Specialists who go by the books

As a teacher-librarian at Fairvale Public School, I work with a team to align library lessons and activities to our school’s strategic directions and to integrate outcomes and content from the learning areas in the NSW curriculum.

Literature, information literacy and book knowledge allow us to extend and add to learning undertaken in classrooms. This gives students opportunities to practice and build on knowledge and skills they’ve learned.

Navigating the vast network of information available to students can be daunting, often sending them on a wild goose chase to find appropriate information.

A teacher-librarian is equipped with the tools and knowledge to ensure that students can search more effectively for information. We show students through a guided process how to organise their thoughts using keywords and then how to select and make appropriate choices.

The goal is for students to become independent researchers of knowledge and effectively search websites to support their interests. This empowering process is a role teacherlibrarians are most suited to; we are familiar with databases, search engines and the way in which information is organised and managed.

Our most important role is motivating students to read. A love for reading is facilitated through a process of learning how to search, find and select texts that are enjoyable and suited to personal interests.

We know that developing an open mind and a curiosity for information is enhanced by reading more and more.

In our double role of teacher and librarian we use our knowledge of pedagogy to bring fun and new experiences to students that will lead to reading for pleasure and information. Last year, our students at Fairvale dressed up for a book parade and designed book covers on their classroom doors.

They participated in the Premier’s Reading Challenge; met illustrator of the Weirdo series Jules Faber; participated in National Simultaneous Storytime with a fun whole school dance; and went to the theatre.

A delighted student told me that he’d never been to the theatre and that this was the best experience he’d ever had. As a teacher- librarian I endeavour to give students opportunity so that they can experience a sense of empowerment through their learning and participate as broad-minded and responsible citizens of the world.

Pearl Orwin (pictured above) is a teacherlibrarian at Fairvale Public School and is looking forward to participating in the SIG’s activities