The role of the TL again…

Some of my new TL related books arrived today. Of course my immediate thought was would they answer, or help answer, any of my assignments. One that looked particularly accessible to someone who hasn’t written anything academic for over 10 year was James Herring‘s The Internet and information skills; a guide for teachers and school librarians. (2004, Facet publishing, London.)

He talks about 3 main roles that the TL is very much engaged with.

1. As an educator. Not only does the TL need to meet the information needs of the student but also of the teachers within a school. It is not only the information needs that need to be fulfilled but it is also the information literacy skills that the TL should be developing and teaching to both students and teachers. Enabling them, one would hope, to eventually become independent learners and information seekers.

2. As an information manager. Being an information does not mean the management of resources, which I had initially understood it to be but a manager of information through web development.  Excellent development of web resources, which I presume at he means pathways and evaluation criteria, will lead to enhanced learning through the use of high quality relevant resources.

3. As an expert advisor. The TL should be training others, such as teachers, to utilise on-line resources more effectively. Herring states that TL’s should be involved in designing instructional websites which in-corporate not only information but information skills guidance.

The key factor underlying all of this is co-operation/collaboration. Without teacher’s trying to understand what the TL is trying to achieve and having a belief in the importance of information literacy skills it is doubtful that learning could be enhanced. However with an understanding and some ownership of the development of say web based resources then more can be achieved and a more positive impact will be felt upon the students.

Interesting stuff. However now I’m concerned that it is going to be difficult to develop these web based learning centres as I don’t yet have the skills and will I be able to develop them as I’ve taken on this new role and a new course. Another worry is that our LC is in such a state of disarray that initially just getting the non electronic materials in some form of order has to take priority. If these are not weeded and sorted then we find ourselves with under utilised resources because the children and teachers can not access them or with a lot of outdated material that is no use to anyone. One step at a time…..

Talking of which walked along the River Wye today from Cressbrook past Water-cum-Jolly to Litton Mill. What a beautiful day with the most gorgeous blue sky. Swans, moor hens and trout, all swimming; rabbits and squirrels on the paths. You just can’t beat England on a day like today.


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