Introduction and mihi – welcoming everyone from the four winds to our time together here at Nottingham University I am of Scottish decent, having been transplanted to NZ when I was a pre-schooler. Maori have a deep connection to their place in the world and have a strong affinity to their mountain, their river and their Iwi. And to prove we’re all learners together, at the end of my presentation, if I’m brave enough – I will share a waiata, and invite you to participate. I am in the UK thanks to a scholarship to investigate collaborative practice and librarian leadership – have been a librarian for almost 20 years – am professionally registered and have a postgrad in digital and collaborative learning, which is the first part of a Masters in Contemporary Education. I’d like this to be a conversation so please feel free to make comments, ask questions as we go through
This is where I’m from. Most Southern city in the world at the bottom of NZ’s South Island and this is the Feldwick Gates, entrance to the beautiful Queens Park in the centre of the city, named after John Feldwick, who bequeathed a huge sum of money to the park in 1924 And at the other end of this 2km long avenue that intersects the entire park is where I work
Southland Boys’ High School – Year 7-13 school – approx. 1000 students. Founded in 1881, this block was opened on the present site in 1926.
Not enough to create a haven of true learning in your library – you must spread that environment throughout the school – David Lankes
Brabara Gray, someone else who has written extensively on the subject, considers the whole point of collaboration is a “process through which parties who see different aspects of a problem can constructively explore their differences and search for solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible.” Librarians – particularly in secondary or tertiary institutions – are better able to see the need for teachers and librarian working together. Not just a subject specialist, but recognises the transferability of ILS that teachers often don’t.
The school library is about empowerment, connectivity, engagement, interactivity, and its outcome is knowledge construction – Ross Todd In our NZ context, there is no mandate for school libraries – and my understanding is that the UK is the same Meaningful discussions about the place of school libraries in education in NZ has been missing for a long time. ERO report on the information landscape found wide disparities and made a number of recommendations – all of which were largely ignored.
Teachers who get it are like gold. A former English colleague of mine has articulated the benefits of cross curricular work, and following our collaborative efforts, went on to grow similar practices with teaching colleagues in other schools. Research affirms the certain elements vital to successful teacher librarian collaboration – the people and their relationships – skills and temperament of librarians – combining the professional skills – understanding of librarian skills by teachers – sense of purpose, trust, collegial respect and support and growth mindset.
She put together this flow chart for a presentation we gave last year at an education conference in NZ. I like that no matter whether a teacher feel’s they have the expertise to teach these skills or not, this pathway always leads back to collaboration, inquiry and reflection
NZ educationalist, John Hattie has stated …… (see quote) The more I learn about education and the place of libraries in student learning, the more convinced I am for the need to make the implicit explicit – the invisible visible – the unknown known – in IL sphere – needed by both teachers and students There is a growing body of evidence about the importance of ILS – and these skills should be embedded into the curriculum, not be an adjunct to it.
Librarians need to be considered within the curriculum – we don’t and shouldn’t sit outside it The place of the library and the library staff shouldn’t rest with individual schools but should be mandated by government Otherwise we’re a “nice to have” not a “need to have” Our professional skills and qualifications are often misunderstood or not understood at all which is a barrier to genuine collaboration
Research consensus suggests teacher/librarian collaboration has a verifiable track record of raising student achievement. TLRI 2013-14 – Investigating academic literacy across secondary and tertiary sectors. They identified that the heart of this gap was the fundamental misunderstandings about literacy and transition between teachers across the sectors, students independent learning skills, and a lack of communication across the sectors Also identified the importance of ILS hence the Information Literacy Spaces TLRI project
From that initial 2 year TLRI, Lisa Emerson submitted a further funding project, specifically to investigating ILS skills across secondary and tertiary sectors AND the effect of collaborative practice on student learning.
How I became involved – through transition to tertiary education Started work on tertiary prep in 2009 for students at the school I worked at – presented on this at LILAC in Glasgow 2012 – now a programme designed for students at any school or adults who have never studied at tertiary level, or haven’t done for some time
This is something that should be explicitly added to teacher training – potentially through disciplinary literacy or inquiry learning
So how does all of this fit into collaborative practice
My journey Began at Hargest in 2000 as a part time library assistant Became library manager in 2005 Built collaborative and collegial relationships with teachers who were prepared to work with me Developed whole department programmes through the HODs English Y9 – using print resources Social Sciences Y10 – using online resources
Embedding and collaborating – where I’d got to at the end of 2012
Moving to SBHS and changing my mindset
Gathering my thoughts from where I’d come to where I was now
The ILSF – flexible programme designed to introduce, practice and embed ILS, research, DLS & Library skills into the curriculum across subjects, departments & year levels
Supported by activities – making the invisible visible Templates – to make the implicit explicit Iterative – to make the unknown known
Embedding the digital literacy, critical thinking and digital curriculum into the programme. This year I’ve discovered the role of leadership in this process.
It can be difficult to make sure everyone is on the same page. So I’ve created planning templates to work alongside the ILSF
Specific lesson planning – what the achievement standard is and the learning objectives
Planning together and explicitly
Importantly! Capturing what worked, what didn’t, what needs to be developed or changed for next time
Pathways into the Junior School curriculum
Creating ways of embedding it into our Junior School
What seems most against collaborative practice is four letter word – TIME! So how do we tackle this and make sure the time is used wisely and to best effect. My approach to coloration – just in time, making notes, saying back what I heard and what we’ve planned and how is responsible for what. Often the rest can be done electronically (EGGS Tertiary Prep planning as example.) Feedback from the group
Which brings us to the time where we’re going to finish with a traditional Maori waiata.
By Barry Mangham [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
Making the invisible visible - White
practice models in New
Nau te raurau
Naku te raurau
Ka ki te kete o tatou
With your knowledge
And my knowledge
will be full
“A process in which two or more
individuals work together to
integrate information in order to
enhance student learning.”
Patricia Montiel-Overall, 2005
What is Collaborative Practice?
“When librarians and teachers work together, students
achieve higher levels of literacy, reading, learning,
problem-solving and information and communication
IFLA/UNESCO School Library Manifesto, 1999
What is Collaborative Practice?
“Collaboration means working smarter together,
rather than harder alone.”
Ministry of Education, New Zealand
“Working collaborativelywith librarians
to our ability to teach cross-curricular units of work.”
K. Sullivan, Teacher (2012)
What do the
Do I have the
How can I develop
How can I ensure
students get the
How can we develop
the knowledge we
offer our students?INQUIRE
When teaching and learning are
visible, there is a
students achieving higher.
“The gapbetween secondary and
tertiaryeducation in terms of literacy and
the learning environment is
bigger than anyone is
Emerson, Kilpin & Feekery (2014)Senga’s Space
Emerson, L., Kilpin, K., White, S., Greenhow, A., Macaskill, A., Feekery, A…
O’Connor, R. (2018). Under-recognised, underused, and undervalued:
School libraries and librarians in New Zealand secondary school
curriculum planning and delivery. Curriculum Matters 14, 48-68.
If we wait until we’re ready,
we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.
Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
It’s no use going
because I was
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who
cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
unlearn, and relearn.”
Fear doesn’t shut
it wakes you up.
Tūtira mai ngā iwi
Tātou tātou e
Tūtira mai ngā iwi
Tātou tātou e
Whai-a te marama-tanga
me te aroha - e ngā iwi!
Ki-a ko tapa-tahi,
Ki-a kotahi rā.
Tātou tātou e.
Line up together, people
All of us, all of us.
Stand in rows, people
All of us, all of us.
Seek after knowledge
and love of others - everybody!
Be really virtuous
And stay united.
All of us, all of us.
Waiata – Tūtira mai
Research & Learning Coordinator
Southland Boys’ High School
Education Review Office (2005). Student Learning in the information landscape. Wellington, New Zealand:
Education Review Office.
Emerson, L. (2018). Hidden in plain sight: Secondary school libraries. Retrieved from
Emerson, L., Kilpin, K., White, S., Greenhow, A., Macaskill, A., Feekery, A… O’Connor, R. (2018). Under-
recognised, underused, and undervalued: School libraries and librarians in New Zealand secondary
school curriculum planning and delivery. Curriculum Matters 14, 48-68. https://doi.org/10.18296/cm.0029
Ministry of Education & National Library of New Zealand. (2002). The school library and learning in the
information landscape. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.