Teacher-librarian - public librarian connections


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Cooperative relationships between school libraries and public libraries have the potential to enrich school students' learning and advance lifelong learning in the wider community. Research findings.

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Teacher-librarian - public librarian connections

  1. 1. Dr Hilary Hughes Dr Mandy Lupton Queensland University of Technology mandy.lupton@qut.edu.au Diversity Challenge Resilience: School Libraries in Action - The 12th Biennial School Library Association of Queensland, the 39th International Association of School Librarianship Annual Conference, incorporating the 14th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship, Brisbane, QLD Australia, 27 September – 1 October 2010.
  2. 2. Background Alan Bundy’s 2001 research “Essential connections: school and public libraries for lifelong learning” Survey of PLs (approx 400) and TLs (approx 600) Conclusions: “School and public libraries have three goals in common: ensuring that students develop as information-enabled learners; providing access to a wide range of analog and digital resources; motivating students to use libraries and their professional staff for informational and recreational purposes.” (Bundy 2001)
  3. 3. Complementary aims PL-TL - literacy PL-TL - lifelong learning PL – early childhood literacy PL – homework/study support after school Bundy, A (2010) submission by Friends of Libraries Australia to the Senate inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/edt/schoollibraries/subs/sub319.pdf
  4. 4. TL-PL connections at Queensland University of Technology We encourage students undertaking the QUT Master of Education (TL) to do some of their practicum in a public library
  5. 5. Barriers “The barriers identified by public libraries to greater cooperation with schools include: schools not interested in cooperation frequent changes of school personnel, including teacher librarians primary schools, in particular, with no teacher librarians schools not advising potential demands on public libraries by their students teachers unaware of the roles and particularly the electronic resources of modern public libraries poor information skills of students poor discrimination by students and parents in internet use poor reading ability of students, especially boys.” (Bundy 2010) Bundy, A (2010) submission by Friends of Libraries Australia to the Senate inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/edt/schoollibraries/subs/sub319.pdf
  6. 6. Research 2010 Replication of Bundy’s 2001 study Survey sent through QLD TL listserv 42 respondents (compared with Bundy’s survey approx 600 respondents) One interview (case study) – Margaret Spillman One focus group 3 PLs Still to come: Focus groups with TLs PL survey More PL focus groups
  7. 7. Survey questions What is the current level of interaction with your local public library? Low/average/high Has that interaction in the last five years: Reduced/same/increased? What is the main factor that determines your current level of interaction? no need /lack of time/ lack of interest/response Have public library staff ever visited your library for discussions? Yes/No/Unsure Are you aware of any special services your local public library offer to schools? Yes/No/Unsure What is your knowledge of public library issues & developments? Very low/low/average/high/very high Are you a regular public library user? Yes/No
  8. 8. Interaction with PL 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 2010 0% low 2001 high average
  9. 9. Nature of the interaction
  10. 10. In the last 5 years 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2010 decreased stayed same 2001 increased unsure
  11. 11. Main factor that determines interaction 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2010 need time 2001 lack of interest/response other
  12. 12. PL visits school 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 2010 0% no 2001 yes unsure
  13. 13. TL knowledge of PL issues 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2010 very low low 2001 high very high
  14. 14. TL regular use of public library 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 2010 10% 0% 2001 no yes
  15. 15. Case study: Productive Partnerships Margaret Spillman – MacKay West State School & Mackay Regional Council Libraries Evolved from 2002: Work experience (TL & PL plus support staff) GOAL – Grade Ones At the Library Library Monitor program Database workshops MacKay West State School Library website http://www.mackwestss.eq.edu.au Promotion of PL in school newsletter & on school library website
  16. 16. http://www.mackwestss.eq.edu.au/productive_partnerships.htm
  17. 17. Public library perspectives Focus group – 3 public librarians from south-east QLD (all 3 in the programs section of PL – not branch libraries). One of the focus group participants has recently graduated with her Master of Education (teacher-librarianship) PL-TL: Spent 1 day per week for 6 months in a school library as part of her MEd practicum Realised that the key to TL & PL connections was making personal connections via TL network meetings, then following up on Facebook & email
  18. 18. PL outreach Some branch libraries have excellent connections – depends on the personnel involved – Book Week, Simultaneous Storytime visits etc There is no systematic program in place – no systematic effort to liaise about collection, programs and services Ad hoc arrangements, a couple of strong relationships discussed Recognition that PLs need to go into schools Strong understanding from central program PLs about TL issues (as exemplified in the Senate inquiry), but also assumptions made eg leisure collection
  19. 19. PL-TL: [What]I hadn't anticipated was that a couple of the [teacher]librarians were quite hesitant about having a more formal relationship with the public librarians. Mainly for reasons such as jeopardizing their funding. They were concerned that why would they continue to still be funded for resources if it was perceived that those resources were available at [the public library] through a library card… [the private schools said] “We might lose our funding if we can get it, through the public library." Whereas the state schools, it was much more: "Yes, bring it on. We want to know about these things", because it'll stretch our resources.
  20. 20. Collection Marg Spillman: [re PL learning about age-appropriate resources] So she took a list of all the series that we used that were age appropriate and she then bought them, and then there developed this wonderful synchronicity of resources because then when our students go to the public library they come back and say to us ‘do you know they have the same books that we have’. PL-TL: Sometimes they [the students] would be able to get a book a lot more quickly through the public library because the school library can maybe buy three of a popular book. We buy 27, or 42 or whatever the ratio is.
  21. 21. Duplication of resources - positives PL: I was at a P&C meeting for the school that my child goes to. They were talking about Intrepica, which is an online literacy …learning through gaming sort of thing. The school was subscribing to it for each student…The kids were using it at school, and were able to access it at home. I pointed out to them that the library also has a subscription, so that any member of the public library system can access it. They were really keen to see that, because they said a lot of parents when they've seen it, had sort of been: "Oh that's so much fun.“ For the other kids who maybe weren't at that school, older or younger or whatever. For the parents themselves to say: "Well I can have an account, and my child can have an account, and we can do it together and interact that way." That's kind of nice, and it's not a competition.
  22. 22. Lack of TL awareness of PL databases PL-TL: Because they were certainly aware of the public library and certainly not negative in any way to the library. They were very supportive of the library and actually went there themselves for their leisure reading, but hadn't taken the next step and kind of explored. So 15 minutes over a coffee one morning and said "Hey, do you know we've actually got this database and that database?" Because the kids were doing Australian explorers and we've got some fantastic resources.
  23. 23. Lack of teacher awareness of PL resources PL-TL gave a short talk to teachers at the school where she did her prac: I actually gave just a 15 minute talk to the senior school teachers as part of their staff meeting. Did a bit of show and tell about our online resources particularly, and just couched it in the terms of: "This is some of the new things. I know you've probably all been the library, or you've all got library cards, or you use the catalog to reserve your books, and have them picked up. But you might not have explored some of these other areas.“ I [said] “these are just some of the things that you can access. You might want to use it personally for your own professional development, or for your own resources, or you might want to pass it on to the students”. And people came up to me afterwards and said: "Oh that was great, because we didn't know, don't have time to play and look." So 15 minutes was really all that was needed.
  24. 24. PL ideas “Check out a Librarian” (borrow a librarian to come to the school) Attend PD days at schools Run workshops for parents at the school Run year 7-8 information literacy program
  25. 25. Information user to information creator PL-TL: They've got the chance to actually make it, make themselves as part of the information. That they're actually creating the content, not just sitting back and being told from on high… I had read about it, and heard about it as part of the [MEdTL] course, and thought I understood it, but until I actually experienced it, and the light bulb went on, and I went: "Uh huh. OK. Yes." That young people and kids going through university now, they actually are very strident in their opinion, about having been part of the content creation. They don't want to just sit back and be told stuff, they actually want to work with you on it, they actually want to collaborate, they want to understand it and they want to create it.
  26. 26. References Bundy, A (2001) Essential Connections: school and public libraries for lifelong learning. Presented at Forging future directions the 17th conference of the Australian School Library Association, Sunshine Coast, QLD 30 Sept-4th Oct http://www.alia.org.au/publishing//alj/51.1/full.text/essential.connections.html Bundy, A (2010) submission by Friends of Libraries Australia to the Senate inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/edt/schoollibraries/subs/sub319.pdf Spillman, M (2010) From small things big things grow. Submission to the Senate inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/edt/schoollibraries/subs/sub370.pdf Spillman, M (nd) Productive Partnerships http://www.mackwestss.eq.edu.au/productive_partnerships.htm Contact: mandy.lupton@qut.edu.au