Saturday, 15 March 2014

Significant learnings for Resourcing the Curriculum #1

This unit has been a challenge and a learning curve for me. Having never worked in a school library and not having current access to a school library, has meant that I have had little opportunity for professional dialogue with teacher librarians currently in the position, nor am I able to look at what is in place in my school, as I currently don't have one.

One of the things that concerns me, is that all of this very practical knowledge that I am gathering will have lain dormant for at least another 12-18 months, and will be hard to remember after I have completed another 3- 5 units. I want it to be readily available to use when I do start work as a teacher librarian, sometime in the not too distant future.

So, in order to be prepared, I have been creating a powerpoint document throughout the unit for my personal reference. I am finding this a very valuable resource, that should hold me in good stead with I start working in this role.

This post focuses on my learnings regarding Module 2 - building a balanced collection. I have not had any experience with bundled sets, or a standing orders service. These were new concepts for me. I benefited a lot from reading the comments of other students regarding their experience, or their school context. From the responses other students gave, I compiled a list of pros and cons for bundled sets and standing orders, which I hope should assist me when I am faced with making decisions around this area.

Cost effective – can be cheaper than buying separate titles
clear budgetary spending and forecasting of expenditure over the long term
Time effective
No selection involved – anyone can do it
Exposure to unfamiliar titles
Variety of titles
Easy to build library collection
Materials can be purchased according to specific content and age range
Continual supply of up-to-date material
Useful for new TL’s
Regular delivery of new resources
Only one license agreement required for multiple resources
E-resources can be removed from collection by publisher with little notice
Worthwhile if all staff on board with resource eg clickview
Takes pressure of the TL being abreast of new /latest available resources
Bulk nature makes them value for money
A good starting point for embarking into e-books
Can cater for a broad range of students / topic / interests
Loss of control / lack of freedom of choice / loss of ability to select or deselect resources
Inclusion of unsuitable / un-needed titles for clientele
Titles included that may not be used by clientele: unsuitable, underutilised, under borrowed.
Inclusion of lower quality titles
Publisher / distributor driven
Unrelated to curriculum content and therefore curriculum needs
Relying on supplier to address curriculum needs
Not driven by the needs of the teachers/students/community, the culture or values of the school, individual needs of students etc
Duplication of resources already in the collection – not easy to return duplicate resources
Does not take into account storage / access issues
Narrow / pre-determined selection
Can be costly
Resource selection phase overlooked
Looked in contract period eg 12 months often inflexible and expensive
Limited titles and publishers
Titles may be written for the purpose of publisher bundles and therefore may be of lower quality
Locked into one supplier if  budget is limited
Can use up the majority of a small libraries budget

Expertise of TL is not facilitated

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