Tag Archives: information literacy

Final Reflection on My Library Learning

This TEDx talk sums up what people need to know; a library is more than just a collection of books.  It is the distribution of ideas and information that is important, not the medium (Bennett, 2014).  In the beginning, when I told people that I had decided to study to become a teacher-librarian, they were surprised to find out I would have to take 10 courses to receive my Diploma.  As I admitted in my first blog post, that was my reaction too.  I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know.  A teacher-librarian does much more than build and maintain a collection of resources, and on this journey I have learned that it is important for a teacher-librarian to:

  • be a leader in the school community
  • advocate for the library program
  • create a space, both physical and virtual, that meets the needs of all its users
  • teach a wide range of literacies including information literacy, digital literacy, visual literacy, literacies across the content areas as well as reading and writing strategies
  • facilitate collaboration among the staff to provide more learning opportunities that will ensure student success

A library website can encompass all these ideals.  So, in reflecting on the creation of my final vision, I can’t help but reflect on the entire process of working toward my Diploma, as so much of what I put into my website I learned from other courses.  This course has allowed me to create a platform using digital technology to share that learning, as well as create something I can use professionally.  Even though I have made a “fake” website, I did visualize a real school when creating it; the one where I realized I had found my niche, and that started me on this new journey.  So, depending on what school I end up at, some information contained in my website will have to change, but much of what I have created I will be able to use anywhere.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 8.17.18 PMThe challenges I faced were frustrating, but overcome as I took advantage of the expertise available online.  Of course my website will continue to be a work in progress.  Most pages are incomplete, but they do provide an idea of what I want to accomplish.  By providing professional development opportunities on the Teacher page for my staff, I can help develop my role as leader within the school community.  Using my website to showcase resources and services that are essential to the success of students will help me advocate for my library program.  By creating a blog that highlights school community events, as well as pages for students, teachers and parents, I can ensure that my library can meet the needs of all its users.  By providing lessons for both students (Research Tools page) and teachers (Teacher page), I can help improve multi-literacy competency for all learners.  Having a space for teachers on the Teacher page to highlight their library projects will help me facilitate collaboration.

Though it is a difficult time for teacher-librarians, it is also an exciting one as we reinvent ourselves for the digital generation.  Though our core values remain the same, and I am certainly not ready to give up books just yet, digital technology allows us to engage learners outside the physical space of the library.  It lets us share our ideas, knowledge, creativity and imagination with those outside our local community as well as receive others’ ideas and knowledge for use by us; helping us to create life-long learners within ourselves, our colleagues and our students.  So though I don’t think there is anything that will replace the joy I feel of turning the pages of a good book, I am ready to embrace this new medium as an added dimension to my role as teacher-librarian.

pinned by Barbara Schmid

 

 

 Works Consulted

Bennett, C. (2014). The library is not a collection of books: Charlie Bennett at TEDx Telfair street.  Retrieved at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFGCB51xb6U

Image Citation:

Bradley, P. (2014). Flickr. Pinned by Ashley Louden at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/155233518380680576/

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Reading Review: Visual Literacy

Though there are many important issues I thought about for this reading review, I kept coming back to information literacy, as it is what put me on the path to becoming a teacher-librarian. I found when working in high school libraries, students often did not understand how to properly research a topic or find reliable sources/websites. I felt that with so much information, literally at their fingertips, students needed to understand how to find, evaluate and use it effectively. However, my view of information literacy has expanded to includes other literacies such as media literacy, digital literacy, and visual literacy. Of these, visual literacy is the only one I had thought little about in my teaching practice. I am not a visual learner, and though I understand the importance of allowing students to learn and/or express their understanding of a topic visually, I had never really given much thought to visual literacy; the ability to make meaning out of a variety of visual images including artwork, photographs, diagrams, etc. However, as students are receiving massive amounts of highly visual information from the Internet daily, it is essential that all students understand how to interpret this visual data.

 

In my studies I have read about the importance of visual literacy and collected some ideas for using picture books and graphic novels in the high school classroom. However, I haven’t yet looked into how to specifically teach visual literacy. As I am not a visual learner, I find this a little daunting. As this course is meant to expand our knowledge of digital technologies as learning tools in the library and classroom, I would like to find some ideas to incorporate technology with teaching visual literacy.

 

Through other courses I have become more comfortable using technology, but still feel the learning curve for me is pretty steep. I feel kinship with Douglas Adams’ rule about technology that “anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.” (Adams, 2002) However, I realize that teacher-librarians need to reinvent themselves in this era of information abundance, as we are no longer its keepers. I am not sure what I will find for resources about digital technology and visual literacy because I am not sure what is out there. I have investigated sites like Animoto, Prezi, Glogster, Popplet etc., but only in terms of offering ways for students to express their learning visually, not to specifically teach visual literacy.

 

Depending on my initial searches with the keywords visual literacy I may also search digital literacy and media literacy, as visual literacy is important in these literacies as well. Since I am trying to find resources to help teach visual literacy I will also include keywords like teaching, education, in the classroom, and lesson plans. Hopefully I will find some great ideas about using digital technologies that not only help visual learners, but ones that can be used to teach all students visual literacy.

 

 

 

 

Adams, D. (2002) The Salmon of Doubt. New York: Ballantine Books.

 

 

“I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

  1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
  2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
  3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

– Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

(Found at goodreads)

 

 

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