Department of Education

School Library Support

School Library Support

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School Library SupportSupporting learning ‹ Role of library and staff

Role of library and staff


Purpose of the school library

The school library is fundamental to the mission and teaching and learning goals of the school. Providing a wide range of facilities and services it facilitates the work of the classroom teacher and ensures each student has equitable access to resources, irrespective of home opportunities or constraints. It requires strategic support and systematic processes, to maximise its effectiveness in resourcing the curriculum and supporting the learning environment within the school. Research demonstrates that well-resourced, properly staffed school libraries have a positive impact on student achievement.

While the role of the school library remains constant, its design, digital platform, strategies and tools change as pedagogy and technology changes.

Appropriate professional and support staff are essential for the effective functioning of this potentially dynamic learning centre and for the achievement of the school’s teaching and learning goals.

School library programs and services seek to:

  • Create and develop motivating, flexible physical and digital learning spaces.
  • Run independent learning programs, which integrate information resources and technologies, to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in a constantly changing technological, social and economic environment.
  • Collaborate with classroom teachers to plan, implement and evaluate inquiry-based programs that will ensure students acquire skills to collect, critically analyse and organise information, problem-solve and communicate their findings.
  • Provide and promote quality fiction to develop and sustain in students the habit and enjoyment of reading for pleasure and to enrich students' intellectual, aesthetic, cultural and emotional growth.
  • Cater for differences in learning and teaching styles through the provision of, and equality of access to, a wide range of curriculum resources – fiction and non-fiction, digital, print, audio and video.
  • Provide teachers with access to relevant curriculum information and professional development materials within and outside the school; and opportunities to cooperatively plan implement and evaluate learning programs.
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Why school libraries?  What the research shows.

Research studies continue to show that an active school library program makes a significant difference to student learning outcomes and test results.

Australian

 

International

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Staffing roles

Teacher librarians:

  • Are qualified teachers and qualified librarians.
  • Have knowledge of library and information management principles and practices, and library systems, collections and services.
  • Have expertise and skills in curriculum knowledge and teaching and accessing and managing information in all its forms.
  • Create dynamic learning spaces – real and virtual.
  • Identify and select resources for the curriculum across all learning areas, ensuring currency, accuracy and balance of information and that all levels of development, needs and learning styles are met.
  • Provide peer support for teaching colleagues in integrating the principles of information literacy and in using web tools and other media software.
  • Provide input into school planning sessions.
  • Collaboratively plan and teach units of work with subject and classroom teachers to develop multiple literacies.
  • Recommend great reads to meet personal interests and abilities.
  • Manage the library and its staff and budget.

For further information on the role of the teacher librarian see:

ASLA - What is a teacher librarian? (2013)

Librarians:

  • Are qualified professionals with knowledge of library and information management principles and practices.
  • Have expertise in library systems, collections and services
  • Create dynamic learning spaces – real and virtual
  • Identify and select resources for the curriculum across all learning areas, ensuring currency, accuracy and balance of information.
  • Assist teachers and students in finding information resources and recreational reading, and in using web tools and other media software but do not participate in teaching programs
  • Provide input into school planning sessions
  • Manage the library and its staff and budget

Library technicians:

  • Are qualified para-professionals with knowledge of information management principles and practices.
  • Have expertise in the technical aspects of running a library: - operating and maintaining information services and systems such as the library OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) and maintaining web platforms
  • Can train library users in the use of Web tools and other software
  • Perform tasks as outlined for Library Officer

Library officers:

  • Perform routine tasks in accord with clear standards, procedures and practices.
  • Operate library system to ensure records are up-to-date (upload SCIS catalogue records and provide circulation service)
  • Process and maintain resources ensuring ready access
  • Assist teachers and students in finding resources and provide them with technical assistance in the use of equipment
  • Mount/create displays as required
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Future directions for the school library?

Strategic directions for school libraries

Judy O’Connell, Course Director (Teacher Librarianship) at Charles Sturt University opens an ongoing discussion as to the role of SCIS and library system providers in serving school libraries 2015 and beyond.

Page last updated 16 April 2014

Role of library and staff
http://det.wa.edu.au/curriculumsupport/schoollibrarysupport/detcms/navigation/supporting-learning/role-of-library-and-staff/