Information provided on this webpage should be used as a guide only, students should refer to the ETL507 Subject Outline for further information on the organisation, conduct and assessment of the placement.
The placement you will undertake as a teacher librarianship student will comprise ten days of observing/participating in professional level duties, normally undertaken in a two-week block, in an approved library or information agency.
If you are not currently working, or have not recently worked, as a teacher librarian then you can choose your placement site from the full range of types of libraries and information agencies including schools libraries. If you are currently working or have recently worked, as a full time or part time teacher librarian you are not eligible to undertake your placement in a school library. Working in a different type of library or information agency enables you to see and experience roles with which you are familiar applied in a different context and frequently in differing ways and on a different scale.
Doing your placement in a library or information agency other than a school library also gives you the opportunity to undertake your placement during school holidays.
For all students the challenge of the placement is for you to investigate and understand a library/information agency service in its community and organisational context, and to perceive more widely your own role as a professional librarian. It is anticipated that the placement practice will provide a genuine taste of professional work with the sponsoring library/information agency gaining an extra, motivated and productive member of staff, albeit temporarily.
Finding a placement host takes time, and students are advised to submit their InPlace registration as soon as possible, but no less than six weeks before the date at which they hope to commence their placement. This allows for the possibility that in some circumstances a need for further negotiation with the host library concerning the placement project is required, and the fact that some libraries require a process of character screening before they can accept a student on placement.
Students are directed to the Australian Libraries Gateway or the Directory of Archives in Australia to assist in their selection of a preferred placement host. The School of Information Studies also keeps a record of organisations who have taken professional placement students in the past and you may contact the Workplace Learning Officer for assistance with finding a placement host.
The School of Information Studies will need to approve a student's choice of placement library. Libraries nominated for placements will need to satisfy the following minimum criteria:
Placements are normally completed within one library, or within one library system comprising a number of branches.
If you choose to undertake your placement in a school library it needs to also meet the following conditions. The school library selected must be a large dynamic library preferably with a range of professional and support staff, in order to make the placement as diverse and beneficial as possible. The teacher librarian, or head teacher librarian, should have a full professional qualification that makes them eligible for full professional membership of ALIA.
While students take responsibility for making contact and tentative arrangements with their preferred host, students should be aware that for quality assurance and insurance reasons any arrangements they make must be acknowledged and confirmed by the Workplace Learning Officer prior to the commencement of the placement.
A form letter (Intro Letter) has been developed to assist you to make initial contact, should you require it. You may like to use some of the text from this letter in an email.
The InPlace registration informs the Workplace Learning Officer of student preferences and initiates contact with proposed organisations, establishing their willingness to participate and consider applications, confirming initial arrangements made by the student.
The professional placement may begin at the time most convenient to the student and the host but must encompass the minimum requirement of 10 days full-time duration. Students are expected to work the same allocated hours as full-time staff members while on placement. In order to maximise a student's learning experience, it is highly recommended that students complete their placement in one block of time. This will give students an opportunity to be fully engaged in their experience of professional library practice.
It is not the School's intention to be rigid and if necessary each student can discuss options with their Subject Coordinator to find the optimum learning experience, given their individual needs, and the needs of their preferred placement library. When the placement is completed on an equivalent part-time basis it should at best take no longer than twice the usual time to complete.
Some libraries, notably but not exclusively in the government sector, require students seeking to be placed with them to consent to a screening process appropriate to the legal and moral obligations of the organisation towards its clients. For example, it should be noted that students intending to complete a placement at a TAFE institution must submit their placement proposal forms to the Professional Experience Officer at least 10 weeks prior to the anticipated commencement of the placement, to facilitate the screening process.
Although every effort is made to ensure a successful experience, unforeseen difficulties sometimes arise. The student may be unable to adjust to and perform satisfactorily in a particular setting, or the host organisation may unexpectedly find its ability to provide an appropriate placement experience altered. Should such a situation arise, the decision to change the professional placement setting will be made in consultation with the student, the host supervisor, the Subject Coordinator and the Workplace Learning Officer.
Upon the completion of your ten day placement block, you are required to complete the ETL507 Placement Assessment Task. This report is due 4 weeks after the final date of your placement and can be submitted via EASTS.