Tag Archives: ETL503

Reflection Part C – ETL503

The impact that school library collections will have on students into the future cannot be underestimated. Whilst many schools are facing bleak outlooks in terms of keeping their libraries viable, this subject has made me realise how crucial school library collections will be in the future. The key to their survival will be how they respond to the rapid changes          brought about through technology, decreasing physical resources, library spaces becoming more social and collaborative  and an increased focus on satisfying individual user needs. Teacher Librarians can no longer be complacent with the idea that libraries will always exist in every school.

Modules 5-7 covered collection evaluation, weeding, policy, censorship and the future of school library collections.  Working in a school library, I have to admit that much of the selection, evaluation and weeding is done spontaneously. The existing Collection Development Policy is out of date (I plan to update it soon) and is rarely referred to. The criterion for selection is based mainly on instinct and a confidence that I know my clientele extremely well after years of experience. Subconsciously, I am checking selection measures as I interact with my clientele daily, discuss their needs and reading interests, my knowledge of Curriculum content, Readers’ Club, suggestion box, user surveys and through my extensive professional reading. My criterion for evaluation and subsequent weeding is much the same. I use the CREW method (Larson, 2012) of weeding as outlined in my blog.  The Collection Development Policy is written evidence of what I am doing, often collaboratively that supports the school’s mission and Curriculum requirements. In terms of using collection-centered measures (checking catalogues, collection mapping) and user-centered measures (circulation statistics, user surveys) (Bishop, 2007, p.141), they are considered, but not relied on solely. It is interesting to note that during my Public library placement, my task was to weed novels from a list of books that had not been borrowed for two years or more. If I was to apply this to my school library, there may not be many books left on the shelf.

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AR logo

Books may still be relevant as Curriculum changes. For example, Senior English ‘Discovery’ requires resources that have not been circulated for some time, but are now important as related texts. Another example is the Accelerated Reader program  containing over two thousand titles. These books, whilst not borrowed regularly each year, still suit different readers as  they progress through the program annually.

The Australian School Library Association’s statement on school library resource provision states that ‘every learner has access to a variety of quality, relevant, accurate and current information resources’ (ASLA, 2014). I believe that there is more emphasis on individual students than there was previously and that preparing our students for future society is more evident. Personalised, student-orientated, differentiated, inquiry-based and authentic learning pedagogy need to be our focus. We want students to ‘learn how to learn’ (Lonsdale, 2003, p.9). Globalisation and technological advances have changed the Curriculum and traditional schooling. Students need to develop attributes and skills necessary for a rapidly changing society and workplace (ASLA, 2013, p.7).  ‘We imagine futures for our students, our school libraries, our programs, our schools and ourselves’ (Kimmel, 2014).  An active engagement with the above processes, supported by effective resources and Teacher Librarians will ensure a positive future.

Australian School Library Association, (2013). Future learning and school libraries. Retrieved from

Australian School Library Association, (2014). Statement on school library resource provision. Retrieved from

Bishop, K. (2007). The Collection program in schools: concepts, practices and information sources (3rd ed.). Westport,
Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.

Kimmel, S. C. (2014). Developing Collections to Empower Learners. Chicago: American Library Association. Retrieved from

Larson, J. (2012). CREW:  a weeding manual for modern libraries.  Retrieved from

Lonsdale, M. (2003). Impact of school libraries on student achievement: a review of the research. Retrieved
from http://www.asla.org.au/site/defaultsite/filesystem/documents/research.pdf


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IFLA Trend Report 2013

IFLA trend report 2013, ‘5 Top Level Trends’ <http://trends.ifla.org/&gt;.

The future of school libraries has certainly been a topic of discussion recently.  It appears that school libraries are being forced to reinvent themselves, prove their worth and some even ‘prostituting’ themselves for fear of being taken over or completely closed down through decisions made by ill-informed school executives.  Schools have constantly struggled with funding and with the changing nature of libraries, school executives have taken the opportunity to redirect money that is currently spent on qualified Teacher Librarians, print resources, databases, library spaces and library programs and spending it elsewhere in the school.  It is a sad state of affairs that school libraries around the world are being reduced in size, have significantly reduced budgets or closed altogether, often with Teacher Librarians replaced by clerical staff or librarians without teaching qualifications.

The IFLA Trend report outlines 5 significant areas where the information environment has changed and discusses how libraries must evolve to remain relevant in the new information landscape. (IFLA, 2013)

Trend 1:  For school libraries, the emergence of technologies such as; BYOD, Apps, online learning,Learning Management Systems, blogs, wikis and eResources have changed the way our students interact, use information and create knowledge.  This occurs anytime, anyplace and often using a number of devices.  ‘Technology impacts powerfully on every aspect of our lives and it offers opportunities unimagined by previous generations and educators’ (Whitby, 2013)
However, more than ever our students need information literacy skills to navigate the online world that is increasingly influenced by so many different bodies.  Also, the question of ownership of certain information, especially eResources has posed access issues for many schools.  The ability to own a device, pay for online access, live in a country where internet access is available and then to be literate enough to read and understand the information are important when one considers a widening digital divide and even global inequality.

Trend 2: Traditional school libraries are already a thing of the past.  The focus is increasingly on eResources that are up-dated regularly, easily accessed, portable on devices and often cheaper. The library environment has become more social, collaborative, flexible and vibrant with makerspaces, cafes, online learning platforms and resources available 24/7.  Schools will need to compete with Online Open Education courses (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) that offer free education to everyone.  Teacher Librarians need to equip students with lifelong learning skills to be able to capitalise on these technologies throughout their lives.

Trend 3: Students are increasingly having their privacy eroded as they post information online. This will lead to less information being shared on the internet, for fear of developing a negative digital footprint.  The emphasis for schools and particularly, Teacher Librarians is to equip students with strong digital citizenship skills so that they are aware of what can occur online and how best to avoid this.

Trend 4: The online environment has enabled students from around the world to interact in ways they have not done previously.  Opportunities to collaborate with students globally about social justice issues, the environment, different cultures, in fact any topi, will more readily engage students than a traditional lesson delivered in the classroom.  The work of the Julie Lindsay and Flat Connections Global Projects (Lindsay, 2015) is an example of this in schools. Technology that drives better communication and collective action will empower our students and better prepare them for a digital world. (IFLA, 2013)

Trend 5: The increase in mobile devices, wearable technology, 3D printing and language-translation technologies are already changing the way schools, businesses and households operate.  People no longer need to live in larger cities to access high paying jobs, people including students can operate from home and there is an increased access to parts of the world’s economy reducing the competitive advantage of the more developed countries.

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), (2013), Riding the waves or
caught in the tide?
Navigating the evolving information environment.  
Retrieved from http://trends.ifla.org/files/trends/assets/insights-from-the-ifla-trend-

Lindsay, J. (2015), Flat Connections.  Retrieved from http://www.flatconnections.com

Whitby, G. (2013), Educating Gen Wi-Fi: how to make schools relevant for 21st century learners.
Sydney, NSW: Harper Collins Publishers

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ETL503 Resourcing the Curriculum

Part B – Annotated resource list      


Larson, J. (2008). Texas State Library and Archives Commission.


 Selection is based on the CREW – Continuous Review Evaluation Weeding (2012), the model used to develop my school’s Collection Development Policy (CBHS, 2007). It has been updated to reflect current practices. The model follows the acronym, MUSTIE

(Misleading, Ugly, Superseded, Trivial, Irrelevant, Elsewhere)
The Year 6 cohort’s needs were my main consideration.


1) Shaping the land, (2012). [Learning Object]. Retrieved from

This Learning Object is visual as students interactively create cross-sections of landforms to explain geological forces. Each step is explained, making this a valuable educational tool.   Students challenge themselves and share with peers via Edmodo. They learn more effectively as they are actively engaged. More able students could assist lower ability students and the interactive whiteboard would prove effective.

Scootle was used to locate this resource as I browsed the Australian Curriculum content descriptions. This made my searching more relevant as I knew the resource aligned with my unit and was age appropriate. One positive review and numerous ‘likes’ had been posted which was encouraging. Scootle is a reputable selection tool and I was able to add this resource to a learning path for increased accessibility.

2) Woolley, M. (1998). The natural shapes of Australia. South Yarra, Vic:
Macmillan Education Australia.

‘An oldie, but a goodie’ best describes this printed resource. This book covers the geological formation of Australian landforms which are difficult to find altogether in other resources. It could be used as an introduction as students start collecting information.

This book provides a brief, simple explanation of how and when landforms formed. A visual timeline of Australian landforms is useful and puts the concept of time into perspective.   The book is set out in a logical way, has an index, glossary, pictures and diagrams throughout, making it visually appealing. The fact that it was published in 1998, outweighs the educational value that it provides. Macmillan publishing is renowned for producing excellent resources for students.

I located this book using my school’s Oliver online catalogue. Unfortunately, ‘landforms’ is not a subject heading so I needed to scan a list of resources under the heading, ‘Australia – Geography’.

3) Landforms: the shape of Australia, (2002). (Sydney?): Australian
Broadcasting Association. Retrieved from

This video provides an excellent overview of the geological formation of Australia. Through excellent footage, students can visualise what Australia was like millions of years ago, trace its changes and relate this information to their task.

The program runs for 30 minutes and is divided into chapters. Chapters 1-5 are most relevant to this unit. This video contributes to the students’ background knowledge. Gondwana, the Ice Age, plate tectonics, compression and uplifting and the Age of dinosaurs is covered. Students could use the Geological Timeline summary (Woolley, 1998), as they watch the video.

Although this video was aired in 2002, it is still relevant. The reference to population is incorrect and some visuals are slightly blurry. Lower ability students will benefit rather than reading a book with equivalent information. More able students will take away a higher level of understanding of the topic.

I located this resource using my school’s Oliver online catalogue, Advanced search limited to Clickview resources.

4) Naturally Australia: Uluru, (2009). Sydney: Australian Broadcasting
Commission. Retrieved from

This video provides an overview of the formation of Uluru. It covers the Aboriginal perspective of the rock’s features. The joint management between the traditional owners and tourism authorities is discussed.

The video would give students (including the lower ability students who have an adjusted task on Uluru) an understanding of how important it is to manage and protect landforms. Further discussion could be generated, which could lay the foundation for their GI work. We have indigenous students in Year 6 and they may be able to contribute additional information to share with peers.

Students could look at Aboriginal dreamtime stories and use these as a focus for their GI task. There is a warning at the start of the video to alert Aboriginal viewers to certain content, so this would need to be mentioned before viewing.

I located this resource using the Clickview Online database. The resource was available on Exchange, which means we can obtain it for our library collection. I can also add it to a playlist for easy access.

5) Cox, K. & Fox, A. (2009). Amazing facts about Australia’s iconic landscapes.
Archerfield, Qld: Steve Parish Publishing.

Steve Parish is an award-winning photographer, so the visuals are detailed and clear. The two authors are natural history experts and experienced writers.

The book is written using simple language consisting of short snippets of information. The layout is predictable, so students can easily access relevant information. Most of the listed landforms are included which is unusual in most of the print books available.

There are recommended websites and publications listed. Although a couple of websites had broken links, I discovered an excellent ABC Science website (ABC, 2015), designed for school students. The book has a detailed contents, glossary and index to make it easier for students to access information.

Whilst there were no official reviews about this book, the summary from the National Library of Australia’s catalogue was very positive. An Australian bookshop website stated it was ‘your one stop reference to Australia’ and suitable for ages 8 to adults (QBD, 2015).

I located this book using my school’s Oliver online catalogue under the heading, ‘Australia – Geography’.

6) Bradshaw, M. (2013). How did Uluru form? Retrieved
from http://abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/11/19/3872350.htm

There is a feeling of excitement upon accessing this website. It has videos, experiments and an ‘ask an expert’ section where students ask science-related questions. The ‘How did Uluru form?’ article appeared within the website. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and the ‘Surfing Scientist’, both popular Australian scientists, have sections within the website.

There are lesson plans for teachers and experiments that explain everyday phenomena in simple ways. Although the lesson plans are not aligned directly to the Australian Curriculum, they could still be included, along with accompanying worksheets.

This article would be more suited to the gifted students who would be challenged to pose interesting GI questions. The website could also spark an interest in science for the student.

The website can be shared via social media and is regularly updated.

I found the website through a link from another unit resource (Cox & Fox, 2009). ABC created the website for young Australians in 1997. It has won many awards for excellence and is now funded by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

7) An Ancient land, Science & Technology, Year 6, NSW. [online database],
Online Education Home Schooling Skwirk Australia. Retrieved from

Our school subscribes to Skwirk which is an excellent alternative to using the Google search engine. Articles align to the Australian Curriculum, although I have noticed they have been slow to make changes from the old Curriculum. This could prove confusing.

The vocabulary level is age appropriate, with students in different Years accessing different levels of the site. Skwirk caters for differentiated learning by including images, animations, video, activities and quizzes. Information is organised in a logical manner with clear subheadings. Lower ability students would easily navigate their way to relevant information. The Uluru section would be very helpful for the lower ability students.

Students enjoy the interactive aspects of Skwirk, including making their own avatar, tracking progress and using the animations, video and quizzes to reinforce their learning. It is also ideal for parents and teachers to encourage students to revise work. Teachers can keep track of student progress as they progress through topic areas.

More able students will find the level of information on Skwirk quite basic, so they would be encouraged to search other sources.

The cost of Skwirk would need to be weighed up with the use it generates. At our school, mainly the Primary and Learning Support use it. Remembering login details can prove difficult and making the site easily accessible on the school’s Learning Management System or library webpage would be important.

8) Bremner, I. (2013), Broad Horizons: Australia’s icons (videorecording).
(Sydney?): Channel Ten. Retrieved from http://tenplay.com.au/channel-
This documentary was aired on Channel Ten in 2013. The writer and producer has been involved in several environmental documentaries. He seems quite reputable in his field, although Channel Ten content can be more commercialised, this documentary wasn’t. The link to the documentary didn’t contain TV advertisements throughout.

The documentary consists of spectacular footage of Australia’s landscapes and moves from state to state showing famous landforms. Much of the footage is aerial, giving students the opportunity to see places they haven’t experienced before. The formation of the various landforms, dating back billions of years is explained in an interesting, easy manner.

I discovered this resource on the SCIS database after performing an advanced search using the keyword, ‘landforms’. I filtered by projected material, current resources and Australian content. I initially thought I would need to purchase the DVD but on searching further I discovered the program is freely accessible on the Channel Ten website. The only disadvantage was that it included a preamble of advertisements that could prove distracting. I was able to view the documentary to make sure it was appropriate for the unit, rather than just choosing the title from the SCIS database. I was confident that it would be a reputable resource as it was catalogued on the SCIS database.

9) Jacaranda atlas for the Australian curriculum, (2013). 8th ed.
             Milton, Qld: Jacaranda.

A combined electronic and print atlas is ideal for this unit. Students tend not to access atlases today, so using this up-to-date atlas aligned with the Australian Curriculum, would encourage students to navigate a traditional atlas. Viewing printed maps is important compared to using sites like Google maps which can become confusing.

The atlas can be used in print format or students can log into the ‘Jacaranda myWorld’ website to access reputable multimedia resources that enhance their learning.

Jacaranda is a leading publisher of school atlases and has won many awards and because it is catalogued by SCIS, I am confident it would be an excellent resource. Although it is mainly aimed at Years 7-10 geography students, I believe that Year 6 students could still use it.

A drawback could be how practical the resource is as a library reference as accessing electronic codes is usually designed for single users. I would need to negotiate with Jacaranda for multi-user access to the electronic component to make it economically viable.

I discovered this resource on the SCIS database after performing an advanced search using the keyword, ‘landforms’. I filtered by maps to find an atlas, current resources and Australian content.

10) Barwick, J. & Barwick J., (2000). National, Territory and State parks. Port
Melbourne, Vic.: Heinemann Library.

This book looks at Australia’s landforms, their formation, location and the importance of environmental protection to preserve them. Although, the information is brief, the book could be used by lower ability students or as a starting point to familiarise all students with their chosen landform. The text is enhanced by colour photographs, maps and diagrams. Environmental tips are highlighted throughout to enhance students’ understanding of conservation.
One disadvantage is the fact that it was published in 2000, so the ‘facts and figures’ page is quite out-dated and could prove misleading for students. However, these figures do not directly relate to their task. The authors have written numerous books on Australia’s environment and teamed with Heinemann, a renowned educational publisher, I am confident the book has valuable content and is age appropriate.

I located this book using my school’s Oliver online catalogue. I searched under the heading, ‘National parks and reserves – Australia.


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