The future of children’s literature

I am confident that the future of children’s literature remains bright.  It may not remain in the same format we currently use, however children will always love stories and books are such as easy way of accessing them.  We listen to the hype about technology but books are still tangible and easily accessible as a method of accessing children’s literature.  H\Over time however, they will be increasingly complimented by ebooks, apps and audiobooks as children gain greater exposure to them. Furthermore, children now have more input and influence in this area than ever before so they will influence the direction of children’s literature, we see this already in the demand for series books and graphic novels.  An example of the influence of children: For Book Week this year, we had the author of the Bindi series, Jess Black, visit our school.  Initially she had been contracted to write a small number of books for the series but the demand was so great that she ended up writing more than double the initial amount and the series editor ended up writing some too to keep up with the demand.

Librarians and teachers and parents also have influence – this year I have chosen to read ‘The Naughtiest Girl in the School’ by Enid Blyton to a class to see how they respond to an older novel.  We have had to buy a whole new set of the series and can barely keep any in the box as they are so popular and yet the first set of those novels had been languishing on the shelves, unused, for quite some time.  Clearly TL’s can have an impact too.

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ETL504 Assmt 2 Reflective Critical Analysis Blog Post

Reflective Critical Analysis – Blog post

Examining leadership in detail this semester has really developed my thinking on what leadership involves. It has been enlightening to consider leadership styles and the characteristics of each style and then apply these to my own workplace. Understanding the differing leadership styles such as transactional, transformational, instructional, situational and servant leadership and then considering the advantages and disadvantages of each style has really forced me to reflect on the styles of leadership I see used in our school and how these vary in effectiveness. It inevitably brings you to a consideration of your own leadership style and what is effective and what could be improved upon. An evaluation of my own leadership style revealed it to be a democratic and participative style (Lindsay, 2014, July 20). As someone who is not aggressive or overly assertive, it was confirmation that I consider others in my decisions, however a consideration of the aspects of the Leadership Capability Framework (Sergiovanni, 2005) revealed the range of skills in the personal, interpersonal, educational, strategic and organisational areas and reinforced the notion that I still have much to learn in this area.

The readings on leading and managing change were very enlightening, particularly the information about the ‘learning dip’ (Cameron and Green, 2004, p.15) and the idea of conscious and unconscious competence and incompetence (Cameron and Green, 2004, p.17). As we have installed and implemented a new Library Management system recently at school, we were feeling rather overwhelmed and incompetent trying to use it to perform standard library functions that had not required conscious thought on the previous LMS (Lindsay, 2014, July 31). Coming to an understanding of these levels of competence and consciousness really helped me to understand that the feelings of incompetence would pass as I grew more familiar with the LMS (Lindsay, 2014, Aug 18). Having ‘head knowledge’ like this can really make a difference to your thoughts and perceptions. Being able to anticipate these responses to new learning situations helps to avoid the feelings of frustration and failure – you are simply aware that continued perseverance will result in competence returning.

Another example of this was looking at the roles in change management – and determining whether you were ‘navigator’, a ‘critic’, a ‘victim’ or a ‘bystander’ (Change Management explained in 1 minute, n.d). Although no-one would like to perceive themselves as a critic, it does seem like that is often the initial reaction to change because we are critical of something we don’t understand, particularly if we don’t see the need for change. Being aware of this role and the negative impact it has on change may influence how people respond in future.

Change management has many facets but the human facet is clearly what makes the difference is orchestrating successful change. Tapscott’s principles for the Open World (2012), collaboration, transparency, sharing and empowerment, all work towards keeping the human element feeling satisfied and empowered. Teamwork, building trust, communicating purpose clearly – these elements are repeatedly espoused in change management practice and they all contribute to showing that people are valued. Strategic planning and action plans are all about change and the steps and strategies utilised to achieve change, but acknowledging the importance and value of human interaction is also clearly emphasised and plans must include this accordingly to be successful. Making people aware of the steps in the change process in advance and warning them of possible reactions will help them to cope with change in a more positive and less reactive way.

My initial thoughts on leadership, recorded in the July 22 blog post, were very general and were really based on the assumption that some people are natural leaders and others are not. Learning about the different styles and aspects of leadership has shown me that good leadership instincts are not enough – to lead and bring about significant change, one must be proactive and deliberate, and plan for a whole range of factors before attempting to implement anything major. Furthermore, in a teacher librarian role, it has demonstrated to me the importance of leading beyond the library, being an advocate for the library to the rest of the school so that they are aware of our potential to help them. Being open to change and improvement, both in what we teach and how we teach it, can only enhance the teaching and learning experience. The qualities suggested in the leadership for learning model, outlined in the August 27 blog, are:

* an attitude of continual learning

* a readiness to consider new ideas and perspectives

* a willingness to reflect on one’s own professional practice and consider how to enhance it

* an understanding of educational theory and how people learn

* an understanding that teaching and learning are continually evolving processes and impact on each other.

Coming to an awareness of these qualities, and the many other aspects of leadership theory covered this semester, can strengthen our capacity to lead in our teacher librarian roles, both now and in the future.

References

Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2004). Individual Change. Making Sense of change management: a complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organisational change (pp.12-61). London: Kogan Page.

Change Management explored in 1 minute. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/gmoDpj1jtyA?rel=0

Lindsay, H. (2014, July 20). Blog Entry-Sunday, July 20, 2014. Retrieved from: https://helenmali.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/july-20-2014/

Lindsay, H. (2014, July 22). Post 1: My thoughts on leadership. Retrieved from: https://helenmali.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/etl504-module-1-post-1/

Lindsay, H. (2014, July 31). ETL504 Module 2 Post 2. Retrieved from: https://helenmali.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/etl504-module-2-post-2/

Lindsay, H. (2014, August 18). ETL504 Assmt 1 Reflective Critical Analysis Blog Post. Retrieved from: https://helenmali.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/etl504-assmt-1-reflective-critical-analysis-blog-post/

Lindsay, H. (2014, August 27). Leadership for Learning – blog 1. Retrieved from: https://helenmali.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/leadership-for-learning-blog-1/

Sergiovanni, T. (2005). The virtues of leadership. The Educational Forum, 69(Winter), 112-123. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/7375166/Sergiovanni-Thomas-Virtues-of-Leadership

Tapscott, D. (2012). Four Principles for the Open World. Retrieved from: http://embed.ted.com/talks/don tapscott four principles for the open world 1.html

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Mission and Vision Statements

Mission and Vision Statements

A Mission Statement is a statement about why this organization exists, it defines the purpose. It is focused on the present and reveals ‘what we are about’ at the present time.

A Vision Statement is a perspective on how we see our vision and what we would like to be in the long term.

The library policy did not have a mission statement of its own. Clearly this is something we will need to attend to.

Looking at our Vision Statement, it seems too vague and lacks specifics about where we are going and would therefore be very hard to measure.

“Our school library strives to provide a stimulating educational environment for teaching and learning. Resources are provided to meet the curriculum needs of staff and students whilst classes are designed to facilitate the acquisition of the information skills which form the basis of lifelong learning. Reading for leisure is strongly encouraged as a means of developing literacy skills which will assist students throughout their lives.”

Thus the Vision Statement also needs attention and development.

The School Mission Statement is quite succinct and seems to do its job well. I am still looking for a Vision Statement as it is not obvious on the website.

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STEEP scan

STEEP Analysis

After completing a STEEP scan on my workplace, I have come up with the following:

  1. Social – our school library needs small group / tutorial room type facilities where small groups can work together without disrupting others in the library. Ideally this room would also include power points for students to be able to plug in their technology.
  2. Technological – continue moving towards BYOD, pursue touch screen computers for the library catalogue, utilize iPads more effectively and become involved in e-books and e-audiobooks.
  3. Environmental – try to minimise paper wastage, especially from the photocopier/printer. Redirect books removed from the collection to a useful alternative.
  4. Economic – maintain fiscal prudence, cease subscriptions for unread magazines
  5. Political – work to promote a higher profile in the school community, build alliances with classroom teachers eg. Premier’s Reading Challenge.
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Leadership for learning – blog 1

Leadership for learning suggests the leader has a number of facets:
* an understanding of educational theory and how people learn
* an ability to lead students through learning experiences
* a willingness to reflect on and learn from these learning episodes and their own professional practice to enhance future learning
* an attitude of continual learning, always willing to consider new information or perspectives
* an understanding that leading and learning are continually evolving processes and that they each impact the other. An understanding that you can’t be a good leader without being open to learning and that you can’t be a good learner without being open to being led.

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ETL504 Assmt 1 Reflective Critical Analysis Blog Post

Our school library is a dynamic and busy place. As Teacher Librarian, I am responsible for all aspects of library management. A key aspect of this role is developing positive relationships with fellow staff and the student community. Our role is a service role where we exist to both lead and support the school community. To do this adequately, we need to have an attitude of service – to develop positive and supportive relationships with all who cross our threshold. It is also important that our library staff are a strong team, sharing the same vision, working towards the same goals and encouraging and supporting each other (What is TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP?, n.d.). The team needs to develop skills in sharing and communicating (Tapscott, 2012) and in resolving conflict in a healthy way (Aguilar, 2012). The guides for problem solving (Muzio, n.d.) and leading change (Kotter,n.d.) provide steps to follow to ensure progress continues in a constructive and cooperative way.

Teacher Librarians need competencies in the educational aspects, the technological aspects and the contextual aspects of the role (Townsend, 2011). As a relatively new TL, these are all dimensions of the role I am continuing to work on both individually and in consultation with others.

The module 1 task evaluating my leadership style confirmed me as a democratic / participative leader, someone who considers the input of the group members and involves them in the decision-making process. This has certainly been true of the way we have operated in the library my time there. We have incorporated teacher input in a number of areas such as the research skills and topics we have focused on and the areas of the collection they would like to see developed. We have collaborated with the IT Department and school administration in choosing our new Library Management System and new radio frequency tagging system, and we have sought input from students.

The readings that considered aspects of change management have been particularly relevant in developing my understanding of both others, and myself as the TL. We have made some major changes to how the library is run since I assumed the role. Whilst I am the TL in charge, the other staff member is an experienced library technician and a trained teacher so when I was appointed with no experience or training, this could have been a difficult situation. However we have discussed our perceptions of changes we needed to make and have both ‘bought into’ the vision we have created (What is TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP?, n.d.). We have focused on negotiated priorities and have both tried to adopt the ‘navigator’ roles rather than the ‘critic’ roles in managing the changes (Change Management Explained in 1 Minute, n.d.). Learning that we will take a temporary ‘dip’ in efficiency, effectiveness and confidence as we have implemented major change (Cameron & Green,2004) helps us to see beyond the problems and complications we have faced implementing two new systems. Whilst moving back to feeling competent was always my unconscious expectation, reading about the roles in change management actually clarified the reasons for these feelings for me. Working together through these hurdles, utilizing the ‘collective intelligence’ of the library staff and school staff, has magnified the potential for improvement of our service (Davies,2009) and allowed us to see that we all lead by naturally emphasising different aspects, according to our personalities.

Leadership in the school library involves building relationships with the Administration team to negotiate appropriate funding, roles and school involvement. It involves collaborating with the teaching staff to provide the best possible service and support for their students and programs. Finally, it involves create a welcoming and helpful environment for students to work, receive help and relax.

Aguilar, E. (2012). Effective teams: The key to transforming schools? K-12 Education & Learning Innovations with Proven Strategies that Work | Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teacher-teams-transform-schools-elena-aguilar

Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2004). Individual change. Making sense of change management: a complete guide to the models, tools & techniques of organizational change (pp. 12-61). London: Kogan Page.

Change Management Explored in 1 Minute. Retrieved from:https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/gmoDpj1jtyA?rel=0

Davies, B. (2009). The Essentials of School Leadership (2nd edit). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Davies, B., Ellison, L., and Bowring-Carr, C. (2005). School Leadership in the 21st Century. Oxon, Great Britain: Routledge Falmer.

Kotter, J. (n.d.). The 8-step process for leading change. Kotter International – Innovative Strategy Implementation Professionals. Retrieved from http://www.kotterinternational.com/our-principles/changesteps/changesteps

Muzio, E. (n.d.) 7 Step Problem Solving. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/embed/rIfoIkJzlxU

Ridden, P. & DeNobile, J. (2012). Keys to School Leadership. Camberwell, Australia: ACER Press.

Tapscott, D. (2012). Four Principles for the Open World. Retrieved from: http://embed.ted.com/talks/don_tapscott_four_principles_for_the_open_world_1.html

Townsend, T. (2011). School Leadership in the twenty-first century: Different approaches to common problems? , School Leadership & Management, 31(2), 93-103.

What is TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP? (n.d.). Retrieved from:https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/60O2OH7mHys?rel=0

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ETL504 Module 2 Post 2

Over the last few weeks we have implemented both a new library management system and a new RFID system for our resources. Both have proved to be technologically challenging. We have been trying to take it slowly and methodically to avoid making mistakes that we will have to fix later. However at times our lack of knowledge has been very frustrating because we cannot easily do what we feel we should be able to do. Cameron and Green’s (2004, p15) explanation of the ‘learning dip’ has been a great cognitive explanation of the process we are undergoing. Our efficiency, effectiveness and confidence has dipped for a time but it is comforting to know that our ‘unconscious competence’ will gradually return after we have progressed through ‘conscious incompetence’ (right now!) and ‘conscious competence’ (hoping to get there sometime soon!) (p.17).
As yet there are many aspects of the new LMS that are unknown. I don’t think we are even aware of all the potential it has for improvement over our old system. As such, an ‘inquisitive mind’ lens could be applied to learning about / experimenting with the new LMS system. It would be such a shame to have a great new system and yet only use it for things we have traditionally done in the past. Thus an ‘inquisitive mind’ lens would ensure continued learning and problem solving in this area.
Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2004). Individual change. Making sense of change management a complete guide to the models, tools & techniques of organizational change (pp. 12-61). London: Kogan Page.
Innovation takes practice more than talent. (2013, January 30). Red thread thinking. Retrieved May 29, 2014, from http://www.redthreadthinking.com/innovation-takes-practice-more-than-talent/

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