The library rule rule…

Surfing around ended up back at the Blue Skunk Blog. Doug has written a book that can be downloaded free from Lulu. Machines are the easy part; people are the hard part.  I agree whole heartedly with his library rule on rules. Take a look.

Be doing something productive.

Be doing it in a way that allows others to be productive.

Be respectful of others and their property.

I like the simplicity and the way that these 3 rules basically cover everything you need.

My beautiful home in Derbyshire

Off to England tomorrow for 6 weeks to spend time in our new home. All linked to the internet so hopefully should be able to get some work from my course done. Desperate to get the readings so that I can start. Hopefully they will arrive before I go to the Lakes as I have no internet access there and I really want to get as much done over the summer as possible.


Libraries of the future.

School's out for summer!

Found this interesting post by Doug Jonhson , the Blue Skunk Guy, about libraries of the past and those of the future.  Ours is not yet a library of the future but if we are to be one are these the goals we should be aiming for? I think so. I’d like to think that we will be a changing, dynamic place that can help our children and teacher’s fulfill their goals and provide an environment that has whole school ownership at it’s heart. Read them for yourselves and see what you think.

Role of the TL. Ideas gathered.

Browsing the planning room shelves my eyes lit upon an author who seems to be cropping up quite frequently in the Information Literacy circles…Carol Kuhlthau. Her book Guided Inquiry Learning in the 21st Century has a couple of pages on the role of the TL that I thought might be interesting. ( Kuhlthau, C. et al( 2007) Guided Inquiry Learning in the 21st Century, Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.) Hmmm trying to learn how to reference again is going to be a challenge!

” The school librarian is a necessary member of every Guided Inquiry team.” pg 57

She highlights 3 main roles; resources specialist, information literacy teacher and collaboration gatekeeper.

Resource specialist… developing the school library resources, providing internet resources and contacts with community resources.

Information literacy teacher… teaching concepts for information access, evaluation and use, maintaining long-term relationships with students from year to year and fostering a guided inquiry environment (constructivist learning)

Collaboration gatekeeper…coordinating the guided Inquiry team, keeping communication open, using flexible managerial skills and communicates with the community. (See figure 4.3 Roles of the School Librarian, pg 57)

I had sort of thought about the first 2 roles, obviously not as in-depth but hadn’t really seen it as my role to bring in resources from outside in the community. I can see why it is vital but had thought it was more a job for our team leaders.  In taking on this aspect of the job I need to foster more communication between our community and ensure that we can access experts, knowledge and materials to the maximum effect. This means being visible, not just within school but through all modes of communication. marketing the LC as something very important and getting our community to recognise that and the role that they need to play within that….. not an easy task!

Half a day left of the school term! Everything is packed and I’m ready to move into the LC. My children all know that I am moving to the LC but are obviously confused about what the role is. ” Is tomorrow your last day of teaching?” was one question I was asked at the end of today. The children do not see their time in the LC as learning time. It is viewed as something separate where they chose a book, browse and chat with their friends. Now there’s nothing wrong with browsing or chatting but we need to get them to understand that our time in the LC is for learning and that we are going to be developing skills that will help us with our inquiries and turn us into life long learners. I’m not sure how easy that is going to be but by providing a curriculum rich in interesting, authentic and engaging experiences that give them the skills they need to question and locate the information they need, should take us someway along the line.

Bring on the holidays!

Sorting and 21st C learning

Culled another 200 books today. Some good titles but so worn and faded that not worth keeping. The kids will never take them out if they look like that. Also who thought that primary kids would read Bernard Cornwell, Jane Austen and Lorna Doone, the unabridged versions? Had a good chat with Jodie who wants to know more about children’s fiction and had a good response from the staff re the geek club ( professional reading club, once a week/fortnight based around improving classroom practice.) Culled books should be winging their way to Crossroads to help those schools more needy than us.

Became part of the 21st C learning group and attending the meeting at the Fortis Centre. Looks like we will be working on collaboration between us and our main feeder school. Emphasis on collaboration between staff and students, hopefully using some of older students to develop mentoring skills.


I think that’s what I’m basically feeling at the moment, confused. I’m trying to organise how I’m going to go about the work and attempting to get my head round Blogs and Wikis. I’ve just created a Wiki account but need to sit and play with it to work out its full potential.
Last week I had a chat with my headteacher and the SLT about how they perceive the role of the TL. It is the first time the school will have employed anyone to take the job on. They seems very excited about it and saw my role as working with other members of staff to develop information literacy skills across the school.  However I’m not sure if they are really very clear in their own minds what my role will be.  They see me working very closely with the ICT coordinator and the PYP coordinator …almost an inquiry team. However as my knowledge is so basic at the moment I’m not sure if I’m going to be of much help to the other 2 who both have vast amounts of experience in their fields.  I will be working across the school, team teaching with each class every week. On top of that I will be working with specific year groups to help support their Units. I’ve never been out of class before and as my heart has always been in class I’m a little concerned that I’m going to find the whole timetable and moving between groups a challenge. It was suggested that I focused on one year group per day just to make my life a little easier.
I’ve been so lucky as one of the other school librarians is about half way through the CSU course and has been really helpful. I visited her library and she shared her ideas, thoughts and materials. Just seeing where she had come from and the development that had taken place was inspiring. Great stuff Annette!

Starting points

Took a few pictures of our environment today. Ok, it is a bit unfair. After all, everything has been dumped in our space whilst our art centre is rebuilt. We have a long way to go to ensure that our environment enables our children to be independent inquirers but just think of the impact we will make once our plans are written and made a reality.

What’s with the image?

My friends all think it is quite amusing that I’m going to train to be a librarian. As you can imagine there are lots of jokes about twin sets and pearls, and half-moon glasses. I go along with it and have a laugh but I didn’t really realise that the role was so stereotyped. When I was given the job people came up to me and actually said ” What a waste! You’re a good teacher.”  They seemed to think that I would be stamping books all day and doing basically nothing.  Even my nearest and dearest felt it was a bad move and commented that I would be bored because there wouldn’t be enough to do. 

So what’s with the image? Why do people still imagine librarians to be old maids who stamp books and say “Shhhh” a lot? Librarian’s need to stand up for themselves and shout out about what they do. If they don’t do it, who will?

I’ve also started a few readings and done a little surfing on the web as I’m trying to get ahead. I realise that this is going to be a lot of work especially combined with a new job and a Learning centre that is in need of a complete overhaul.

I found an interesting article in the e-library yesterday when I was trying to teach myself how to use it. Watts, J.s. 1999 Ch 3 The Librarian past and present: a literature review, pp29-42 In The Information literate school community: best practice, J.Henri.

As someone who has yet to start as a TL in our school Learning Centre it was really positive to see that so much emphasis was placed on collaboration and leadership. In the chapter it notes that Head Teachers should see teacher librarians as whole school contributors and as individuals who can empower teachers and students as effective learners. Therefore TLs  need to be VISIBLY leading curriculum initiatives and development across the school.  We need to be able to communicate our ideas and motivate those around us to see change as a challenge that we can all rise to, and bring about, to positively effect teaching and learning.

Hong Kong, for many people, is all about high rise buildings. They forget that the whole island is a series of large hills and country parks. That means steps everywhere and constant hills to climb.

I’m beginning to wonder if the route I’ve chosen might be a little too steep.