Tag Archives: information service

Topic 7 – LIS for Staff

Activity 1 – Planning for an Information Service


Think about providing an information service to teachers in a primary or secondary school and list three key factors that a teacher librarian needs to take into account before offering such a service.

  • Is this a need that teachers have expressed or is it one that you would like to provide?
  • Is it easy to access for all teachers?
  • Have you informed the teachers about how to access this service?

Activity 2 – Using a wiki or a web

Read Valenza’s comments on pathfinders and wikis and think about whether you agree with her reasons or if you might add other reasons.

Having never even heard of a wiki before this course started, nor having ever created one, I’m happy to go with an expert opinion! Valenza’s work appears authentic and validated – if she’s happy, I’m happy!! Although weebly sounds like another great option.

I like the idea that you can:

  • Include free images and pictures
  • Create an index to keep organised
  • Create a collaborative document to which the students can add information
  • Use with ease

Activity 3 – Reference interview

 Thinking about Janes’ (2008) reading, it would be easy to set up a word document on the school’s website with a list of questions to direct a student or teacher’s information needs.  Janes’ concern was that is was often hard to ascertain the needs through an email but a set of questions that needed to be answered would help. This could be emailed to the library. Its success would depend on the timely response and quality of information provided. The other important issue to remember is that even if you are the only TL, there are heaps of network sources available to help you with any query – tap into them!

If you had to define what a reference interview is, how would you describe it? Use no more than 20 words and add this to your LIS for Staff notes document.

A reference interview is a conversation between a librarian and a client where the client’s need for information is specified and then directed to the appropriate print or digital information resources.

Activity 4 – Information services to students

What would you recommend should be included in an effective school information service as a new teacher librarian? Identify the 5 key areas, in order of importance, that you consider a part of the information service. Remember, there are no absolutely right answers to this.

1)   Be approachable – if you are not sociable towards the students, it makes it hard for them to see you as a valuable resource. Otherwise, their first port of call will be the Internet, which is not always reliable and valid.

2)   If you can’t immediately satisfy their needs, follow up with resources as promptly as you can.

3)   Have a well-resourced and well-organised library and know where everything is – both print and digital.

4)   Be aware of student research projects by collaborating with teachers so that student needs are anticipated and not a surprise.

5)   Provide online resources appropriate to the learning needs of the students.


Activity 5 – Student information needs

Go to the School Community Profile template from the National Library of New Zealand. Using this document and the one above, identify how the community profile might be useful to a teacher-librarian? Add a summary to the LIS for Students notes document.

Information that would be useful for a teacher librarian in terms of resourcing the library would include: –

  • Ethnicity – Do you need to include extra resources in a particular language?
  • Religion – Do you need to be sensitive to particular religious beliefs or to include more resources based on a certain religion?
  • Reading levels – Are the children on average at a higher or lower reading level compared with the state/national average? How can you cater for this?
  • ESL – Is there a high non-English speaking culture within your school and have you catered for this need?
  • ICT – Do you work in a high/low socio-economic background? Do the students have equal access to computers and the local library or do you need to compensate for this?
  • Teacher use – Do you know the curriculum needs of teachers? Are you catering for these needs?


Activity 6 – Student information

Reflect on the situation where a student comes in to do a research project on solar energy in houses in South Australia and decide on methods, which the TL could use to provide students with instant reminders of the information literacy/skills process. These might include posters or handouts or other methods. List three (3) ways in which you think a TL might do this. The context is a library where there is only one TL who has part-time clerical support.

I’m hoping that as TL in a collaborative learning community that I would already be aware of this upcoming assignment and that it would be a simple process of directing the student to the library pathfinder that I had already created!! Our library is poorly resourced, has no database or system for finding print material apart from using the TL’s computer, so…

  • Have a colourful A4 sheet available to hand-out to students with the school’s information literacy process
  • Direct the student to the school’s library Website that also has a section on the school’s information literacy process
  • Ensure that all teachers in the school have collaborated on this information literacy model and that they have copies of this in poster form in their rooms and you have posters in the library


Janes, J. (2008). An informal history (and possible future) of digital reference. Asis&t: The information society for the information age. Retrieved from http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Dec-07/janes.html

Valenza, J. (2012). 10 reasons why your next pathfinder should be a wiki. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://informationfluency.wikispaces.com/Ten+reasons+why+your+next+pathfinder+should+be+a+wiki

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