Thanks Elizabeth – particularly for the clear and detailed case-study of a successful collaboration. We also find our online resources are a good place to start, particularly Britannica, and that students who are used to flexible search engine searching need a fair amount of guidance to get used to the more formal searching tools in subscription databases. These stand them in good stead as they move up through the school and eventually move on to more complex databases like EBSCO and JSTOR.
I was interested in your comment that, as librarians, we bring the information literacy skills because, as information professionals, I would absolutely agree that we do that, but I think it is important to highlight that we also increasingly bring a sound understanding of good inquiry design and how to guide and support pupils through the inquiry process. This goes beyond what has traditionally been described as information literacy. You put huge effort and passion into implementing and promoting the CWICER model in the Guernsey Schools and beyond (and are doing a great job) and it is this inquiry model and process which is ultimately transformative. The information literacy skills fit seamlessly and naturally within it. I worry that if we ‘sell’ our services to teachers as information literacy experts alone, the danger is that they will expect us to parachute in just to provide resources, or show students how to find and work with them but won’t see the value in involving us with the whole inquiry process. Perhaps our route to expanding our role and helping colleagues to recognise the true value of teacher-librarian collaboration is to change the conversation?