Leadership Vision and Strategies for Change

At this point in the subject think about strategies to take you from TL, the keeper and stamper of the books and the quiet space (library) (how many of our colleagues perceive TLs), to become something different. Make a set of notes using your new understandings to support your arguments and conclusions:

Many of the readings regarding leadership list vision as a key quality of leadership. In order to develop strategies for moving from the stereotypical keeper-of-the-books-and-quietness to “something different” that has a leadership hue, it is essential to formulate and articulate a clear vision (Gleeson, 2016) of what that “something else” will look like. For my situation, I know that I am not really looking to take on a formal leadership role – at least not anything that has the word “principal” in the title. My projected to pathway to professional development might include pursuit a Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher status, but not an Assistant or Deputy Principal position. Therefore, my vision of my “something else” lies in the distributed leadership, informal leadership or leadership by expertise vein. My vision for the library is as a place that will be the go-to place for resources across the curriculum and for information on teaching and learning. A central school service station rather than just a place for students to go and borrow some books or listen to a story and be kept busy for an hour while their teachers plan for their “real learning activities”.

Moir, Hattie and Jansen’s (2014) viewpoint that to develop leadership capacity you first need to know what qualities the members of the organisation value as evidencing effective leadership really resonated with me. Looking at the five top “effective leadership qualities” that they found in their study (Moir, Hattie, & Jansen, 2014, p 37), I find a framework for my vision and strategy for change: Continue reading “Leadership Vision and Strategies for Change”

Case studies, ho!

Misgivings (half an hour to Case Study Online Meeting)

The case studies and group work component of this subject is probably the aspect that has given me the most misgivings to date. I am nervous about being required to interact consistently in a scheduled way with an online group as part of content that I will be expected to reference for my assessment task. I also have less confidence about actually knowing what is expected of these tasks. It threw me that the first case study material was basically just a schedule. Looking at that and teasing out surface and deeper problems or issues to pose solutions to stymied me somewhat.

I suppose the issues that jump out to me on the surface level in the case study are:

  • “I” don’t seem to have a plan or priority list, just a jumbled idea of things that need to get done and a diary with various meetings schedules
  • “I” have a fair amount of meetings
  • I am not confident that “I” have enough time to get done what is on this list by the deadlines mentioned

Deeper issues:

  • I do not get a real sense of a “team” or delegated responsibilities or distributed leadership from the scenario information
  • I seem to be “putting out fires” and working in a reactive way rather a proactive one

Possible solutions:

  • Set up some daily routines and workflows
  • Look at developing leadership and handing over some responsibilities
  • Perhaps create a collaborative space for gathering report information or templates that are filled out rather than getting the emails and then chasing people for missing information

Minutes (what happened during the meeting)

Continue reading “Case studies, ho!”

Some leadership infographics

I came across an interesting infographic on leadership on one of my teaching-oriented Facebook groups:

This resonated for me with the concepts of inspirational and instructional leadership models – where the leader is inspiring and motivating workers through more internal “soft” considerations rather than behavioralist target/reward external efficiency methods. It prompted me to reflect on how I provide for these needs with my students and with other teachers and even with the school leadership. I think that I am fairly good at building trust – but thinking about how I can improve on building the self-worth and perceived competence of others is a challenge for me to work on.

As I was searching for this infographic, I came across another post/sketchnote that I quite liked:

Since we are trying to develop ourselves as leaders and thinking of leaders as people who build leaders instead of followers, I found this pertinent. Being someone who can have a hard time seeing myself as a leader, and knowing others who have expressed a similar sentiment, I was especially taken by the notion that other people make the assessment about who is a leader. This was reinforced by reading Tamar Charney’s (n.d.) A Quiet Leader is Still a Real Leader. So many different possibilities and views on leadership… and so little time to absorb them!


Charney, T. (n.d.). A quiet leader is still a real leader [Blog post]. In Quiet Revolution’s Field Notes. Retrieved from https://www.quietrev.com/a-quiet-leader-is-still-a-real-leader/

Vora, T. (2015). Four basic human needs for engagement via Randy Conley [Image file]. Retrieved from http://www.qaspire.com/images/sketchnotes/21_HumanNeedsEngagement.jpg

Vora, T. (2018). Peter Senge: On developing leaders [Image file]. Retrieved from http://qaspire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/94_Leadership_Senge_650px_thumb.jpg

The ethics of personal collecting

I found it interesting when reviewing various Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) sector associations’ Codes of Ethics for my preservation subject that many considered personal collections that were in line with the collections of an employing institution were proscribed as conflicts of interest. On reflection, I can understand that serious collectors often have such a passion and thirst for their collections that could interfere with their ability to make sound judgements in their institutional collecting. On the other hand, a lively interest – manifested by a desire to collect items – in the collection area of your workplace would surely benefit GLAM sector employment. I was impressed with the way that the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) ( 2003) approached this matter in their very succinct Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians:

“I. Special collections librarians sometimes collect personally, as well as on behalf of their library. Personal collecting can add to the librarian’s understanding of a collecting area and the marketplace for special collections materials. Consequently, personal collecting should not be discouraged. However, special collections librarians should disclose their personal collecting activity to their employer, especially when their collecting area coincides with that of the institution. When such coincidence occurs, the special collections librarian must not compete with the library, must not build his or her personal collection at the expense of the institution’s collection, and must be diligent in distinguishing items acquired for the institution’s collection from items acquired for the personal collection. In all instances, special collections librarians should conduct their personal collecting in a manner that avoids impropriety and prevents any appearance thereof (ACRL, 2003, para. 13).”


Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). (2003, October). Code of ethics for special collections librarians. Retrieved from http://rbms.info/standards/code_of_ethics/


Preservation vs access in action

The school where I work is currently negotiating for a building/renovation project. Since it is a government school and stands on an historic site, there are many agencies involved in the planning process. One step in the process is happening these school holidays – there is an archaelogical dig on site, looking for some significant architectural artefacts from earlier uses of the site.

I had an interesting conversation with some members of the project team today which made me think about the issues of preservation vs access raised in the Module 1 mini-lecture by Dr Pymm. Apparently, once unearthed and exposed to the air the bricks and other building materials the archaelogists find start to mould and decay, then dry out and crumble unless extraordinary measures are taken to conserve them. We briefly discussed some of the options they have to preserve and provide access to the site information: removing some of the artefacts and preserving them offsite, creating a digital presentation overlaying high-definition photographs of the excavated artefacts on to images of the site today and re-burying the artefacts, and most likely also creating an injunction to keep developers from digging out the historically significant materials.

I am not sharing pictures or specifics as I have not received permission to do so from the project team (I am still awaiting an email with a decision regarding using photos for a piece in the school newsletter next term), but I just wanted to share my experience with a preservation/conservation topic out “in the wild”, as it were.

Info era management and the school library

How does the content of Colvin’s (2000) article relate the school libraries? In point form, note down your thoughts on your blog.

  • The concepts of Taylorism (para 3) and an industrial-era factory mindset call to mind Ken Robinson’s (2010) talk about changing the educational model (find citation)
  • I feel the criticism about organisations “tinkering round the edges” of the old models rather than creating truly new, revolutionary management models (paras. 6 & 7) is something I notice in school systems. We seem to add new programs and pedagogies onto existing structures and expectations rather than stripping down to first principles and crafting our educational plan from there.
  • Embracing a vision for a 21st C school library and articulating values that you build from and manage from could be a way to lead change in the school in a values-driven way (para 10).
  • As a person who is in contact with most teachers, staff, students and even some parents in the school community, TLs should be very aware of management as a “human art” (para 12) and use their role to encourage creativity, judgement, imagination and to build relationships.


Colvin, G. (2000). Managing in the info era. Fortune, 141(5). Retrieved from http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2000/03/06/275231/index.htm?iid=sr-link1.

Robinson, K. [RSA Animate]. (2010, October 14). Changing education paradigms [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

Turning information sources into information resources

How does a library turn information sources into information resources? This was the topic for the first activity and reflection in Module 2 of ETL504. The library in question is the home page of the CSU Library and we were asked to record five examples in our notes.

It seems to me that three common threads in the creation of information resources by the CSU Library are curation, annotation and the creation of digital accessibility. To serve the different information needs of a varied body of students and staff, the library first curates its information by choosing information sources that it deems most useful and interesting to particular populations and collecting them in one space that is clearly labelled to attract the targeted users. Those curated collections of information sources are then described with annotations to maximise the ease of selection by the user and minimise time wasted in investigating unsuitable sources. Finally, as much direct digital access as possible is provided – which is crucial for the increasing use of online education and distance study that the school offers. Continue reading “Turning information sources into information resources”

Initial thoughts on Teacher Librarian leadership

In my introduction on the ETL504 discussion boards, my section on what I hoped to gain from the subject was the following:

“To be frank, I struggle somewhat with the notion of the TL as Leader, especially in the NSW DoE primary school context. If this subject can persuade me to a different view on this point, that would be an ideal gain. Pragmatically, I hope to gain another completed subject so that I can complete my course and confirm my position at FSPS as permanent. Somewhere in between those two, I hope to gain knowledge and understanding, as well as skills and strategies, to help support my position when advocating for things (such as admin time or particular resources) relevant to my role as Teacher Librarian.”(Simon, 2019, July 5, para. 4)

We have been encouraged to reflect on our thoughts and understandings of Teacher Librarians (TLs) as leaders before diving into the meat of this subject, so I will try to expand on the thoughts expressed above. My friend and fellow classmate, Liz Parnell, is incredibly sceptical about the notion of TLs as school leaders and gives an excellent description of one common experience – the overburdened, fighting-to-keep-afloat primary school Teacher Librarian (Parnell, 2019, July 1, para. 3). This captures some of the struggle I related regarding the notion of the TL as leader in a NSW Department of Education primary school context. I am currently working in that context as the sole, 3-day-per-week TL at a relatively small (215 student) primary school in Sydney. In my initial six months in that role, I see myself more in Liz’s description of a follower being pulled in multiple directions than in the descriptions of TLs as technological and curriculum leaders put forward in the advocacy videos by Students Need School Libraries (2018) and ALIANational (2014) found in the subject home page and first module.

However, as I began to reflect on these feelings and opinions, I began to realise that perhaps some of the fault I was finding had more to do with my concept of leadership in schools than with the role of the TL. Continue reading “Initial thoughts on Teacher Librarian leadership”

New Session – High Goals

Subject Outlines have been released for 201960 – Session 2 of my second year in the course. Even though I am feeling fairly tired, I am raring to go as I am (perhaps recklessly) aiming to do 2 1/2 subjects this session along with working 3 days per week. I am motivated to try to get the Dean’s List award for my second year as well as my first, which requires finishing the course by the end of Session 3. Additionally, I am more interested in the elective available this session (INF520 Preservation of Information Resources) than the one available in Session 3 (INF506 Social Networking for Information Professionals).

So, I am charging out of the gate to see what I can get accomplished in the lead up to the actual start of session in a fortnight. Here are my goals after a brief look at the Subject Outlines.


  • Do the pre-study visit modules and quiz, when it gets loaded
  • Follow up with Uni of Sydney about placement application
  • Try to get placement sorted during the first week of school holidays


  • Read through assessment requirements carefully for both assessments, especially Assessment 1
  • Look at the supplementary materials on concept mapping in the Assessment 1 description
  • Do any other preliminary requirements, like logging Thinkspace blog, Intro on Student Cafe, etc


  • Read through assessment requirements carefully
  • Do any preliminaries
  • Start in on Module 1 from the PDF versions in resources (making sure to compare once live versions are available)

That should keep me busy!

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