IFLA SL Newsletter

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Teacher Librarianship@CSU in Australia

By Charles Sturt, University in Wagga Wagga, NSW,

Australia offers a Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship)
and a Master of Applied Science (Teacher Librarianship).
These programs are
targeted to meet the needs of three or four year trained teachers who are either (a) practising teacher librarians without a specialist qualification or (b) practising teachers who wish to move into the field of teacher librarianship. The programs are designed to encourage and permit critical appraisal of theory and practice in the field of teacher librarianship, improve the educator’s professional competence and enhance the capacity for self development. Both master’s courses are recognised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).  ALIA recognition acknowledges that while our graduates have specific knowledge and skills in the education sector, they are qualified to work in the full range of library and information services.

Teachers holding a Graduate Diploma in Teacher Librarianship may enrol in Stage 2 of the Master of Applied Science (Teacher Librarianship), completing four or five subjects depending on the currency of their qualifications and experience and the amount of credit awarded for their prior qualifications/experience.

Students may also study single subjects as Associate Students. This opportunity allows students to update in a particular area or subsequently apply the subject to a future course, assuming the subject matter is still current.

Those interested in conducting research may complete a Ph.D. or DIM. Higher degree students engage in advanced, critical reflection on and investigation of theory and practice related to teacher librarianship.

Study is through online learning, with no requirement that students meet face-to-face at any time, although a few optional face-to-face opportunities exist for those able to participate. Students typically study one or two subjects per session (two sessions a year), using print and online materials, participating with their classmates in online forums and contacting their subject coordinators via email.

The academic staff are familiar to many people internationally, through their research and publication and/or their participation at international conferences. Lyn Hay, James Herring, Ken Dillon, Ashley Freeman, and Joy McGregor all conduct research and publish in various areas related to teacher librarianship. All are members of the Centre for Studies in Teacher Librarianship, which is active in developing the research base in teacher librarianship in Australia and internationally.

For further information contact:

MEd(TL), PhD, CSTL Joy McGregor
MappSc(TL), Associate Student Program Ken Dillon

January 14, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Australia | Leave a comment

Education for school librarians in Flanders (Belgium)

By Bruno Vermeeren
The Flemish Library and Archive

What do you have to do if you want to become a school librarian in Flanders (Belgium)? The answer is fairly simple: nothing. Formally, the job doesn’t exist. And training to become one, doesn’t exist either. Yet there are school librarians in Flanders. They are either teachers with a teacher’s degree or librarians with a library degree. Some teachers running a school library have a degree in librarianship and in a way they are ‘teacher librarians’.

There are three levels of library education in Flanders. There is a one year introductory course, the so-called ‘initiation’ that – until 2001 – used to be a prerequisite for working in a public library. There is also a four year ‘graduate’ education in librarianship. The ‘graduate’ – a kind of ‘professional bachelor’ – also comprises the courses of the ‘initiation’. The graduate is a general education covering all aspect of librarianship, including aspects such as management, communication and marketing. There are courses in public librarianship, scientific and academic librarianship and in archives, but not in school librarianship. The education includes practical training in libraries, including school libraries.

Initiation and graduate are ‘modular’: students can choose which modules they want to study and when and where. That is, in theory, because library schools are not offering all modules at the same time.

There is also a master education in information and library science at the University of Antwerp. This master covers the general aspects of library work, but focuses more on technical aspects such as database design and the development of information systems. School librarianship is not treated separately and even information literacy (IL) as such is not part of the curriculum, although some courses focus on aspects of IL.

Presently, there is no way for students with a ‘graduate’ to get access to the master. Library schools and the University of Antwerp are trying to solve this problem.

Some library schools organise courses for professional development. None of them specifically aim at school librarians, but some of them are very interesting for school librarians. The Library School from Ghent has a long tradition in professional development courses and offers e.g. a course in working with children’s books.

references (information in Dutch only)

www.vvbad.be/00e_instap/Opleidingen.html overview of library and archive education in Flanders

www.bibliotheekschool.be Library School of Ghent

www.ua.ac.be/ibw University of Antwerp, Library and Information Science 

January 14, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Belgium | Leave a comment

The Teacher-Librarianship by Distance Learning (TL-DL) program at the University of Alberta.

By Jennifer Branch
The University of Alberta

TL-DL is one of the few remaining places left in Canada that helps teachers become teacher-librarians. We offer our students the opportunity to take online courses towards a diploma or Master of Education in teacher-librarianship.

TL-DL became available in 1997; previously courses were offered on campus in a traditional format. Our enrollment for 2006 numbers over 35 students in the Master of Education program and over 35 in the diploma program. Students are studying across Canada in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and the Yukon. As well, we have students studying from around the world. Most of our students are already in teacher-librarian positions, a change from 20 or 30 years ago when teachers trained and then became employed as teacher-librarians.

Education for this program is designed to develop professional and personal competencies in multiple areas.  We currently offer a variety of school library courses in areas such as management, collection development, information materials, information technology, leadership, inquiry-based learning, intellectual freedom and social responsibility, and organization of information.  We also offer online courses in Canadian children’s literature, comic books and graphic novels. 

We have a strong team of instructors and advisors who do research in the area of school libraries and/or are school-based teacher-librarians or curriculum coordinators including Dianne Oberg (PhD, Alberta), Jennifer Branch (PhD, Alberta), Lois Barranoik (PhD, Alberta), Lorine Sweeney (EdD, Alberta), Dawn Keer (MLIS, Alberta), Joanne de Groot (MLIS, Alberta and PhD Student, Alberta) and Gail de Vos (MLIS, Alberta).  The instructors meet on a regular basis to discuss online pedagogy, current research, curriculum and competencies for teacher-librarians, and future course offerings. Teacher-librarians from the area often join us so we can keep up with changes in current practice.

Self-motivation and organizational skills are paramount to success when taking online courses.

While participation may be less structured than attending regular classes, our courses are designed in a relatively structured manner, and follow the university academic calendar.  Each course is designed to maximize opportunities for sharing ideas, collaborating with class members online, discussing issues and benefiting from each other’s experiences. Interaction with and the support of other members of the class play a significant role in providing focus for learning, motivation and in enhancing the online learning experience. 

For more information, please contact Jennifer Branch at jbranch@ualberta.ca

or check out our TL-DL website at www.quasar.ualberta.ca/tl-dl.

January 14, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Canada | Leave a comment

The Danish school librarian education under change

By Bernt Hubert
CVU – Center for education in Copenhagen and Nordsealand

From August 2005 the Danish school librarian education course has changed dramatically. From having a course lasting two and a half months in a row, it now takes at least one year with sequential shifts between educational presence in a University College and personal studies and reflections in own job practice.

In the centre of the old education reading and handling child and youth literature had a central position, now a broad variety of media skills are the focus. Besides this the former course often had local content which is no longer allowed, therefore the curriculum now is the same wherever the education is taken.

The new school librarian education course is designed to develop a variety of different school librarian functions among which general school development is considered one of the most important theoretical skills. Pedagogical guidance and professional help with common educational matters, ICT and new Medias also have high priority.

Told shortly the new Danish school librarian education is now set to 27 ECTS point (European Credit Transfer System) and it contains 3 modules:

Basic school librarian module

Media and ICT guidance module

Media and media culture module

All three modules are designed so that the student can connect academic theories from the course to their own practice in their schools. They are, so to speak, being made ready to meet the children and youngsters of our time in order to formalise and develop the autodidactic media skills which young people often bring to school.

In the basic school librarian module the students create a portfolio, which is evaluated at the end of the module. The two other modules are basically more academically designed to handle scientific theory and the students must compile a report which must be presented, performed and defended in individual examinations.

All media are represented in the education: mobile phone, video production, sound recoding and editing etc. as well as books and the school librarian is now meant to be an innovative contributor to both pedagogical and organisational developments on different levels in the schools. Therefore the new school librarian education course is considered as a paradigm change that, hopefully, will affect the implementation of modern media and the pedagogical use in a positive way. Also it will turn the schools libraries into learning centres able to perform better specific media integration and greater general organisational development in the schools.

The big challenge in Denmark is to make the school librarians capable of taking leadership in a world where culture is changing rapidly and the “global village” is a fact, a reality through the Internet. Education and socialisation in a chaotic world are difficult assignments and overview and order must be replaced with strategic navigation and orientation on behalf of different cultural backgrounds. Children’s spiritual and intellectual potential has to be carefully supported to maximise their qualifications and evolution as human beings and in this sense the school libraries must act as a catalyst.

Read more (in Danish)


January 14, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Denmark | Leave a comment

Training Estonian School Librarians

By Jaanus Kõuts

Estonian Librarians Association

– Section of School Libraries

Estonia with its population of 1.35 million is smaller than a district of some big cities. In spite of that, in the Estonian language approximately 3000 books, 250 magazines and 100 newspapers are published every year. The sustainability of a small nation and its culture are highly dependent on education being in the mother tongue.

In the last academic year (2004/05), there were 603 schools of different types all together in Estonia. 502 (83,25%) of them were schools where children were taught in the Estonian language.

The statistics offered by the school libraries themselves show that a library exists at least in 474 schools – 78.6 % of the total amount of schools. Such a multitude exists for historical reasons and because of the Law of Basic and Secondary School, which states that every school must have a library.

In Estonia, library is considered as such only, if besides the teaching materials collection, it also has the main collection. Still there are a number of schools which do not have a library in that sense. During the last years there has developed a practice to join local public and school libraries, which causes a lot of discussions in the library community.

In 474 libraries there are 605 school librarians. 358 (59%) of them have higher education on library and/or information science. This amount is a result of Estonian library education that has evolved its traditions during last 80 years. Higher education on library field can be obtained in two institutions: Tallinn University Department of Information Studies and University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy Department of Library and Information Science. In curricula, there was no specific course about school libraries and the learning environment until 2003. Since this time the 3rd year students of librarianship have this subject for 1.5 ECTS in Viljandi. Both institutions practice continuing training, offering possibility to obtain professional knowledge in the field of librarianship. The specific courses for school librarians have been provided at The Open University Center for Continuing Education of Tallinn University since 2005. The two courses consist of following topics: psychology, creating learning environment, co-operation with teachers, information searching, creating databases anf practical skills. These courses are gaining popularity, because the need to improve professional knowledge is emerging. University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy Department of Continuing Education starts the first course in summer 2006. There is also a course for school librarians offered by one counseling company.

The professional level of school librarians varies widely and this reflects seemingly in the functioning of the library. Good professional knowledge of staff is usually the prerequisite for maintaining the library well. But there are also opposite examples, which show that running a good library depends more on personal motivation.

In a school library there are a number of different duties that all require a great variety of knowledge and skills which change with time.

For example 375 libraries of 474 have at least one computer – it makes 79%. The automated library software is used at 169 libraries (36%). So there is need for courses on the topics of information technology and library software. And these courses have to be at a very good level and in very understandable language. Group workshops at a summer seminar pointed out the need for training in following topics (top 5): information technology, librarianship, pedagogics, cultural history and children’s literature.

During Soviet occupation the school network was used to support ideology and therefore also the school libraries were under the special attention of the state. The work of school libraries was coordinated by methodological center, that organized regular training. After the Re-Independence on 1991 the center was closed and there is no institution dealing with school libraries at state level anymore. Most active school librarians formed a section of school libraries to the Estonian Librarian Association in 1998 and among the goals of it are to propose the creation of a methodological center and to organize continuing education.

There have been two information days and a summer seminar every year. The topics of the information days during last two years have been development of information technology in the school library; management of the school library; the co-operation with the publishers of teaching materials and a skills day – form practician to practician. These information days are popular, because the program is well-prepared, lectures are of a high standard and the participation fee is low (ca 7 euros per person). Summer seminars last 3 days and the number of participants has been restricted to 60. The topics of the two last years have been: “The role of school library in evolving pupil’s general competence” (2005); “Professional standard of librarian – a challenge to develop librarians personal identity, general and main competencies” (2004). In 2003 there was an international summer seminar about learning centers with colleges from Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden.

The section has also created “The Job Management Fundamentals for School Library”, which is a valid decree of Ministry of Education since 2001.

The section has published three books: “The Pupil, the Book, the Library” (2001), “The Handbook of School Librarian” (2001) and “The Library as the Learning Center – it’s Role and Aims in Learning Process” (2003).

The representative of the section was a member the Professional standard working group.

Since 2002 the section has in co-operation with Ministry of Education carried out evaluation of school libraries. This action helps to map the situation of school libraries and inform the Ministry of Education and local authorities. The report of the commission will be available soon and it will also point out the topics where the heads of the libraries most need the education.

The articles about Estonian school libraries are published in magazine “Raamatukogu” (“Library”) and there is a lot of valuable information about school libraries on the Internet. The Estonian school librarian community uses the mailing list to communicate, to share knowledge and tips, to ask for help and advice. There were 224 members in the list in April 2006.

In conclusion it has to be declared that man can educate only oneself – nobody else can “upload” the knowledge to one’s head. What the others can do is to create the suitable environment and possibilities for the development. So let us help the colleagues to find motivation and let us create the possibilities for developing. I think this is an important part of our mission.

January 14, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Estonia | Leave a comment

The status of the Resource Centres CDI in France

By Vincent Liquète, Professor and researcher at the IUFM of Bordeaux

Since the middle of the eighties, the French Educational System has progressively confirmed a certain willingness to implement, and then reinforce, information search activities in high schools, colleges and technology colleges (pupils from 11-18 years old).

A secondary school teaching diploma(Certificat d’Aptitude au Professorat de l’Enseignement du Second degré CAPES) has been formed in information research science and techniques, permitting the installation of the teacherlibrarian in the local public educational system EPLE) . From this time, the teacher librarian has the status of educator and his field of responsibility is mainly confined to four domains:

1. He assures the introduction and training of the pupils in information retrieval in the CDI of which he is responsible. New educational mechanisms have been put in place (Civil, judicial and social education, supervised personal work, cross-disciplinary projects with vocational attributes…), and the teacherlibrarian is thus included in the search for information, in the organisation of the pupil’s work and training in critical and analytical reading of the documents.

2. He is closely related to educational activities and projects in the educational institution. He collaborates with the teacher of each discipline to implement and supervise pedagogic projects.

3. He takes part in the activities and assures an open institution, connecting the school to cultural facilities (museums, libraries, cultural spaces…) as well as economic structures.

4. Finally, he is responsible for the management of the CDI and for the access to the multimedia resources. The appearance of the digital environments in the first information system of the EPLE, leads the teacher-librarian to consider the organization of electronic documents in association with the collection of documents on paper.

At the same time, on a national level, a content and resource policy is being established, supporting various Partnerships in conventional and digital publishing, notably by the strengthening of certain strategic networks of pedagogic and professional information (such as Scéren-Centre National de Documentation Pédagogique (www.cndp. fr, www.savoirscdi.cndp.fr), Instituts Universitaires de Formation des Maîtres (www.iufm.fr) or Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique (www.inrp. fr)). On a local level, the political institutions have participated in this dynamic by constructing or restoring the Resource Centres (CDI) in the educational institutions, by supporting the implantation of information technology through various donations, and by connecting to networks and regional computer systems.

However, important questions concerning the use of information and documents have emerged the last months. The first traces of an answer seem to be emerging.

On the one hand, the educational institutions approach information search activities not only in CDI’s, but throughout the entire institution. The most important challenge to the French school library system is to imagine an “institutional information policy” that includes the CDI as an element of construction. On the other hand, there is the question of the integration of educational electronic resources linked to and in communication with traditionally supported documents (paper, optical, magnetic). Electronic documents are still complementary to traditional documents and bring about numerous questions regarding economy, access, organisation and structure. Lastly, the question of learning search activities is discussed. The educational mechanisms spoken of earlier illustrate the approach to the subject. The numerous steps taken are the results of the teacher-librarian’s effort more than a supported institutional approach. Several teacher-librarians seem to wish expand from a simple introduction and give the pupils a more elaborate education within the culture of information.

January 14, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, France | Leave a comment

Education for Italian School Librarians and Documentalists (SL&D)

By Paolo Odasso

AIB Public Libraries National Committee


The most important initiatives in the field of Education for School Librarians and Documentalist (SL&D) in Italy, during the last years, are the following ones:

1. The “Il progetto Biblioteche nelle scuole” (The Project Libraries in the Schools) run by the National Ministry of Education http://www.istruzione.it/

2. The project GOLD financed by INDIRE (National Institute for Documentation of Innovation of Educational Research) http://www.indire.it/

3. The project WINIRIDE promoted and financed also by INDIRE

4. The Corso di Perfezionamento “Formazione del docente documentalista scolastico” (a Specialization course for SL&D run by the University of Padova (http://www.unipd.it/)

The above mentioned initiatives are at a national level. It’s also important to remember there are different regional and local initiatives with many training courses and counselling activities for SL&D. Some of them are organised by Local Educational Authorities, some others by the IRRE. There are 20 Regional Institutes for Educational Research of the Ministry of Education operating with the mission to support Italian schools to improve the quality of learning.

Before summarizing these initiatives it must be remembered that in Italy, even if the majority of the State schools, from primary to upper secondary, has its own School Library and Resource Centre (SLRC), there isn’t a National Parliament law that guarantees their existence, nor that the SL&D profession is in anyone of them. As a consequence there is not a upper secondary diploma or a University degree for SL&D but only training or specialisation courses for in-service teachers who, while working for the SLRC of their own schools, want to improve the quality of their job through volunteer participation.


1. The “Project Libraries in the schools” (“Il progetto Biblioteche nelle scuole”) http://www.istruzione.it/innovazione/progetti/biblioteche-nelle-scuole.shtml, at the moment, is surely the most important in Italy, both for the big amount of money invested and for the number of teachers and SL&D involved. This project started in the year 2004 with the support of three National Ministry – the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Technological Innovation, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage – and in cooperation with the Central Institute for the Unique Catalogue (ICCU). The main goal of the project is to begin a process of networked cataloguing in order to integrate the catalogues of 500 Italian schools inside the National Library Service (SBN http://www.iccu.sbn.it/sbn.htm) and to promote the future use of the national system of Inter Library Loan among the Italian schools and teachers. This acknowledges the growing importance of the access to information for the educational activities and is the main rationale for this project that is supposed to last three years. Thanks to the project about 500 SL&D will be engaged in a process of training in order to become expert users of two national client-server software, one in the North (www.sebina.it/Sebina.htm), and the other one in the South of Italy (www.iccu.sbn.it/sbnunix.htm).

2. The project GOLD (Global On line Documentation, www.gold.indire.it ) financed by the INDIRE (www.indire.it) which is a National Institution of the Ministry of Education, is a project of “knowledge management” of the Italian school system, the most important public initiative in the field of educational “best practices documentation”. GOLD started in the year 2002 with the cooperation of three main subjects: INDIRE, the Ministry of Education, the 20 Regional IRRE. In many regions also other organisations give their support to the implementation of GOLD: the Universities and some Teachers Professional Associations. This project is strictly dependent on the changes of educational systems both at international and at the national level. How to develop “lifelong learning” and how to help learners to build up and strengthen “multi-literacies”, “key-competencies” more than the traditional delivering of a “closed body of information/knowledge” are the main focus and challenges that all the educational systems have to cope with, as we can see from many international benchmarking surveys, like OECD_PISA. In Italy the school system is challenged by another reason. After the year 2000 all the Italian schools became autonomous and a new decentralised system took off. As a consequence of these important changes, all the Italian schools have, by law, at the same time the duty to perform “action-research” activities and finally to document, capitalize and organise the new information and knowledge produced. Teachers and/or SL&D, according to GOLD, are therefore encouraged (with money for any of the best practice awarded and with local training courses) to select the most significant experiences of their school and then, by following National Guidelines produced by INDIRE-IRRE system, http://gold.bdp.it/nazionale/documentare/Linee_guida/linee1.htm to produce primary and secondary documents both for their own SLRC and for the national on line catalogue, that is GOLD. By FTP, the educational electronic documentation moves from the local SRLC administrated by the SL&D to the regional database administrated by the 20 IRRE, to the national database administrated by the INDIRE. GOLD therefore became the most important Italian on line catalogue for educational grey materials, a database where it is possible to find out both educational processes and learning objects. Among many different important aspects it must be called upon the attention over the fact that for secondary documentation GOLD makes use of one of most important European Educational Thesaurus, the European Treasury Brower http://www.eun.org/eun.org2/eun/en/Celebrate_LearningObjects/entry_page.cfm?id_area=14 a which is useful pathway for possible future developments toward a European educational data base.

3. The Project WINIRIDE http://www.winiride.it/ is dedicated to process of cooperative cataloguing among Italian SLRCs. This project started in the last decade of the last century. Thanks to the cooperation of INDIRE, the Ministry of Education and the 20 IRRE during the last few years, free software, called WINIRIDE (which is a development for schools of the UNESCO WIN-ISIS) has been offered to all the 10,700 Italian schools. The peculiarity of this software is that it is specifically suited for a SLRC, because it pays a lot of attention to semantic aspects of cataloguing and extremely useful for inexpert users like students. Not only CDD, but also abstracts, different possibilities to link multimedia information, different international, national and local thesauri (EET, http://www.eurydice.org/TeeForm/FrameSet_EN.htm LGI etc.) are included. To promote the use of this software and in order to learn how to use and to exploit its educational potentials, many IRRE organised training courses for SL&D. Some of them (see IRRE Piemonte http://www.winiride.it/piemonte/ ) at the end the courses gave birth to a regional SLRC OPAC. One of the most important aspects of these IRRE courses is the focus on the necessity – due to the great explosion of OPACs and the Internet. – for a SLRC to develop its own specific identity, in a dialectic of distinction/cooperation with other types of libraries. According to this assumption, the mission of SLRC is not simply that of guaranteeing access to information for everyone, that of “in-forming”, like other kind of libraries have to do. It is instead to give birth to an educational laboratory, to recognize that its own mission is strictly dependent on the mission of the school. As far as students are concerned its function is therefore that of “trans-forming” the learner into an expert user and as far as teachers are concerned its function is that of “trans-forming” the information produced by their professional activities into real resources through knowledge management policies.

4. The Corso di Perfezionamento “Formazione del docente documentalista scolastico” (a Specialization course for SL&D run by the University of Padova http://www.unipd.it/corsi_perfezionamento/scheda/676.htm) is surely one of the most important initiative developed in Italy during the last years. Many Italian teachers, from primary to upper secondary schools, went to Padova and took part in annual courses. Some of them are also e-learning and/or blended courses. It must be remembered that, connected with these courses, one of the most important initiatives organised by the University of Padova in 2003 was the first international meeting for Italian SL&D’s about the issue of the Educational Research in SLRC and different approaches to Information Literacy.

January 14, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Italy | Leave a comment

Education for school librarians in the Netherlands

By Lourense Das
Meles Meles SMD

In 1975, for the first time in the history of library education, a special one-year post-graduate training course at BA-level started in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Soon, there were more colleges who offered this course but there were never many students. As it was very difficult to find a position in a school library and also because of new ideas on library education in general, this course was stopped halfway the nineteen-eighties.

Since then there is no fulltime training programme for school librarians available. In 1996 the LWSVO (Dutch association for school librarians) (since 2004 LWSVO-NVB) managed to develop a short continuing education course (6 full days) at the university of Amsterdam. The development of this course was very important for the profession in general as many employees working in school libraries were not trained as school librarians. A few hundred students attended this course over a period of two years. It was followed by a refresher course (one day) in 1998. In that same period a lot of commercial organizations started to develop training programmes; the quality of these courses was difficult to establish and the LWSVO was desperately searching for new possibilities.

One of them was the participation in a working group of ECABO. ECABO is the certified organization in the Netherlands for the development of vocational training programs. This working group worked on a special training course for assistant librarians. The students were supposed to be educated for jobs in a broad range of libraries : public libraries, corporate libraries, scientific libraries and special libraries, including school libraries.

Another project was the development of two new training post-graduate programmes (both 6 days) at the university of Amsterdam. One is called ‘Media-educatie en didactiek’ (Information literacy and pedagogy) and the other one ‘Leiding geven in de mediatheek’ (Management of the school library). Both courses are still running, with very good assessment results.

In cooperation with VOBID a special two-day course was developed for school librarians called ‘Zoeken in digitale bestanden’ (Information retrieval in the digital world). This course was also quite successful.

The latest project is the development of a post-graduate course at the Open University for teachers and school librarians on information literacy. This training programme is still ‘under construction’ and is expected to start later this year.

A big problem was (and still is) that the courses mentioned above and also other courses that were developed are not accredited by the government. Also the courses are quite expensive and often school administrators do not want to invest in the professional development of the school librarian. So there is still a lot of work to do!


An overview of training courses for librarians can be found on the website of NVB (The Netherlands Association for Library, Information and Knowledge Professionals): http://www.nvbonline.nl/content.php?hoofdid=229&id=1661

More information on the courses initiated by LWSVO-NVB: http://www.nvbonline.nl/content.php?hoofdid=273&id=1490

January 14, 2007 Posted by | 2. Issue 42, 3. Theme:42: SL-education, Nederland | 3 Comments


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