Topic 2. The development of the human personality?

Obviously there are many different opinions concerning the role of the TL.  I would assume that really the role of the TL is an amalgamation of a variety of roles  such as teacher, information expert, advocate of literature, staff developer and cataloguer. The more I read the more endless the different aspects appear to be. However I  did like the statement made by ASLA,

” Teacher librarians support and implement the vision of their school communities through advocating and building effective library and information services and programs that contribute to the development of lifelong learners. “

I particularly like this as I feel that it covers all aspects of the role and in particular the vital teaching aspect. I believe that most schools would their vision and mission as one of enabling  every child in their community to reach their potential and become a lifelong learner. It is here that the TL comes into their own. Not only can they make an impact on the child’s learning today but by helping children/students acquire information literacy skills they are facilitating lifelong learning. Having curriculum knowledge, pedagogy and information literacy skills enables the TL to take a vital, and active role, in developing lifelong learning and increasing attainment throughout the school.  This in itself points to an integrated role however a role I still believe that must have the children’s or students learning as first and foremost.

I obviously think the role the TL is important or I wouldn’t be taking it on or spending my money training however I do take issue with some statements I’ve read today. 

“The school library is essential to the development of the human personality as well as the spiritual, moral, social, cultural and economic progress of the community.”

Seriously? Essential to the development of the human personality? So what happens in regions of the world where there are no libraries, does the development of the personality not take place? What happened before libraries existed? Were we all without personality and then suddenly we became positive, gregarious people when the library opened in our community? I doubt it. Yes the library is very important to us culturally and socially and perhaps even economically but let us not protest too much as we do ourselves few favours. People read comments of the sort above and librarians lose credibility. Back up statements like the above with some evidence and emphasise the effect that we can have on learning and then we may be taken more seriously.

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