Learning & Teaching

The role of the Teacher-Librarian is to work with the teaching staff to provide learning opportunities for students. However, as adults, and lifelong learners, we often find ourselves learning alongside our students. Teacher-Librarians play an important role not only in supporting teachers in the library and classrooms , but in teaching teachers information literacy skills that they can then teach, practise and learn alongside their students. In schools with large student populations, the teacher-librarian may find that instructing and supporting teachers may be the most efficient way of reaching the students. 

At the start of each academic year I have made a point of asking for a session with staff. Sometimes, it is not possible to see all staff, but to at least be able to connect with new staff has enabled me to explain the role of the library, and the role of the library staff to them, enabling the library  to build valuable connections for the upcoming year.

New Teacher Welcome Pack
A "Welcome to the Library" pack for new staff ensures that they will remember that the library during the year.

Welcome to the Library

If time permits a short introductory session with all staff will help to remind teachers of the support and collaboration they can rely on from the library.


Activity Week - 4-8 November 2013
This year's whole school activity week has a Humanities Theme. Each year group will be taking an in-depth look at one decade since 1940. One of the projects that I am undertaking is to gather oral histories from within and beyond the school community. I am using a tool called Fotobabble. Fotobabble is so easy to use that even the most reluctant users of technology are able to log on to our account from any computer or through the app on a mobile device, upload an image and record a short soundbite. I am embedding these into a LibGuide and will make posters with QR codes on them that will be placed around the school. The school community will be able to scan them and hear a 30-60 second memory from that era. Students will have worksheets that they will complete about as many of the oral histories as possible. I aim to have at least 10 oral histories from each decade and hope that we can make them as multi-cultural as possible.  Children will attempt to answer the following questions:

What year is the speaker referring to?
What place (country or town)?
What do they say or what did they do that was different at that time (compared to now)?
What major event or trend do they tell us happened that year?
Extension question - is this a Primary or Secondary source? How do you know?

Example of poster


A Cross-Curricular Project

Cabinet of Curiosity

Cabinet of Curiosity
was a major cross-curricular project undertaken with Year 3. Using extracts from the book "Wonderstruck" I introduced the notion that like people, objects have stories to tell. I displayed various unusual objects throughout the library, these were things that most children were unfamiliar with, for example, a cigar cutter, a 78RPM record, a handmade box with confetti and a message in it. We discussed curation and the importance of collecting and recording history. Using a brooch as stimulus I modelled oral storytelling by giving the brooch an interesting history. After a discussion it was revealed that I had used my imagination to provide the history and the truth was then revealed. Children chose from the unfamiliar objects on display and wrote, told and shared their possible stories.

In the classroom the teachers continued the discussion about what made an object valuable or important. Children shared information about collections that they had and things that were precious and important to them. Further conversations covered the curation and display of objects in museums, galleries and in private. Children were invited to bring a small precious object to school, something that told part of their life story.

In Design Technology, children designed and made boxes to display their object.
In English, they wrote a brief explanation about their object to be used as a "museum" label.
In ICT, some children made iMovies telling their story.
In the library research skills were taught to enable children to gather more information about their treasures.

The project culminated in a display of 120 precious objects displayed in handmade boxes in the library. The school community was invited o visit the Cabinet of Curiosity and a pop-up museum was born. 

A LibGuide to Support a Topic

Safety Awareness Week and Investigating Malaysian Textiles were examples of the teacher-librarian preparing a LibGuide to support classroom teaching. After discussing with teachers what the topic involved a LibGuide was developed. The teacher-librarian introduced the children to the LibGuide in the library. In the case of the Safety Awareness Week guide this enable students and teachers to learn how to access the eBook platforms that the school subscribes to.  Investigating Malaysian Textiles was developed to provide an introduction to a topic that there were very few age appropriate texts or websites available to children. The teachers used this guide to support classroom teaching and homework projects. This guide was accessed heavily during school closures due to haze & elections.

Small Group Work

Frequently I take groups of children as they rotate between teachers to learn specific skills.

 Using non-fiction books for research Exploring the similarities in fantasy

Non-Fiction Books


Visit the slideshow 

Teaching Library Skills to Classes

This year I have been focussing on teaching students how to access eBooks, how to access the library catalogue and how to manage their own loans as well as submitting book reviews and recommending resources on the online catalogue.

Examples of online book reviews on the Oliver Library Management System

Follow the links to access a student book review and this link to see an alternate style of review