Proving your worth

Another light pings on this morning! So TLs are not just collection keepers and book stampers but there do seem to be some image difficulties and TLs do seem in some cases to be invisible. So how do we as TLs become visible and demonstrate our worth and impact upon learning?

Todd, R.J. (2007) Evidence-based practice and school libraries: from advocacy to action. In S. Hughes-Hassell & V. H. Harada School reform and the school library media specialist (pp. 55-78). Westport, CY: Libraries Unlimited.

For Todd the key seems to be in evidence-based practice. What is evidence based practice? An approach to integrating research into practice, which in turn leads to evidence based education; education based upon empirical research or evidence. This therefore has an impact on the role of the TL

” it is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best research evidence in making decisions about the instructional role of the teacher librarian. It is about using research evidence, coupled with professional expertise and reasoning to implement learning interventions that are effective.” Todd (2007) pg 62

And how does this help the TL from being invisible? Well for a very long time libraries have been run on the belief that they were good things to have. That they made a difference to us culturally, socially and personally…they made a positive difference. This has meant that most people think they are good things to have in school but are unable to articulate why and this has led to a woolly view of the library and those that work within it. Todd believes that if we make claims about the worth of our school libraries then we should have evidence to back it up. We should have proof as to how libraries make a difference to student attainment. It means that the TL should know and understand and be able to articulate about the research concerning their profession. They should be able to utilize the research to construct initiatives and interventions that will have a positive impact on teachers and students.

By using the research then initiatives are not just one-off activities designed to pull in the crowds but well thought out experiences that are designed to improve learning.If the librarian can then articulate why they are doing what they do then I believe they would begin to be less invisible….

What I found particularly interesting about article was that it stated that librarians should go beyond the information skills outcomes and identify knowledge and skills as they relate to curriculum areas.  Does this mean that when I am planning collaboratively that I will initially focus on the knowledge and skills in the curriculum area the Year Team are working on and then fit the information skills within this? Would I try to build some information literacy skills around say the concept of collaboration which is what our Year 3s will be inquiring into next? Ie use the encyclopedias and dictionaries to find the definition of collaboration. Brainstorm key words to do with collaboration and then try to link these to real life situations ie sport, work. Locate non fiction that relates to these areas or web sites that give further information about how particular teams work together….. I’m not sure.


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