Where did it begin . . .

It began with a love of books and the desire to loose myself in a fantasy-world created by some person’s imagination. I guess it spread to a realisation that certain author’s possessed the ability to weave words and worlds in wonderful ways – some more talented than others in my limited opinion and experience. Didn’t realise (acknowledge?) that I was learning all the while about myself and the world I was a part of. As I grew, ‘study’ followed, and books took on a more purposeful focus. Not just entertainment -but educational too. Over the years, as my interests diversified there were periods when I stated that I’d ‘rediscovered the novel’ – and again lost myself for a while in pleasurable books. In my career as a primary school teacher I have worked very purposefully with books and know their value in developing literacy in growing children. Equally, I hold strongly to the premiss that there is much personal joy to be experienced through reading fiction that is not part of a purposeful program. It’s a great leisure activity!! Without enjoyment as an early motivator to reading more books – the skill isn’t practised and then reading for academic comprehension is so much more laborious.
I believe the teacher-librarian is in a unique position as a resource manager with a knowledge of the curriculum and with the opportunity to collaborate with class teachers across the school to support the teaching of students. The TL’s contact with the whole school staff and students with their varying interests and abilities, also allows them to get involved in extension and extra-curricula activities across the school – Book Week, Chess Club and Reading Circles. TL’s can also manage the common space (the library) to constantly share Art and project work. This is the model that I’ve experienced and am encouraged to pursue as a future career.
The increasing availability of electronic resources means that TL’s have needed to develop their knowledge and skills to incorporate these resources too. Our understanding of the concept of ‘literacy’ has rapidly widened to include all the information available to us in text, image and auditory medium. With easy access to so much information we now need to focus everyone’s ability to gain and maintain their use and understanding of the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ ware available to them to most effectively develop educationally.
The TL’s roles as teacher, collaborator, resource manager, connector and technology facilitator, have all been experienced by me or in evidence in my school, over the last 5 years. Coming into this course, it is these roles that I have understood and valued as part of the position of a teacher-librarian in a primary school.


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