Possibilities for teacher and teacher librarian collaboration

Teacher Librarians who can work collaboratively with teachers in a teaching team can help make successful learning activities in the school. Despite schools still being inundated with “inertial bureaucracy” (Fullan, 1999, p. 31), which is a very depressing feature of the education system, teaching staff who can collaborate have a happier, more positive learning environment for students. Louis and Kruse (1995) in Fullan, 1999, p. 31) state that they have evidence that measured a better performance in several subject areas.

Todd (2008) states that the concept of collaboration of teachers and teacher librarians is not new and it is part of the practice of the teacher librarian. Many of the criteria in an TL applications state that the TL should be able to collaborate with teachers to implement information literacy programs which will produce positive learning outcomes for students (Todd, 2008) and (Australian School Library Association (ASLA) and Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), (2004).

Kahn & Valence (2012) describe a collaborative set of lessons to produce a social studies paper, where the teacher librarian and English teachers worked together to teach students how to write a research paper. The English teachers helped students devise good questions and the teacher librarian helped the students find accurate reliable information and also how to create citations. The use of a pathfinder enabled to student to stay focussed and start to study their subject in more depth. Kahn & Valence (2012) describe the further steps that the students took to turn in a very successful paper. They also describe other activities that older students could do to help with their studies and make videos and wikis of research activities that could be revisited at any time.

I think that the production of videos by students and media teachers would be a good idea for my senior secondary students as it would reinforce lessons that I have taught them in the library. It would also provide a basis for them in future studies. Subject based wikis produced by librarian, IT teachers and subject teachers would also be a useful to put in the good sources of information, and perhaps, which sources not to use and why. I have also just discovered Google Lit Trips which would be a great way to bring Literature to life (Colorado State Library, 2011). It would involve collaboration between library staff  and teaching staff and initiate the projects for the students.

Hammond & Barnabei (2013) describe how their flipped classroom works in the Vocational Education sector, where homework entails watching instructional videos that are supplied by teachers and teacher librarian/technology integrator and the majority of classroom time is spent doing the practical activities. This has taken collaboration to a different level where TL support is provided in the forms of apps, the Apple environment and videos which support real-world projects.

Todd ( 2008) states that instructional collaborations do not happen by chance and that the lessons must be planned well and must be flexible to meet realistic goals.


Australian School Library Association (ASLA) and Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved July 24, 2013, from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.aspx

Colorado State Library. (2011, August 2). Highly Effective School Librarians Create Collaborative Culture. Retrieved September 22, 2013, from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-Kaz6LXu30

Fullan, M. (1999). Deep meaning of inside collaboration. In Change forces : the sequel (pp. 31-41). London : Falmer Press.

Hammond, J. K., & Barnabei, C. (2013). Reinventing ourselves in the digital age. Library Media Connection, 31(6), 14-16.

Kahn, E., & Valence, L. (2012). Collaboration is the key to successful research. Library Media Connection. (March/April), 40-42.

Todd, R. J. (2008). The dynamics of classroom teacher and teacher librarian instructional collaborations. Scan, 27(2), 19-28.


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