I am not currently employed within a school library however I find it informative to chat with local school librarians about the required tasks of this course. At first, I thought I may be disadvantaged however this position has provided the motivation to talk with librarians from all kinds of libraries – remote, mobile, public, secondary and primary schools.
Recently, I spoke with a local primary school librarian (personal communication, 7th March, 2013). A very small rural school, no more than 400 students in both primary and seconday. The librarian revealed that there were no ‘officially qualified’ librarians within the school but rather teacher aides were responsible for the library. This is a common scenario within rural or remote schools, all professional work together to provide an effective educational environment despite lacking in many area compared with metro schools (staff, funding – issues for another post) (Ferrai, 2010).
After reading ASLA’s documents, I have noted how this professional satisfies the standards and strives for excellence on a daily basis. It is becoming obvious that the role of TL is unique, dependant not only on the type of institution it serves but also the environment that surrounds the institution. Sometimes the TL survives with what resources they have and in this case doing a lovely job – adhering to standards of cataloguing, working collaboratively with teachers, evaluating library programs and student learning and maximising accessibility to the online environment (ASLA, 2012).
As a side discussion, the personal blog post of ‘Robbo’ is effective in highlighting the lack of funding and pressures placed on staff when trying to access or establish an efficient school library in remote areas.
Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2012). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. In ASLA: Policy. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.aspx
Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2012). Statement on teacher library qualifications. In ASLA: Policy. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/teacher-librarian-qualifications.aspx
Ferrai, J. (2010). Rural students to benefit from Federal schooling agreement. In The Australian Online. Retrieved from http://ausparents.edu.au/rural-students-to-benefit-from-federal-schooling-ageement
Robbo. (2010). The benefits of school libraries in rural Australia. In BitingTheDust: A view of pharmacy, health and Indigenous issues from a very remote pharmacist. Retrieved from http://bitethedust.com.au/bitingthedust/2010/06/15/the-benefits-of-school-libraries-in-rural-australia/