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.