IFLA SL Newsletter

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by Elisabeth Tallaksen Rafste,
Agder University College, Norway


Agder University College is the only institution within higher education in Norway that offers admission to studies in school librarianship every year. The University College is located in the southern part of Norway, known as Sørlandet. It has more than 8200 students and 900 teaching and administrative staff, and is one of the largest University Colleges in the country.

The main institutions for library and information studies are at the University of Tromsø and at Oslo University College. They do, however, not offer study programs in school librarianship. Some University Colleges throughout the country have offered study modules for school librarians now and then, but never on a regular basis.

The history of the school library media education at Agder University College goes back to 1985. A 30 credit post graduate study module for teachers was offered as a payed-study. It was very successful. There was a great need for education specially adapted for school librarians. The same study programme was offered three more times. In 1994 there was, thanks to pioneers’ working, a decisive breakthrough in the professional field of school librarianship, a field with great visions but with few resources. The study programme was offered as part of the study portfolio at Agder University College, and still is. The study in school librarianship has expanded from one to three different study programs. The main characteristics of the studies are their educational profile.

The study programmes

School library media program 1 – the basic program – 30- credit

The study has three main subject themes:

  • The school library as part of the learning arenas at school:
    The educational function of the school library in school

    • theories on learning and knowledge
    • organizing learning arenas
    • use of the school library in curricula
    • information literacy
    • the role of the school librarian in school
    • the school library in school development
  • Library Science
    • cataloguing and classification
    • reference and bibliography
    • organization and administration
    • ICT and library
  • Children’s and young adults’ literature and use of media.
    • the book collection in the school library, a wide variety of genres
    • texts from a diversity of media
    • educational use of the literature; reading for joy

School library media program 2 – Literature for children and young adult (specialization) 30- credit

This study program was developed in 1998. Many students wanted to specialize in literature for children and young adults, and to extend their study in school librarianship into 30 + 30 credits.

The study has two main subject themes:

  • Literature for children and young adults
    • The history of children’s literature
    • Introduction to a vide variety of literature genres for children and young adults
    • Analysis and discussions of the texts
  • Use of literature in education
    • Theoretical perspectives
    • Stimulation of reading and use of the school library

School library media program 3 – Information literacy (specialization) – 30- credit

From our work with School library media program 1 we experienced a need for specialization in information literacy. We have now developed a curriculum for this study, which will start September 2006.

The study has two main subject themes:

· Culture for learning

o Theories on learning and knowledge

o The pedagogy of guiding/coaching

o Information literacy in theory and practice

o The school library and inclusion

o Strategic reading

· Life long learning: Information: searching – evaluating – using – presenting

o Project work – from A to Z

The methods used in all the three studies are kept close to practice; the students learn and develop projects and curricula they can use in their daily life as school librarians. Practice is discussed from different theoretical perspectives. The main exam in all the studies is a project where the students have to work through all the stages of this method to develop the school library, preferably at their own work-place.

In 1998 the first school library media program was developed into a web-based study program. Number two was developed in 2001, and the third study program is so far developed as a web-based study only.

The duration of each of the three e-learning study programmes is three semester; the two local study programmes (School library media program 1 and 2 are two semester).

The web-based studies have opened up our studies for students all over the country, and have been a success.

The target group for all the school library programs are teachers in primary and secondary school (K-13) and librarians in public libraries. Over the years about 8-900 students have their education in school librarianship from Agder University College.


January 8, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Norway | Leave a comment

The school library – learning centres of to-morrow

By Maren Brit Baadshaug, Norway


Courseblog: (in Norwegian): http://tinyurl.com/5t76u
Blog about Information Literacy (in Norwegian): http://infoskole.blogspot.com

This is the ambitious title of a course for librarians and teachers in secondary schools (age 16-19) that the National Centre for Library Services started august 2004. The course is developed by Niels Damgaard, Senior Education Manager at the Centre, and Maren Brit Baadshaug, freelance school library consultant.

The motivation for this enterprise was the need for school librarians to have further occupational development and the acknowledgment of the fact that the teachers are the ones responsible for assigning the tasks that make the students need the library and its resources. Changes in national curricula as well as the continuous changes in available information make cooperation between teachers and librarians more important than ever when the goal is to develop information literacy among the students. First a few facts about school libraries and the education of school librarians in Norway: The access to libraries in schools is required by law, but beyond that there are virtually no formal requirements to the services provided. School libraries therefore vary a lot across the country. On the secondary level, many schools have good libraries staffed with full time professional librarians, while most elementary schools lack proper library facilities. The secondary schools usually have professionally trained librarians while the elementary schools have teachers with supplementary education in school librarianship.

New curricula at all levels will be introduced from August 2006. The driving force behind the school reforms are the fact that Norwegian students have not scored very high on various international tests in reading skills, and this worries the politicians. As a result, strong emphasis is put on a set of so-called basic skills; reading, writing, oral communication and arithmetic. Digital competence, learning strategies and social competence are also considered part of these basic skills. The strategy for empowering the school libraries is therefore to point to the library as an important arena for developing these basic skills.

The target group for our course is professionally trained librarians and teachers that want to use the library and to improve their own information competence in their teaching and in the assignments they give their students. The course consists of five one day gatherings in the course of the school year. Between the gatherings the participants are required to present a description of their school, a scenario for the future and plan for further development. We have our own internet site where these documents are presented. They are also required to do a project in the course of the year.

So far we have carried out courses in 7 counties, while two courses held in Oslo have had participants from all over the country. We design the local courses in cooperation with local library and school authorities and try to use examples from the county of good practice whenever possible. The basic skeleton of the course, however, remains the same. The first gathering is devoted to school library policy, curriculum development etc, the second and third gathering to information competence and the fourth to reading and reading encouragement. On the last gathering the participants give a Power Point presentation of their own project. On each gathering we try to find a balance between good examples and more theoretical approaches. We also require the participants to use different kinds of useful digital tools (mind-mapping, blogging, PowerPoint etc.) at various stages in the process.

We invite the principals of the participating schools to the first gathering, and point to the connection between information literacy and the basic skills. We also point to the crucial role of the school leadership in developing the library and the necessity of including the library and the library staff in the development of the local curricula and pedagogic strategies. To illustrate this we always have a principal from a local school with a good library to present his school and explain how the library is incorporated in that particular schools overall policy and planning. Due to the fact that so many schools send their librarians and teachers to our courses, we permit ourselves to call the project a success. Librarians and teachers have cooperated in new ways doing the assignments required. They have also cooperated with their leaders in making plans for the further development of their library and its integration in the overall planning of the schools. These texts provided are collected on our net pages for comparisons and future references. We have also learned a lot ourselves, as there are many well-functioning school libraries in all parts of the country. However, in the ongoing process of improving our course, we are highly dependent on inspiration from other countries and research in this field at the international level. We are constantly looking for good models for developing information competence at different levels and in different contexts.

Maren Brit Baadshaug

January 8, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Norway | Leave a comment

From Information to an Education System in Russia

by Olga K. Gromova,
Editor in Chief, Biblioteka v Shkole
[The Library in the School] newspaper,
First of September Publishing House,
, Russia


This paper analyses a two-year experience of running professional newspaper-based correspondence refresher courses for educators and children’s librarians. Developed by the First of September Publishing House, this system offers a selection of narrowly specialised courses, to be scaled up with time, and an original organisation of the learning process. The Biblioteka v Shkole course offering is used as a case study to describe the content and structural philosophy of this kind of training, and some conclusions drawn from the first two years of operation.

Professional Development

Through a Professional

Periodical: A Correspondence

Course Training Experience and

Tentative Conclusions

In Russia, given its great distances, poor communications, and a very uneven system of professional development, any professional periodical serving educators or librarians helps, one way or another, improve its readers’ skills. Most of the heads of specialist newspapers and journals are supportive of this trend, whether they consider it the norm or an enforced necessity. Each of the 20 professional newspapers brought out by the First of September Publishing House for people working in secondary schools and related fields is no exception.

We, at the editorial office of Biblioteka v Shkole(The Library in the School), were looking for possible ways of training our specialist readership. Our newspaper includes a “Self-Education” head and a large section reserved for practical articles on advanced library work practices. We even ran an intramural refresher program we called the “Library School” (four enrolments in 2.5 years), which proved to be quite effective and popular but could not accommodate all those who applied. Still and all, these were one-off exercises, and professional improvement remains a sore point for many of our readers. Helping readers improve their expertise is a matter to which the First of September Publishing House has long been giving considerable thought. Narrowly specialised optional courses appeared to be the most appealing and feasible approach.

How It is Run

Contracts and licenses.

In 2003, the First of September Publishing House entered into an agreement with the Faculty of Pedagogical Education of Moscow State University for supervising correspondence refresher courses and issuing graduation diplomas to the reader trainees who successfully completed a course. The contract stipulated the First of September philosophy and procedure of these courses as well as trainees’ certification.


An enrolment advertisement appears in journals and the publishers’ web site, www.1september.ru, from March on, and applications are admitted from April through October. Applicants are billed for tuition. The tuition fee covers the examination of test papers, answers to questions that may arise during the course, postage fees, and the mailing of a diploma. Training set-up. Each course consists of eight lectures, which appear in the journal columns from September through December, one per issue. Lectures are accompanied by self-examination questions and a list of supplementary literature on the topic. After lectures 3 and 5, trainees are given a test they are supposed to do and send back to the editorial office. After lecture 8, trainees are expected to do some practical work: to apply their acquired expertise to their job and make a description of this activity (which may be an open lesson, a class, or a library event), accompanied by testimonials and the administration’s certificate of the event. For the first and second tests each trainee receives a testimonial and a pass-fail rating. All works must be examined before April. If both tests and the final work are passed, after the final work the trainee receives a graduation diploma instead of a testimonial. The diploma is supposed to be recognised in any skill certification. If an examination paper is found to be unsatisfactory, we will send the trainee a review explaining their errors and suggest redoing the work or a part of it.


We find the total numbers of trainees of the first and second academic years quite encouraging. Clearly, the idea of the course has caught on. And last but not least, our courses, while inexpensive, are generally paying, though not too much. We consider self-repayment an ample result and do not contemplate getting a profit out of it yet. The popularity of home study supported by a professional newspaper shows that the demand for this mode of professional improvement is far in excess of supply, particularly in rural areas. According to our data, about half of our students live in the countryside and small towns. We must admit that the proportion of our trainees who live in cities came as a surprise. They account for roughly 50% of all students, which shows that all is not well with librarians’ professional development in large cities.

Olga K. Gromova,

January 8, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Russia | Leave a comment

Is There an Education of School Librarians in Sweden?

By Bibi Eriksson
Malmö högskola – Lärarutbildningen

Malmö – Sweden

School libraries in Sweden, like school libraries all over the world, look very different. And school librarians look very different. And the educational background of the school librarians looks most different. The Swedish educational system is managed by objectives and is very much decentralized. Local authorities control a great deal in the Swedish schools under the umbrella of a lot of policy documents from the government. In the Swedish curriculum the school library is seldom mentioned. The school library is mentioned as the responsibility of the headmaster and for the upper secondary school as a task for teachers. In the curriculum the school library is mentioned mostly in relationship to the Swedish language education. Information literacy is mentioned in other words here and there and with ”school library glasses” you can see the school library hidden here. From ”Lpo 94 http://www.skolverket.se/sb/d/471/url the curriculum for the compulsory school: Pupils should be able to keep their bearings in a complex reality where there is a vast flow of information and where the rate of change is rapid. This is why methods of acquiring and using new knowledge and skills are important. It is also necessary for pupils to develop their ability to critically examine facts and relationships and appreciate the consequences of the various alternatives facing them”. From the curriculum for the Swedish language in the compulsory school: ”Fiction gives knowledge about children’s, women’s and men’s living conditions during all ages and in all countries. Literature also gives you an ordinary days perspectives and can give you answers to vital questions. In The Libraries Act you can read: ”Within the nine-year compulsory school and upper secondary school there should be suitably distributed school libraries in order to stimulate In the upper secondary schools, where over 90% of the Swedish youth are, there are well functioning libraries with educated librarians. These librarians are educated in one of the five universities in Sweden with the right to give master library degree with the possibility of specialization in different ways but not especially for work in schools. One of the universities with master program in library and information science is specialized in pedagogic. In the compulsory schools the situation is a lot harder. Half of the schools have not got a library with a librarian working five hours a week. A variety of persons work as school librarian and they have different backgrounds, different training and different levels of competence. More and more of them are trained librarians; here we find teachers and other kinds of pedagogical staff with or without courses in school librarianship. Here we also can find other staff categories who work parttime. There has never been a vocational training for school librarianship. There has been a short element of school librarianship in teacher education but in the new teacher education this subject hopefully is found during the practice. During the practice the teacher students are supposed to meet and learn about lot of things, for example the school library. There are also longer courses at Malmö University http://www.nav.mah.se/edu/katalog/ lut and Gotland University http:// mainweb.hgo.se/index.nsf . In Malmö you can study School Library 1-10 credits and 11-20 and in Gotland you can study Play, Search, Read, Learn 1-20 credits. The course in Malmö has the concentration on the school library as a pedagogical tool, inquirybased method courses by the net. At Uppsala University you can combine teacher training with a master course in Library and Information Science and in this way get a double competence, you will become both teacher and librarian. But this training does not concentrated on school librarianship. Besides there is now and then courses up to 5 credits in school librarianship at Swedish universities. This means that staff working in school libraries in compulsory schools have no or very short academic education on school librarianship. In some municipalities with school library centres there could be introductory courses for teachers and librarians starting their work in school libraries. There are several organizations working for school libraries offer educational opportunities. National School Library http://www.skolbiblioteksgruppen. is a network of Swedish working for school library The National School inspire everybody working school to pay attention of well functioning school Organizations in the authorities, trade unions professional organizations. will pay attention to for the school library pedagogical renewal national basis to support development and school a perspective of school Skolbibliotek.se, Swedish School Library Associations http://www.skolbibliotek. union for regional association similar aims and the Group for Pedagogic Swedish Library Association http://www.biblioteksforeningen. To sum up there is no for school librarians our school libraries there trained librarians or or without very short school librarianship. opinions in the question education needed in work. Some people think librarians are the only others think that a teacher the specialization towards librarianship is a better people think that a master and Information Science all kinds of libraries that the school library differs from other kinds that another background Our School Minister the school library and of national projects in there is very little talk the field. In the dividing two professions, the librarian, there it is hard “Go for libraries!” Put the school libraries go for bilingual education! advice from School minister Baylan to schools in with the ambition to pupils. Bibi Eriksson

January 8, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Sweden | Leave a comment

School Librarians in the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland

By Karen Usher
South Hunsley School,
East Yorkshire


In neither the UK nor the Republic of Ireland are qualified, or even trained, School Librarians a legislative requirement. School inspections and standards do necessitate a school library. Many schools do have qualified staff due to local authority input and progressive Headteachers. Special initiatives may result in qualified librarians in schools, such as the Republic of Ireland’s special project for STATE (VEC run) disadvantaged schools has 11 schools a further 40 being phased in over a period of time, where full time qualified librarians have been provided. Reports often call for qualified librarians in schools, e.g. in 1999 the COSLA report “Standards for school library services in Scotland” recommended that all secondary schools should have the full time services of a Chartered or qualified librarian. Finance is one of the overriding factors in the provision of qualified librarians.

Qualified librarians do not necessarily have specialist training when they become School Librarians. Aberystwyth and Sheffield Universities in the UK offer modules, which are increasingly popular, that deal with children’s and school librarianship and children’s literature. They are optional modules. In the Republic of Ireland there is also a short module in a diploma course dealing with school librarianship.

The University of Ulster has a new course for School Librarians that is a day release course. Those who become school librarians often pursue training themselves on the job. There are a number of organisations that offer training on a variety of subjects. Both CILIP: School Libraries Group and the School Library Association hold weekend schools. Regional Branches of the SLA, CILIP: SLG and CILIP: Youth Libraries Group offer Day Schools of interest to school librarians and the SLA has an extensive and excellent publications programme. CILIP also publishes books relevant to school librarianship and makes representations at Government level on matters relating to school librarians. In the Republic of Ireland the SLARI offers 2 seminars a year, which include practical sessions. There have also been some summer courses in school librarianship from the Church of Ireland College of Education. From next year University College Dublin will be including a new module on school libraries in the syllabus for the Diploma in Library and Information Studies.

On the whole Primary Schools (children under 11) have a teacher in charge of the Library; in Secondary Schools (children up to 18) there is usually a Librarian. This age structure does vary around the UK. In the UK, in many counties, schools buy into their Local Authority’s School Library Service. In general an SLS will offer loan collections, special project collections, professional advice and, sometimes, training for schools. Those Schools that use SLS’s appreciate their excellent support services. Unfortunately SLS’s are not statutory and have to be run as business units with Schools ‘buying’ into their services. This has resulted in many Authorities shutting their SLS’s. Schools are then left to their own devices or have to buy into the services of neighbouring councils.

To promote librarians in 2005 the SLA launched ‘School Librarian of the Year’. Schools have to nominate their Librarians for this honour and there is a rigorous selection process. The Times Educational Supplement, a national weekly read by most teachers, features the School Librarian of the Year, thereby letting many teachers know what their school libraries and school librarians can do for them. There are efforts in the UK to promote reading as an activity to young people through schools and teachers. Teacher training now includes modules on children’s libraries and children’s literature – often this input is given by the local SLS. There are also numerous local Children’s Book Awards with children having a central role is choosing winners. CILIP has the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal Shadowing Scheme which involves over 1500 schools reading the same books as the Judges. World Book Day and National Children’s Book Week are also used by school librarians to promote reading. As with many countries there is a mixed picture of provision in the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland. Many organisations and individuals know what would constitute the best provision for our children in schools but it is the financial implication of instituting the best provision that militates against it. We must all keep trying to get the

January 8, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Ireland, U.K. | Leave a comment

Plunging into the SPA: Educating School Librarians in USA

By Johan Koren
Coordinator, Library Media Program
Murray State University, Kentucky,


The United States is far from the uniform country that we might expect: each state has its own laws, regulations andsystems, especially in the area of primaryand secondary education. Imagine ifevery Land in the Federal Republic ofGermany or every département in Francehad its own, separate way of organizingthe schools! Even within states, thereare differences; for example, regardingthe 11-16 age range, where some schoolsare called junior high, and others aremiddle schools. Even the range of classesthat are included within these types ofschools varies enormously: in CallowayCounty, Kentucky, middle school coverswhat is pretty much the norm in manyplaces, namely 6th (where 1st is 6 years old)through 8th grade, while within CallowayCounty, tiny little Murray IndependentSchools (in a town of 16,000), puts 4th-8th grade in the middle school.

For moreinformation on each of these two schooldistricts, go to



In every state, teachers are recognized bytheir state’s department of education, butwhat that recognition is called varies.In Kentucky, teachers are certifiedhttp://www.kyepsb.net/certification/index.asp), but in neighboring Tennessee to thesouth,you have to have a license in order tobe able to teach in their schools


In general, school librarians are officiallyconsidered teaching personnel throughoutthe United States, although the termteacher librarian has not caught onhere as it has in Canada and Australia.Thus, they must be licensed or certified.However, many states do not require thatschools employ certified school librarians.Kentucky passed such a law in 2000.On the other hand, the law does havea loophole: “A certified school medialibrarian may be employed to serve two (2)or more schools in a school district withthe consent of the school councils.


January 8, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, USA | 1 Comment

Newsletter issue #42 – Theme: Education around the world – how to educate our school librarians?


Issue 42, May 2006
Vahl school in Oslo 2-3
Minutes of meeting 4

Theme pages
Australia 7
Belgium 7
Canada 8
Denmark 8-9
Estonia 9-10
France 10
Italy 11-12
Nederlands 12
Norway 12-14
Russia 15
Sweden 16
Ireland 17
USA 17-18

International school
library day 2006 18
Petit 19
Presentations 20

January 8, 2007 Posted by | 1. Indeks, 2. Issue 42 | Leave a comment

Hello world!

IFLA logo

Welcome to this blog designed for the Newsletters for
IFLA School Libraries and Resource Centers section.

In this blog you will find our THEME PAGES from issue number # 42 – #44

All newsletters from IFLA section 11 you will find here:

Feel free to comment the articles in this blog and contacting the contributers if you need.

Niels Damgaard
Editor – OSLO

January 8, 2007 Posted by | Welcome | Leave a comment