Teacher librarians have an important role in developing the literacy of students. They provide both research and IT skills through the development of school programs. Postgraduate study covers a broad selection of topics, from fundamental units in professional educational dialogue to an independent literature review.
Early librarians date back to the Bronze Age civilisation of Sumer. They were known as “masters of the books,” responsible for seeing over and interpreting recorded information. Famous institutions like the Library of Alexandria were centres of knowledge for the ancient world, with their accompanying librarians making great strides in spreading it. The European Dark Ages to follow after the fall of Western Roman Empire in 476 saw the disappearance of librarians, instead relying on monks and monasteries to house scarce remaining knowledge.
Modern teacher librarians serve the important dual-purpose of interpreting the vast amount of information we have and teaching it to others. They now keep records of both digital and print media for the benefit of students.
This is for students with excellent literacy and research skills, requiring them to rifle through large quantities of information regularly. If you’re the sort of person with the patience and dedication to building effective, evidence-based courses for school students, this could be a profession for you.
Teacher librarianship is best taken at the master level. Institutions like Queensland University of Technology offer the Master of Education (Teacher-Librarianship) to students with a prior background in education, taking between one and one and a half years to complete full time or up to four years part time.
Students can expect to learn about designing spaces for learning, youth popular culture, children’s literature and associated practice. There is also opportunity for independent research into any number of educational issues contingent upon student interests. This makes them a great way to gain both theoretical and practical knowledge into what the profession looks like.
Employment as a teacher librarian can be highly rewarding. The Australian School Library Associationis a great resource for aspirants wishing to become information professionals. They provide information on what the job entails, how to improve and who to see about employment. They are required across all public and private libraries, TAFE, state libraries, museums, the UN and more.
Library technicians focus on the technical side of the profession as the name implies. This partly means managing databases and helping users find what they’re looking for, maintaining library resources and creating promotional programs to help grow the library. They serve a variety of other useful functions essential to whichever information workplace they choose.
These professionals generally aid library users by recommending materials to them and responding to their inquiries. They also utilise digital means of data entry to accurately catalogue and sort vast intellectual resources. This makes them another essential component of any library.
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