It is said that finding information online is ‘similar to taking a sip from a fire hydrant.’ This is a core concept for staff at Newington Library, in particular, inquiry and research skill development and was the guiding principle behind Newington Library’s first ‘Teachmeet’ led by Teaching and Learning Librarian Mrs Lily Young.
Teachmeets have become increasingly popular among teachers from all disciplines and levels as they allow for networking and sharing resources and expertise on a particular theme or topic. The theme for this particular event was ‘Information Literacy’, with a focus on how teachers use library services to help students identify, locate, evaluate and effectively use information. This was a very successful event, not only for professional development purposes, but for showcasing the work of libraries and their dedicated staff.
Attendees ranged from Teacher Librarians, Classroom Teachers, eLearning Leaders as well as research and library graduates from nearby Independent, Department and Catholic schools as well as Tertiary University libraries such as Fisher Library at the University of Sydney.
Our guest speakers highlighted that growing information overload meant that there was a greater need in coming up with effective strategies to help students how to critically think about where their information is coming from and how it can be used. Presenters offered insights into effective strategies for students in finding and using information to solve problems and make decisions, asking meaningful questions, reflecting on their inquiry process, and the analysis and synthesis of selected information (just to name a few!)
This Teachmeet emphasised information literacy as a lifelong skill, and in particular, the integral role that teachers and libraries play in developing this skill. Attendees agreed that this was a fantastic event that resulted in stimulating discussion and refreshing ways in leading pedagogical change to identify the role that information literacy development plays in a student’s life.