ETL507 – Critical Reflection and Portfolio

To draw comparison between July 2013 when I had been working as Temporary Teacher Librarian (TL) prior to enrolling in this Masters Degree, to now, I summize that although my intent is still the same, I now have a deeper understanding of elements which define Teacher Librarianship. Having completed six subjects, and gaining a permanent high school TL position through merit selection, I now have the opportunity to implement on a daily basis what I have learned through my studies. This challenges me to analyse how the knowledge I have gained is guiding my development as a responsive information service leader and TL.  Critically considering ‘What Do TLs Teach?’ by Joyce Valenza (2011) as one example of disciplines TLs teach and model, then it quickly becomes apparent how broad and encompassing the role of a TL is.


Prior to enrolling in studies I wanted the library to be there for the whole school community, to loan books and manage the collection, to work with teachers who book the library for their classes, and to offer a range of activities for students during the breaks.  I was all intent with not much know how or understanding of what was really possible, and how to bring the library to a pedagogical position within the school’s curriculum.

I had a feeling that there was more to it (Kay, 2013) and within the first weeks of study I was introduced to the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and  Australian School Library Association’s (ASLA) Library standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians  (2016), and from this point I could clearly see how the multi-faceted role of TL as presented by Herring (2007) could be implemented. And although I was aware that I had much to learn in order to meet these standards, I respect and acknowledge standard 1.1, knowledge of the principles of lifelong learning (ALIA & ASLA, 2004), and consider that as TL, I will continue to learn in this role throughout my career.


Herring’s possible roles (fig. 2.1) – Teacher, Librarian, Information Service Manager, Information Literacy Leader, Curriculum Leader, Information specialist, Instructional partner, Website developer, Budget manager, Staff manager, Fiction and Non-fiction advocate. (Herring, 2007)

In the 18 months as TL, I have started making inroads towards developing the library as a learning hub. There have been some initial successes and failures, but always learning and planning how to make it better next time. The journey of developing this critical reflection has challenged me deeply to evaluate what I have learned, how I am currently implementing this understanding, and, for the most challenging part of this analysis, where to go from here.

I now know most of the staff in the school, and have worked with some of them. The library has many student patrons visiting during the breaks, and recent new furniture makes for attractive and comfortable, yet, pedagogically adaptable learning spaces. We have two defined learning spaces and a multimedia room computer lab.  This Prezi (n.d.) shows some examples of how the learning spaces may be used.

A Community Learning Space  (click here) (Kay, 2016a)

With learning spaces defined and enhanced by new furniture, the biggest hurdle that now needs to be overcome is that the learning community has yet to understand the library and TL offer more than book boxes and setting up innovative learning spaces. Purcell (2010) presents the role of the TL as a media specialist and this aligns with, and supports, the benefit of teachers collaborating with the TL towards implementation of the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority’s (ACARA) General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2016).  The process of change towards an inclusive collaborative culture in curriculum planning between teachers and the TL will contribute to the development of the library becoming part of the curriculum and student learning, rather than being considered an ‘add-on’, or supplementary activity.

Reflecting on what I have learned over the last three years of study, from the processes involved in applying for a position, and from being in the role of TL, I now look to the future and how I will apply this knowledge and experience for the benefit of students.  Matthews (2014) shares one of the hardest parts of doing strategic planning is just getting started. Where to begin? What approach should I use to pursue strategic planning for my library? How do I create a process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction and motivation? (Blanchard & Hodges, 2005).

In response to these questions I have developed this mind map using the Bubbl.Us (LKCollab, LLC. 2016) Web 2.0 tool.   Teacher Librarian as a Leader… (Kay, 2016b) places the TL at the centre of key initiatives which are designed to promote leadership for learning (Macbeth & Dempster, 2008) with teachers and students.

10teacher-librarian-as-a-leaderIn response to Nelson’s understanding, that there is no way to develop an effective strategic plan for your library without planning to plan (Nelson, 2008), this mind map represents my initial proposal of where I, as TL, plan to lead learning initiatives.

Working with students individually

In the role of TL you support students in many ways.  This may range from ICT, resource search, loans, or assessment tasks, but in most circumstances each student is at a certain stage of their Information Search Process (ISP). This is where I implement my understanding of Carol Kuhlthau’s ISP Model to identify at what stage a student is at on this ISP model, and consequently how to offer them the most relevant and appropriate support and guidance.


One of the learning areas within General Capabilities (ACARA, 2016), is for students to develop Personal and Social Capability.  It is intended students to learn to understand themselves and others, manage their relationships, lives, and work and learn more effectively.  Students are involved in a range of practices including recognising and regulating emotions, developing empathy for others and understanding relationships, establishing and building positive relationships, making responsible decisions, working effectively in teams, handling challenging situations constructively, and developing leadership skills (ACARA, 2013).

As TLs, we can support students individually towards achieving these outcomes by creating learning environments and experiences which allow students to explore their emotions, understand relationships and develop their teamwork skills.  Students may use Web 2.0 tools to share their responses as a presentation. An example is where students used Animoto, a presentation tool, to give their response to a day workshop on the topic of ‘Power in Relationships’.  Images and music were ethically sourced, individual guidance was given on how to use the Animoto tool, and great presentations ensued.  This task encouraged students to develop empathy, understand emotions, and learn to understand and recognise power in relationships.

Information Literacy (IL)

To consider most primary school learning programs include scheduled library sessions, then it seems a possible natural flow on to commence high school with year 7 having scheduled library time. This allows students to participate in a wide range of learning experiences, and develop information literacy skills through subject related learning sessions.  This opportunity to develop IL skills through the library is also available to other year cohorts. However, the opportunity of initiating the library as part of curriculum at the beginning of high school has past.

One of the first skills to teach students is how to access the school library catalogue.  Available through the Student Portal (DoE, 2016) there is a link to Oliver Home page (Softlink, 2016), as seen below.


Students may search using a range of headings, see their loan status, reserve books, and receive messages.  There are links to other libraries and several banners on the home page.  The banners are changeable and may be developed to support learning programs.

In my experience, this, and its forbearer Oasis, are underutilised learning tools. To change this by creating opportunities for students to use Oliver, I envision simple guided inquiry tasks where students search resources from various sources based on direction of the lesson, i.e. Online, non-fiction, fiction, or reference resources, with students reporting back as per the required criteria. Students may use web 2.0 tools to present information, or contribute to class forums, but fundamentally the learning is how to search in the school library database for resources.  Through collaboration with teachers the searches can be targeted towards curriculum outcomes so library time is also class learning time.

For example, a class may be set a specific research task and the TL, working with the class teacher, is brought in as an information specialist to guide students in effective search strategies. Students learn respect of intellectual property and use of ethical sources.  They learn how to evaluate online information, and then how to communicate findings using Web 2.0 tools.  Students will be introduced to Creative Commons and the National Library of Australia’s TROVE (NLA, 2016) as ethical sources, and Cool Tools for Schools (2016) and Google Apps (2016) as databases which contain a wide range of Web 2.0 tools.

This lesson template presents a platform for students to search, evaluate, create and present information related to the curriculum for that class, and through this process will be developing their General Capabilities as presented by ACARA (2016).  The learning is guided by the Teacher and TL, but also, the library is becoming embedded in the learning process, which is one of the goals – Working towards in the future – featured on the mind map.

Students of today are faced with a world which offers exponentially growing sources of information and data, and we as teachers and TLs, are given the responsibility to guide student learning through high school and prepare them for their working life.  Whether they go to university, take on an apprenticeship, or go into the work force, they will need collaborative skills, information and technology  (IT) skills, evaluation skills, and understand the principles of lifelong learning.  The NSW Department of Education (DoE) Futures Learning team asks the question – Are we giving young people the best chance of success and happiness in a changing economy and society? (DoE, 2016), and offers this clip Redesigning Learning and Teaching: A Case for Change (Mar. 14, 2016) produced by the Futures Learning Unit (DoE, 2016), in response.


Leadership styles

My introduction to research on current theories of leadership conducted by Avolio, Walambwa and Weber (2009) broadened my understanding of the concept of leadership.  I recognise that today the field of leadership focuses not only on the leader, but on the followers, peers, supervisors, work setting / context, and culture (Avolio, Walambwa and Weber, 2009).

At various stages of life I have been in the position of leader of sporting teams or in business situations.  On each of these occasions there was a process of learning, gaining skills, understanding and experience, which then lead to the capacity to succeed in these leadership roles, and I see this journey of learning towards leading a school library as no different.

Research conducted by Arvey (2007) found that although approximately 30% variation in leadership style and emergence was accounted for by heritability; the remaining variation was attributed to differences in environmental factors such as individuals having different role models and early opportunity for development. Subsequent research for men and women across cultures revealed similar results leading Avolio, Walambwa and Weber (2009) to conclude that the “life context” one grows up in and later works in is much more important than heritability in predicting leadership emergence across one’s career.  I reflect on my studies of Teacher Librarianship, the skills and understanding I have gained, and now take on the challenge as teacher librarian to lead the school in creating a library culture where students embody purposes, values, norms and obligations in their everyday activities (Sergiovanni, 2005).

Browning (2014) makes a cross case analysis of four highly trained transformational leaders revealing 10 key practices. These are, Openly admit mistakes, Offer trust to staff, Actively listen, Provide affirmation, Make informed/consultative decisions, Be visible around the school, Remain calm and level headed, Mentor and coach staff, Care for staff, and Keep confidences.  These practices are great advice and I use them daily in the workplace.

Reflecting on my learning about leadership I can see the benefit in understanding leadership styles, personalities, and analysis of processes. As TLs, we are involved with many individuals at different management levels, so understanding of role and place will support positive interactions.

Resource Development

The east coast low weather event in March 2015 caused inundation of water into the library. This resulted in significant water damage to 971 books. Insurance agreed on a value of seventeen thousand dollars to replace the damaged books. The books ranged from 640 – 880 Dewey decimal system, with the only stipulation from the insurers was replacement books needed to be ‘like for like’ in title.

At the time I was studying ETL503, Resourcing the curriculum, and later in the year ETL505 Resource description, and to reflect on the 15 month process it was a wonderful opportunity to put into practice skills and understanding gained from these two subjects. It was almost a case of be careful what you wish for, and I consider this to be my resourcing and cataloguing apprenticeship.

The first step was to evaluate the damaged books from this shelf.  What a great opportunity to engage in collection evaluation. Kennedy (2006) proposes collection evaluation is a process of determining the worth of a collection in terms of its ability to satisfy the wants and needs of clients and fulfill the goals of the library. This parallels well with Arizona State Library’s (2015) definition of collection development which states collection development (also known as collection management, materials management, or information resources management) involves the identification, selection, acquisition and evaluation of library resources for a community of users.

When evaluating a collection, and particularly when planning weeding, it is important to ensure the library’s collection policy is in place. Official written documentation that provides the rationale to inform collection development functions and processes for the benefit of library staff members, library governing boards, and the user community (ASL, 2015). The web site Resources for School Librarians (2016), maintained by Linda Bertland (2016), offers a wide range of collection development policy advice.  This site not only offers collection development policy advice, but covers many topics of all things library. Teaching and learning, information access, program administration, technology, education and employment, and continuing education are the topics covered, and I have placed the address in my Diigo account for ready use.

I examined through the wall of books, the content, purchase price, relevance to our community, how often and long since it had been borrowed, and overall assessed should it be in the collection. It was a great experience, although hypothetical, because after all, the process was to actually find, remove and document the water damaged books.

Once I developed the spread sheet (Kay, 2015a) listing all the damaged books, it was time to embark on a seventeen thousand dollar spending spree, and time to employ my learning on how to make sound book purchasing decisions. The South Australian Department of Education and Children’s services (2004) recommends in order to resource a school library to meet the needs of a school population, one needs to consider the range of home backgrounds, diversity of values and beliefs, and consider the changing nature of Australian society while attempting to offer equitable learning outcomes for all of these students. While the condition of ‘like for like title’ to replace the damaged books did exist, there was no stipulation on which books from the list would be replaced. This allowed for some flexibility of choice, and the ability to consider the school community’s population.

I broke the list down into sub-groups of Key Learning Areas (KLAs) and collaborated with teachers. My initial approaches were not so successful in deciding resources, not from the intent, but the approach. To approach a teacher with a list of titles to replace required some guidance. What I quickly learned was that teachers are not specialists in book resources selection, and while they may have skills to purchase targeted resources they know and use, they benefit from clear choice options.

With teachers already time poor, the two most successful approaches were to present them with a list of books that were available for purchase, or sit with them while on book purchasing websites guiding searching with them. This process accounted for approximately a third of the new books purchased. For the remaining books to be replaced, I utilized the Decision-Making Model for selecting resources, and access points that support learning developed by Hughes-Hassell and Mancall (2005), which carried the extra criteria of falling within the required Dewey number range, and having a like title to match.

The final stage to complete the project was to accession, catalogue and get 640 new books onto the shelves. This is where the knowledge and understandings I gained in the subject of ETL505 were used. At the time of studying this subject last year it was all a bit of a blur. Resource Description and Access (RDA) standards, Metadata sources, management, and sharing , Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD), and the role of Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS) to create subjects headings and metadata, and although these concepts are clearly explained by Hider (2015) in Information Resource Description – Creating and Managing Metadata, I was still wondering how it all pieced together in the library.

Now, to reflect back on this time of information overload last year and compare with my current understanding, having now used these understandings to process 640 new books into two different library management systems, firstly OASIS and then the new Oliver, can share that I can now see how it all pieces together.

The Oliver system works with (SCIS) who utilises RDA standards to create the metadata for an item. Metadata for an identified item is accessed by Oliver and imported into the library management system.  This process is simpler than Oasis, which required independent download and storage of the metadata.

This journey has given me the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and understandings gained from study in ETL503 and ETL505, resulting in effective resource procurement and efficient cataloguing to best serve the students, teachers and patrons of the school and wider community (Kay, 2015b).


To consider that learning about Teacher Librarianship does not finish at the completion of this degree, then how will my learning and career development be guided and informed from here?

The NSW Department of Education (DoE) has developed a  School Libraries website which provides curriculum and policy support for school libraries towards meeting the needs of future learners (DoE, 2016). It offers information regarding policy support, teaching ideas, resources, professional learning, SCAN, and SCIS.  The website is updated regularly and is an encompassing information resource.

With all teachers required to achieve BOSTES accreditation by 2018 through consultation with the  Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (2014), and develop programs which respond to criteria outlined in the Evidence Guide for Teacher Librarians in the Proficient and Highly Accomplished stages (ASLA, 2014), clear standards and outcomes have been set to guide program development.

Although I initially lacked understanding of the concept of a Personal Learning Network (PLN), I embraced the recommendations presented in ETL523 and ETL504, and now I have an ever growing network of professional associations which confirms to me the benefits of connected learning.  For example, I follow many librarians and educational professionals on Twitter, rely on my Diigo library for cloud based storage and sharing with groups, and am a member of several Facebook library groups. I also look to YouTube and TED talks for inspiration, knowledge and understanding.

Libraries have for many years been considered the place of all knowledge, but with the relatively recent evolution and development of the internet, and with the changing nature of information availability and access, libraries have also required change in the approach to teaching students how to gain knowledge and access information.  Now it is the TL’s role to guide students in how to effectively search for, and qualify information, so they may continue to be effective learners after they leave school.  Doug Johnson (2010), School Library Media Specialist, draws comparison between libraries of the past and future and proposes how learning has changed.

Libraries past – libraries future (click here)


As part of education reform the DoE  has developed the Futures Learning Unit which is rethinking learning and teaching in NSW public schools.  Advice and information regarding learning spaces, professional learning, evaluation, and resources, partnerships and research is available on the Futures Learning (DoE, 2016) website.  This site is an initiative designed to support teachers in developing strategies supporting students needs in the current learning environment.

In my ongoing journey towards delivering a school library which is innovative, inspiring and effective I will implement what I have learned, update my knowledge and understanding through professional learning, and look to the unique learning needs of my school community.  I will lead collaboration with teachers to develop library learning programs designed to facilitate student development of their General Capabilities.


ACARA. (2016). General capabilities in the australian curriculum.  Retrieved from

ALIA & ASLA. (2016). Library standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from

American Library Association. (2010). RDA toolkit. Resource description and access. Retrieved from

Animoto. (2016). Make great videos easily.  Retrieved from

Arvey, R., Zhang, Z., Avolio, B., Krueger, R. (2007). Developmental and genetic determinants of leadership role occupancy among women. Journal of Applied Psychology. 92. (pp.693-706)

Arizona State Library. (2015). Overview of collection development. Defining collection development. Retrieved from

ASLA. (2014). Evidence guide for teacher librarians in the highly accomplished stage. Retrieved from

ASLA (2014). Evidence guide for teacher librarians in the proficient stage. Retrieved from

ASLA (2013). Standards for professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from

Avolio, B., Walambwa, F., & Weber, T. (2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. Digital Commons@University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Retrieved from

Bertland, L. (2016). Resources for school librarians.  Retrieved from

Blanchard, K. and Hodges, P. (2005). Lead like Jesus: lessons from the greatest leadership role model of all time. Thomas Nelson, Nashville: TN.

Browning, P. (2013). Creating the conditions for transformational change. Australian Educational Leader. 35(3). (pp.14-17).  Retrieved from;dn=200657;res=AEIPT

Creative Commons. (2015). Retrieved from

DoE. (2016). Futures Learning.  Retrieved from

DoE. (2016). School Libraries: Policy Support.  Retrieved from

DoE. (2016). School libraries: home.  Retrieved from

Futures Unit. (Mar 14, 2016). Redesigning learning and teaching: A case for change. [Video file].  Retrieved from

Google Apps. (2016). Google for education.  Retrieved from

Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.) Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp.27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for information studies, Charles Sturt University.

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

Hughes-Hassell, S. and Mancall, J. (2005). Collection management for youth: responding to the needs of learners. Chicago : American Library Association.

Johnson, D. (2010, Mar. 25). Libraries past – libraries future. [Video file].  Retrieved from

Kay, G. (2016, Aug. 21). Library. [Video file] Retrieved from

Kay, G. (2016a). The library is a community space for all… [Prezi].  Retrieved from

Kay, G. (2016b). Teacher librarian as a leader… [Mind Map].  Retrieved from (login and password can be provided)

Kay, G. (2015a). Library damaged books.  Retrieved from

Kay, G. (2105b, July 18). Re: SCIS Activity/ Consider the need…. [Online forum comment] Retrieved from

Kay, G. (2013). ETL401 – Assignment 2:IL models and reflection (Portfolio) Part B: Critical reflection. [Online blog post].  Retrieved from

Kennedy, J. (2006). Collection management a concise introduction. Burlington: Elsevier Science

Kuhlthau, C. (2005). Information search process.  Retrieved from

LKCollab, LLC. (2016). Brainstorming made simple. Retrieved from

Macbeth, J. & Dempster, N. (2008). Leadership for learning. Connecting leadership and learning: Principles for practice. (pp.32-49). Taylor and Francis, Hoboken.

Matthews, S. (2014). Five answers to successful strategic planning. [Online blog post].  Retrieved from

Nelson, S. (2008). Part one: The planning process. Strategic planning for results. (pp 3-139). Chicago: ALA Editions

OASIS, (n.d.). OASIS administration using palm tree. Copyright Professional Learning and Leadership Development, NSW DET.  Retrieved from

Purcell. M. (2010). All librarians do Is check out books, right?  A look at the roles of a school library media specialist. Library Media Connection 29(3) (p.30-33).

Prezi. (n.d.). Presentation software. Retrieved from

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Sergiovanni, T. (2005). The virtues of leadership. The Educational Forum, 69:2 (pp.112-123)

Shearing, L. (2016). Cool tools for schools. Retrieved from

Softlink. (2016). Oliver home page. Retrieved from (login and password can be provided)

The State of South Australian, Department of Education and Children’s services. (2004). Choosing and using teaching materials. DECS Publishing, Gillingham Printers.

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

Valenza, J. (2011). What do teacher librarians teach?  Retrieved from

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ETL523 -Assessment item 3. Part B: Critical reflection blog post

Prior to this subject I used Facebook socially, had a Twitter account I rarely used, book marked items I liked on my laptop, and had never really considered the wide ranging issues that fall under the banner of Digital Citizenship.  Greenhow (2010) raised the question of defining 21st century competencies and introduced me to the wider issues, and Ribble’s (2011) nine elements of digital citizenship encapsulated the subject. Many of these nine elements are covered in Department of Education policy, legal and the like, but it is the connectedness, participation, health, safety and etiquette that require more attention now and into the future. Lindsay and Davis (2012) presented the model of Enlightened Digital Citizenship and this consolidated my understanding.

With anywhere anytime learning now available, although currently not to all, presents the opportunity for students to develop connected learning skills to integrate three spheres of learning that are often disconnected and at war with each other in young people’s lives: peer culture, interests, and academic content. Young people can experience connected learning through diverse pathways. Schools, homes, after-school clubs, religious and cultural institutions, community centres and the parents, teachers, friends, mentors and coaches young people find at these locales, all potentially have a role to play in guiding young people to connected learning (Ito, 2013).

Jenkin’s paper, ‘Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century’, has given me deep insight into the issues we are faced with in education, and how to harness the participatory culture of teens to create peer-to-peer learning opportunities, a changed attitude toward intellectual property, the diversification of cultural expression, development of skills valued in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception of citizenship (Jenkins, 2006).  The NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition presented how education needs to adapt and change to accommodate the new digital landscape.  There is a lot to take in with these two papers.

In such a world, how do we cultivate a culture that supports effective and responsible device use in schools and at home? For schools, how do we develop effective curricula on digital citizenship and information literacy when our days are already packed? (Chen & Orth, 2013). I suggest the formation of a team of teachers and executive, including the teacher librarian, to examine how digital citizenship components can be built into already operating curriculum. By modifying existing tasks to include the use of Web 2.0 tools found on Cool Tools for Schools, and to include information sourced through Creative Commons, is a small impact on teacher workload for maximum student gain. Once digital content is created, this subject has brought me understanding of how to curate it in school on google docs, or using tools such as Scoopit, Pinterest, and Diigo, and how to publish and connect on a global level using Twitter.

The experience of creating the wiki through the collaborative process presented its challenges, however, the output of four individuals on the same task did create a powerful and information rich product.  This experience encourages me to create the same style of collaborative learning experience for students.

This subject has drawn my attention to the value of the TL as an information specialist as portrayed by Jenny Lunny in her clip ‘Imagine the Possibilities’.  As we move forward in the digital age the skill to manage large volumes of data, and to garnish what is most relevant, will be necessary for one to survive.  There are those who take all the best practices in education and the latest advances in technology and use them to blaze new trails in teaching and learning that focus on connection and collaboration called Teacherpreneurs, and I feel ETL523 has introduced me the elements and skills required to achieve this title in the future.

This subject has been challenging, I use Twitter a lot more to follow other librarians and academics, my Diigo library grows steadily, and I am well on the way to becoming a connected learner.




Chen, E., Orth, D. (2103). The strategy for digital citizenship.  Retrieved from NAIS Independent School Magazine (online)

Diigo. (2016) Retrieved from

Greenhow, C. (2010). A new concept of digital citizenship for the digital age. Learning and Leading with Technology, 37(6) 24-25.

Ito, M. (2013). Connected learning summary. DML Hub. Retrieved from

Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century [White paper]. Retrieved from MacArthur Foundation website

Lindsay, J. & Davis,v. (2012) Flattening classrooms, engaging minds: Move to global collaboration one step at a time. New York: Allyn and Bacon.

Lunny, J. & Sullivan, D. (2014, July 28). Imagine the possibilities. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Ribble, M. (2016). Nine themes of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved from

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ETL505 – Assessment item 2 – Subject access. Part C: Critical Reflection

Considering the role of the school library as a resource centre and the Teacher Librarian (TL) the coordinator, the need is created for the TL to be highly skilled in the processes of analysing, describing, and importing resource items into the library catalogue allowing users the greatest opportunity of finding what they are looking for. This process has been supported, initially with information on library catalogue cards, to the modern day where electronic metadata is created by publishers and metadata specialists, managed by services like the Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS, 2015) and made available to the school library management system called Office Automation and School Information System (OASIS, n.d.). With countless ways in which one could look at, and therefore describe, an information resource (Hider, 2012) the purpose of this subject is to impart knowledge and skills the TL will require to accurately describe resources intended to become part of the school library collection.

Initially, I was aware of the TL’s need for a deep understanding of information description and the role this plays in managing their school library to best serve the students, teachers and patrons of the school and wider community (Kay, 2015 blog ), but had yet to be introduced to formal processes. Now, with understanding of the international cataloguing standard, Resource Description and Access (RDA, n.d.), and its predecessors, the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) and the 2nd edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2002 revision (AACR2R, 2005), I have developing skills which allow for creation of metadata that can be arranged independently of the resources it represents (Hider, 2012). With policy 2:A1 of the SCIS Standards For Cataloguing and Data Entry, 2013 Edition, stating ‘RDA is to be used as the standard for the description of library material’ (Education Services Australia, 2013) the gaining of this knowledge is essential. It provides the opportunity to liaise with the teaching community to create additional subject specific identifiers, in notes, which will allow for location of student subject specific task related resources.

Metadata allows for the transfer of resource information into library catalogues. The challenge is now to create an access process which presents this information in a form that is useful to both indexer and searcher. This is achieved by standardizing of search language through using controlled vocabulary. Each concept is represented by one, and only one, particular term, and where each term can mean only one particular concept (Hider, 2012). The SCIS Subject Headings tool (SCIS, 2015) uses a controlled vocabulary to achieve this goal. Permitted subject headings are offered in normal print, and non-permitted headings are presented in italics, and then linked to permitted headings. Experience in this process has lead to my deepening understanding of controlled vocabulary.

Once the metadata is created and subject headings are allocated to each resource a process is needed to locate the item. For hard copy items this is can be achieved via a wide range identifying systems. School libraries use the Dewey Decimal Classification system. My introduction to this system has created understanding of how the decimal number identifies specific subjects and aspects of each item, allowing for its unique position within the library collection. My ongoing journey as High School TL will strengthen my skills and deepen my understanding towards library best practice.


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ETL501 – Assessment item 2 – Electronic Pathfinder and Critical Reflection. Part 2 : Critical reflection

In order to create a pathfinder for the year 8 Geography syllabus it became apparent early in the process that the 7 – 10 mandatory Stage 4 Global Geography syllabus has many broad reaching topics and components and it would be essential that I focus on one targeted specific area of this syllabus in order to design a wiki which will guide students through a process of understanding the relevant issues. Also, I have become aware that the journey students will take when following the wiki not only teaches the students the curricular content , but more importantly, it teaches them information literacy skills and demonstrates how to use all the aspects of the school library and what it has to offer. With a directed learning strategy such as this coming from the library, designed by the teacher librarian (TL), it creates the situation where this practice places the library as central to student learning in ways which are different from classroom teaching practice.

As ETL501 unfolded I have been reintroduced to Bloom’s with concepts of learning which have evolved to accommodate advances in technology. The revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (Schrock, 2015) and how the vast world of Web 2.0 tools which support learning has been a great revelation. Having been introduced to this array of Web 2.0 tools, I can see almost endless possibilities for using these applications (apps) across whole school learning and how these can be aligned to support general capabilities such as critical and creative thinking (Australian Curriculum assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013) (ACARA).

With the world wide web (www) considered a resource to support student learning there is the need to know teach students how to use the web effectively. This subject has shown me how to guide students to evaluate Web pages for authenticity, applicability, authorship, bias and usability (Schrock, 2002) through use of such models as Kathy Schrock’s 5 W’s of website evaluation (2015) because there’s lots of good information on the internet, but you will also find opinions, misconceptions, and inaccurate information (Johnson & Lamb, 2007). Students need to be made aware of the quality of information prior to accepting it as valid and useful.

This task has challenged me to understand how to firstly design a subject specific pathfinder wiki, and then understand how the design of this wiki can be used as a template to create a pathfinder relevant to any curriculum content. I can see that by introducing this pathfinder concept to teaching colleagues, the teacher librarian is creating the position where they can be seen as a valued source of educational theory and not just a librarian who ‘looks after the books’.

I have been introduced to the concept of social bookmarking and the value of this collective online environment allowing for a content curation process to occur. This provides the opportunity where both teachers and students may cull through the many resources on the web, select the most relevant ones and place them where they may be organised and maintained in a logical format for sharing and later use (Media Inc., 2012). Jennifer Moss (2012) suggests that Content Curation has many applications in the class environment including creating group activities, sharing of new content, encouraging students to be content creators and curators, connecting to experts in the outside world, helping students to gain credibility and exposure, and develop skills critiquing information available on the web. These are only some of the possibilities and options for this cloud based forum. This is a new technology and approach that I will endeavour to introduce into my school to coordinate and guide from the central position of the library.

This task of creating the pathfinder wiki and aligning it to the ACARA General Capabilities( ACARA, 2013) has highlighted to me the broader implications and capacity of this learning tool to be used as a template with many applications possible across the whole school learning community. It has delivered understanding of how the library can create learning processes for students which will strengthen their information literacy skills and help them to become discerning internet users. I feel that for the long term survival and justification of school libraries into the future, part of the process will involve development of the learning environment to one which meets the needs of the exponentially growing digital world. This subject has given me the direction in which to develop library processes, and with conscious planning towards such, I look forward to developing my skills and understanding into the future in on an ongoing basis.


ACARA, (2013) General Capabilities. Retrieved 27 Sept, 2015 from

Board of Studies New South Wales (2003). Geography 7 – 10 Syllabus. Retrieved 25 Sept, 2015 from

Burnscott, L. (2008). Salinity. Echidna Books. Pearson Education Australia Pty Ltd.

Collins, (2006). Fragile earth – views of a changing world. Harper Collins Publishers, Ltd. London., LLC. (2015) Retrieved 26 Sept, 2015 from

Drinking Water, (2015). Retrieved 27 Sept, 2015 from, LLC.(2015). Dogpile websearch. Retrieved 15 Sept, 2015 from

Jacaranda Atlas, (2007). Jacaranda atlas 6th edition. Jacaranda, Milton. QLD.

Johnson, L. & Lamb, A. (2007). Evaluating internet sources. TEACHER TAP. Retrieved 5 October, 2015 from

Kqed Quest, (Apr 2, 2014). What is ground water? [Video file]. Retrieved 18 Sept, 2015 from

Lanz, H. (1999). Water. Franklin Watts, Australia.

Media Inc, EdTech Group. (2012). Teaching with content curation. The Journal: Transforming Education. Retrieved 28 Sept, 2015 from

Millions lack safe water. (2015). Retrieved 15 Sept, 2015  from

Moss, J. (2015). Content curation tools. . iTeachU, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Retrieved 17 Sept, 2015 from

Pittock, B. (2009). Climate change: the science, impacts and solutions. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Projects for Progress. (n.d.) [Image] Retrieved 27 Sept, 2015 from

Ranamm. (May 3, 2006). Groundwater Animation. [Video file]. Retrieved 10 Sept, 2015 from

Schrock, K. (2015). Kathy Schrock’s guide to everything. Retrieved 5 Oct, 2015 from

Schrock, K. (2013). The 5 Ws of website evaluation: For students. Retrieved August 1, 2015 from

Schrock, K. (2002). Teaching media literacy in the age of the internet: The ABCs of website evaluation. Retrieved 24 Sept, 2015 from

Sylvan, T. (Oct 23 2012). Anatomy of an Aquifer. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Try this – hands on activities. (2105). Retrieved from

UNICEF. (2015). Access to an improved water source. [Image]. Retrieved 17 Sept, 2015 from

Willoughby Council, (2015) Ground water. Retrieved 28 Sept, 2015 from—Sustainability/nature/water/Groundwater/

World Book, (2008) The world book encyclopedia. World Book Inc., Chicago, USA.

Water Sanitation Health, (2015). Retrieved  24 Sept, 2015 from

ETL504 – Assessment item 2 – Report and critical reflection. Part B – Reflective critical analysis

To reflect upon my learning and understanding from this subject, I have learnt a great deal about leadership and change while also gaining respect for how much research has been conducted in this field. Considering leadership is multifaceted (Kay, 2015 blog), the all encompassing deeper understanding I have gained from these studies is the qualification of leadership styles, and the realisation of the need for change processes to occur in schools.

As a recently appointed high school librarian, I have observed the different leadership styles introduced during this subject, and anticipate this process of observation will never cease. This subject has extended my knowledge on the subtitles of leadership and the virtues of different styles. This knowledge will enabled me to identify the different leadership strategies required for different situations, and proceed toward implementing them.

Leadership requires vision, trust, modeling, consideration and empowerment to others, and communication (Collay, 2011). A leader needs direction and this is created through analysis using such models as SWOT (Olsen, 2008) and STEEP (Watt, 2011). Passion, commitment and direction enables the teacher librarian to lead from the middle (Sinek, 2010) and inspire change in the school by collaboratively creating a vision statement and strategic direction which drives adaptation towards twenty-first century learning. This is a significant development from blog post where – the Teacher Librarian can look to needs and directions within the school and collaborate with colleagues (Kay, 2015 blog).

This subject has brought to me realisation of the depth and breadth of study and research related to leadership and change, and how this is relevant to the role the teacher librarian in high schools. To incorporate results, analysis, and recommendations of these studies is sound practice. In order for schools to respond to the rapidly changing social currents, the nature of both leadership and learning require radical rethinking (MacBeth, Dempster and Neil, 2008) and this is where leadership and change theory can be applied. Teaching decisions are an important influence on how well individuals or cohorts are prepared to participate in society as they leave the schooling system (Starkey, 2012), and ultimately, isn’t this what school is all about, preparing students for life after school.

Examination of twenty-first century learning has revealed that critical thinking and problem solving are considered by many to be the new basics of twenty-first century learning (Trilling, Bernie, Fadel, Charles, 2009). The pursuit of twenty-first century skills – collaborative problem-solving, IT, information and economic literacy – requires twenty first century teaching methods… where the role of teachers is no longer to impart knowledge but to guide, discuss and measure progress to know when more support is needed… Innovative schools are designing classrooms for pursuit of knowledge rather than its conveyance and even doing away with them all together . To consider that in the US, the ten most in demand jobs did not exist in 2004 – then twenty-first century education needs to prepare young people for jobs that don’t exist yet, using technologies that haven’t been invented, for which the competition will be global. If we are to develop candidates who are capable of holding their own on a global stage we simply must get better at equipping them with the skills to handle this uncertain future (Hampson, Patton & Shanks, n.d.).

The library is uniquely placed, accessible to all, where these skills of critical thinking and problem solving may be understood and developed. Contained within the General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013),(ACARA, 2013) are requirements to develop capabilities in IT, critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability, and ethical and cultural understanding going towards addressing the needs raised. With this requirement presented, it is now the challenge of the teacher librarian to lead the school in creating a library culture where students embody purposes, values, norms and obligations in their everyday activities (Sergiovanni, 2008).

My views on implementation twenty-first century learning strategies have developed from forum one where I suggested delivering a consistent, planned and predetermined presentation to each class group regarding the resources (Kay, 2015), to now, where I have developed a plan to implement twenty-first century learning strategies into the year 7 integrated curriculum as the starting point to introduce sweeping change across all learning areas to promote and instill a twenty-first century culture toward the library and learning.

In conclusion, I can now see how the leadership offered by the teacher librarian can take a pivotal role in changing not only the way in which learning occurs in the school library and how the space is used, but, also in a school wide leadership capacity to guide learning by developing educational strategies which align with the principles of twenty-first century learning.


Australian Curriculum Assessing and Reporting Authority (January, 2013) General capabilities in the Australian curriculum. Retrieved from
Collay, M. (2011). Everyday teacher leadership: Taking action where you are. Wiley, Hoboken.
Hampson, M. Patton, A & Shanks, L. (n.d.) 10 ideas for 21st century education. Retrieved from
Kay, G. (March 1, 2105) Re: Task 2b – Secondary Scenario [Online forum comment] Retrieved from
Kay, G. (April 27, 2105) ETL504 Assessment item 1. Part B – Reflective critical analysis. [Blog post]. Retrieved from
MacBeth, J. Dempster, N. (2008) Connecting leadership and learning: Principles for practice. Taylor and Francis, Hoboken.
Olsen, E. (July, 28, 2008) SWOT Analysis: How to perform one for your organization. [Video]. Retrieved from
Sinek, S. (May 4, 2010). Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action. [Video] Retrieved from
Sergiovanni, T.J. (2005). The virtues of leadership. The educational forum, 69:2,
(p.112-123)  Retrieved from
Starkey, L. (2012). Teaching and learning in the digital age. Taylor and Francis, Hoboken.
Trilling, B. Fadel, C. (2009). 21st century skills: learning for life in our times.Wiley, Hoboken.
Watt, d. (August 4, 2011). Strategic planning for school libraries. [Video]. Retrieved from

ETL503 – Assessment item 2 – Proposal for a model collection. Part C: Reflection

Part C

The process of completing this assessment task has enabled me to develop understanding of the issues involved in planning and managing a model library collection. As a newly appointed high school librarian, I am acquiring the skills and knowledge required to develop, manage and evaluate the library collection in order for it to reach its full potential. And, by employing the processes presented in this subject, the benefits for the students will be access to relevant and current resources, a pleasant environment to gather and share information, and a place where opportunities for learning and understanding are diverse and plentiful. This is supported by the requirements of the Library Policy – Schools (Department of Education and Training New South Wales [DETNSW], 2005) where it sets out the requirements for school libraries and responsibilities of school principals, teacher librarians and other school staff in relation to programs of the school library. (DETNSW, 2005).

With an already operating and established library collection of between eight and ten thousand books, Hughes-Hassell and Mancall (2005) offer support on identifying current strengths and weaknesses in the collection and how to apply selection criteria. The process of collection evaluation is presented in detail by Bishop (2007) and gives courage to embark on the process. In reflection on the blog post – Trends affecting libraries (Kay, 2015) – I now have understanding of how evaluate, and take on, the process of weeding, as outlined by National Library of New Zealand (n.d.), and Miller (2011) Weeding not just for gardens, by incorporating community planned evaluation. To select replacement books I have learnt about wide range of selection aids available and particularly liked Selection tools for librarians (n.d.).

Planning for the model collection has extended my knowledge on legal end ethical matters involved in the nature of collections. Smartcopying (n.d.) brings information for all staff, and simplifies the process of understanding copyright issues. It is the role of the librarian to promote understanding of copyright. Morrisey (2008) brings awareness of the ethics involved in collection development and proposes that ultimately it is up to the individual to chose ethically sound options. Johnson (2011) highlights aspects of censorship by omission for consideration.

In looking to the future I have considered the possibility of a school library offering an online environment with students being able to access resources and learning tools remotely and share information and understanding online with a global audience. With further development of the school library enquiry service offered through the student portal, uptake of personal devices, and the implementation of Oliver across all NSW schools, the opportunity is presented to develop the library’s digital connection with the entire learning community.

This task has given me the understanding of what is required to develop a strategic approach towards collection management. Planning to work collaboratively with the school community will result in developing and maintaining a collection that is relevant, accommodates specific teaching and learning needs, and is evaluated towards ongoing development of resources leading to a balanced and innovative collection. By taking a strategic approach towards collection development, the school library can meet the needs of the student learner now and into the rapidly expanding digital future


Bishop, K. (2007) Evaluation of the collection. In The collection program in schools: concepts, practices and information sources. (4th ed.) (pp. 19-24). Westport, Conn,: Libraries Unlimited.

Johnson, D. (2011). Censorship by omission. Library Media Connection, January/February 2010. Retrieved from

Kay, G (March,2015) Trends affecting libraries. [Blog post] Retrieved from
Miller, D. (2011) Weeding not just for gardens. Retrieved from

Morrisey, L. J. (2008) Ethical issues in collection development. Journal of Library Administration, 47:3-4. pp. 163-171. Retrieved from
National Library of New Zealand Services to Schools (2012). Collections 5: Weeding Guide. Retrieved from

Selection tools for librarians. (n.d.) Resources for school librarians. Retrieved from

Smartcopying (n.d.) The official guide to copyright issues for australian schools and tafe. Retrieved from

ETL504 Assesment item 1. Part B – Reflective critical analysis

Reflecting on this task has highlight to me the multifaceted nature of Leadership in a school library and the challenges faced by the Teacher Librarian regarding leadership in the school. It has also highlighted to me the benefits of creating a concept map to communicate understanding, for it is this process which challenges to more deeply analyse the nature of leadership in schools and create a visual representation highlighting the Teacher Librarian.

It revealed, in the study of leadership, there are many recent developments in research and thinking, with studies, projects, and evaluations of leadership processes occurring globally. This makes it vital for schools consider these global events, as valid knowledge, by considering and implementing suitable techniques which will result in the school benefiting from the research conducted by others.

For example, it is now considered favourable for all teachers to take part in leadership training. For, if teachers see themselves as leaders then the gap between the teacher and the school leader is automatically narrowed (Townsend, 2011). As a leader each teacher will be equipped to draw from their repertoire of leadership styles such as Transformational, Situational, Servant, Instructional, and even Transactional Leadership when trade-offs are required in negotiation. The teacher may also draw on more recent inclusions such as Authentic, Cognitive, Complexity, and Distributed leadership styles.

It has been revealed to me, that to position the Teacher Librarian within the school leadership structure is situated as an innovative collaborator, a navigator, and problem solver who is passionate, transparent and sharing, and will drive development both within the school library, and on a school wide, as well as global scale. They will adopt a more Transformational style of leadership and will demonstrate vision, appropriate modelling, and acceptance of groups as well as high performance expectations. They will offer individual support and provide intellectual stimulation (Peet et al., as sited in Browning, 2013) for their colleagues. From the learning common of the library, the Teacher Librarian is uniquely placed to communicate with the entire teaching community directly, overcoming the faculty communication hurdles that sometimes exist.

From this base, as part of the complex leadership structure of the school, my understanding is that the teacher Librarian can look to needs and directions within the school and collaborate with colleagues towards equitable resources for all. They can offer instruction leadership through designing innovative learning events for staff and students. They can support individuals using servant leadership to address specific issues, but will consider the strengths of a situational leadership style and ready to adapt or modify to respond in the most appropriate manner. Bogotch and Townsend (2008) commented on this by saying – school leaders must have knowledge about what they have to do, and knowledge about how to approach an unique set of circumstances and conditions that create the uniqueness of every school… that true leadership is artistry and is the place where the ‘what’ and ‘how’ (or the ‘whow’) of school leadership comes together. (Peet et al., as sited in Townsend, 2011).

In conclusion, I now have a much deeper understanding of leadership than I did before, but also realise there is so much more to learn.


Browning, P. (September, 2013). Creating the Conditions for Transformational Change. Australian Educational Leader: v.35 n.3 p.14-17. Retrieved March, 2015 from;dn=200657;res=AEIPT>

Townsend, T. (2011). School leadership in the twenty-first century: Different approaches to common problems? School Leadership and Management, 31(2). (p. 93-103). Retrieved February, 2015 from