In the age of ‘infowhelm’ choosing the appropriate digital communication tools – to stay in-the-loop and professionally connected – is essential for any professional person, especially teacher-librarians.

A teacher-librarian can make a start on developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN) by following these steps at their own pace:

  1. finding several excellent blogs to follow and organising RSS feeds from these into a reader, like Google Reader. Here are some invaluable teacher-librarian blogs: Jenny LucaDoug Johnson, Lucy Barrow, Bright Ideas, Tania Sheko and Judy O’Connell (whom I must thank profusely for her generous assistance with this post and my presentation)
  2. Establishing a Delicious or Diigo social bookmarking account
  3. Starting to blog using blogED or WordPress blog
  4. Using Google Alerts
  5. Micro-blogging on edmodo, yammer or twitter where you could follow @aliacys, @heyjudeonline, @lucybarrow and @sandynay
  6. Learning and teaching about creative commons and attribution
  7. Doing all of the above from a mobile device like a smart phone or iPad

Teacher-librarians sharing and co-operating is so evident in online educator circles. There are teacher-librarians on Diigo and using livebinders and others sharing information about digital citizenship and annual reports. Others are making ‘facebook and twitter posts into online newspapers in just a few clicks’, like the Judy O’Connell Daily or The #tlChat Daily. The ASLA wiki provides another opportunity for collaboration and direction. For this post and presentation I found facebook and twitter of fundamental import.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by prettydaisies

There are so many useful tools for teacher-librarians to investigate – such as referencing tools like Bibme or Zotero – that the community can best share, vet and assess for relevance and applicability.

Ultimately, the profession should be shaped by a growing number of hyper-connected leader and leading teacher-librarians advocating for intelligent, innovative change. This will not happen without renewed collective responsibility and advocacy. Teacher-librarians, quoting Godin again, “are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture”. A teacher-librarian who is a:

…data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher…the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user….producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario

– we need you!

 Back to Part I

Slider image: cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by swortman53: http://flickr.com/photos/21031876@N00/2957807453/



  1. Thank you for your positive support of TLs. I am always concerned when I encounter a teacher of any persuasion who is not fundamentally a learner. How can anyone claim to teach effectively without modelling learning. The digital world is now the place to do this. Our students are there and we need to model best practice as we learn alongside them.

  2. Thanks for mentioning me in your esteemed list of Teacher Librarians Darcy. : )

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