Librarians are Gold!

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ETL503 – Assignment 2 Collection Policy

Part C: Reflection on ‘Resourcing the Curriculum’

ETL503 has assisted me to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of collection management and resourcing the curriculum. Before completing this subject I had very minimal knowledge of the selection and acquisition process involved when acquiring new resources in a school library. Maintaining and developing the library collection is a complex task and I now understand why it is crucial to have an easy to read, relevant and shared collection policy “written as a guide rather than a rule” (Demas & Miller, 2012). The readings in this subject have demonstrated why the collection policy is such a critical document and how it helps both library and teaching staff to be informed about the current library practices.

I agree with Crotty’s comments, stating that Assignment 2 is “both an academic assignment and a practical assignment” (2013). I found Assignment 2 both challenging and very useful, I plan to share my revised policy with School Library Staff and Executive Team.

I am a classroom teacher and have not had experience working in a school library, therefore it was the first time I was asked to revise a Collection Policy. For these reasons, I really appreciated the clear layout, scaffolding and guidelines given in Assignment 2 and feel that I have acquired practical and useful skills that I will be able to put to use when I am in a TL role.

Bishop (2007, p. 24) states in order to determine the needs of the users of the library, a TL “should conduct a community analysis, including demographics relating to both the community and the school itself”. The evaluation process provides an opportunity to ensure that a collection meets the needs of the library users; information gathered during this process should be the major influences for collection development. I agree with Bishop (2007) and can see the importance of communicating to colleagues, parents, students why certain collection management decisions are made.

I have learnt the importance of weeding the collection in a manner to avoid criticism and controversy. I had no idea that “less is more” and  “the object of weeding must be to support the school collection policy and to develop a school library collection which is current, relevant and attractive” (Beilharz, 2007). I found Beilharz’s (2007) practical approach of weeding explained by using the acronym MUSTIE very clear and easy to adopt in any school library.

I have also become aware of the difference between policy and procedures, and when acquiring digital resources, including e-books consideration needs to be given to the ongoing costs of maintaining digital resources.

I have faced a steep learning curve in this subject, however I have certainly learnt a lot. I now know that maintaining a library collection is more than selecting and buying resources. ETL503 has given me an insight into why copyright is such an important issue, especially in relation to digital resources. Overall, this subject has been very worthwhile and has taught me why resourcing and collection management is an important aspect of the teacher librarian’s role.

References

Beilharz, R. (2007). Secret library business – part 2. Connections, 62, 10-12. Retrieved from  http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/issue_63/secret_library_business__part_2.htm

Bishop, K. (2007). Community analysis and needs assessment. In The collection program in schools: concepts, practices and information sources (4th ed.) (pp. 19-24). Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited.

Crotty, R. (2013). Podcasts and Vodcasts: Assignment 2 Part B – Collection Policy [ETL 503]. Retrieved April 26, 2013, from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL503_201330_W_D/page/e3a7256e-4c1e-4ffc-0046-c479e17b9489

Demas, S & Miller M. (2012). Rethinking collection management plans: shaping collective collections for the 21st century, Collection Management, 37:3-4, pp. 168-167.

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