Portfolio of Learning -Part B – From theory to practice: Literacies

Literacies: Pedagogical practice for teacher librarians

Theory of Literacies: 

Literacy is an essential skill, but the definition of literacy and a literate person has changed dramatically in the past few decades.  Previously, the term literacy was categorised as the decoding and composing of print texts.  However, the advent of the information society with its technological advancements, widespread use of personal devices and the pervasiveness of the internet has led to a diversification of format and resulting in the creation of audiovisual, print, digital and multimodal texts (Ferguson, 2019).  This heterogeneity of text types means that teachers, schools and the education system need to adapt their pedagogies and practices that encompass the variety of literacies and text types in the modern world (Templeton, 2021a).  It also means that the definition of literacy needs to be redefined as the ability to interact with, engage and communicate across modalities for personal, social, economic and recreational purposes (ACARA, 2018)

TL Reality

The role of the library and teacher librarian is to support the explicit instruction of multiliteracies and resourcing of multimodal text types in a school as highlighted in ETL401 and ETL504 (ALIA & ASLA, 2004).  Whilst print literacy competency is still an essential attribute, the promotion of information, digital and visual literacies are rapidly emerging as essential 21st century skills.  


Information literacy is the ability of a person to seek, find, access, use and evaluate information successfully for personal, educational and professional purposes (Kaplowitz, 2014; Kong, 2015).  It is essential due to the prevalence of mal-information, disinformation and misinformation.  This means that in order to navigate these perils of modern society, young people need to be adept at seeking, finding and using information.  They also need to be competent at evaluating the difference between gold and dross.     


An intrinsic aspect of teacher librarianship is the implementation and embedding of IL skills across the curriculum (Templeton, 2021b).   This is because TLs are the traditional gatekeepers of information in schools and have the professional capacity to implicitly and explicitly instruct information literacy to the school community (Levitov, 2016).  ETL401 pointed out that inquiry learning or problem based learning is the most effective process at developing information literacy skills because the process is centred upon skill acquisition.  However, IL skills need to be integrated and structured incrementally because competency is based upon cumulative access.  


IL has always been an essential part of TL practice and the virtual study visits highlighted its importance in Victoria University, William Angliss TAFE and University of Newcastle.  These institutions understood their students preferred synchronous sessions and therefore developed an IL framework that allowed this either in person or virtually.  Their approach was the motivation for my placement at ACU library because ACU’s Library learning and teaching sessions uses ability as a differentiation tool because their framework supports self navigation, life long learners and independent inquiry. 


Visual literacy is rapidly becoming an essential skill in a multimodal society because it effectively broadens the parameters of traditional literacy and assists with text deconstruction and analysis, as well as builds competency in language, texts and symbols (Marsh, 2010).  


Picture books (PB) are effective at developing visual literacy because they can positively impact the academic, behavioural, developmental, cognitive development of learners.  This is because PB are polysemic, promote critical thinking, encourage reflection, support constructivist pedagogies and are also excellent tools for class discussion (Marsh, 2010).  Their value is in their ability to encourage readers to construct their own meaning from the imagery which then encourages multiple perspectives and creates opportunities for robust discussion (Marsh, 2010).

Picture books for older readers.
Sophisticated picture books.


I was under the false assumption that PB were for young children because developing readers require the interdependency of images and texts for comprehension.  However, PB can be effectively used in secondary classrooms through literary learning, read alouds and within classroom practice.  This is because post-modern or sophisticated picture books places a higher cognitive load onto the reader and require critical thinking from the reader to decode the contradiction of text and images, or lack of text.


Digital (Multimodal) Literacy is the ability of the user to seek, access, use, integrate and compose digital media for personal, professional, educational and recreational purposes (Lofton, 2016). Technology is constantly evolving and society needs to upskill to stay relevant (Ferguson, 2019).  Unfortunately, the digital divide interferes with this ability to upskill, leading to many students and adults lacking the necessary digital literacy skills required in modern society (Thomas et al., 2018).  This digital divide is no longer presumed to be due to a generational gap, but rather it is a strong demarcation between people who have regular access to digital technologies and those that do not.


An effective method to improve digital literacy in schools is to embed technologies into classroom practice, use explicit instruction to support its implementation and then encourage students to apply their knowledge. It is the intentional use of digital media in pedagogy that then goes on to enhance learning, improve ICT acuity, increase engagement and on a whole, improve learning outcomes.  It is not a lecture on powerpoint!


In ETL402 and INF533 I learned about the various strategies to improve digital literacy in the classroom.  These included the inclusion of digital texts into classroom practice and innovative pedagogical practices. Some examples of these strategies are: 

Digital texts:

  White Australia Policy

The land of the Magic Flute.

YouVersion Bible App

After 6/4

Digital pedagogical strategies.

Flipped classrooms are rapidly increasing in popularity, as are augmented and virtual realities because they utilise digital technologies.  

Book trailers and book bentos (example below) are audiovisual representations of texts and are useful in promoting literary learning and multimodal literacy.  

AR and VR can be effectively used to engage students, for location or inquiry learning, and or for assessment purposes. whereas the article in Magpies Magazine points out how AR can be effectively used in libraries.

Contents of Magpies magazine.

Book Bento Example of – Angela’s Ashes

Click HERE to move to

Part B – Theory into Practice – Learning.


Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). Literacy in the Australian curriculum – General capabilities. F-10 Curriculum.

Australian School Library Association & Australian Library and Information Association. (2004). Australian professional standards for teacher librarians. ALIA. https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/TLstandards.pdf

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. (2016). Australia’s digital economy update.  https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2016/05/apo-nid66202-1210631.pdf

Ferguson, S. (2019). Digital Literacy: A Constantly Evolving Learning Landscape. Alki, 35(2), 12–13. CSU Library 

Kaplowitz, J. (2014). Designing information literacy instruction: the teaching tripod approach. Rowman & Littlefield. Ebook. CSU Library.  

Kong, S. (2014). Developing information literacy and critical thinking skills through domain knowledge learning in digital classrooms: An experience of practicing flipped classroom strategy. Computers & Education. 78, pp.160-173.  DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.05.00

Levitov, D. (2016). School libraries, librarians and inquiry learning. Teacher Librarian 43(4), p.28. CSU Library. 

Marsh, D. (2010). The case for picture books in secondary schools. Lianza, 51(4), 27. https://doms.csu.edu.au/csu/file/f7b0a0c2-d0c5-4ba3-8644-6955ea9850b6/1/marsh-d.pdf

Miller, H. (2017). The myth of the digital native generation. E-Learning Inside. https://news.elearninginside.com/myth-digital-native-generation/

Templeton, T. (27 July, 2021a). Digital literacy and the teacher librarian – Part One. Softlink. https://www.softlinkint.com/blog/digital-literacy-and-the-teacher-librarian-part-one/

Templeton, T. (27 July, 2021b). Digital literacy and the teacher librarian – Part Two. Softlink. https://www.softlinkint.com/blog/digital-literacy-and-the-teacher-librarian-part-two/

Thomas, J., Barraket, J., Wilson, C., Cook, K., Louie, Y., Holcombe-James, I., Ewing, S., and MacDonald, T. (2018). Measuring Australia’s Digital Divide: The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2018. RMIT University, Melbourne, DOI: https://doi.org/10.25916/5b594e4475a00

Portfolio of Learning -Part B – From theory to practice: Learning

Learning: Pedagogical practice for teacher librarians


Libraries are intrinsically connected with learning because they have consistently preserved and shared the documented histories and cultural knowledge of society (Ryan & Swindells, 2018).  However, my time at ACU Library for my placement showed me that academic libraries differ because being an information repository is secondary to supporting their community in developing critical thinking, knowledge construction and independent inquiry (Higgins, 2017, Ch.1).  


This active assistance that academic and school libraries offer is pertinent because the way people learn has changed significantly.  From ancient times, learning was seen as a transfer of knowledge from one generation to another either through the forms of oral traditions or from written texts.  However, evidence has shown that learning is increased when a learner is able to build new knowledge upon prior learning.  This constructivist approach to learning is appropriate for diverse classrooms because the method and product is dependent on the learner’s histories and perspectives.  Additionally, constructivist pedagogies such as inquiry and literary learning promote the development of a range of ‘soft skills’ such as problem solving, communication, collaborative practice, as well as critical and creative thinking, which is ideal for a knowledge economy.  

  1. Inquiry Learning


Inquiry learning (IL) requires students to ask questions, design investigations, research information, interpret evidence, draw conclusions and communicate their findings in a variety of formats (Dept of ESE, 2021).  As a constructivist pedagogy, IL puts the onus of knowledge construction onto the learner and in the process students learn valuable skills (Garrison & FitzGerald, 2016; Kuhlthau et al., 2015). Therefore it is clearly evident that access to information resources and sufficient information literacy skills to achieve positive learning outcomes is required.  This means that TLs are integral to IL because they are information experts and can explicitly and implicitly embed information literacy skills throughout the inquiry process (ASLA & ALIA, 2004; Levitov, 2016, p.29).  


Unfortunately there is no IL embedded within the Australian Curriculum, however there are elements of IL in Science, Geography and History key learning areas (Lupton, 2014).  But as Lupton (2014) pointed out, whilst these areas address general inquiry skills, they are not consistent between the KLAs and as such, are not a connected framework.   This clearly indicates the importance of TLs in creating and implementing an integrated framework of IL because they are able to see how inquiry is taught across the curriculum and then scaffold the skills appropriately.  


TLs can also support IL through team teaching and collaboration with department leaders.  In 2020 I collaborated with the Year 8 Science and Year 8 English team leaders to help them implement inquiry learning in their respective disciplines.  Both team leaders were concerned about the robustness of student research questions and were concerned if it would sufficiently address the learning outcomes.  So from my prior knowledge as a science teacher and learning in ETL401, I created a reverse’ lotus chart with embedded questions to assist students in creating their inquiry questions for tasks.  The integrated questions increased critical thinking and enabled students to connect to their topic to a deeper level.  It also allowed teachers and students to visualise their learning.  The experiment worked so well that I presented my findings at ASLA’s 2021 School Library conference and the corresponding article was published in ACCESS’s Volume 35, Issue 3, September, 2021 (Check out the contents page!). 

Here is an example of another cross curricular inquiry task that I created for my school:


2. Literary learning


 Literary learning (LL) is the embedding of literature across the curriculum in order to convey subject specific information.  It turns students from codebreakers into participants by using texts for learning and analysing.   This means LL can be effectively used across the curriculum, in all year levels and can be adapted to suit diverse learners because literature based learning allows students to construct their own bank of knowledge from information that is more easily accessible to them.  


From a personal viewpoint, I really engaged with this aspect of Teacher Librarianship.  Liz Dereout was fantastic at explaining the value of Literary Learning and I learned a great deal from ETL402 as the blogs I wrote illustrated.  It was hard to get the mind to shift from  Shifting from ‘Learning to Read’ to ‘Reading to learn’.  However, classroom teachers did come around to using Text sets, Literary Circles, Book Trailers and Book Bento Boxes.  Text sets proved to be the most useful because teachers were more willing to use extracts of text rather than whole books.  Here are some examples of my practice in the interactive below. 

Click HERE to move to

Part B – Theory into Practice – Literature.


Australian School Library Association & Australian Library and Information Association. (2004). Australian professional standards for teacher librarians. ALIA. https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/TLstandards.pdf

Cornett, C. E. (2014). Integrating the literary arts throughout the curriculum. In Creating meaning through literature and the arts: arts integration for Classroom teachers (5th ed., pp. 144-193). USA

Derewianka, B. (2015). The contribution of genre theory to literacy education in Australia. In J. Turbill, G. Barton & C. Brock (Eds.), Teaching Writing in Today’s Classrooms: Looking back to looking forward (pp. 69-86). Norwood, Australia: Australian Literary Educators’ Association. CSU Library 

Garrison, K., & Fitzgerald, L. (2016). ‘It’s like stickers in your brain’: Using the guided inquiry process to support lifelong learning skills in an Australian school library. In A School Library Built for the Digital Age  45th IASLC Conference.  CSU Library. 

Higgins, S. (2017). Managing academic libraries: Principles and practice [ebook]. Amsterdam. Chandos Publishing. CSU Library. 

Kuhthau, C., Maniotes, L., and Caspari, A. (2015). Guided inquiry: learning in the 21st century. 2nd Edition. Libraries unlimited, USA. 

Levitov, D. (2016). School libraries, librarians and inquiry learning. Teacher Librarian 43 (4), p.28. CSU Library. 

Lupton, M. (2014). Inquiry skills in the Australian Curriculum v6: a bird’s eye view. Access 28 (4) p. 8-29. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/78451/1/Lupton_ACCESS_Nov_2014_2pg.pdf

Maniotes, L. (2019). Guided Inquiry Design: Creating curious inquirers. SYBA Academy workshop. Sydney

Ryan, M., & Swindells, G. (2018). Democratic practice: Libraries and education for citizenship. Portal: Libraries and the Academy 18 (4), pp.623-628. John Hopkins University Press. CSU Library.

Portfolio of Learning -Part B – From theory to practice: Literature.

Literature: Pedagogical practice for teacher librarians

Literature has been the foundation of schooling because stories and storytelling are the most simplistic way society can learn about identity, language and cultural practice (Cornett, 2014; Ross Johnston, 2014; Lombardi, 2020). 

From the ancient peoples to Generation Alpha, literature in the form of stories and storytelling have been used to transfer societal knowledge, to connect individuals to a common history, and to expand vocabulary (Derewianka, 2015).  This is because literature is an artefact of human expression and has the capacity to reflect, criticise and confirm life’s complexities.  Whilst literature can occur in either written or oral formats, the term is generally used to define imaginative works that represent culture and tradition of a society such as storytelling (Lombardi, 2020).  However, not all written works can be considered literature as the essential feature needs to be an idea of interest expressed with an artistic quality or merit (Rexroth, 2020).  There are many benefits to using literature in pedagogical practice and they include; supporting meaning making and knowledge construction, building vocabulary as well as promoting literacy, lifelong learning and increasing critical thinking (Cornett, 2014).  

Storytelling is society’s method of transferring knowledge across generations because it captures how people have tried to understand life’s complexities over time.  This is because literature reflects the author’s perspective of life, and as such captures those societal values for future generations.  Charles Dickens’ stories of Victorian England with its workhouses, harsh conditions and casual cruelty to children, provides the reader a snapshot of historical knowledge of the downsides of the Industrial Revolution.  Whereas, Mem Fox’s “Possum Magic ” refers to traditionally Australian food that would resonate with a young child living in Sydney but lack this same connection to an Argentine.  In this way, each piece of literature is able to connect readers to their common cultural history as well as introduce them to new concepts and experiences.  

Literature has a great capacity to influence vocabulary acquisition, because even though nuances of language can be gained from conversation, a child that has regular access to a variety of genres is able to increase their vocabulary exponentially  (Derewainka, 2015).  A read aloud is an effective method of improving literacy because the reader is able to model pronunciation, tone, inflexion of the text and vocabulary to their audience.  But the greatest benefit comes from the discussion that occurs before, during and after the session (Allington & Gabriel, 2012; Winch & Holliday, 2012, p.120).  This is because discussions have a very strong influence on student learning because it is constructed upon a central concept of a shared reading experience (Fisher & Frey, 2018; Jewett, Wilson & Vanderburg, 2011).  

Additionally, there is also a need to introduce digital literature to students in order for them to develop competency in digital literacy.   Digital literature uses a continuum of technology to convey meaning and the level of computation varies from a scanned book to an interactive hypertext narrative with multimodal features.  This means that TLs need to assist classroom teachers in sourcing appropriate digital and multimedia resources so that they can become multiliterate.

There are several ways of using literature in learning but the ways I have used it most frequently were through literary learning and text sets.

Literary learning is an effective method of embedding literature into learning.  I have previously discussed this so here are a few examples of curriculum linked literature that I have effectively used in my practice as a TL in the past three years.

Text sets are an efficient method of introducing literature based learning into classroom practice.  They have an immense capacity to support literacy development and multi-literacies whilst meeting curriculum learning outcomes.  By giving students specifically curated text extracts from a variety of sources and modalities, students are able to construct knowledge, as well as develop literacy and language in a social context.  Text sets can be effectively used across the curriculum to support the needs of diverse learners.  Unfortunately many teachers are reluctant to use text sets because it is time consuming to find relevant resources.  However, an effective teacher librarian is able to support text sets and literary learning through the provision of carefully curated resources that meet the behavioural, cognitive and developmental needs of their students.  Text sets are an efficient and effective method of addressing curriculum outcomes whilst ensuring students are supported in their learning. 

Click HERE to move to

Part C – Evaluation of Learning.



Allington, R., & Gabriel, R. (2014). Every child, every day. Educational Leadership, Volume 69 (6). pp.10-15. CSU Library. 

Cornett, C. E. (2014). Integrating the literary arts throughout the curriculum. In Creating meaning through literature and the arts: arts integration for Classroom teachers. (5th ed., pp. 144-193). USA

Derewianka, B. (2015). The contribution of genre theory to literacy education in Australia. In J. Turbill, G. Barton & C. Brock (Eds.), Teaching Writing in Today’s Classrooms: Looking back to looking forward (pp. 69-86). Norwood, Australia: Australian Literary Educators’ Association. https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2620&context=sspapers

Fisher, D. & Frey, N. (2018). Raise reading volume through access, choice, discussion, and book talks. Reading Teacher, 72(1), 89-97. doi: 10.1002/trtr.1691

Jewett, P. C., Wilson, J. L. & Vanderburg, M.A. (2011). The unifying power of a whole school read. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(6), 415-424. doi:10.1598/JAAL.54.6.3

Lombardi, E. (31 January, 2020). What literature can teach us. ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-literature-740531

Ross Johnston, R. (2014). Children’s literature in the Australian context. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl & M. Holliday (Eds.), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed., pp. 557-581). Proquest Ebook Central. CSU Library.

Rexroth, K. (2020, October 30). Literature. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/art/literatu

Winch, G., & Holliday, M. (2014). Chapter 6 – The reader and the text. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl & M. Holliday (Eds.) Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed., pp.109-128). Melbourne, Oxford University Press.

Portfolio of Learning – Part C – Evaluation of Practice

Evaluation of Practice

The information revolution with its pervasive presence of personal devices and ubiquitous use of the internet has permanently changed the role teacher librarians (TL) and libraries hold in their communities.  Libraries were seen as information repositories,  with librarians curating the collection from unsuitable resources.  However, the shift in paradigms has led to a surfeit of information, and the 21st century requires more than excellent curation skills from their informational professionals.  Instead, they need access to reliable information, and the necessary skills to seek, find and use information for personal, professional and recreational purposes.   This indicates that as the resident informational professional within a school, the TL is tasked with designing, embedding and implementing programs that promote the development of 21st century skills so that their students can successfully navigate life in the third millennium.   

TLs have a complex role in a school.  Prior to my Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship), I was under the false impression TLs were ruled by Dewey and the best sellers book list.  I was proved wrong.  Over the past three years I have learned that whilst a TL is dually qualified as an educator and informational professional, their primary focus is student learning.  This is because a qualified TL has the capacity to improve the learning outcomes for all school students through the effective use of good quality literature to teach literacies and learning.  Resource based learning is the foundation of 21st century learning because it is student centred and focuses on how the individual constructs their own new knowledge on prior understanding.  This is why constructivist pedagogies, such as inquiry learning and literary learning are intrinsic to a TLs practice because they both use curriculum based resources to develop essential 21st century skills.    

A TL has the professional capacity to improve student learning outcomes and develop 21st century skills in their school community.  However, their efficacy is based upon their ability to effectively collaborate with their peers to lead innovative pedagogical change horizontally across the curriculum.  This is where the ASLA & ALIA (2004) TL standards prove their value because they are able to frame current and future practice.  The concept map below is a visual representation of how I have organised my practice through the promotion of literature, literacies and learning.  The map also highlights the TL standards that support my practice, as well as indicate the areas that future professional development is required, such as investigating strategies to increase the use of narratives and picture books in pedagogy.  It also points out that in order to successfully implement an effective school wide digital literacy program that builds skills in targeted and incremental stages, I will need to collaborate and evaluate the program with school executives and other middle school leaders.  

The role of a TL in a 21st century school is far more complex because society has changed the way it interacts with information.  This information revolution has made information and digital literacy, as well as critical and creative thinking essential for success in the 21st century.  Therefore, as information professionals, a TL is mandated to ensure that their practice is focused upon developing these skills and the standards offer a framework for that.  Unfortunately there is no mention of patience in the TL standards as I will need plenty of that!!

Concept map of my practice and corresponding TL standards.


Australian School Library Association & Australian Library and Information Association. (2004). Australian professional standards for teacher librarians. ALIA. https://asla.org.au/resources/Documents/Website%20Documents/Policies/TLstandards.pdf

Portfolio of Learning – Part A – Personal Philosophy


A teacher librarian (TL) is a valued member of a school community because they are able to effectively support 21st century learning through the promotion of literature, learning and literacies.  However, in order to do so effectively, a TL should be themselves a lifelong learner, have the capacity to collaborate effectively with their peers, ensure that the collection meets the needs of the community, have a keen interest in emerging technologies and be able to competently lead innovative pedagogies by modelling best practice. Most importantly, a good teacher librarian is a teacher first, because education is at the heart of a teacher librarian’s practice.

Click HERE to move to

Part B – Theory into Practice – Literacies.

Placement Report Section 3: Reflection and References

The learning capacity of a library is dependent on the efficiency of the librarians to maintain the functionality of its spaces, collection robustness and program variety so that the needs of the community are met (Hughes, 2013).  This efficacy is essential in academic and school libraries as they are linked to improved student learning outcomes (ACT Education Directorate, 2019).

Workplace goal 1 – Development of a positive learning environment

Lewins Library has a well designed physical space that enables users to browse, read, use the wifi and opportunities to work individually or in small groups.  It also has a virtual environment that connects users to digital resources, course materials, referencing assistance, as well as information literacy sessions.  It is within this space that users get access to Primo, a federated search engine, which makes the library webpage the point of information access and retrieval in both the physical and virtual environments.

The extensive ACU library virtual environment is rarely mimicked in schools because online learning is not the desired format for many children and teenagers.  This reluctance was made clear during 2020’s remote learning as the pandemic highlighted the difficulties students faced, such as a lack of devices, poor internet access and an overall lack of digital literacy, with students from Indigenous, rural, remote and low socioeconomic areas were even more likely to be at risk of marginalisation.  This means that libraries need to be flexible in their delivery of resources, services and programs so that students can interact successfully with online learning (Templeton, 2020b).

Workplace goal 2 – Collection development that supports curriculum

ALs use LG to connect students to pertinent materials.  Reviewing the LGs identified that whilst they were all similar in structure and format, there were differences in volume of content and frequency of use.  However, there were significant differences in volume of content and frequency of use between the LG with the Health Sciences ones most frequently used.  Those elevated statistics could be due to high student numbers in Nursing, Midwifery or Paramedicine courses, or it could be because other LG were complex and caused information overload.

Upon reflection, it would have been more efficient if the statistics compared resource access between the LG, course pages and reading lists, because then the ALs could identify which pathway is most effective with students.  This would then mean that the ALs could target delivery of course materials and directly influence student learning through that mode (Hicks, White & Behary, 2021, p.2).  Additionally, it was interesting to see little uptake on the “How To” and “other” guides, which lead to the quandary if students are generally disinterested in using LG, or if there is a larger level of disinterest about information disseminating from the university about non-academic topics.

Paramedicine LibGuide environmental Scan (Project 1)

An environmental scan is an effective tool to identify relevant course resources (Hicks, White & Behary, 2021, p.3).  The Paramedicine LG environmental scan showed that ACU’s database list was comparable to other institutions, however had fewer books, no weblinks and lacked an Australian-centric resource such as Informit.  Unfortunately, as Informit currently directs all users to its landing page rather than the individual database, excluding this resource was a tactical decision to minimise student access issues.

Theology LibGuide analysis (Project 3).

Theology LG was analysed using usage statistics because ACU is the only institution to offer Theology from a Catholic perspective.  Digital texts from the collection were suggested to replace poorly used resources, but unlike other faculties, a ‘digital first’ policy is not essential because providing the right source is more important.  This is because accessing appropriate Australian-centric digital theology texts is very difficult.  Additionally, most students study on campus therefore the presence of print texts is possible.

I did review CSU’s Theology LGs to determine which resources both institutions valued and to seek additional resources for my school library.  As a Catholic high school, we need to hold theology texts and this task has made me realise that I am not the only one struggling to find Australian-centric resources.

Workplace goal 3 – Library Learning and Teaching (LLT) – Information Literacy Program

Librarians are responsible for developing the information literacy capabilities of their communities and remote learning has required them to expand their programs online (ACU Library Directorate, 2020; Dewey, 2017, p.26; Mallon, 2018, p. 115).  Although some argue that reducing physical presence makes outreach more difficult, ACU library statistics show that technology can be sufficiently harnessed to deliver an efficient virtual program because it allows all the ALs to assist in the learning, not just the ones at the local campus (ACU Library Directorate, 2020; Perini, 2016, p.65).  Analysis of the LLT program usage data determines which delivery modes resonates the most with the students and can also assist the ALs in guiding staffing and future practice so that the LLT continues to meet the needs of their community.

University and school based information literacy differs in that ACU students are required to self navigate through the program.  However, in schools information literacy is embedded into teaching and learning because students require repeated practice to develop competency.  This means that Teacher librarians need to make a more concerted effort to collaborate with their peers so that they can teach these essential skills across the curriculum within classroom practice.


ACU. (2020). ACU strategic plan 2020-2023. Office of Planning and Strategic Management. https://www.acu.edu.au/-/media/feature/pagecontent/richtext/about-acu/strategic-plan-2020-2023/v3_ritm0083397-strategic-plan-2020-2023_b5.pdf?la=en&hash=EB3EDA6C3B6448FCBAE24E29126BCD2B

ACU Library Directorate. (2020). ACU Library learning and teaching framework. Library Learning and Teaching Team. https://library.acu.edu.au/teaching/library%20learning%20and%20teaching/library%20learning%20and%20teaching%20framework

ACU. (2018). Organisational structure. Leadership and Governance. https://www.acu.edu.au/-/media/feature/pagecontent/richtext/about-acu/leadership-and-governance/_docs/organisational-structure-chart.pdf?la=en&hash=E358CE0B18ABAE0FE69911F921269D1A

Dewey, B. (2017). Chapter 2: College and University Governance. In Gilman, T. (Ed.). (2017). Academic librarianship today. ProQuest Ebook Central. CSU Library

Forbes, C. & Keeran, P. (2017). Chapter 6: Reference, instruction and outreach. In Gilman, T. (Ed.). (2017). Academic librarianship today. ProQuest Ebook Central. CSU Library

German, E. (2017). Information literacy and instruction: LibGuides for instruction: A service design point of view from an academic library. Reference & User Services Quarterly 56(3). pp162-167.  https://journals.ala.org/index.php/rusq/article/view/6257/8146

Gilman, T. (Ed.). (2017). Academic librarianship today. ProQuest Ebook Central. CSU Library.

Hicks, S., White, K., & Behary, R. (2021). The correlation of Libguides to print and electronic book usage: A method of assessing LibGuide usage.  Journal of Web Librarianship 15(1), pp1-13. DOI:  10.1080/19322909.2021.1884927

Higgins, S. (2016). Managing academic libraries: Principles and practice [ebook]. Amsterdam. Chandos Publishing. ISBN: 9781780633114

Hossain, M. J. (2016). Determining the key dimensions for evaluating service quality and satisfaction in academic libraries. The International Information & Library Review 48(3), p.176-189. CSU Library.

Logan, J. & Spence, M. (2021). Content strategy in LibGuides: An exploratory study. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 47(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2020.102282

Mallon, M. (2018). The pivotal role of academic librarians in digital learning. ProQuest Ebook Central. CSU Library.

Perrin, J.M., Yang, L., Barba, S. and Winkler, H. (2017), “All that glitters isn’t gold: The complexities of use statistics as an assessment tool for digital libraries”, The Electronic Library, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 185-197. https://doi-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1108/EL-09-2015-0179

Perini, M. (2016). The academic librarian as blended professional: Reassessing and redefining the role [ebook]. Cambridge, MA. Chandos Publishing.

Schaub, G., McClure, H. A., & Bravender, P. (2015). Teaching information literacy threshold concepts: Lesson plans for librarians. Association of College and Research Libraries.

Showers, B. (Ed.). (2015). Chapter 3: Using data to demonstrate library impact and value. In Library analytics and metrics : Using data to drive decisions and services. ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Swiatek, C. (2019). European academic libraries Key Performance Indicators (KPI): How comparison helps decision making. Performance Measurement and Metrics 20(3),pp. 143-158. https://doi-org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1108/PMM-08-2019-0041

Templeton, T. (26th April 2020a). The implications of using digital literature in secondary schools. Trish’s trek into bookspace. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2020/04/26/the-implications-of-using-digital-literature-in-a-secondary-schools/

Templeton, T. (29th July, 2020b). Digital divide or digital elite? What is the cause of the digital divide? Trish’s trek into bookspace. https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2020/07/29/digital-native-or-digital-elite-what-is-the-cause-of-the-digital-divide/

Walters, W. H. (2016). Evaluating online resources for college and university libraries: Assessing value and cost based on academic needs. Serials Review 42(1). Pp10-17. DOI: 10.1080/00987913.2015.1131519


Placement Report Section 2: Theory into practice.

Section 2: Theory into practice

University structure and the Library’s position within academia.

Practice: The ACU Libraries directorate is under the guidance of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor as Figure 1 indicates.   However, it would make more sense for Libraries to be part of the teaching and learning team under the Provost because the Library is intrinsic to academic success. 

Theory: ETL504 highlighted the importance of embedding the library into teaching and learning in order to improve student learning outcomes.  If the library and the Teacher Librarian (TL) are considered separate from the learning process, it is then much harder to embed programs such as inquiry learning, school wide reading programs and information literacy into pedagogical practice.  However, at ACU the library is essential because reading lists must be submitted to the ALs to ensure sufficient access is available to the students and that copyright laws are adhered to.

Library Learning and Teaching: Framework, program implementation and evaluation.

Practice: The Library Learning and Teaching (LLT) Framework (2020) is aligned to the university’s mission statement and divides information literacy into two components; seeking and accessing relevant information, and the ethical use of information.  It uses ability rather than level of study as a differentiation tool because the framework supports self-navigation from foundation to advanced, through the relevant LLT Libguides, videos, instant chat, facilitated teaching sessions as well as online consultations and drop in help desks.  The ALs evaluate the effectiveness and efficacy of these programs and sessions to guide future practice so that students can continue to get the assistance that they need in the format that they prefer.      

Theory : ETL 401 pointed out that information literacy is an intrinsic aspect of educational librarianship because it is essential for critical thinking, research success, and academic integrity (Mallon, 2018, p.1). Information literate students are also more adept at using the collection and have increased knowledge of how to ethically use that information.  However, the delivery of information literacy differs as information literacy sessions occur sporadically within universities and additional support is student initiated.  Whereas, ETL401 clearly elucidated the importance of embedded information literacy in classroom practice and that inquiry learning is the most efficient instructional method because the guided inquiry design can be adapted to suit any age or unit of work.  However, it was ETL504 that highlighted the importance of leadership so that these programs can be effectively facilitated into pedagogy practices across the curriculum.

Library guides – Resourcing the Curriculum

Practice: The key role of an academic library is to actively participate in the education of students and LibGuides (LG) are commonly used to connect users to services and other relevant academic materials for specific units of work, classes or course (Walters, 2016; German, 2017, p.163; Hicks, White & Behary, 2021).  The quality of sources is more important than the amount, therefore it is essential that these LGs only link to the most relevant resources to minimise information overload (Logan & Spence, 2021).  Additionally, ALs are required to regularly verify LG links to ensure that they function and retain their user friendliness (Logan & Spence, 2021; Walters, 2016; German, 2017, p.165).  

Theory: The fundamental principle of ETL503 is that a library’s collection and services’ primary purpose is to meet the needs of its community.  Therefore any LG created needs to match the learning outcomes of the course, the numbers of students and their relevant learning needs and comply with copyright.  It is also important that resources are prioritised from the collection before acquiring new materials.  However, whilst ACU has a distinct ‘digital first’ motto with their resources, this is not a viable plan for schools due to the lower lower digital literacy competency of children and teenagers.  ETL402 and INF533 both explained the increased cognitive load that digital literature places on low literacy students.  Therefore, whilst digital resources are ideal in a digital society, there needs to be consideration for students with diverse learning needs.

Evaluating the Collection – Analytics of LibGuide usage (Project 2).

Practice: LibGuides from 2019-2021 were analysed to examine their usage statistics.  The Law LG was the most complex with multiple subsections and had the largest number of resources with minimum ‘clicks’.  Whereas Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine LGs were concise and their resources were accessed more frequently by students. 

Theory:  The collection can be successfully evaluated for its value to the curriculum and students by running analytics to determine LG usage.  This process highlights which LG and corresponding resources are valued and which are not.  ETL503 pointed out the importance of regular collection evaluation to ensure that it still holds its value.  However, analytics often do not discriminate between faculty and student visitors, nor do they always identify accidental and meaningful interactions (Perrin et al., 2017).  This means that high results should be viewed with caution, however low data can be correctly inferred to be low use.



Placement Report Section 1: Lewins Library

Lewins Library as an information organisation:

Lewins Library is the main information repository for the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Signonou campus and supports its community’s search for knowledge through academic inquiry and intellectual discovery.   As part of the wider Catholic society, the library facilities and resources are also used by the constituents of the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, for their theological, educational and academic pursuits.

ACU has multiple campuses and it is imperative that the libraries directorate embrace technology to deliver services and programs across all the locations.  Some of these strategies include, a ‘digital first’ policy on collection maintenance and development, a framework for information literacy with a multimodal delivery, as well as providing support for academics and researchers in their practice and ensuring copyright compliance (ACU, 2020). However, whilst members of ACU have unfettered access to both the physical and digital collections, the general public is limited to the physical collection due to licencing requirements.   Unfortunately, access to the physical collection has been limited due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home edicts.

 Lewins Library as an academic library:

The core purpose of academic libraries is to support independent inquiry, develop critical thinking and actively assist in the pursuit of knowledge construction (Higgins, 2017, Ch.1).  Nevertheless, the capacity of an academic library to provide information access is proportional to the value the educational institution sees in them (Gilman, 2017, p.7; Higgins, 2017, Ch.1).  Therefore it is important that the library continues to illustrate its capacity and efficacy to maintain that value.   This means that as part of its evaluation process, the library’s collection and services need to be examined regularly.  This is because a rarely used resource, albeit a book or a service, holds no value to the user and ends up just being a liability.  However, whilst analytics can determine the number of times a resource is accessed or a service is used, it cannot determine the productivity of that interaction, nor can it determine if that interaction translates to increased learning outcomes (Walters, 2016).  Nevertheless, it can be inferred that low usage means low use and thus that resource or service needs to be re-examined for its value to the community.

 Lewin’s Library and its Academic Librarians.

Lewins Library academic librarians (AL) are passionate about the vital role they play in the academic success of their community.  Their role includes research development, information literacy development, faculty assistance, and client interaction which requires regular interaction with multiple stakeholders (Forbes & Keeran, 2017; Perini, 2016, p.65). However, ACU is a multicampus university and this means that the ALs are challenged to meet the dual needs of their own library and the needs of multiple campuses through the introduction of consortia collection building, digital reference services and campus wide information literacy skill development (Higgins, 2017, Ch.1).   However, in order to complete these range of services effectively, regular evaluation of programs, collection and services must be undertaken to ensure that the ALs and the library continues to meet the dynamic needs of their institution (Perini, 2016, p.65; Hossain, 2016).

INF 533 – Task 4 – Part C – The Reflecting


The shift in the reading paradigm has impacted the definition of reading and the parameters of a text  (ACARA, 2018; Lamb, 2011).  Literacy is now defined as the ability to effectively engage with and communicate with a range of modalities (ACARA, 2018). Even though ACARA (2018) has mandated the incorporation of print, digital and hybrid literature, the inclusion of hybrid and digital literature in educational practice does have an impact on student learning, teacher confidence, and the nature of copyright when sharing digital works.

Digital storytelling (DST) is the modern adaptation of the ancient art of storytelling, in which visual, audio and textual elements are interwoven together to convey information and develop critical thinking (Ciccorico, 2012; Ohler, 2013, p.94; Maneti, Lipscombe & Kervin, 2018).   DST is also an effective conduit of knowledge, and traditions but its primary purpose is to develop language, literacy, and learning (Moran et al., 2020; Ross Johnston, 2014).   From an education perspective, DST can improve multimodal literacies, digital competencies and critical thinking, as it requires the reader to interact with the content rather than just passively view it (Hashim & Vongkulluksn, 2018).  The issue with utilising DST is that not all DL is transformative, and not all recipients possess the necessary skills to access and engage with the medium (Ross et al., 2017; Jeon, 2012).  DST that have minimal gestural manipulation, contradictory modalities, poor layout, and a lack of visual permanence have lower comprehension compared to print texts  (Lamb, 2011; Hashim & Vongkulluksn, 2018).

The issues with students:

The ability to process information is known as cognitive load.  Mayer and Moreno (2005) point out that cognitive overload occurs the amount of information received supersedes the brain’s processing capacity and any excess of stimuli can lead to diminished transfer of knowledge and reduced learning outcomes (CESE, 2017, p.3).   Cognitive load is minimised when skeuomorphic features are curtailed, modalities are complementary and when students have appropriate digital literacy skills (Ibrahim, 2012; Mangen et al., 2013).   Other factors that increase cognitive load are visual permanence, layout, colour scheme, length of digital text and an appropriate level of content (Mayer & Moreno, 2005; Mangen et al., 2013).  The review of my own DST shows how I attempted to meet the needs of my students. 

The issues with practitioners:

ACARA (2018) and ATSIL (2017) both require the inclusion of digital literature into classroom practice, but this mandate can cause feelings of inadequacy and can be exacerbated by the volume and variety of technology available (Hyndman, 2018).   However, Watson (2019) points out that teachers do not have to become experts in all forms of technology, just the platform they are choosing to use.  This resonates as in the first assessment task for INF533, I pointed out that teachers were unlikely to include creation of DST in their practice due to concerns of their own digital competencies (Templeton, 2020).   McGarr & McDonagh (2019) suggest that teacher competence should be framed around technology, cognition and ethics, so that professional development can have a focus.   Read about my DST journey here.

The issue with copyright:

The integration and implementation of DL has legal ramifications, and whilst educators are familiar with the “10% or one chapter rule”, there is a significant proportion who are unsure of the legalities when it comes to digital resources, Creative Commons and copyright law (Suzor, 2017). Literacy Toolkit (2019) points out that modelling correct academic writing for students with appropriate citations, is an effective way of explicitly teaching academic honesty.  An added benefit of using the Office suite is that Creative Commons images can be utilised with ease.   It was also fascinating to learn that images from historical and current events do not require permission for reporting purposes, and that transformed resources do not breach copyright law as it is unlikely to affect the creator or harm the market (ALRC report, 2013, p.319; Suzor, 2017).  Therefore teachers that create and or transform media to suit the needs of their students, are less likely to breach copyright than educators that just copy resources.  I certainly wish I had known this prior to starting and finishing my digital narrative, but that is for another blog on another day.

This semester expanded my knowledge of digital literature as indicated by my EVIDENCE of LEARNING hierarchal chart.  

In creating this Sway narrative, I was able to build upon understanding gained from previous subjects and solidify new knowledge upon it.  I learned about :

  1. Debunking the digital native myth.
  2. Understanding the relationship between teens, trends and technology
  3. Understanding the classroom divide, the evolving nature of literature and how digital literature increases motivation.
  4. Determining collection parameters for digital literature
  5. Creating a rubric for evaluating digital resources
  6. Determining the curriculum outcomes using the Backwards by design process.
  7. Understanding the dynamics of a flipped classroom
  8. Understanding the relationship between multimedia and cognitive load.
  9. Exploring the legalities of copyright law in the classroom (Blog yet to be written) and the need to explicitly teach copyright ethics.
  10. Evaluating the process of creating a DST.
  11. Lastly, evaluating my own DST using the same parameters I designed for Assessment task 2.
Remember Bloom??

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

Remember Bloom?  That’s why.



Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). Literacy. In Australian Curriculum – General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/literacy/

Australian Government. (2013). Copyright and the digital economy (ALRC Report 122). Australhttps://www.alrc.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/final_report_alrc_122_2nd_december_2013_.pdfian Law Reform Commission.

AITSL. (2017). Standards for Teachers. Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/teach/standards

Brown, C., & Czerniewicz, L. (2010). Debunking the ‘digital native’: beyond digital apartheid, towards digital democracy.  Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 26(5). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00369.x

Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation. (2017). Cognitive load theory: Research that teachers really need to understand. NSW Department of Education. Retrieved from https://www.cese.nsw.gov.au//images/stories/PDF/cognitive-load-theory-VR_AA3.pdf

Ciccoricco, D. (2012). Chapter 34 – Digital fiction – networked narratives. In Bray, J., Gibbons, A., & McHale, B. (2012). The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. Taylor & Francis eBooks. Retrieved from CSU Library.

David, L. (2020). Cognitive theory of multimedia learning (Mayer). Learning Theories. Retrieved from https://www.learning-theories.com/cognitive-theory-of-multimedia-learning-mayer.html

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. (2016). Australia’s digital economy update. Retrieved from https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2016/05/apo-nid66202-1210631.pdf

Fuglei M. (2020). Begin at the end: How backwards design enriches lesson planning. The Resilient Educator.  Retrieved from https://resilienteducator.com/classroom-resources/backwards-design-lesson-planning

Hashim, A & VongKulluskn, V. (2018). E reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers and Education, 125, pp.358-375. Retrieved from https://www.journals.elsevier.com/computers-and-education/

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

Hyndman, B. (2018). Ten reasons teachers can struggle to use technology in the classroom. The Conversation [Blog]. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/ten-reasons-teachers-can-struggle-to-use-technology-in-the-classroom-101114

Ibrahim, M. (2012). Implications of designing instructional video using cognitive theory of multimedia learning. Critical Questions in Education 3(2), p.83-104. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1047003

Jeon, H. (2012). A comparison of the influence of electronic books and paper books on reading comprehension, eye fatigue, and perception. The Electronic Library, 30(3), 390-408. doi: 10.1108/02640471211241663

Johnson, P. (2018). Chapter 4 – Developing Collections. Fundamentals of Collection Development 4th Edition. ALA Editions. Chicago. Retrieved from EBSCOhost Books.   

Korthagen, F. (2017). Inconvenient truths about teacher learning: towards professional development 3.0. Teachers and Teaching, 23(4), p.387-405. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13540602.2016.1211523?needAccess=true

Kurt, S. (2018). What is backward design. Educational Technology. Teaching and Learning Resources.  Retrieved from https://educationaltechnology.net/backward-design-understanding-by-design/

Lamb, A. (2011). Reading redefined for a transmedia universe. Learning and leading with technology, 39(3), 12-17. Retrieved from CSU Library

Mangen, A., Walgermo, B. R. & Bronnick, K.A. (2013). Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension. International Journal of Educational Research, 58, 61-68.doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2012.12.002

Mantei, J., Kipscombe, K., & Kervin, L. (2018). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

McGarr, O., & McDonagh, A. (2019). Digital competence in teacher education.  Output 1 of the Erasmus+ funded Developing Student Teachers’ Digital Competence (DICTE) project.  Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331487411_Digital_Competence_in_Teacher_Education

Moore, J., & Cahill, M. (2016). Audiobooks; Legitimate ‘reading’ material for adolescents? Research Journal of the American Association of School Librarians. Retrieved from www.ala.org/aasl/slr/volume19/moore-cah

Moran, R., Lamie, C., Robertson, L., & Tai, C. (2020). Narrative writing, digital storytelling, and coding: Increasing motivation with young readers and writers. Australian Literacy Educators Association, 25 (2), p.6-10. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/15aovd3/cdi_gale_infotracacademiconefile_A627277934

Ohler, J.B. (2013). Digital storytelling in the classroom: New media pathways to literacy, learning, and creativity (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/permalink/61CSU_INST/1hkg98a/alma991012780180302357

Ross, B., Pechenkina, E., Aeschliman, C., & Chase, AM. (2017). Print versus digital texts: understanding the experimental research and challenging the dichotomies. Research in Learning Technology 25. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1163201.pdf

Ross Johnston, R. (2014a). Chapter 23 – Literature, the curriculum and 21st-century literacy. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl & M. Holliday (Eds.), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed., pp. 472-489). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Russell, D. (2019). An introduction to cognitive load theory [Features]. Teacher Magazine.  Retrieved from https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/an-introduction-to-cognitive-load-theory

Suzor, N. (2017). Explainer: what is ‘fair dealing’ and when can you copy without permission? [Blog]. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-fair-dealing-and-when-can-you-copy-without-permission-80745

Templeton, T. (2020). Task 1 – INF533 – Reading, literacy and digital literature in the classroom [Blog].  Trish’s Trek into BookSpace. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/trish/2020/07/26/task-1-inf533-reading-literacy-and-digital-literature-in-the-classroom/

Victorian Department of Education. (2020). Intellectual Property and Copyright. Retrieved from https://www2.education.vic.gov.au/pal/intellectual-property-and-copyright/policy

Victorian Government. (2020). Using third party copyright material – Fact sheet for agencies. Department of Treasury and Finance. Retrieved from https://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/Fact%20Sheet%20-%20using%20third%20party%20copyright%20material.pdf

Vidales-Bolanos, M., & Sadaba-Chalezquer, C. (2017). Connected Teens: Measuring the Impact of Mobile Phones on Social Relationships through Social Capital. Media Education Research Journal 53(25). Retrieved by https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1171085.pdf

Walsh, M. (2013). Literature in a digital environment (Ch. 13). In L. McDonald (Ed.), A literature companion for teachers. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

Watson, A. (2019). 10 tips to avoiding technology overwhelm. The Cornerstone for Teachers [podcast]. Retrieved from https://thecornerstoneforteachers.com/truth-for-teachers-podcast/10-tips-avoiding-technology-overwhelm/