The ever changing role of the Teacher Librarian

Every year I am amazed at the way in which my role somehow changes and morphs around how I am needed in the current teaching and learning situation. The basic role of managing resources both physical and digital remains the same but the scope and vision of my role changes as teaching and learning needs arise that can be met by the school library and teacher librarians.


The American Association of School Librarians has developed “National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries” (AASL Standards) which build on the already adopted AASL Standards Framework for Learners. The teacher librarian plays a vital role in supporting learning within these standards.





Scott Beck, in his recent post on the National Association of Secondary School Principals blog (NASSP) entitled The nonnegotiable role of school librarians, quotes Ted Dintersmith and Tony Wagner from their 2016 book Most Likely to Succeed about the skills needed in the 21 Century.

        • Critical thinking and problem-solving
        • Collaboration across networks
        • Agility and adaptability
        • Initiative and entrepreneurship
        • Effective oral, written, and multimedia communication
        • Accessing and analyzing information
        • Curiosity and imagination

He goes on to say that:

“School librarians are the resident experts in the development of these skills. Accessing and analyzing information, collaborating across networks, cultivating curiosity and imagination—this is the life blood of an outstanding school library. More importantly, these are the skills that will allow our students to become thoughtful and engaged citizens equipped to navigate a world full of increasingly complex information.”

National Simultaneous Storytime at Broughton

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country. (

Mrs Barnes organised an event in the IRC for Kindergarten and Year 1. It included reading the story three times: once by Mrs Barnes with added ‘Sound Words’, once by Jay Laga’aia  reading online and then again with teachers and two senior students as a ‘sound band’ accompaniment. This was concluded back in the classroom with prepared activities. (A short video of the event is in the ‘Events’ menu above)

Broughton Kids Lit Quiz Team – Second Place in Australian Final

Four of our Year 7 students represented the school in the Australia Finals of the Kids Lit Quiz held at Trinity Grammar school. The team came second out of the eleven teams and we can be very proud of their remarkable achievement. They each received a silver medallion, a selection of books and $50 in cash.

“Last term, we went to the Kids Lit Quiz NSW heat and to our amazement, got second. Part of the reward for this, was an opportunity to compete in the national final, with a chance to represent our country at the world final which was being held in New Zealand. The National Final was held at Trinity Grammar School, in Summer Hill. Though we did not win, we were lucky enough to come in second place!

The competition was very hard. We had to verse 11 teams from all over Australia, who all came 1st in their own heats. It was an amazing experience and we got to meet the famous author Jacqueline Harvey who is best known for her Alice Miranda series.

On behalf of the team we would like to thank Mrs Sheerman and Mrs Koek for their ongoing support and confidence in us throughout this journey. Overall it was an awesome experience and a fantastic day and we hope to return next year and win nationals!” (Payton, Isabelle, Prisha and Hannah)


In Australia, on 25 April each year, we commemorate our country’s service in the First World War . At this time we also acknowledge all who have died in defending our country since then and those currently deployed.
This year is the 100 year anniversary and the Gallipoli campaign is remembered in particular as the place where our ‘true nationhood’ was born. The troops from Australia and New Zealand fought this battle for the British and are now known as the ANZACS (Australia New Zealand Army Corps)
Our display in the IRC was useful this week for classes to have reading time in the library and reminded students of the wonderful collection of relevant print materials we have on this topic for K-12.
Today a service was also held in the Sports Centre for the whole school.



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Maker Spaces in Schools Explained

How the Maker Movement Connects Students to Engineering and Technology” shows how students can learn at a very creative, personal level. This could be applied across many areas of student interest and inquiry and with different means of construction.
Back in the 1970s teachers were trained in various ‘crafts’ to teach students how to make use of the expected increase in leisure time! Now it seems there is a resurgence but for a different reason – to instil creative processes in deeper learning.

Lift the level of discussion in the classroom

This post from Teachthought offers 26 sentence starters to lift the level of discussion in the classroom.

During meaningful conversations, students are forced to be accountable for their positions, to listen, to analyze opposing perspectives, and to adapt their thinking on the fly.

I particularly like the summarising starters as I think often we fail to draw learning to conclusions and to evaluate findings.

Overall, what I’m trying to say is…
My whole point in one sentence is…
More than anything else, I believe that…

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Year 3 Guided Inquiry Presentations – Vokis

Last Friday all 51 year 3 students and their teachers shared a summary of their ‘reports’ on a selected aspect of The Human Body via personally created Voki avatars. We all enjoyed the variety of information and also the reflection of each child’s creativity in their selection of avatar, background and voice. A lot of laughter and peer learning took place! All Vokis are available from the 2013 Guided Inquiry page

2013: United Nations Year of Water Cooperation

This year has been declared the United Nations Year of Water Cooperation.

I have just spent the school holidays in Bolivia traveling on a Mission trip with Uni students and their High school Spanish teacher – a life-long desire to return to the country of my birth and early childhood fulfilled!

The need for better water and sanitation was, however, very disturbing. We met a young couple working on a two year mission. Craig is an Australian mechanical engineer and he was in Bolivia working in a remote village to set up a supply of water into every home. Previously villagers only used a common pump and carried their water in buckets. Craig was ‘inventing’ a pressure system using Coke bottles – which seem to be plentifully available in every country!

As I recently made a display for the IRC featuring the UN Year of Water Cooperation and in looking at the global statistics for water and sanitation needs it is painfully obvious that there is a long way to go until global needs are met. Being aware of the issues is a good place to start so that more ‘Craigs’ will be inspired to assist when and where they can.

Chaucer finale! National Year of Reading

The final BACIRC post for this year features our Year 6 student’s final activity in The National Year of Reading!
They finished the year by writing and then performing their own ‘Tales’ based (very loosely) on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

Every year Year 6 produces an abridged Shakespearean play but this year they went one step further and wrote their own production. They called it The Broughton Tales and included:
The Teacher’s Tale
The Prefect’s Tale
The Parent’s Tale
The Office Tale
The Canteen’s Tale
The Groundsman’s Tale
The Music Tale
The Librarian’s Tale
and finally…
The Reverend’s Tale where a Christmas drama featured.

The introduction to each ‘Tale’ was in rhyme after which the students enacted one scene to match the ‘Tale’.
The Librarian’s Tale highlighted the usual Year 6 ‘gripe’ of not being allowed to borrow books restricted to High School Students.