I was posting a message on one of the student forums today and discussing the role of the teacher librarian (school librarian or school library media specialist). Now there’s a vast amount of literature on the role of the TL and some of it is written by me and there’s been some very good research on the importance of having qualified librarians in schools and the roles of TLs in relation to information literacy, collaboration and the use of technology. There has, however, been a real lack of research on what teacher librarians doi.e. on a daily and weekly basis. How do they spend their time? Can each day planned? Will each day follow that plan? The answers to these questions are likely to be yes and no i.e. each day can be planned in advance but school libraries by their nature are dynamic and open to their users, so a TL can plan a day and that plan can be thrown out of the window by one phone call. That’s not to say that the new plan – imposed from outside the library – is not of sufficient value to the original one. For example, if a teacher unexpectedly asks to bring a class to the library – OK, arrives at the library with the class without notice – that session can be very productive. This is one reason why it’s difficult to explain what TLs do because they do so many varied things. It has to be recognised however, that some TLs have a fairly narrow vision of their role, which is often skewed too much towards children’s literature and not towards the whole curriculum. So we need more research on this. Will I get round to it? Next year, I hope. This year is planned.
As we say in Scotland “Aye, the nichts are drawin’ oot” i.e. the evenings are drawing out. The clocks have changed here and I was amused by my friend Paul Gooden in Wagga Wagga who told me of people sleeping in because computers/mobile phones etc have been programmed to change on 29th March and not 5th April – when the clocks change in New South Wales. To those of you whose “nichts are drawin’ in” – commiserations. It’s 7.20pm and I’m away for a walk along the beach.