Destination Library: Traineeships in school libraries

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Tonight I attended an information session about how school libraries could be involved in running a library traineeship for their students. As a member of SLAV, I have been part of discussions about the number of people who are training to work in an area I am very passionate about. There are less people choosing to study in this field and the discussions have often centred around how we can promote the profession and explain what it is that we do. Everyone has a vague idea about what librarians do and it is usually based on some very old (ancient?) ideas.  Many of you could describe the traditional image trotted out!

Today, more than ever, there is a need for people who are trained in research skills. The Internet has allowed everyone to find plenty of “stuff on…” How to be a critical researcher, finding the most relevant information, then converting this information into understanding and finally creating new knowledge about a topic, is something that needs to be taught and these skills are the “bread and butter” to teacher librarians. The VELS philosophies can also be easily applied to these skills and it is easy to show where teacher librarians and teachers can work together to achieve the best possible results in our students’ learning. The discussion about literacy and reading again falls into the area of teacher librarian expertise. Many teacher librarians are reading current YA literature, buying it for their schools then reviewing it, discussing it and encouraging students (and staff) to read it.

 As teacher librarians we need to work with the teachers in our schools as we continue to strive towards creating a range of opportunities that will aid students in developing thinking skills, the ability to reflect and deep knowledge across the different disciplines. The many and varied aspects of our jobs are not well understood, even by those teachers we work alongside. We have not always been the best publicists for out profession but this is changing and here is yet another opportunity to do this, helping our own situations in libraries as well.

The people presenting information about the traineeship, as well as the support offered to schools, who wanted to offer us support and expertise, were:

  • Genevieve Wearne, CEO Verve Knowledge and Skills (the industry training and advisory board for the recreation and arts area)
  • Tim Harrington, Jobs Plus Apprenticeship Services
  • Jeff Percy, Business Development Consultant, Swinburne University of Technology TAFE  

These three people were very enthusiastic about promoting the traineeship and how it could benefit young people (as well as our schools and libraries). Even if they did not work within libraries in the long run, their understanding of research skills, etc. would benefit them in many university courses.

There is a wiki that discusses/offers more information about a career in Libraries and it can be found at the Destination Libraries website http://destinationlibrary.pbwiki.com/

There is certainly a lot of things to think about.

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One Response

  1. Hey Rhondda, it’d be great if you could come to the Blogger’s Feast on Friday night. My daughter who’s a librarian might be there as well.

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