Thoughts on Herring, Purcell, Lamb and Valenza

Valenza’s article summarised in a succinct manner the role of the TL, which were discussed in the other three articles. From these articles, the major function of the TL is to develop information literate students for the future.

I think that TLs need to prioritise the role that they play in their school around the current infrastructure of the school. Priorities will be different from school to school dependent on resources and support. The ideal is to be able to check off the list in Valenza’s article. However, not all libraries are that well-equipped or supported by staff and teachers.

There are definitely other roles played by the TL. A good rapport with the children is essential. Teaching is relational and creating opportunities to be collaborative with classroom teachers and share with parents is crucial in promoting the library as a great learning resource centre.

Herring, Purcell and Lamb outlined the multifaceted role required of the TL. It’s HUGE! Purcell summarised this by saying that TLs needed to be: leaders, information specialists, a teacher, instructional partner and program administrator. All of them advocated the crucial role that TLs can make in supporting students into the digital information future.

Currently, I’m not a proper TL. Our school has a Resource Centre Manager who has no teacher training or skills in librarianship. So for me, I need to prove my worth over the next 6 months so that I can take on more responsibility and shift the thinking of the leaders in the school to seeing the value of a proper TL. The theory in being a vital TL in a school as outlined by these authors is scary! I would like to think that one day I will tick the majority of their boxes…

Yes, I believe that the teacher comes first.


  • Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.) Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp.27-42). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.
  • Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do is check out books right? A look at the roles of the school library media specialist. Library Media Connection 29(3), 30-33.
  • Lamb, A. (2011). Bursting with potential: Mixing a media specialist’s palette. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 55(4), 27-36.)
  • Joyce Valenza (2010). In the 21st century, what does a school librarian do? In Manifesto for 21st Century School Librarians. Retrieved from

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