What a year it’s been! I began the year thinking that doing two subjects and working full time would be manageable. I enrolled in ETL401 and ETL503 in Term 1 and quickly decided to put one of them on the backburner. Well, here I sit on the backburner many months later and yes, it’s still hot. Again, I’ve decided to do two subjects, this time along with ETL503 I’m also doing INF506 which is extremely interesting but very time consuming, particularly with my social network project in full swing. Nevertheless, I have managed to get through the end of term, student reports written, classroom packed up, and Assessment 1 for ETL503 handed in on time!
When I stepped into the position of Teacher Librarian in second term this year, after only taking one subject in the course, I was not quite prepared for everything required of me as a TL in a school library. I brought what knowledge I had along with what I had gained in ETL401, as well as a great deal of enthusiasm toward the role of the TL. I was brought in to fill a void that had been created by internal movements of staffing. It was a wonderful opportunity for a fledgling TL. My main focus in Term 2 was to get to know the library and try to make it into a learning space. I began with the physical space and started moving things around to give more flexibility for learning spaces. I also began creating positive relationships with SSOs, teachers and parent volunteers. I focused on the things that I could achieve with the knowledge I had. By the end of Term 2 and the beginning of Term 3 most of my focus was on Book Week. This introduced me to the selection and acquisition process. Well, selection was easy. I, along with every other librarian in Australia, was given a list from the Childrens Book Council of Australia (CBCA). Deciding where and how to acquire the books was a trickier decision. Do I order from the same seller that the school has always used or do I look elsewhere? What are the advantages/disadvantages of going with a different book seller? This is when I needed to research costs, discounts, promotions, supply and delivery, payment methods and any other factors that might influence my decision in going with a different provider. Even if I was to go with the company that the school had used in the past, it was still necessary to determine if, in fact, this was the best decision for acquiring the short-listed books from the CBCA. Having reached the halfway point of ETL503, I now understand, more clearly, the many factors involved in selecting and acquiring resources for the school library.