Sunday, 24 April 2011


Since July 2001 I have been a teacher-librarian at Kilbreda College, having graduated in 2000 with a Graduate Diploma in Information Management from Monash University. Kilbreda is situated in Mentone, which is a bayside suburb of Melbourne. The college has just over 1,000 students, from Years 7 to 12. Since 2006, I have been the Library Coordinator. In 2007 the library was extended and renovated, giving it an energising red and grey decor.
In 2010, I became the Co-Convenor of the Southern Metropolitan Branch of the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV). This three-year position enables me to provide professional development for members, who meet once each school term. Attending a SLAV Council Meeting each term allows me to engage with the convenors of the other twenty-one Vicorian branches, as well as learning about the functions of SLAV.

In 2010 I completed a twelve-week Web 2.0 Personal Learning Network (PLN) course that was run by SLAV. I enjoyed blogging my opinions and new learnings. This course ignited my desire to continue stay abreast with all that is new, and all that is still to occur in the world of school librarianship. I agree with Joyce Valenza and Doug Johnson that it is “the best time in history to be a librarian. We have rich opportunities to teach and guide in new information and communication landscapes”. This quote comes from the article entitled, Things That Keep Us Up at Night. It can be found online at:

My professional passions are the teaching of Information Literacy Skills and the promotion of literature for relaxation. Having been a primary teacher, with a particular interest in infant education, I believe that aural, spoken and written literacy develops in good readers.

I have named by blog I Love Ergo because the Ergo website is my favourite for its research skills, study skills and essay writing skills. Its motto is: Research Resources Results. It provides access to hundreds of primary and secondary historical sources. It was developed by the State Library of Victoria in 2006 and has recently been re-launched with many new features. It can be found at: 

Ergo allows schools to embed their website on school websites, to enable students to access its resources easily and conveniently. In 2007, when the Kilbreda Library website was created, the Ergo website was added to the Research and Resources sections. These links can be found at:
My favourite website for subject teachers and teacher-librarians is a blog by the School Library Association of Victoria and the State Library of Victoria. It is called Bright Ideas and it can be found at:

In 2010, I was invited to write an article about Digital Etiquette for FYI, which is one of the two journals that are published by SLAV. The article was published in Volume 14, Number 2, Autumn 2010. It reads as follows:

Digital Etiquette

The internet and digital technologies offer today’s students a vast array of educational and personal activities.Our duty as educators is to guide students to become responsible users of digital resources.  To ensure online safety of students, we need to be familiar with Web 2.0 tools, in order to be knowledgeable about how to use them safely and ethically.

Using ICT at Kilbreda College
At the beginning of each school year, students and parents and/or carers are expected to sign a Use of College ICT Resources Policy, which is printed in the student’s planner.  This declaration ensures that all students have read, and agreed to, the acceptable use of the school’s ICT technologies.  In addition, students receive guidelines that explain cyberbullying, in an attempt to prevent its destructive effects.  ICT technologies are provided for educational use only and the access of social networking sites is prohibited.
Education Package on Cyber Security Awareness
In 2009, the Australian Government produced an education package on cyber security awareness.  The interactive and self-directed budd:e modules are a follow-up to this. They aim to assist students to adopt secure online practices and behaviours. Cyber security topics covered by the modules include advice on malware, viruses, securing personal information online and social networking.  Although the modules have been designed for Years 3 to 9 students, others outside these age groups have found the package to be valuable. 
The modules are available free to all Australian schools through the Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online website at or via a free CD that can be ordered online.  They are also found on Scootle, the Learning Federation’s educational resources portal at
South East Water Competition
In August 2009, all Year 10 students at Kilbreda College were encouraged by the Science Co-ordinator, Kathryn Grainger, to enter a competition organised by the South East Water.  The task was to create a 30-second television advertisement designed to encourage teenage school students to use water wisely.  Included in the brief was the stipulation that students could use only material that was free of copyright restrictions.  During the research lessons that I gave to these classes, I showed them the Creative Commons website, where they could access music, quotes or images that would make their entries eligible for judging. 
Working in groups, three advertisements were filmed and submitted to South East Water.  One of these entries was awarded with an honourable mention.  The experience provided rich educational opportunities for all the participants.
Why write a Bibliography?
To avoid plagiarism, students record the references they have used to complete a task.  Writing a bibliography is a difficult task for a Year 7 student, but the opportunity to practise enables them to become more familiar with the correct order that is required when electronic and book resources are used for research.
Collaborating with teachers in all KLAs at Kilbreda College, Bernadette Kean and I, as Teacher/Librarians, assist students to research efficiently and effectively.  During these information literacy lessons, students are reminded of how to write a bibliography, using the Harvard “author-date” system.  How to guides are available on the Library’s website and in their school planner.  Hard copies are also displayed in the Library.  The bibliographies are corrected by the Teacher/Librarians for accuracy.  This ensures a meaningful follow-up to the instruction.
Notemaking, Not Notetaking.
Notetaking encourages plagiarism.  To avoid copying, students at Kilbreda College are instructed to use a Notemaking Template that has been adapted from one designed in 2004 by Carole Lawton at Mount Lilydale Mercy College.  During research lessons, Teacher/Librarians explain how to create a three-column table.  Students record their focus questions in the first column.  In the second column, students collect the relevant information and record it with its web address.  The purpose of the third column is to interpret the information and record it in dot points. 
This all-important third column allows students to reflect on their findings and present the facts in a meaningful format, in their own words.  Retention of information and genuine learning occurs by the interpretation of information.  By converting the information to their own words, students feel a sense of achievement in the knowledge that they know how to proceed to the next stage of the task.

Research Topic: _________________________________                       Name: ______________________

Keywords/Topic Questions
Information from internet sites
(cut and paste and ADD the URL)
Information in your own words
(in dot points)

Adapted from Carole Lawton – Mount Lilydale Mercy College, 2004
The Role of the Teacher/Librarian in the Future in Digital Citizenship
As information professionals, we must look for opportunities to be lifelong learners.  Our efforts to engage in Web 2.0 technologies will open the doors to the “web lives” that our students enjoy.  Only then can we fully experience the good and bad aspects that the internet and digital technologies offer us all.
Further reading:
Australian Government’s Stay Smart Online:
FYI Summer 2010
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Education website:

Louise McInerney is a Teacher/Librarian and Library Coordinator at Kilbreda College in Mentone.

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