“It is in the DNA” – Assessment 2 – Part B

Whats on the shelves?


School libraries (SL) are more than books on shelves.  To a fledgling teacher librarian (TL), libraries often imagine warehouses, where books awaits death and then reincarnation at Lifeline.   The reality is different; collections are not inert. SL are dynamic; they constantly evolve to suit the needs of their community.  

Framework = DNA

What makes a SL so dynamic?  Well, like any organism, it’s all in the DNA, or for SL, it’s in the Collection Development and Management Policy (CDMP).  The CDMP is the DNA of a SL and contains strategic data for growth in today’s splurge and is flexibliity in tomorrow’s freeze.  If the DNA of a SL is without clear direction and missing data, then its ability to thrive, or even survive is in jeopardy. Consequently, TL need to be aware of the duality of a CDMP that prepares the collection for today’s needs, and tomorrow’s growth.

Not faint hearted

A school CMDP exists primarily to address the curriculum, the teaching and learning needs of its community as well as provide well-being (IFLA, 2015; ASLA & VCTL, 2018).  Therefore, the policy needs to clearly reflect those needs when framing the purpose, selection principles, acquisition and censorship procedures. Along with other maintenance endeavours such as deselection and collection evaluation; all whilst staying within budget, bolstering literacy and well-being.  It is not a small task and definitely not for the faint hearted. But then TL are not faint hearted (Templeton, 2019a).

The development and management of a collection involves many facets.

Print or Digital?
  1. Understanding the information evolution and its implications on education and wider society is crucial.  TL need to be aware that previous resource acquisition has evolved now into information facilitation paradigm (Kelly, 2015). With publishers rapidly changing their delivery from print to digital formats (Templeton, 2019b), the repercussions on formats and licencing are momentous.
  2. Online Subscriptions – Cheaper? or Not?
  3. Being able to select resources using criteria to ensure the collection is balanced and addresses the needs of the community. (Templeton, 2019a)
  4. Knowledge of how resources may be packaged for cost efficiency, and evaluating that against the value of each of those titles is a challenging task (Templeton, 2019c; Templeton, 2019d.  (Module 2 – Online Access) (Module 2 – Bundling together)  
  5. Being able to manage collections thriftily is necessary when SL budgets are constantly squeezed (Softlink, 2018; Templeton, 2019e). 
    Shrinking Budgets


  6. Information literacy is an essential aspect of future focused learners (MCEETYA, 2008). The CDMP policy needs to make provision for information literacy to ensure that students have the skills to access and utilise the collection.  The inclusion of literacy programs only further strengthens a SL position within a school (Templeton, 2019l; Templeton, 2019f).  .  
  7. Awareness of censorship and its role in SL (Templeton, 2019g).

    Challenging the censors
  8. Linking budget to student population is an effective manner to secure funds that suit the growth/decline of the school community (IFLA, 2015, p.6) versus being dependent on yearly fixed sums.

Besides building a collection, a CDMP contains procedures that maintains its value and  its ability to service the needs of their community.  

  1. Measuring outputs and outcomes are useful in analysing the effectiveness and efficacy of a collection (Templeton, 2019h).
    1. Being able to link the collection value to qualitative and quantitative data validates the collection and program (Templeton, 2019i). A recent study by Sutton et al., (2017) show that altmetrics are useful in the evaluation of collections. Power (2019) suggests that both qualitative and quantitative methods are used.
    2. Linking educational outcomes to collections as evidence for continuing financial support for resources, especially digital subscriptions, is judicial.  Journal subscriptions are very expensive and a TL would need to prove value if there is insufficient evidence to indicate positive outcomes (Jubb et al., 2017). Journal databases, like many other electronic resources, may be economical up front, but often require long term subscription.

 Technology is rapidly changing and consequently now, the same information is available in multiple formats.  TL need to be aware of this paradigm when committing to subscription resources as it is more than just a commitment for the current cohort of students (Anderson, 2008).  It is a financial commitment for future generations.

A strong CDMP ensures that a library collection addresses the needs of their community, and the rewards are high resource outputs and user outcomes.  What TLs all over the world do not want are libraries with numerous books that are not utilised or under utilised. Tsundoku is the affliction of purchasing resources that no one uses (Templeton, 2019j).    

An unused collection is an ineffective collection.  It is very hard to justify a collection that has failed to prove their value their community.  It is even harder to justify the presence of TL with a collection that is not relevant.



Anderson, R. (2008). Future proofing the library; Strategies for acquisitions, cataloguing and collection development. The Serials Librarian. 55 (4). doi:10.1080/03615260802399908

ASLA & VCTL (2018). A manual for developing policies and procedures in Australian school library resources centres 2nd Edition.  ALIA. Retrieved from https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/policies-procedures-manual_ed2.pdf

IFLA (2015). School library guidelines.  Retrieved from https://www.ifla.org/files/assets/school-libraries-resource-centers/publications/ifla-school-library-guidelines.pdf

Jantti, M., and Cox, B. (2013). Measuring the value of library resources and student academic performance through relational datasets. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. 8 (2), 163-171. {Conference Paper}

Jubb, M., Rowlands, I., and Nicholas, D. (2013). Values of libraries: Relationships between provisions, usage, and research outcomes.  Evidence Based Library and Informative Practice. 8(2), 139-152 {Conference Paper}

Kelly, M. (2015). Collection development policies in public libraries in Australia: A qualitative content analysis. Public Library Quarterly. 34, 44-62

MCEETYA (2008) Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Curriculum Corporation. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf

Power, K (2019) Forum 5.1 – Methods of Collection Analysis. ETL503 Discussion Forum. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147540_1&message_id=_2304873_1

Softlink (2018) Australia and New Zealand school library survey. Retrieved from https://www.softlinkint.com/downloads/2018_Softlink_Australian_and_New_Zealand_School_Library_Survey_Report.pdf

Sutton, S., Miles, R., and Konkiel, S., (2017) Is what’s “Trending” whats worth purchasing? Insights from a national study of collection development librarians. The Serials Librarian. Vol 72 (1-4) pp.134-143. DOI 10.1080/0361526X.2017.1297593

Templeton, T. (2019a) Benign or Malignant. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/24/benign-or-malignant-how-do-you-diagnose/

Templeton, T. (2019b) Shatzins files – publishers to perish. Forum 1.1.  ETL 503 Discussion Forums. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147529_1&message_id=_2152285_1

Templeton, T. (2019c) Online access. Forum 2.3.  ETL 503 Discussion Forums. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147533_1&message_id=_2185290_1

Templeton, T. (2019d) Bundling resources. Forum 2.3.  ETL 503 Discussion Forums. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147533_1&message_id=_2185169_1

Templeton, T. (2019e) Module 3 – Managing collections thriftily. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/04/20/managing-collections-thriftily/

Templeton, T. (2019f) Module 5.3a– Information literacy. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/05/21/module-5-3a-information-literacy/

Templeton, T. (2019g) Modules 2 & 6 0 13 reasons why – censorship and selection. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/12/13-reasons-why-censorship-and-selection/

Templeton, T. (2019h) Forum 3.1.  ETL 503 Discussion Forums. CSU. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_42383_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_78886_1&forum_id=_147536_1&message_id=_2249448_1

Templeton, T. (2019i) Module 5.1 – Evaluating the collection.- Keeping it real. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/04/29/evaluating-the-collection-keeping-it-real/

Templeton, T. (2019j) Module 1 – Library collections. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/11/library-collections/

Templeton, T. (2019k) Module 1 – Curriculum + information + access = Superhero. Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/13/curriculum-information-access-superhero/

Templeton, T. (2019l) Reluctant readers – would fact be better than fiction? Trish’s trek into bookspace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2019/03/11/reluctant-readers-would-facts-be-better-than-fiction/


‘NATIONAL SORRY DAY’ – Annotated bibliography






Appropriate for students in

Mainly STAGE 4 & some STAGE 5

Appropriate for History, English, Drama, Visual Art, RE and Mathematics subject areas.

Appropriate for students who identify as Indigenous people across Stages 4 & 5.  


Citation 1 Various Authors (2011) Yarning strong guided reading series. Oxford University Press, Australia.



Mixed formats print/audio/images.  

Copyrighted for person and educational use but not for distribution.


Description This is a set of novels, graphic novels, anthologies and a teacher kit that covers issues such as identity, family, law and country.  The anthologies include poems, images as well as a teaching kit.
SC 1A 1B 1C 2A 2B 3A 3C 4A 4D
SA Booktopia


Recreational reading     TR Std 2.4 OI – 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

The box set is aimed at Indigenous students as they would identify with the storylines and characters and thus be more likely to engage with it.  The language is colloquial and could be considered a Hi-Lo series for older readers. Since many Indigenous teens have lower literacy than their non Indigenous peers, it is important to have books that cater to their ability and interest (AIHW, 2017)

The resources allows for development of a subtle and covert knowledge and understanding of indigenous peoples.  Authenticity and perspective has been maintained as all stories have been compiled by Indigenous authors and anthologies led by tribal elders.


Citation 2 Pascoe, B., (2018) Little Red Yellow Black Book. 4th Edition. Aboriginal Studies Press. Australia
Format /Licensing Book = owned and with copyright attached.
Description This book has been written from an Indigenous perspective and thus assists with encouraging appreciation and reconciliation between both non Indigenous and Indigenous Australians.  It makes strong connections to the concept of Country and culture. The stories within, cover a range of socio-political issues and this edition also will challenge stereotypes and educate the reader as to the contributions made by ATSI peoples in past and present times.
SC 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2c, 3a, 3b, 4a,
SA Better Reading blog
Evaluation and use TR and/or RECREATIONAL reading   TS: 1.4 & 2.4

OI: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9

This book is excellent at initiating educators to Indigenous culture and histories especially those who have had limited exposure to Australian and Indigenous culture such as overseas born staff and students. There is an accompanying website listed in the book with additional materials. It is aimed at adults as a teaching resource, but can be read recreationally by both staff and senior students.


Citation 3 Manning, N., (1994) Close to the bone. Currency press. Australia
Format/licencing Class set currently in collection. No production permissions purchased.
Description This play is about the forced removal of a young Aboriginal child from her family and the reawakening of her Indigenous identity twenty years later.  An excellent story about the importance of identity and kinship ties.
SC 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 4a,
SA Part of current collection
Evaluation and use Stage 4 – Drama – (ACADRR046); English –  (ACELT1806) (ACELT1806) (ACELT1806)

Stage 5 – Drama – (ACADRR053); English – (ACELT1772) (ACELT1636)


OI: 2, 5, 8

This play, whilst dated, can be used as a culmination for National Sorry Day or similar units of work. The themes may be distressing for younger students, so class discussion is essential.  The play uses common language that resonates with the reader. It can be analysed from an Australian perspective and it can be performed to a groups as informative drama or as a dramatic reading. Good for kinesthetic learners.


Citation 4 ABC Education (2018) National Sorry Day. Retrieved from http://education.abc.net.au/home#!/digibook/618742/national-sorry-day
Format/ licencing Digibook – chapters and videos

Downloading/editing/embedding with citation permitted

Description This eBook is embedded with videos showcasing interviews with various stakeholders detailing the political and social events that eventuated at the Rudd Apology in 2008 and the ongoing process of Reconciliation.
SC 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4b,
SA Scootle – TLF-IDM019082
Evaluation and use Stage 5 History – ACHMH072 and (ACDSEH106)

And. (ACDSEH023) (ACDSEH104)  (ACDSEH134) (ACDSEH149)

OI: 2, 4, 5, 6,7,8,9

This resource is heavy in learning outcomes, capabilities and ATSI CPP.  The multimodality will support teaching and learning in discrete lessons and as part of NAIDOC week and National Sorry Day.  

The resources are appropriate for a school setting and are of mixed literacy ability and an inclusive school.    The main downside of this digi-book is that it does not belong to the school and there is no guarantee of its continuance.


Citation 5 AHRC (1997) Bringing them home report. Retrieved from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/pdf/social_justice/bringing_them_home_report.pdf
Format/Licencing Digital PDF – CC 4.0 International.
Description This report offers insight to the scant schooling, systemic abuse and trauma that affected several generations of Aboriginals, and offers understanding to the current gap in education and health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.  There are very confronting stories of physical and sexual abuse within. It also elucidates the loss of culture, tradition and language.
SC 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b
SA Reconciliation Australia
Evaluation and use Stage 5 – History – (ACHMH072) (ACHASSK013)


OI: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

This report has a narrow use in a school setting. It is NOT to be disseminated to the students but rather excerpts used in specific teaching and learning practices.  Teacher discretion required. For example, to provide ‘voices’ for a yarning circle as a classroom exercise which would highlight the importance of oral traditions for Indigenous peoples and thus in turn, the significance of mother tongue.  Or as stimulus for class discussion and debating targeting CCP and CCT.


Citation 6 Behind the news (2018) 10th Anniversary of Stolen Generation Apology – 13/02/2018. ABC ME. Retrieved from https://online.clickview.com.au/exchange/videos/6054563/10th-anniversary-of-stolen-generation-apology-13-02-2018
Format/ Licencing Interactive Video. Licence permits sharing and embedding.
Description This short video is an excellent introduction to the CCP and is accompanied by a worksheet that can be done individually or in collaborative groups.
SC 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a.
SA Clickview
Evaluation and use Stage 5 – History –  (ACDSEH020)

As this video is short it can easily be used to introduce this topic to elicit discussion.  The video is aimed at upper primary, and its interactive aspect has low level Bloom’s questioning so can be used as an activity for students with learning needs.  The theme of reconciliation would be useful in an RE context too.






Citation 7 Screen Australia (N.D) Australian History Timeline.  Retrieved from http://www.aushistorytimeline.com/
Format/licencing Interactive website. Can be used but not amended.  
Description This interactive graph gives snapshots of information of Australian history major events such as the Mabo decision and the Apology.  It is easy to use, multi user ability and has good graphics.
SC 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b.
SA Scootle TLF ID M012862
Evaluation and use Stage 4 & 5 History



OI: 1,6,9

This website is strong on digital literacy due to the depth and layers present.  The embedding of videos, images and hyperlinks work seamlessly to inform the view of events significant to Indigenous and non-Indigenous history.  This tool would be great to use across the History KLA but also for the ATSI CCP in identifying key dates. Additionally, data can be searched for by date, event and decade. Whilst the language used is stage appropriate, digitally illiterate students will need guidance due to the multi-layering of information.  




Citation 8
Format Interactive video
Description This movie is about three girls, removed from their family in WA based on legislative assimilative policy and sent to a mission to train as domestic workers, from which they escaped and followed the infamous fence home.
SC 1a, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b,
SA Clickview
Evaluation and use Stage 5 – History  (ACHMH072) (ACDSEH106) (ACDSEH104)  (ACDSEH143)

Stage 4 – English  (ACELA1541) (ACELT1619)  (ACELT1806)


OI: 2, 5, 6, 8, 9

This interactive movie is rated for 13+ and whilst appropriate for Stage 4 students, it can be used in both History as a social viewpoint or in English (without interactive) from a technical language perspective. The video, with embedded questions would be a great choice for homework and the resulting critical and analytical collaborative discussion held in class.  The book is also in the collection already.


Citation 9 ABS (2018) Estimates of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Retrieved from  https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/3238.0.55.001Main%20Features1June%202016?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=3238.0.55.001&issue=June%202016&num=&view=
Format Interactive website/  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Description This summary commentary summarises the ATSI statistics for Australia on population, population growth, age structure, state and region prevalence as well as additional documents about birth and death rates.  As this resource is free, the narrowness of its applicability is accepted.
SC 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b 2c, 3a, 3b, 4b.
SA Mathematics HOD suggestion
Evaluation and use Stage 4 – Mathematics –  (ACMSP169)  (ACMSP171)  (ACMSP172) (ACMSP284)

Stage 4- Geography –  (ACHGS048)  (ACHGS051)  (ACHGS052)

Stage 5 – Mathematics – (ACMSP227)  (ACMSP283) (ACMSP253)

GC: Numeracy, CCT, ICT.  OI: 1, 6,

This document and accompanying materials are ideal for statistical analysis activities.    The students could analyse the raw data and account for variances as well as question the disparity.  The resource would also supplement HASS/Geography as it would provide evidence for discussion/analysis.  

Stage 4 will need scaffolding which licencing permits, whereas Stage 5 could criticise and evaluate the raw data.  It would also provide good material for test papers or as an extension supplement for advanced students in all KLAs.  Bloom’s Taxonomy of Questioning can be used in its varying formats with this resource.

An example would be the age structure breakdown analysis –

Indigenous lifespan graph has no bell curve graphically – Identify reasons why and justify with evidence.


Citation 10 Songlines – Tracking the Seven Sisters Exhibit. (2018). Canberra: National Museum of Australia.
Format Touring exhibition by the NMA
Description This is an excursion/incursion which will lead attendees on a journey through the Dreaming stories via art, multimedia and integrated displays.  
SC 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2c, 3a, 4a, 4b.
SA Teacher referral
Evaluation and use Stage 5 – Science  (ACSSU188)

Stage 4 Arts – Visual art ACAVAM125 ACAVAR131

Stage 4 – RE – World religions

Stage 4 – English ACELA1552

GC – Literacy, CCT, PSC, ICU.  OI 1,2,3,4, 5, 7, 8, ,9

The exhibit will be exemplify the importance of Country, kinship and oral traditions to attendees and thus the ramification of the stolen generation had on communities then and now.   It will challenge both students and teachers in their perceptions of the ancient culture. The oral traditions during the exhibit use powerful imagery and evocative language to complement the paintings and thus force the viewer to engage deeply with the subject matter.   

Educators can use this multidisciplinary exhibit as stimulus, a unit of work itself or culmination for a unit of work.  The supporting text resource will provide background to the exhibit and guide the educator in understanding the imagery present within the artefacts.   Whilst this excursion is expensive, the multidisciplinary nature and CCP coverage makes it valuable.


Module 5.1 – Evaluating the collection – Keeping it real!

Library collection evaluation is essential to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of its community.  Johnson (2014) suggests that evaluation measures the utility and effectiveness of the resources within the library.  This means that the data collated assists ensuring the value of the collection is maintained as well as assisting in collection developmental decision making in order to future proof the collection.  The evaluation assesses that the collection remains balanced and inclusive; meets the needs of the students; reflects changes in technology and that it continues to be of value to learners (Nat. Lib of NZ, n.d.).   TLs use the results of the evaluation to determine which shortfalls need to be remedied. These remedies could be as simple as increasing the number of resources, to a systematic change in the selection policies in order to adapt to the changing needs of the school (Nat. Lib. of NZ, n.d.).   Irrespective of the remedies suggested, the result is a collection that suits the needs of the community, which is the primary purpose of a library.

One of the reasons that collections require evaluation is that libraries are no longer ‘just in case’ providers of information.  In the past, when public monies were freely given to libraries, many collections held resources ‘just in case’ they were required (Grigg, 2012).  But this trend has changed. The most pressing problem facing libraries is finances with many generally struggling to maintain their funds and resourcing.  Therefore the halcyon days of endless monies are over, and with it, free range purchasing, which means that there needs to be an accountability of what is in the library and how it suits the community it services.  

There are many ways collection evaluation can be accomplished using outputs and outcomes.  Johnson (2014) separates them into user/use based vs collection based and qualitative vs quantitative based.  These methods include usage statistics of resources, formats, age and condition of materials, breadth and depth of resources as well as language style (Johnson, 2014).  Arizona State Library (2015) is similar in its terminology such as collection centred and client centred as well as qualitative and quantitative measures. Ideally, evaluation should be spread between the subsections in order to get a holistic view of the collection.  On the other hand, Grigg (2012) suggests that usage data, overlap analysis, survey instruments, benchmarking, focus groups and a balanced scorecard method are methods of evaluating collections. Both examples cite usage statistics as method of evaluation which indicates that it is an excellent source of evaluative data.

Usage data identify which resources are used most frequently and which are not and are easily collected using the library information management system.  Often described as output measures, this data is essential for digital resources, such as databases and subscription services, which often are very expensive.  Resources that are insufficiently used within a school context need to reassessed as to their value to that community. There is no point holding onto resources that are simply not used sufficiently (Hart, 2003).  

There are hurdles to successfully completing a collection evaluation.  The primary one is time. This is a process that requires a significant amount of time.  Unfortunately, the second most common thing teacher librarians complain about is lack of time.  Timing becomes more of an issue when specialist collections need to be evaluated, as subject specific teachers are often required to collaborate on the usefulness of the collection.  Ways to speed up the evaluation process include; ensuring that the collection is mapped to the curriculum; surveying the staff and students to determine needs and wants; and lastly; relevant reports are generated from the management system to gauge usage (Nat Lib. NZ, n.d.).  All of these parameters provide a TL with what resources are required by the community of learners and thus anything additional is superfluous. These processes, whilst time consuming and require a strong commitment by staff, have significant benefits. These benefits include ensuring that the collection continues to meet the needs of the community and future proofing the collection.  Additionally, one could argue that failing to allocate time and resourcing to regularly evaluate the collection could result in its value diminishing. All staff and students, as stakeholders, are affected if the collection loses its value, reliability, currency and appeal.

A method employed by many TLs in evaluating their collection, is to complete sections in short bursts.  National Library of NZ (n.d.) suggests that collection analysis is priortised when a new unit of work is created and or commenced.  Completing an assessment of the collection at this time ensures that the resources are judiciously buttressing the learning outcomes of the unit.  This evaluation can assist in the creation of Lib guides for teachers to help with their teaching and learning activities and to promote the value of the collection to the community.   In short, collection evaluation is a necessary part of library resource management and needs to be an ongoing process with a framework and fixed goals. Without regular assessment, there will be little evidence to ensure that the resources match the curriculum and needs of the community.  



Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. (2015). Collection Assessment & Mapping. Retrieved from https://www.azlibrary.gov/libdev/continuing-education/cdt/collection-assessment-mapping

Grigg, K. (2012). Assessment and evaluation of e-book collections. In R. Kaplan (Ed.), Building and managing e-book collections (pp. 127-137). Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/detail.action?docID=1158439

Hart, A. (2003). Collection analysis: powerful ways to collect, analyze, and present your data. In C. Andronik (Ed.), School Library Management (5th ed., pp. 88-91) Worthington, Ohio: Linworth (on e-reserve)

Johnson, P. (2014). Fundamentals of collection development and management [American Library Association version]. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/reader.action?docID=1711419&ppg=312

Lamb, A. & Johnson, L. (2014). Library media program: collection mapping. The school library media specialist. Retrieved from http://eduscapes.com/sms/program/mapping.html

National Library of NZ (n.d.) Assessing your school library collection. Retrieved from https://natlib.govt.nz/schools/school-libraries/collections-and-resources/assessing-your-school-library-collection?search%5Bpath%5D=items&search%5Btext%5D=assessing+your+school+library+collection


Module 3.1 – Outcomes vs Outputs


Budgetary concerns plague most libraries.  Nearly two thirds of school libraries are funded inadequately and teacher librarians are often forced to decide between resources as to their value to the collection and the community (Softlink, 2017).  With monies being so tightly constrained, resources, especially expensive digital resources need to prove their value to school in order to retain their subscriptions. Teacher librarians can use a variety of indicators to illustrate the value of their collection and output measures are frequently used to determine the value of a resource and service.  

Matthews (2015) defines output measures as the “degree to which a library’s resources and services are being utilised… the more the resources and services are being used the better” (p.211).  Borrowing rates, subscription rates, database statistics are all measurements of how often a resource and service is borrowed and or utilised. An under-used resource is not achieving its highest potential and thus other services should be prioritised instead of it.  Whilst easily quantifiable, these statistics point out how frequently a resource and service is accessed. It does not highlight though if the information in the resource was used and converted into knowledge. It also does not highlight if the resource had a positive affect. A great example of resources that have low rates but high affect would be print magazines.  At my school library we have a print subscription to a few magazines that we send to the teachers lounge, once they are no longer required in the library. These magazines, according to the data, are never loaned before they are moved on, but the positive affect they have in the staff lounge is immense. We rarely find those magazines in their entirety. Quite often there will be recipes and or idea pages snipped out of them.  They then migrate to the art room where they end up as collage material for students. The output data would say that these magazines have little value to the school community but the truth is very different.

Matthews (2015) points out that outcome measures are more significant and should have a higher value as they indicate how the user’s life was changed as a result of the resource and or service.  The value lies in that the focus is the user/customer and not the resource itself. Outcomes include attitudes, values, inspiration, knowledge, understanding as well as enjoyment and creativity. Some long term outcomes are difficult to measure and categorise as they often happen years after the student has graduated.  An example of short term outcome measurement are assessments that evaluate a user’s knowledge and skills. Whereas a long term outcome measurement could be a person’s social status, lifestyle and income. Both examples show how the measurements are transient from learning to a social and economic change. In other words, outcomes are placed on a continuum and whilst harder to measure, have a greater value in their result.  

Matthews, J., (2015) Assessing outcomes and value: it’s all a matter of perspective.  Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 16 Issue: 3, pp.211-233, https://doi.org/10.1108/ PMM-10-2015-0034 Permanent link to this

Softlink. (2017). 2017 Australian and New Zealand school library survey. Retrieved from https://www.softlinkint.com/downloads/2017_Softlink_Australian_and_New_Zealand_School_Library_Survey_Report.pdf

Module 2.3 – Bundled together

stevepb / Pixabay


Bundling is a marketing concept where complementary goods and or services are collated and marketed at a sale price that seemingly appears to be lower than the collective price of the individual prices (businessdirectory.com). For libraries, bundling seems to proliferate among the educational sector as a system of obtaining a range of resources (either print or online) to booster up the collection of the library (som.yale.edu).  For a regular fee, retailers or providers, provide a range of resources that would appeal to a majority for a ‘reduced’ cost. In theory, bundling can be cost effective as the prices are lower due to the group discount and there usually is a range of sources. In reality there are a host of possible problems that can affect the quality and breadth of a library collection.

 As a high school library servicing students from years 7-12 we have access to databases to ensure our students are able tor research.  Like many other colleges and universities around the world, we have subscribed to a ‘BIG DEAL’ journal package. Machovec (2014) surmises that the advent of the internet and movement of journals from print to digital has lead publishers to creating “packages either in subject collections or as complete sets”.  To put it bluntly, its a ‘one size fits all’ that has a fixed fee and the lure that one can easily forecast into future budgets with its often temporary price-cap time period (Frazier 2001). Carson and Pope (2009) point out that licencing thus pricing is a major issue as should a library decide against a subscription or part of a subscription, it could lead to complete lack of access to both “previously subscribed or future content” (Carson & Pope, 2009).  This can have ramifications as libraries will be unable to provide the much needed access that is required by Freedom of Information Act 1982 (OIAC, n.d.).

 The other issue with online journal bundling is that often essential or important journals are aligned with weaker and irrelevant titles and the library is unable to disentangle and separate the wheat from the chaff.  The follow on from this ‘equality’ among journals is that lower quality ones continue to thrive as their sales targets are being met. Additionally, the seemingly successful low quality journal continues to thrive and newer, more astute publications often struggle to compete with them as they are not affordable once the libraries pay out their fee for a Big Deal package.  Market control much? Libraries and librarians are unable to supply their local community with materials that are relevant to them. (Machovec, 2014)

 With print books ie from Lamont books or Australian standing orders, books are preselected by the retailer and then sent to the schools for their perusal.  In our school, we have Standing orders and Lamont sends over books intermittently for our perusal. What we have noticed is that all the books sent over are rarely read by our student population.  Granted that there would be a few books that appeal to the demographics at our school but the majority just move to the shelves and become attractive dust catchers for the rest of their life till Marie Kondo appears.  We have also noticed that controversial books and challenging books are not always in the order and we often have to go and order them separately from booktopia.com.au or bookdepository.com to add balance. This why bundling of library resources does not always work as the only source of material for a collection.

 As a school library, we are mandated by ALIA’s tenants that our collection suits our students and staff.  Breeding (2019) points out that library staff “should be able to evaluate and acquire preferred products in each category and not be locked into a bundle”. We know what our students want and need, it feels that our collection should be based upon the ‘wants and needs’ of our community.  It appears that bundling, whilst a cheaper option up front, may not be necessarily the best.


Business.dictionary.com (N.D) Bundling. Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/bundling.html

ALIA (2016) Guidelines, standards and outcome measures for Australian public libraries. Retrieved from https://read.alia.org.au/sites/default/files/documents/guidelines_standards_and_outcome_measures_for_australian_public_libraries.pdf

Breeding, M., (2019). Discovery Services. American Libraries. Jan/Feb2019, 50 (1/2), p71. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=8&sid=dc4a076e-7901-44ba-aceb-c3fe854d74bd%40pdc-v-sessmgr05

Frazier, K. (2001). The librarians’ dilemma: Contemplating the costs of the ‘big deal’. D-Lib magazine, 7(3), 1–9. doi: 10.1300/J123v48n01_06

Machove. G., (2014) Consortial and the future of the big deal journal packages. Journal of Library Administration. Oct2014, 54 (7), p629-636. DOI: 10.1080/01930826.2014.96403.

OIAC (N.D) Freedom of Information Act 1982.  Retrieved from https://www.oaic.gov.au/freedom-of-information/rights-and-responsibilities

Module 2 – online access

geralt / Pixabay


Owned resources belong to the library.  Positives include that bar accidental mishap, the library will always have access to the resource.  It can be borrowed multiple times, though often not by multiple users. The cost is usually upfront and no further money is required to maintain access to it. Unfortunately, the resources also becomes outdated from the moment of publication.  Obviously for fiction and some aspects of non-fiction this is not too much of a dilemma but for cutting edge non fiction such as nanotechnology, science, engineering and law as well as journal articles, access to new information is important.

Content via online access has its benefits through universal access, multiformat capability and presence of new material.  The challenges it presents though, can be quite critical for libraries. Tillack (2014) says that “libraries have transformed from owners to renters of increasingly larger and larger proportions of their collections”.  The summary of this, is that the budget previously kept for the acquisition of resources is now allocated to their rental. But it is not a lifetime rental. Most licences do not confirm indefinite access to materials for indefinite periods of time and this means that access to these materials can be easily cut off or priced out of most library budgets.  It is obvious to me that online access benefits the publisher and retailer more than the consumer.

The presence of online access to resources is a major budgetary concern to most libraries.  By committing to the cost of online journals or eBooks via Wheelers, the library is not only proportioning money this year BUT every year.  With budgets constantly under pressure from school boards and department authorities, is it wise to commit a large chunk of funds to a resource that you have not guarantee to?

Tillack, T., (2014) Pressures, opportunities and costs facing research library acquisitions budgets: an Australian perspective. The Australian Law Journal. 63 (3) p206-219 .  DOI: 10.1080/00049670.2014.915498.

Module 1 – Publishers to Perish!

rawpixel / Pixabay


The lure of a bookstore is a siren call to many including myself.  Shelves filled with stories and adventures beckoning you forward with teasing front covers and titles.  Brightly coloured displays featuring best sellers line the walls to show the world what is popular and what is not. They beguile and tempt readers both adult and child. 

Today bookstores are shrinking.  Both in quantity of stores and in the quantity of products on the shelves.  The advent of Amazon and its incestuous relationship with Google, Facebook and Apple have forever changed the way readers pick up a book.  Gone are the days of browsing shelves to discover new authors and titles as Shatzkin (2016) points out. Instead the modern citizen tends to use social media ie Facebook, search engines ie Google and online merchandising as reference points.  Compared to previous times where book reviewers, book store buyers and collection developers were the ones that promoted books to the public (Shatzkin, 2016).

 The advent of ebooks and audio books (text to hear) have also had their impact on the bookstore.  The vicious cycle of purchases online only leads to lower sales in bookstores and then the inevitable reduction of shelf space and then the buyer heads online to find their elusive title.  With reduced shelf space Shatzkin (2013) points out that publishes lose out on the ability to market to their readers. The death noll is tolling for many publishing houses across the world as its more efficient for authors to self publish and market their own books than wade through publishing house red tape (Shatzkin 2013).

But what does this change mean?  To put it bluntly, the evidence is pointing to a grim future for the humble book.  Amazon currently has over half the sales of books whether they be online or physical as Esposito (2014) points out.  This is only going to get larger with the steady increase in ebook sales. Such a monopoly on an industry is ominous.  With their strength, one could predict Amazon placing pressure on publishers to print books that they deem ‘viable’. Smaller publishing houses will struggle to ‘muscle’ their way into this industry as the margins are ever shrinking (Shatzkin 2013). Combined with the aforementioned entangled relationship between Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple, the publishing market is being strangled slowly.

 The undertone of this monopoly is evident.  Since the profit margins from ebooks is significantly higher than print editions, Amazon can in actuality force the consumer from physical to electronic resources.  This has wider implications on readers, both recreational and academic. This isn’t just “the death of a bookstore, but the slow succumbing death of the book itself” (College.Candy.com 2011)

 The Shatzkin files paint a dismal picture for the local school library.  The demise of publishing houses will only lead to a few print copies that are unsuitable for ebooks. Libraries, should they still exist, will now be hosting a larger ebook collection compared to print copies. This change in resources means that more effort must be made to equip students with digital literacy in order to engage with suitable material.  Reading digitally or using audiobooks requires more from the reader to be vigilant from distractions and lacks the sensory satisfaction a book can give (Copyright Agency, 2017 and Schaub 2016).




 CollegeCandy.com (2011) The death of the book store. HuffingtonPost  Retrieved from ://www.huffingtonpost.com/college-candy/the-death-of-the-bookstor_b_809104.html

Copyright Agency. (2017, February 28). Most teens prefer print books [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.copyright.com.au/2017/02/teens-prefer-print-books/

Esposito, J., (2014) Who can rival Amazon https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2014/01/22/who-can-rival-amazon/

Schaub, M. (2016). 92% of college students prefer print books to e-books, study finds. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-92-percent-college-students-prefer-paper-over-pixels-20160208-story.html

Shatzkin, M., (2013) An innocent story with dramatic implications. The Shatzkin Files.  Retrieved from https://www.idealog.com/blog/an-innocent-story-with-dramatic-implications/

Shatzkin, M., (2013) An innocent story with dramatic implications. The Shatzkin Files.  Retrieved from https://www.idealog.com/blog/losing-bookstores-is-a-much-bigger-problem-for-publishers-than-it-is-for-readers/

Shatzkin, M. (2016).  Book publishing lives in an environment shaped by larger forces and always has. The Shatzkin Files. Retrieved from http://www.idealog.com/blog/book-publishing-lives-in-an-environment-shaped-by-larger-forces-and-always-has

Shatzkin, M. (2018) Words-to-be-read are losing ground to words-to-be-heard.  The Shatzkin Files. Retrieved from https://www.idealog.com/blog/words-to-be-read-are-losing-ground-to-words-to-be-heard-a-new-stage-of-digital-content-evolution

Module 3 – Managing collections thriftily

Gellinger / Pixabay

Our school library has nearly 100 000 print texts on its shelves.  Unfortunately, even though our library is well stocked, it is underused by our school community.  Resources were acquired based upon the presumption that was what the students and teachers wanted.  Instead the books, databases and audiobooks have languished on shelves and data servers, completely under-utilised.   I have previously mentioned this phenomenon of Tsunkudo. So whilst I am not going to rehash the other post, I will focus this blog post on budget aspect of managing a collection.  SMLS (n.d.) lists three roles a TL must consider when they are managing a budget for resourcing; a collaborator, a steward and a thinker. This blog post will elaborate further on these roles and how it relates to collection development.  

When a teacher librarian is being a collaborator with resourcing, they start with the community they are resourcing for.  Our school is currently suffering from Tsundoku so in an effort to change this we are collaborating with the staff and students to access and source resources that will ‘spark joy’.  The first section we addressed was the Religious Education collection. As a Catholic high school in the MSC tradition, Religious Education is mandatory till year 10 and then most senior students continue to study the subject till year 12 in varied formats.  Therefore it is an essential part of the collection. Unfortunately most of the current range of print books are outdated and unappealing for the student body. In an attempt to alleviate this lethargy for library services, we organised several brochures and sample book packs delivered to the school.  One of our team members organised the RE departmental meeting to view these samples so that orders could be made.  The HOD of RE and the Library managed to thrash out an agreement where the funds would be shared between both departments but the books would reside in the library to ensure equity of access.  As our school is affiliated with the MSC order, we managed to secure some funding from them to access newer editions of Jules Chevalier biographies and other MSC materials.  This additional funding was ample enough to cover the purchase of a two print biographies as well as one in an audiobook for our differentiated learners. Ideally, one print copy would stay as teacher resource for new staff that may need an understanding of the MSC ethos and the other would be in the general collection. This collaboration has allowed us to purchase a greater range of resources and fulfill the needs of our community.

A teacher librarian in a stewardship role is responsible for the management of the library (Cambridge dictionary, n.d.).  As such, they are responsible in ensuring the value of the collection is maintained whilst responding to the needs of their community.  In this role, a TL uses a variety of methods in which to select resources for the collection. They can range from book lists such as Magpies, teacher recommendations, popular best seller lists as well as SCIS, Scootle and other educational blogs.  Acquisitions of resources are naturally dependent on the parameters of the selection policy. An astute TL will be able to identify resources using the policy and add them to the collection.  

Lastly, the teacher librarian needs to adopt the role of a thinker in managing the collection.  Some schools allow for dialogue between the principal and TL about the budget allocation for the year.  Other principals just delegate funds and leave its dispensation to the discretion of the TL. Either way, the TL has to manage the collection in whatever funds are available.  A clever TL is aware of the curriculum and is aware of the teaching practices across the school. This knowledge of curriculum and student learning, when combined with an ability to engage with multiple staff members, maximises the scope of funds available.  In our school, the Dance teacher and the Food Technology teacher were both doing units of work on multicultural practices in Year 8. So my HOD organised sample book packs to be delivered for both teachers to peruse.  The result was that both teachers have combined their funds to obtain a series of books about nations and their cultural practices. This combination of departmental monies has enabled us to address the needs of two departments, increased value to our collection, and all without us having to spend our budget allocation.  My HOD was rather pleased with herself at this point.


Cambridge Dictionary (n.d.) Defintion: Steward. Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/steward

Piemmons, A., (2010) Student Voice, Student Choice: Students as part of the budgeting process.  Georgia Library Media Association. Retrieved from https://glma.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/student-voice-student-choice-students-as-part-of-the-budgeting-process/

School Library Media Specialist (n.d.) Program Administrator: Budget management. Retrieved from http://eduscapes.com/sms/administration/budget.html

Benign or Malignant?  How do you diagnose? – Module 2


Scientist diagnose cancerous cells using a set of predetermined criteria.  As a practicing cytologist for over a decade, I used certain characteristics to determine if a cell was benign or malignant.

Tim Ereneta -with permission by Flickr

Parameters such as presence of a nucleolus and or mitotic figures, nucleus to cell ratio, cytoplasm pigmentation and or irregular arrangement were the most common identifying characteristics of a tumour cell.  If these markers were detected within a cell or among similar cells in a sample, then a report written up and a diagnosis made.

Now as a teacher librarian, I use predetermined criteria to determine which resources to add to the collection.  These predetermined criteria are listed in the collection development policy so I do not have to come up with them, but rather I have to apply them to the books, magazines, ebooks and multimedia that flow into our information centre.

Selection in the school, are professional concepts that guide T/Ls to what resources are appropriate to the school collection that meet the teaching and learning needs of the school community.  Unlike public libraries, school libraries have to also meet curriculum demands. To put it bluntly, in a school context, the needs and requirements of a school community are the driving force for resource selection.  

So whilst I was contemplating this fact, I then thought about what selection criteria I would create.  Whilst I agree with Hughes-Hassell & Mancall (2005) with the criteria present in their diagram, I disagree with the idea of a flow chart, as not every resource will follow all steps and thus even great resources could be excluded.  This is especially true for high school libraries where often specialist information may be required for niche teaching and learning contexts.

The criteria I came upon was loosely based to the criteria in Hughes-Hassell & Mancall (2005) flow chart but I had four general categories with sub sections.  Resources do not have to match all the specific criteria, but must fulfill the major ones of teaching and learning needs; curriculum needs; school requirements and school ethos.  This system will give more flexibility to the TL in creating a school collection that is balanced yet addressing the needs of the community.

Cassia Beck – Used with permission from Flickr

Selection Criteria – My way.

  1.      Teaching and learning needs
    1. Resources are of high quality and appropriate. Have authority, accuracy, validity and currency.
    2. Meets scope of learning needs and styles – including recreational reading
    3. Integrates digital technologies ie multimodal resources in print, media, audio and ebooks that enrich T&L
  2.     Curriculum needs
    1. Provides information about curriculum content
    2. Addresses other curriculum requirements ie cross curricular priorities, capabilities and learning outcomes.
    3. Challenges thinking about past, current and future global issues.
  3.      School needs
    1. Supported by current IT network and library management system
    2. Cost efficient
  4.       Consistent with the values of the school
    1. Consistent with the values of  love, compassion and respect.
    2. Acknowledge diversity of religion, ethnicity and languages. 

I included a subsection on challenging thinking on past, present and future global issues’, because of the framework decided by the MCEETYA (2008) .  The policy desires that “All young Australians (are to) become successful learners, confident and creative individuals (and) active and informed citizens”.  It is a personal belief, but in order for students to become the active and informed citizens that our society needs, they need to be able to critically analyse and evaluate the maelstrom of information that besiege them constantly.  They need to be able to seek and use information critically and ethically.

Maybe we should be structuring our selection criteria based on what we want our learners to be.  Active, engaged citizens who are able to seek and use information as well as think critically and logically,  and who are able to make informed opinions. I wonder how that selection criteria will look

Hughes-Hassell, S., & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection management for youth : Responding to the needs of learners. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

MCEETYA (2008) Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Curriculum Corporation. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf



Modules 2 & 6 -13 reasons why – censorship and selection

Student: “Miss, why don’t we have the book ‘13 reasons why’?”

Me: Err…. well. It was not deemed suitable for this library.  

Student: Why?”

Me: Well it promotes suicide and that goes against the moral and ethical values of the school.

Student:“Thats dumb miss.  Oh well, I will just watch the series on Netflix”.

13 reasons why – a popular series on Netflix and was based upon a book by Jay Asher that highlights the controversial topics of suicide, bullying and consent.  The book was released in 2007 but did not reach widespread usage till the series aired on streaming channel Netflix in 2017 (Goodreads 2017). Suddenly the world exploded into anarchy because the children were reading such content.  Would somebody please Think of the children!

Gomez (2018) found that the popularity of the book and series was precisely because it caused such controversy among communities.  It is understandable that concerned parents and well meaning bureaucrats were worried that this show would promote suicide in a sub section of society already plagued by mental health concerns (youthbeyondblue.com) but the blanket ‘Ban the book’ is not useful.

 Arguably,  the book is contentious and also contains other morally debatable issues such as “drug and alcohol use, sexual content, suicide” and is definitely inappropriate for younger children (Gomez 2018). Many schools in the USA banned the book citing unsuitability for their readers and its promotion of self harm (McMahon 2018).  Granted I would not give my 9 year old this book as she is definitely too young for its content but I feel like just banning a book based upon fear is nonsensical. Personally, I would keep the books like these in a restricted section for our older readers and place it on a ratings continuum that corresponds to age and maturity levels.

Banned books often highlight controversial issues that society fears or tries to hide (McMahon 2018).  The banning of books in itself is very disquieting. Besides the simple fact that it stifles expression of thought and the exploration of ideas, it is simply censorship.  In a world where minorities still rarely get heard, and injustices occur worldwide, the banning of such books just move to hide these issues from the rest of the world. The American Library Association have established an annual event “Banned book week” to celebrate the inherent right for readers to have a choice.  Besides promoting freedom of choice of reading material, this week also promotes the value of access to information to all. It seems foolhardy to restrict access to book choices for older readers if maturity is not in question (bannedbooksweek.org).

So in the spirit of this post, I am going to list 13 books that have been banned and explain why I think they provide value to a collection within a high school library.

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why written by Jay Asher
    Australia has shockingly high statistics about teen mental health.  With suicide the most common outcome for death in the 14-24 age group and supersede car accidents, I think we need to talk about suicide more.  (ABS 2014)
  2. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    A graphic novel about a transgender child.  Well, considering we have a transgender child within our school community, I think this book needs to be included in our school collection.  Part of our library development policy is to ensure we have addressed the needs of our all learning community.  (ALIA 2017)
  3. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini
    This book is amazing.  The senior students do study this book as part of their Senior English course and whilst it does highlight sexual violence, it is exceedingly well written.  It does also comment on that boys can be victims of sexual assault and that just being a spectator does not absolve you from guilt. It definitely plays a role in acknowledging the #metoo movement.
  4. George written by Alex Gino
    Another book that was banned because it included a transgender child. Urgh, such drivel! Transgender children are already at a much higher rate of mental disease and are also more likely to commit suicide compared to the cis-gender counterparts (lgbtihealth.org.au).  Isolation and social exclusion is commonly cited as reasons to this so it seems ludicrous to ban a book because of a character in the book. Transgender children need to feel normal and included across all aspects, even as characters in books.
  5. Sex is a Funny Word written by Cory Silverberg.     Oh wow. Lets stifle all normal dialogue about sex with children and leave it to Playboy and the internet.  I feel frustrated as sex was and always will be a integral aspect of life. Rather than leaving children to gain their information elsewhere, mostly wrong and often inappropriate, this book talks about sex in a fun joyful manner.  Sex is more than just ‘birds and the bees’. It is about consent, boundaries, emotional and physical connections (www.corysilverberg.com).  
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
    A classic story and has been well read and loved across the world as it highlights injustice and inequality before the law.  But get this… This book IS STILL BANNED AT SOME SCHOOLS even in 2017 because it promotes immorality (Bellot 2017). Thankfully here in Australia, this book is often studied in Year 10 as a school text.  Phew!
  7. The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas    Inspired by the movement #blacklivesmatter this book highlights racial prejudice, activism, police brutality and media misrepresentation.    Yes there is swearing, violence, sex and drugs. But its 2019 and most of us know that our young people are already aware of these topics. I think many indigenous students would resonate with this book considering the prejudice many of them face themselves in their dealings with the law.
  8. And Tango Makes Three written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
    Based upon a beautiful story of two male penguins who love each other and raise a chick together from an abandoned egg.  Banned because of its same sex relationship storyline, the censors feared that penguins would rampage their blatant sexuality in our sensitive faces. Can you feel my sarcasm?  Well it is 2019, and even Australia has legalised same sex marriage so this should not even be an issue within our country. Morris (2016) in her article in the SMH pointed out that the iconic children’s TV show Playschool was featuring same sex couple as part of their families segment.  Unfortunately the same TV program aired a similar storyline back in 2004 and was slammed by the then PM John Howard as “foolish” (Morris 2016).  Thankfully times have changed and we as a society are more accepting.
  9. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Another book banned because it highlights gender issues. Enough said.  
  10. Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald                           This book was and still is often challenged because of the sex, alcohol consumption, violence and language content.  Lombardi (2019) points out that the story challenges the fairy tale of ‘the American dream’ where wealth and fame does not always have a positive outcome.  A bit of a slur against a nation that prides itself on capitalism.
  11. Alice in wonderland by Lewis Carrol                                                                                       I struggled to recall what part in this book would lead to censure from various societal groups.  But it appears the book contains references to sexual fantasies which was actually based upon the author’s lifestyle vs actual content in the book.  The story also has animals that talk which has caused subsections of Chinese society to believe that it brings animals up to the level of humans and thus cause great disharmony in the minds of unsuspecting children. Bah! Drivel! The last reason is that the book promotes drug use as a hookah is present in a scene, well it has a talking animal using a hookah (Melendez 2018).  Considering this book is based on literary nonsense, I find these reasons to be just that.. Nonsense.
  12. Harry Potter by J K Rowling.                                    Well, the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom has definitely seen enough challenges to this book series with calls to have it banned and even burned (Peters 2017).  Challenged for its tales of sorcery and witchcraft, it is mostly religious zealots that feel that this book series is an affront to their world. But considering I was one of the early faithful and so far have not yet been burned at the stake nor have had my broom stolen, I think I can dismiss their angst. J K Rowling inspired so many children, teens and adults with her books and HP was the driving force of an entire generation of readers.  A brilliant story of the fight between good and evil, friend and foe, individual and society where it is love that conquered all, has such meaning in our world today (McMahon 2018).
  13. Hunger games by Suzanne collins                                    Violent it is.  This book series is truly terrifying.  Not in the violence it portrays but rather the dystopian society it highlights.  The disparity between the different districts shows symmetry between the haves and have nots in our real world and the way the elite feed off the suffering from the lowest members in society. The point of the ‘hunger game’ is to defeat your opponents at all cost even if they are more vulnerable than you is what I struggle with.  Whilst this series is distasteful on a personal level, it is an important addition to the collection due to the critical thinking and ethical discussion it invokes with critics and readers (McMahon 2018) .


ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 (2014). Underlying causes of death (Australia) Table 1.3. Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3303.0

ALIA (2017) A manual for developing policies and procedures in Australian school library resource centres. 2nd Ed. Retrieved from alia.org.au

Commonsense Media (2015) And Tango makes three. Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/and-tango-makes-three

Bellott, G. (2017) Why are schools still banning To kill a mockinbird still banned in 2017? Shondaland Retrieved from https://www.shondaland.com/inspire/books/a13971188/to-kill-a-mockingbird-banned/

Beyondblue (N.D) Stats and facts. Retrieved from https://www.youthbeyondblue.com/footer/stats-and-facts

http://www.coreysilverberg.com (N.D)  Sex is a funny word. Retrieved from https://www.corysilverberg.com/sex-is-a-funny-word

Goodreads (2017) The hate u give. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32075671-the-hate-u-give

Goodreads (2017) 13 reasons why Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29844228-thirteen-reasons-why

Invaluable (N.D) 15 Banned books and the reasons for their censorship. Retrieved from https://www.invaluable.com/blog/banned-books/

Lombardi, E (2019) Why was the Great Gatsy controversial? Thought co. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/why-was-great-gatsby-controversial-739960

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