Reflection Educational Leadership ETL504

Dan Tapscott’s visionary principles of an open world are very empowering for the 21st century leadership movement. In his TED lecture he explains in one of his examples the drivers for openness in global economies of the world was first due to the advent of the technological revolution changing ways things were done and secondly the trigger mechanism necessary for openness to be established in this case was the global economic down turn. Tapscott uses the “burning platform” analogy as an applicable model to explain change leadership and how decisions were necessary to be made during the financial crisis that brought about the inferential realisation that the cost of remaining where you were “the burning platform” was more costly than moving to something new “extinguishing it”. This analogy is retrospective and necessary for an open world inference to be adopted by an organisation, between organisations or in this particular reflection a school environment setting for them to carry on existing in a 21st century changing world.

In a school environment setting educational leadership has to drive change by improving on the old ways of doing things while realising that to accomplish this they are required to consider implementing the following leadership practices like the sharing of ideas, sharing in decision-making and possessing authentic ideals with its primary purpose to drive excellence in schooling. Dan Tapscott’s presentation also deliberates about the distinct forces that underpin the vision of an open world. These forces are encompassed within the following four principles of collaboration, transparency, sharing and empowerment. Change also relies on transformational leadership’s important elements of traits, goals, purpose, morals, vision, delegation, empowerment, transcending self-interest, transform and inspire and effective team building attributes. Transformational leadership elements permeate through the leadership culture to influence followers to go beyond their limiting abilities, to seek innovative ways to deal with improving their practices and to solve complex problems.

Management, transactional and instructional leadership are important concepts for a teacher librarian running the information center of the 21st Century. Firstly transactional leadership is very appropriate in leading a library as at times you need to be very structured and organised when dealing with your teams. Next instructional leadership elements of inquiry, creativity, exploration, collaboration, resource provider, instructional resource and improving educational outcomes directly affect the teaching, learning and achievement of students. Lastly equally important in a library is management for which operational routines deal with the complexity of library practices and procedures.

The nexus between situational and participative leadership has an encompassing, directive and empowering influence on leader and follower interactions. On one hand it can be telling and guiding while on the other it is inclusive, collaborative and empowering. This mixture is overtly creative in the way it supports the leader in formulating contingencies to suit various types of situational contexts.

Data informed Leadership is a forward thinking strategy that teachers and administrators can use to inform them about their practice and to analyse teaching and learning strategies in dealing with student academic achievement. However “bottom line numbers” should not be the only information that teachers should be concerned with in student test scores but more importantly to use data to advise them on how to improve the overall excellence in schooling. Data informed leadership approach does not only investigate areas that will improve students outcomes but where it is also helpful is with professional learning of educators in meeting the information, teaching and learning needs of students in the 21st century.


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Reflection on evaluating a school library collection policy ETL503

The most critical aspects that will be discussed in this personal reflection are about community and information needs, selection or censorship and the library budget (Crotty, 2012). Effective collection development at a high school is based on knowledge about the uses that includes parents, teachers and students (Bishop, 2007, pp. 19-24).

Reflecting on my previous employment experiences in a systems and software engineering role predominantly was to satisfy the needs of customers by providing solutions to enable them to manage their particular operational objectives. In comparison the teacher librarian community analysis has some similarities with my previous employment responsibilities in the area of trying to understand customer’s requirements. The teacher librarian’s tasks are more complex as they deal with current users and non users and have a wider span of individual tastes, interests and cultural perspectives to satisfy within the constraints of a set budget (Loerscher & Wimberley, 2009, p. 13). Whereas my previous employment as a systems/software engineer clear definitions of solution objectives were of utmost importance to complete various problem solving tasks.

An information needs analysis facilitates the teacher librarian’s job by narrowing down the scope of providing the extent of library materials after a community analysis is completed, because the library has not got the luxury to collect everything (Loerscher & Wimberley, 2009, p. 18). Anticipating needs is a special forte that a teacher librarian has to somehow predict the future trends and this comes with experience in evaluating community and information needs of users (Loerscher & Wimberley, 2009, p. 18). After analysing information needs, selecting materials for the collection is the next step. This characteristic of anticipating and predicting the required information resources for a school library to meet curriculum requirements and learning needs of assignments given to students, can sometimes lead to personally influencing the collection (Loerscher & Wimberley, 2009, p. 18).

One of the most critical professional tasks that a teacher librarian needs to do is to balance wants and needs and to be certain not to influence a library collection to appear biased (Clayton & Gorman, 2001, pp. 73-74). Juxtaposing the following arguments that a librarian ‘does not have the right to impose personal views about what is best for uses’ and ‘the library has a positive obligation to educate uses by imposing their constructive influence on selecting material’ can equally get convincing pro and against support (Clayton & Gorman, 2001, pp. 74-75). Even though the teacher librarian has the final decision what is included or not in the school library collection they must eliminate their personal biases by collaborating as much as possible with faculty teachers and in accordance with curriculum needs (O’Sullivan & O’Sullivan, 2007, pp. 205-206).

Managing the library budget is another important professional task that a librarian is always accountable (Debowski, 2001, pp, 300-302). The problem with most libraries today is the lack of funds (Kennedy, 2006. p. 77). In my previous technical roles maintaining the allocated budget in my work was never a problem. If more funds were required and where justified in the business operational objectives they were allocated.

Bishop, K. (2007). The collection program in Schools: Concepts, practices, and information resources.4th ed. Libraries Unlimited: Westport United States of America

Clayton, P., & Gorman, G. E. (2001). Managing information resources in libraries. Library Association Publishing: London.
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Debowski, S. (2001). Collection management policies. In K. Dillon , J. Henri & J. McGregor (Eds). Providing more with less: collection management for School libraries (2nd ed.) (pp. 126-136) Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for information Studies, Charles Sturt University. Retrieved from

Kennedy, J. (2006). Collection management: a concise introduction. Rev ed. Wagga Wagga: Centre of Information Studies Charles Sturt University

Loerscher, D. V., & Wimberley, L. H. (2009). Collection Development Using the Collection Mapping Technique: A guide for Librarians. Salt Lake City: Hi Willow Research and Publishing.

O’Sullivan, K., & O’Sullivan, J.C. (2007). Selection or censorship: libraries and the intelligent design debate. Library Review: 56.3, pp. 200-207. Retrieved from d=1602374&show=abstract