A teacher librarian's learning journey

Information services – students September 20, 2012

Filed under: ETL501 Information Environment — Jennifer Baccon @ 12:45 am

Go to the School Community Profile template from the National Library of New Zealand. Using this document and the one above, identify how the community profile might be useful to a teacher-librarian?

Such a profile template provides for a richness and depth of information and, it would be envisaged, would be part of a Collection Management Policy (although not in this amount of depth it is proposed). Such a document and the collection of this data would surely be part of school documentation overall in some form when arriving at the guiding philosophy and subsequent mission of the school. The document outlines the foundations on which everything else stands.  It is the context in which learning takes place. Having this info can help the TL to make connections to the learner community – it’s a “head start” to meeting their information literacy needs. It brings pre-knowledge to the TL – learner interface.

Information services and information literacy

  • Info services need to be supported by TLs and teachers providing information literacy support

A student comes into the library at lunch break with a vague question such as I need information on houses. By questioning that student, the TL can eventually find out the exact nature of the student’s query, which might be I need information on solar energy in houses in South Australia.

The TL at this point has a number of options. S/he can lead the student to the shelves and/or to the library catalogue or s/he can advise the student on doing a search for information on an online database (if the library has some) or the Web.

Alternatively, the TL might ask the student to write down the query in the form of a concept map or to write a list of questions or keywords before showing the student where to find information. This method does not take a lot of time and can be effective in providing the student with information literacy support.

However, the TL may feel that, given more time (and the absence of several other students demanding attention) s/he might have given the student more advice eg. on note-taking or using keywords to structure an assignment.

From the above example, reflect on this situation and decide on methods which the TL could use to provide students with instant reminders of the information literacy/skills process. These might include posters or handouts or other methods. List three (3) ways in which you think a TL might do this. The context is a library where there is only one TL who has part-time clerical support.

  • Certainly first the TL needs to ascertain exactly what the need is.  Although it’s a reiteration of above, it’s absolutely crucial. Why are they looking for information (purpose)? What information and how much do they need exactly?  It should be routine in the interaction (reference interview). It demands a process of applying higher order thinking on the learner’s part and certainly defining purpose is an information literacy skill.
  • Maybe it could be a poster near the catalogues…Stop! Reflect…Why am I looking for information? etc. Could help to internalise the thinking.
  • Mapping it out is brilliant and it is hoped they have probably already done so in class. Thinking broadly across an inquiry across a year level, students could add/identify key words for searching or identify subjects using the in-class created concept maps. Makes sense to do this collaboratively with the teacher although individuals will want to identify personal inquiries.
  • Thinking specifically about the information skills process, I think some appropriate scaffolds available from the library might be sound additions to the collection. There are many similarities in information seeking behaviour at different stages of the process and these scaffolds could be used in responding to these. Kuhlthau would be very relevant here.
  • Early is inquiry children actually too “don’t know what they don’t” and sometime are asked to pose questions too inquiry to really take them deeper, to actually engage them with something genuinely intriguing. Always collect wanderings and wonderings observed in class along the way. A simple graffiti board…Web 2.0 wallwisher, corkboard…

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