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Combining skills and interests: Pathways to becoming a teacher-librarian

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 6 months ago
Combining skills and interests: Pathways to becoming a teacher-librarian
Lyn Hay
According to the 2003 MCEETYA report on teacher supply and demand, in 2001 “the Victorian Auditor General’s Department noted… that 45 per cent of the state teaching workforce was likely to progressively retire over the next ten years” (MCEETYA 2005, p.107). Projections do not appear to have improved based on MCEETYA’s 2004 -05 project, the report stating that the:
Retirement of teachers from the ‘baby boomers’ generation will decrease stocks of the most experienced teachers over the next decade, with the number of teachers leaving the workforce projected to peak between 2010 and 2012. (MCEETYA 2005, p. 125)
Statistics of Australia’s library labour market paints a similar picture. Of the 10 million employees in Australia, 29,000 of these are classified as library workers with a median age of 48 – 65% of librarians are aged 45 or older compared to 36% in the total Australian workforce, and only 12% of librarians are under the age of 35 (compared to 42% of the total workforce). (ALIA 2006)
Teacher-librarianship combines qualifications in both these areas and therefore opportunities are available in this profession as the workforce ages. The Australian Library and Information Association’s promotional career website asks the following questions of prospective information professionals:
Do you have an interest in helping people? Would you like to contribute to the free flow of information? Are you creative and curious? Would you like to be technologically-savvy? Do you like to work independently and in a team?
Yes? Consider a career @ your library. (ALIA 2007)
Pathways available to school leavers involve making an initial choice of where they wish to begin their career, either as an educator or information professional. School leavers can enter a 4-year Bachelor of Education (BEd) program to become a qualified teacher. If the program provides flexibility in selection of electives across a number of curriculum areas, students studying at other universities to complete their teacher training can complete the two teacher librarianship methods subjects from Charles Sturt University (CSU). While completion of these subjects does not qualify students as a teacher librarian, these subjects are core to the Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) MEdTL course at CSU which means that upon completion of their BEd, students who have already completed these two subjects can gain credit for these upon entering the MEdTL program. This effectively reduces the time it takes to complete the MEdTL from 2 years to 1 ½ years of part time study with the MEdTL program at CSU being recognised by ALIA as a full initial librarianship qualification. Graduates of this program also have the option in future years to work in other libraries and information workplaces.
If a school leaver prefers to pursue their initial career as an information professional, they may complete an ALIA recognised undergraduate 3-year course such as a Bachelor of Library and Information Management. Upon completion of this degree, a graduate may decide to work in the library and information sector for work experience and then consider completing teacher training.
Teacher librarianship could offer a potential and rewarding career path, especially for someone who is interested in working in a profession that creatively combines elements from education, information and technology worlds?
The Australian Library and Information Association’s (2007) promotional career website states:
Library and information professionals link people with ideas and the information they need to carry out their jobs, enjoy their leisure and be involved in the community. It is stimulating, diverse, rewarding - and fun!
This is an excerpt from and article by Lyn Hay, which first appeared in FYI: The journal for the School Information Professional, volume 11, Number 3, Winter 2007, School Library Association of Victoria
Lyn Hay is a Lecturer in Teacher Librarianship with the School of Information Studies in the Faculty of Education at Charles Sturt University. She is also Course Coordinator of the Master of Applied Science (Teacher Librarianship) and Coordinator of the Teacher Librarianship Strand for the Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary).
Australian Library and Information Association. (2007) ALIA education, January 22. http://www.alia.org.au/education/ (Accessed July 2, 2007)
Australian Library and Information Association. (2006) Australia's library labour market, August 31.
http://www.alia.org.au/employment/labour.market / (Accessed July 2, 2007)
Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA). (2005) Demand and supply of primary and secondary school teachers in Australia (2004) - full report. Carlton South, Vic: MCEETYA.
http://www.mceetya.edu.au/verve/_resources/-DAS_teachers-PartsA-d.pdf (Accessed June 25, 2007)


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