Task C ~ A Critical Synthesis

15 May

My initial perceptions of the teacher librarian (TL) role as captured in my blog posts Hatching and Who or what is a Librarain? (Some Perceptions) were certainly naive. There are definite turning points in my journey that were initiated as responses to readings; reflection upon past or present experience, bouncing ideas both on forums and by reading other blogs that have aided the transformation to my current view of the teacher librarian.

One of the first moments of transformation occurred as a result of reading Purcell (2010). My reflection connecting her ideas to a personal experience is captured in the blog post A Teacher Librarian in Practice: Is it really that easy? At this point, I developed a sense of feeling overwhelmed by the teacher librarian’s multi-faceted role. During the course of study I have been alerted to other teacher librarians like Joyce Valenza with her video embedded in my blog post titled My librarian workout as well as her libguides shared by Judy O’Connell (May 6, 12:50pm) in Topic 5:Collaborative Practice, Judy O’Connell’s blog , as well as the blog of The Daring Librarian; all examples and demonstration of potential and possibilities.

In dealing with feelings of being overwhelmed, I have had to assess what I have to offer as a potential and what limitations I may possibly have to consider and how to overcome them. I heeded what felt as relevant advice and continually reminded myself of limitations as is evidenced in my forum post (March 24, at 1.43pm) under Topic 2:The role of the teacher librarian” titled ‘Can we do it all’, citing Herring (2007) and I appreciated O’Connells advice regarding Valenza’s years of experience and leadership (May 6, 12:24pm) in response to Jenny Kemp (May 6, 12:24pm) in Topic 5: Collaborative practice titled Challenges and big ideas. This resulted in a response displaying my renewed confidence with my personal offerings to the role of the teacher librarian as is captured clearly in my forum post attached to Topic 5: Collaborative Practice, Challenges and big ideas(May 6, 6:39pm). Another example of my confidence in capability is captured in my blog as a personal reflection of prior experience and how it relates to the TL titled Project Based learning incorporating part of my forum post from Topic 3: The TL and the curriculum, Inquiry learning  (April 4, 1:30pm)

A common theme that has recurred in my learning is absence both of the teacher librarian in connection to school, collaboration and community of learning as well as the connection to absence of information literacy and how the two are intertwined. Again, I embarked on a very reflective process and dug deep to enhance my critical understanding in this area. I certainly relate to the concept of “Fuzzy” teaching and learning (O’Connell, 1999) and discussed this in the blog post Where is the teacher librarian.  I have shared quite extensively on forum posts on issues relating to the absence or isolation of the teacher librarian as is evidenced in my post relating to collaboration and the need for support from leadership in Topic 2: The role of the teacher librarian titled ‘Principal support’ (March 21st at 6:59am), my posts relating to Topic 5: Collaborative Practice including; a response to Joyce Valenza’s vodcast (March 24 at 1:58pm) where I make the connection with how this is not only evidenced in isolation in schools but also the disconnection in literature and training between librarianship and education at a tertiary level, this is also echoed in my forum post Topic 2: The role of the teacher librarian titled ‘Principal support’ (March 21st at 6:59am). My response to barriers to collaboration in teaching (March 5, 11:44pm) is a response to a post by John Williams titled Collaboration in Topic 5: Collaborative practice (April 29, 4:380m) and my personal reflections on collaborative practice in schools I have worked in (May 10, 6:50am) as a response to posts by Dominique Pardon-Opdam (May 9, 7:12pm)  and Priscilla Curran (May 9, 9:42pm) titled collaborative practice. My connections linking absence to information literacy with the isolation of the teacher librarian is evidenced in my forum post on Assignment 2; titled Obstacles (May 11, 11:56 am), my blog posts titled A library with(out) walls: show me the evidence, The invisibility of information literacy, my personal reflection on my information literacy process in my blog titled Time to narrow the research process and reflect, and my personal reflective response in Topic 4: Information literacy titled a moment of clarity ~ thanks to vodcasts (April 22, 8:11pm). I can certainly relate to the “Freedom to expose my lack of understanding (as) a bonus” (Langford, 1999) and instrumental in my own journey to becoming information literate and hence able to advocate better.

The aspect of the teacher librarian roles I find most challenging relate to areas of leadership. The connection with an extroverted personality has been raised by Vivian Harris in the forum post titled Relationships is the key to the teacher librarian role in Topic 2: The role of the teacher librarian (March 27, 7:09pm) as a response to our readings. I question the need for extroversion as an attribute that is necessary as is apparent in my forum post as a response on (March 27: 7:54pm), as I certainly do not feel that this should be a barrier.

The aspect of the teacher librarian role related to technology, web 2.0 and the expertise in this area has provided the steepest learning curve for me and provided impetus and inspiration for the exciting opportunities ahead. I am confident in my abilities to learn new things and utilise technology, this blog is an example as are my blog entries relating to my exploration in animation titled Goanimate and The Plus Model and my exploration in creating comic strips titled Comic strips are fun!. These posts indicate my exploration of tools to enhance library practice and make connections with the wider library community. I discuss this in the forum post on (April 4, 1:30pm) under Topic 3: The TL in the curriculum titled Inquiry learning, the forum post under Topic 5: Collaborative Practice, Challenges and big ideas (May 6, 6:39pm). It is this area I am finding incredibly engaging at present. However, as is evidenced in my blog entry Digital native and web 3.0 ~ or what I saw at the post office today, I see technology as a tool and not the focus of good teaching and learning. My focus on advocating reading for pleasure will always be strong as is captured in my forum post in Assignment 1, titled Assignment and Intro/Conclusion (April 11, 7:54am) and my blog entries titled Do we need a library and Net Gen Challenging Space where I reiterate this focus.

Click on the following link to access the majority of forum contributions I have made to ETL401

ETL401 ~ my forum contributions 2011


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One response to “Task C ~ A Critical Synthesis

  1. becinthelibrary

    May 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

    This is great! I loved reading about your journey and how it parallels my own. Thank you for being such a wonderful leader and sharer on the forums – your courage and generosity of spirit thoughout the semester has helped me frame my own thinking and feeling. I get a thrill every time a new blogpost reminder from you pops up in my inbox: “what will she say next that will challenge or calm me?”


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