Teacher Librarian role statement

My school did not give me a role statement but the application had a set of Primary Duties and Selection Criteria. My selection criteria did not have any reference to library knowledge and management, but I had to give evidence of my library and teaching qualifications as stated in ASLA’s Statement on teacher librarian qualifications and previous work history. My list of primary duties are only a one line statement. The roles provided in IASL, ASLA, SLASA and other give much more detail about how this should work.

My primary duties list – assist client with library resources and other information and research, liaise with teachers, organise and manage the library and its collection, conduct a user education program, assist in development of library policy and procedures, budget estimates and the annual report. It also lists, undertake teaching and teaching related duties.

Some of my duties compare favourably with ASLA’s standards 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.2 and 2.3, but other standards have been missed from my list of duties. The SLASA teacher librarian (TL) role (SLASA School Library Association of SA, 2008) is as detailed as ASLA’s, both promote literature, manage trained staff, provide leadership in the school, support students in finding information, evaluating and using the information. The IFLA statement suggests that the TL should be competent in planning and teaching different information handling skills to teachers and students. The IASL policy statement and other TL role statements advocate cooperation with teachers to develop curriculum, education activities and development of information skills. Knowledge of the curriculum, learning and teaching is common in all role statements.

Joyce Valenza (2010) is a most enthusiastic librarian, who has her finger on the latest ways of using a library. While all of this looks exciting and make learning fun, we can’t all have and use this technology because of budgets, technical support and our own level of learning, but I can see how this support many of the tasks in a TL’s role.

I will have to assume that many of the tasks in a TL’s role, according to the ALSA statement, are implied on my very small list of Primary Duties. I aspire to being a great TL, but realise that I have a lot to do to bring my library into the C21 and gain cooperation from my principal and staff.

Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2012, 12 10). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.aspx
Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2012, 12 10). Statement on teacher librarian qualifications . Retrieved July 24, 2013, from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/teacher-librarian-qualifications.aspx
International Association of School Librarianship (IASL). (2003, February 9). IASL Policy Statement on School Libraries. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from http://www.iasl-online.org/about/handbook/policysl.html
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (2006, March 28). School Libraries and Resource Centers Section. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s11/pubs/manifest.htm
SLASA School Library Association of SA. (2008). SLASA TEacher Librarian Role Statement. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from http://www.slasa.asn.au/Advocacy/rolestatement.html
Valenza, J. (2010, December 23). A revised manifesto. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from School library journal: http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2010/12/03/a-revised-manifesto/

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