School Libraries Making a Difference

17 05 2013

Teacher librarians all over the world owe much to Lyn Hay and Ross Todd. Their continual research and advocacy for the profession have not only taught us so much but also have ensured that many have been able to secure their positions within the school and beyond.

One of their most significant contributions is helping us understand and implement the concept of Evidence-Based Practice which challenges us to go beyond anecdotal evidence that we make a difference to the teaching and learning in and beyond school to developing a systematic approach for collecting the evidence that proves that we do.

Evidence-based practice is an approach that systematically engages research-derived evidence, school librarian-observed evidence, and user-reported evidence in the ongoing processes of decision making, development, and continuous improvement to achieve the school’s mission and goals. These goals typically center on student achievement and quality teaching and learning.

But like many things, even though we really believe in the theory, the practice is harder to implement. Just finding the starting point is difficult and before long, the big picture gets overwhelmed by the daily detail.

Ross and Lyn have now developed a seminar called School Libraries Making a Difference: What is your evidence and how do you get it?  and following very successful presentations in Sydney and the Gold Coast last year, they are now giving TLs in Adelaide (June 12, 2013), Perth (June 14, 2013) and Melbourne (June 17th, 2013) the opportunity to learn.

The program is designed to

  • provide teacher librarians with a range of strategies, initiatives and measurement techniques that will enable them to carefully and effectively chart and document the tangible learning outcomes of their teaching-learning activities.
  • explore a range of existing tools and measures for charting and documenting evidence on educational and community outcomes
  • enable teacher librarians to be able to build a portfolio of local school evidence of the importance and value of the school library to their school communities.
  • provide approaches and strategies for the strategic dissemination and use of evidence in school and communities

With both Federal Labor and the Coalition signing on to increase the funding and resourcing to schools regardless of the outcome of the upcoming election, NOW is the time to start lobbying for a slice of the pie and we are much more likely to get it if we can demonstrate unequivocally that we make a difference with evidence and examples.   Having an opportunity to learn how to do this professionally so it is taken seriously would seem like the perfect professional learning opportunity.

The Hub was established to be the go-to destination for ideas, information, action and activities that took advocacy beyond the perception that TLs were just pushing their own employment barrow – here is an opportunity for you to learn how to do that so that our students now and in the future will continue to have access to one of their most important educators.

There is more information available through SybaSigns  If there is only one PD event you can attend this year,  this is the one that will have the lasting impact.

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