As I have been moving through the Teacher-Librarian diploma course, my professional curiosity has certainly undergone a sort of rekindling and metamorphosis. I have always been interesting in pedagogy, educational philosophy and ideas that would help me make my classroom better. At the beginning of this journey, I was worried about becoming overwhelmed with the information that would come with applying these considerations to the school library learning commons, a place that is responsible for supporting all curricular areas. What I have found is that while there is a plethora of information available, I have had an easier time processing what would be useful to me as it seems to be rooted more in place, all of this information is centered on the learning commons, not floating through the theoretical.
Even being less than a year into the diploma, I have already discovered some incredibly useful professional development tools that I know will continue on beyond just this course. LIBE 477 has brought me back to Twitter, through which I have been (re-)establishing and connecting with a wide professional network. Getting Personal Mythologies back up and running will continue to encourage me to get my thoughts out there in a written, semi-articulate way. Both platforms also merge well with personal interests, making it all the more likely to continue to participate in these means.
Connections with teacher-librarians within my district and from others has been an easy thing to do. As a collective, I am continually impressed by how supportive this community is and the knowledge that is accessible through others is invaluable. Belonging to our Provincial and Local Teacher-Librarian Associations has already proven incredibly productive and informative from everything to library design to collection development to book processing.
This community is expanded through looking at blogs written by other teacher-librarians, by members of this course and beyond. Now that I have a phone that is working, looking at podcasts has become a time investment. There are many out there, mostly dealing with issues and topics centered around American public libraries, but none-the-less there are enough connection there to pay attention to. Blogs by organizations such as School Library Journal, the journal for Canadian School Libraries and the like are also posted into my Feedly lists to make sure that I’m up to date. Looking through YouTube for library and educational relevant videos has already helped with the presentation to staff and administration of what a learning commons is.
Our district seems to be conscious in developing our libraries into proper learning commons. There has been an increase in the support made available for teacher-librarians, including time with district facilitators regarding implementing the revised curriculum in specialized places.
As a reader of academic articles, discovering our district’s subscription to EBSCO databases, specifically regarding professional development in education will certainly be a treasure trove of professional resources. I’ve also been spending a lot of time with the UBC on-line library browsing all sorts of articles.
With so much out there, the challenge doesn’t seem to be to find it, but to filter out what would be most useful as well as filing away all of the other information to potentially be used later. What I’m finding more and more is how engaged I am with this material. I’ve said it before, being interested in it, I find myself going out of my way to read, watch and otherwise engage in this subject matter. I hope to continue to gather, consume and filter to foster my interests and immerse myself in professional development, since, as I see it, it will not only aid me, but all other people our library serves.