IFLA SL Newsletter

– a commentsblog


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

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