Final Reflections ETL402. You know you are a 21st century Teacher Librarian if …


From the inspirational Joyce Valenza, with particular reference to reading & literature advocacy, you know you are a 21st century teacher librarian if …

  • You explore new ways to promote and celebrate reading. You are piloting/equipping learners with both traditional, new, and emerging book formats–downloadable audio books, Playaways, Kindles, iPads, Nooks.
  • You share ebook apps with students for their iPhones, droids, and iPads and other mobile devices
  • You market, and your students share, books using social networking tools like Shelfari, Good Reads, or LibraryThing.
  • Your students blog or tweet or network in some way communicate and reflect about what they are reading
  • You link to available free ebook collections using such tools such as Google Books, International Children’s Digital Library
  • You review and promote books in your own blogs and wikis and other websites.
  • You embed ebooks on your websites to encourage reading and support learning.
  • You work together with learners to create and share digital booktalks or book trailers.

Valenza, J. K. (October 2010). A revised Manifesto for 21st Century School Librarians, from

My Addition …

You work together with teachers to embed literature into the curriculum.

You work together with teachers to implement exemplar literary learning programs – using literature as a curriculum resource.

Teacher librarians assist with the implementation of such programs by:

  • Sharing teaching and assessment
  • Collaborating with teachers to design tasks & activities and create templates and documents to scaffold student learning
  • Facilitating access to a diverse range of appropriate and professionally selected resources to support curriculum content and learning outcomes ( fiction & non-fiction, websites, e-books and videos)
  • Select a range of fiction and non-fiction (print or digital) that fit different reading and cognitive levels, age levels and cultural backgrounds.
  • Assisting teachers with the selection and use of web 2.0 tools & technology that support student learning, engagement and response to the literature
  • Creating online resources to share student work, learning and reflections ( Google sites, wikis, blogs)
  • Supporting reading of literature (providing access to e-reading devices, providing multiple copies of selected texts, reading aloud)
  • Providing physical space or classroom opportunities for students to engage in quality conversation around the literature

ETL402 and the value of reading


I am a bibliophile, I read a lot, I know that reading literature brings me great pleasure and I love to share my reading experience with others. I have always believed in the value of reading, sharing and promoting literature to children. Through the course of this subject I have learned so much more about the power and potential of narrative to improve students learning and reading experience. In module 1, we considered the shifting trends in children’s literature, reading practices and pedagogy. We reflected on the impact of digital technologies and the decline in reading. I learned that one in ten Australian children do not enjoy reading and only a minority of children read at home or read every day (A.B.S, 2012). In view of these statistics, I believe it falls on the teacher librarian to increase and facilitate children’s engagement in reading. TL’s are well placed to provide access to a diverse and appropriate range of children’s literature, in many formats (digital & print), to create opportunities for children to emotionally engage with narrative, to work with teachers to develop protracted and reflective reading practices (Zipes, 2009, p. 42) and to encourage literature appreciation.

In the forums, I have stated that it is important for TL’s to promote the VALUE of reading children’s literature (Wardlaw, 2014). Working through this subject I have come to appreciate the significance of this statement. Although I acknowledge that it is important for TL’s to support literacy and promote reading for pleasure, I now recognise that it is the TL’s role in promoting and facilitating literary learning that is most significant. It is the responsibility of the TL to make reading literature meaningful to teachers, curriculum leaders and students. TL’s are important advocates for embedding literature in curriculum and supporting a whole language approach (Church, 1994) to teaching and learning. Assignment 1 addressed the need to rationalise literature collections in school libraries. Working on this assignment, I discovered that the TL’s knowledge of a wide variety of literature, educational pedagogy and curriculum is vital to the development of fiction collections that not only engage readers but support teaching and learning outcomes. Such collections add significant value to student learning. Working on assignment 2 has consolidated my understanding of how the TL can effectively use these collections to diversify curriculum and support literary learning. TL’s collaborate with teachers to design & implement curriculum programs that use literature to build knowledge, promote critical thinking, and develop reading practices that support transliteracy (Gordon, 2011).

Personally, one of the highlights of this subject has been the focus on developing literature enhanced curriculums and developing literature units based on meaningful themes (Schlick, 2005). TL’s are well placed to promote the benefits and provide examples of this practice. As a library technician with little teaching experience, it has been extremely valuable to explore and discover teaching and learning strategies to support this practice. I have reconsidered the importance of reading aloud to children (Leland, Lewison & Harste, 2012) and become aware of two important ideas: independent reading and cooperative learning (Combes, 2014). I now recognise the benefits of students coming together to discuss literature and reflect on their reading. Incorporating book chat, reading circles or book clubs will be something that I will encourage and explore further in my teaching career.


Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2012). Reading: The home and family context. Retrieved from

Church, S. (1994). Is whole language really warm and fuzzy? The Reading Teacher, 47, 362-370. Retrieved from

Combes, B (2014). Teaching and Promotion Strategies for Using Literature. [ETL 402 Module 6.3]. Retrieved October 18, 2014 from Charles Sturt University website:

Gordon, C. (2011). Lost in cyberspace?: Tracking the future of reading. School Library Monthly, 27(8), 50-54. Retrieved from

Leland, C., Lewison, M., & Harste, J. (2012). Why reading aloud is crucial. In Teaching children’s literature: It’s critical! Retrieved form EBL Library.

Wardlaw, G. (2014, July 26). Post 4. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from

Zipes, J. (2009). Relentless progress: the reconfiguration of children’s literature, fairy tales, and storytelling. London: Routlage.

Forum Reflections on Teacher Librarian’s and Children’s Literature


I believe a significant role of the teacher librarian is to promote the VALUE of reading children’s literature. TL’s can create opportunities for children to emotionally engage with text; work with teachers and students to develop protracted and reflective reading practices an, as Zipes mentions, “demonstrate how reading fosters critical thinking, sensitivity, pleasure and civic responsibility” (2009, p.42) and “bring readers together with other readers to discuss the qualities” of the text or the content (p. 39). The TL’s role is to provide access to a range of children’s lit in many formats (digital & print). Collaborate with teachers, encourage them to design specific programs and activities to engage children in reading, explore the use of blogging or social media to do so; encourage teachers  to continue to read aloud in the classroom – recommend class texts. I agree that children read differently today, and if books have been “incorporated into a culture of entertainment” (Zipe, 2009, p. 33) then it is the responsibility of the TL to improve student’s appreciation of why we read literature. Le Guins’s description of the book as “social vector” (Zipe, 2009, p. 38), a pathway to understanding ourselves and the world we live in appeals to me. TL’s are well placed to make reading meaningful to students in ways other than literacy instruction (alphabetic literacy/comprehension) or entertainment.


Zipes, J. (2009). Misreading children and the fate of the book in Relentless progress the reconfiguration of children’s literature, fairy tales, and storytelling. London: Routledge.

Introduction to Children’s Literature forum reflections


Do you have a vision for the future of children’s literature? Who will be the drivers of change?  

I hope that rich and engaging storytelling (content) will continue to be the mainstay of children’s literature in the future, in whatever media, print or digital. According to Madej ( 2003, p. 3), the history of children’s literature shows that narrative expression has evolved over time; whether it is created for education, entertainment or both, storytelling remains key to “shaping children’s human experiences and the way they learn” and constructs meaning in their lives. Madej also alludes to the possibilities and opportunity for story writers to use new media to create rich digital narrative to continue this evolution.

I am not sure who will be the drivers of change, although I can see how “empowered children” (McLean, 2013) influence the market and the facilitators (publishers). Current trends in education and curriculum could also be seen to drive change, in terms of content and delivery.

From the readings I have taken the following points to be key elements of any definition of children’s literature:

Children’s’ literature (narrative writing/storytelling)

  • encompasses a vast range of genre, form & media
  • serves many purposes and addresses a diverse range of needs (education, enjoyment)
  • engages, enlightens and entertains children
  • is written specifically for children (Winch, 2006); using language, ideas and themes that are within the readers grasp/accessible – relevant content

Pleasures in literature

For me, emotional engagement with characters and story are paramount. I find this is often the case with students as well. Recently, teachers in our school introduced literature circles to yr 6 students to engage discussion around reading and literature. A variety of narrative texts were selected.  A surprisingly successful book was Digger J Jones by Richard J. Frankland; the diary of an eleven year old aboriginal boy growing up in 1960’s Melbourne during the Referendum. Students really engaged with the language, they loved Digger’s “voice” and his take on the world at that time. There were some wonderful discussions about Digger’s life with his friends and family, discrimination and aboriginal civil rights.


Madej, K. (2003). ‘Towards digital narrative for children: from education to entertainment, a historical perspective’. ACM Computeres and Entertainment, Vol 1. doi: 10.1145/950566.950585

McLean, K. (2013). The Future of Children’s Books in Five Trends, viewed on 17 July 2014 at

Winch, G. (2006). Literacy : reading, writing and children’s literature (3rd ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. pp. 393-413.

Bibliographic Standards and Resource Description – why descriptive cataloguing?


Brief summaries of learning in ETL505 …

In the current information age, information is ubiquitous; we have access to it everywhere, yet it is said, that the more information there is, the more difficult it is to find the best information (Hider, 2012, p. 61). The primary function of libraries, school libraries and other information agencies is to provide quality information that is central to the needs of its users. In order to perform this function it is necessary for information agencies to organise information so that it is effectively accessible and re-useable (Hider, 2012, p. 2). So that information can be selected and retrieved when needed, an information resource needs to be described in a way that will distinguish it from others and benefit user discovery. According to Freeman & Hider (2013), information resource description is the art of describing a resource so that it can be located when needed.

The provision and maintenance of effective information retrieval tools and systems is essential to the field of information and bibliographic organisation. Information professionals provide access to information resources using a range of well organised systems. 

The field of information organisation involves a range of fundamental principles, prescribed practices and systems designed for the purpose of information access and retrieval. Information resource description plays a significant role in the provision of information access. In libraries, the effectiveness of bibliographic organisation and information retrieval is determined by the quality of resource description and the metadata created. Effective bibliographic organisation and resource description focuses on the needs of library users and is successful when it facilitates access to relevant, accurate and re-useable information.


Freeman, A & Hider, P. (2013). The need for information resource description. [ETL505 Module 1.1]. Retrieved August 15, 2013, from Charles Sturt University website:

Hider, P. (2012). Information resource description: creating and managing metadata. London: Facet.