Found the article by Herring (2007) a good and informative read on various pertinent topics related to TL and the school library.
In the introductory paragraph of article by Herring (2007), I learned and felt envious that staff who are both professionally trained teachers and librarians [known as TL (Aust), SLMS(US) and SL(UK)] are already an integral staff of the primary and secondary school libraries in Australian since the 1970s and 80s. In Singapore, our primary and secondary schools have fairly well developed libraries (since the last 5 years) but most are not staffed by professional TL. At most, many are manned by 1 or 2 paraprofessional library staff engaged to manage the library which basically translate to the job of opening and closing the library, shelving, circulation and simple cataloging work. Given the fact that education is one of the most important concerns in the Singapore’s national agenda and one which takes up 1/5 of the government’s annual budget, I feel that the position and role of TL has been sorely neglected. There have been no provisions made by National Institute of Education or the Ministry of Education to facilitate teachers keen to take up the role of teacher librarianship in schools. Such options of professional development for existing teachers are hardly offered.
There needs to be a mindset change among policy decision makers on their understanding of the roles of teacher librarian. In the words of Herring (2007), school management should see that the library is vital part of the school where it is firstly a centre of learning and secondly a centre of resources and support. This mindset change is all the more urgent especially when the school has moved away from behaviorist to constructivist pedagogical approach. The students in my school are given quite a bit of group project work as well as performance tasks to complete. These are perfect opportunities for application of information literacy skills.