serve the people of Victoria and to remain for posterity.  Unfortunately, like most libraries, problems with space and storage are issues associated with the collecting, and the library always holds both hard and digital copies of each item and out sources any surplus materials to storage or the National Archives. I found it particularly interesting to note the library had abandoned using the Dewey system of cataloguing, considering it too time consuming and replaced it by using publishers to catalogue print materials and databases to record and manage the collection.

I enjoyed the historical aspect of the State Library and the opportunity to collect information on the collection management and funding but the actual tour was too short and I would have appreciated having more time to actually look at the items and how the library was organised. I felt the librarian’s information about collection management was aimed at a presumed level of technical understanding of the databases used that I unfortunately didn’t have and I eventually lost interest and became bored. I would suggest further visits concentrate on a good balance between information sessions and the actual library tour.

National Gallery Melb.

National Gallery of Victoria

Shaw Research Library

I really enjoyed the rare opportunity to visit the Shaw Research Library at the NGV, where access to the specialised collection and online catalogue is reserved for use by NGV staff, curators, and non-academic researchers only. The small library staff were welcoming and informative in regard to the extensive collection of approximately 60,000 items, serials, auction catalogues and Ephemera Files, an unfamiliar term which means the unique and valuable library items (prints, photographs, rare texts). Lack of space and limited room to expand, was emphasised as a major factor in the use of compactors instead of shelves, and off-site storage facilities are used for Archives or additional materials. I considered this an efficient, versatile, and practical utilisation of space in regards to the library’s location.

However, three separate databases are used by library staff to manage the library rather than one integrated Management System and an upgrade would be more efficient and productive.

Overall, an interesting and enjoyable visit, and one I would recommend for future visits. I rated it 5/5 because it was a totally different experience to the larger State and City Libraries, as a specialised collection primarily for research, and requiring a different environment and management approach. The library staff were friendly, welcoming, informative, and encouraged our questions at all times throughout the visit. Highly recommended for future Study Visits.

Melbourne uni

University of Melbourne Library

Melbourne University’s Libraries

Melbourne University was a totally difference experience after visiting the huge public State Library and the small, specialised Shaw Research Library. There was a distinct trend towards redevelopment by combining libraries to become Resource Centres, with separate departments and databases focusing on electronic information and digital technologies intent on getting more items online for users to access. The focus was definitely based on providing a high quality experience for students and academics through customer service officers rather than librarians. Cataloguing was completed by publishers as the Dewey system was considered to be inefficient and the printed material arrived ready to be shelved. It was also very apparent that funding was not a problem for the university and its redevelopment.

I wasn’t overly impressed by the Melbourne University visit, which I considered to be too much information from three departments resulting in information overload. Also, the tour of the libraries was too short, with little time to experience each specific library environment. I would suggest being divided into groups and just visiting one library in the future, so students can experience the individual management of a specialised Library, eg. BioMedical Library.

I appreciate that the University is projecting a 21st century approach to libraries as information resource centres but I considered the atmosphere of the library to be almost clinical and felt it too ‘business like’ in its efforts to become more consumer-driven by modelling its approach on that of the banks and Medicare.

Uni Melbourne

University of Melbourne Library

 

Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre is mainly a research facility that assists with identifications, donations, and general enquiries from overseas and locally regarding History, Technology, Science and Indigenous Cultures. The librarians’ work closely with the Museum Curators and other libraries both locally and interstate to assist with research and information queries. I was interested to learn about the Centre’s excellent website with its popular Online Enquiries and varied links to other relevant websites or databases for the public and academic’s to utilise for research purposes. The staff encourages public interest and engagement by staging various exhibitions throughout the year.

I had no idea the Discovery Centre existed even though I visit the Museum on a regular basis, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover such a different form of information and research facility, but with the same enthusiastic and motivated staff intent on providing the best resources and information possible for public and community interest and research, as other libraries I have visited. It is a totally different experience for students to enjoy and compare in regard to information services in Melbourne, and I would definitely recommend it as an alternative information service.

fair work commissionFair Work Commission

The Fair Work Commission Law Library is another specialised collection which reflects the specific nature of Labour Relations and Workers Rights. Use of the library is restricted to Judges, Associates, Legal representatives, clients and selected researchers, however, all Commonwealth and State Legislation, Decisions, Agreements and Judgements are available online for access by the public. The library staff were both specialised Law Librarians and emphasised the purpose of the library was for Research only and there was no public access to resources. I gained so much from this visit, especially about the work of the Fairwork Commission, the structure and management of the collection and present/future use of the library space in regards to public access and engagement through exhibition

I actually rated this visit the best out of all the organised visits, which was amazing since I had anticipated this would be the most boring due to the content, but I was so wrong! A ‘highlight’ of the visit was the tour of the Industrial Courts and Judge’s Chambers by Judge Hamilton, and the gift of a book based on the song ‘Waltzing Matilda’, which contrary to current myth was about workers’ rights and police corruption, fascinating information for a history teacher!! Another ‘highlight’ was the invaluable personal information by both librarians detailing their previous positions in other libraries and how they came to be at the Fair Work Commission Law Library. I really appreciated one librarian spending 30 minutes explaining in detail how intricate and time consuming the complex procedure of archiving and retrieving documents with the National Archives, which I found fascinating

 

Parliamentary Library

I was impressed with the historical setting of the library and by its grandeur, but particularly interested in the management of such a specialised library accessed only by Members of Parliament for information and research on Acts of Parliament and State Laws. The collection is recorded

State Parliamentary Library

State Parliamentary Library

on databases but there is a strong preference by Member’s to directly access books rather than use digital copies or research electronically. I was amazed to hear that there were many rare books and artefacts, art works and old documents lying in the basement unseen, and the Manager’s main priority is to access and display these historical items as part of her plan to allow more community access to the collection and bring the library into the 21st century!

I enjoyed the rare opportunity to sit in the Member’s Lounge in Parliament House and experience the historical atmosphere and listen to the history of the library from the Library Manager, who was both enthusiastic and entertaining in her delivery! I was entranced by the beautiful décor and impressive book collection, but totally intrigued with the tall ladders that reached almost to the ceiling; a definite OHAS problem! I thought this visit was an excellent opportunity to experience another specialised library and learn how it is managed and utilised by an innovative Manager determined to display the collection to its full potential.

 

The City Library

I found the City Library to be the ultimate example of how tradition and modern technology have been blended into a dynamic library

environment, with a strong emphasis on community engagement and integration. The most impressive factor of the library was the availability to all of the public especially the homeless, where they have procedures in place to borrow and return books from those disadvantaged members of the city. There is a good balance between books/printed materials and electronic technology and digital resources. Staff move between the libraries on a roster basis, which allows them to experience the different library environments and broaden their knowledge of the various communities, besides developing new skills.

City Library

City Library

I would take my children to this library due to its efficient use of space, colour, creativity, and the specific knowledge of the staff about its user’s needs, eg, game consoles, computers, community.  Roving library staff address any information needs and there are user-friendly machines for the public to use when checking out books. The latest technology and databases are used for efficient collection and library management, and enthusiastic staff competently handle hundreds of users every day with. It is vibrant, engaging, with a positive energy, and I would highly recommend this library for further visits.

The Dock Library

The Dock Library