Implications for The Policy and Practice of Byod in the School Library

The school library needs to reach out to students in ways that are innovative, unexpected and information rich (O’Connell). Bring Your Own Device [ Byod]  is a means by which we do not have to ask students to switch off or even unplug when they walk through our library doors. The mobile device as a cultural resource means that the Library can offer an ‘always on’ presence (O’Connell).  Could the possibility of 1 degree separation between the student and their research or reading inquiry become a reality? With immediate access to resources that are relevant and up-to-date Byod might be a viable solution (De Witt, 2012) . Facebook and Twitter are obvious places for innovation in the virtual library space. Likewise QR codes could prove to be a quick digital access point in the library to media of all kinds, and Apps are providing ubiquitous access to digital content without needing a computer (O’Connell).

Where reading was once a solitary pleasure, the advent of mobile devices such as iphones, ipads and e-readers make it increasingly easy to interact with the ideas of ‘followers’ and friends. Even interacting with authors through Twitter and Skype enrich the experience of literature (Moore 2012).  Darcy Moore suggests “Reading is becoming social” and the library is the place to inform and encourage these communities.

Digital and mass convergent media will provide new ways to record and analyse history, society and culture. The library, as well as being an archive of material from personal collections and community history projects, can participate in digitisation projects around the nation (O’Connell). The library can  also help make available images and resources held in government departments, historical societies, museums, galleries and by individuals for students’ needs. By digitizing them and expanding the collections with resources that have been born digital (originating in digital form) the library is the hub of information learning. (O’Connell)

With this increased level of access, there are areas of consideration before opening the WiFi to student use. The library that has allowed students to bring their own devices may sound progressive and relevant to the culture but without the proper infrastructure  it will only look good on paper. De Witt ( 2012) makes a few critical suggestions

  • Is the library infrastructure prepared?

For example, is the school’s hardware and software is prepared to handle things like the sudden increase of IP addresses with all the new devices logged on to the network?  Also, how will the sudden increase in devices affect bandwidth? It is critical to take stock of the network to see if BYOD is going to enhance access not degrade access.

  • Does the school have the proper wireless equipment?
  • Is there secure access for students/staff?

Health and Safety

These guidelines are important. They let students know that they are welcome to use their own devices, but instruction and educational use is the primary reason for that access.


  • Is the library prepared for when students break the code of conduct?
  • Are there present school policies counter to what BYOD means?
  • Do they ban the very devices that students are supposed to use?
  • What does BYOD mean? There are so many devices that students can use and if it is too open-ended, some students will take liberties that they shouldn’t. [Laptop? iPad? Tablet? Smartphone?]


  • What about the students who cannot afford the devices?
  • If the school requires or encourages devices, they need a plan for those students who cannot afford them
  • How will teachers receive professional development around BYOD? Not all staff understand how it works.
  • Many teachers want to allow students to bring their own devices but they do not always understand good pedagogy that underpins the concept.

And finally

Outreach to parents

  • How are parents being informed that their children can BYOD? Parents need to know what their children are doing with the expensive devices they bring to school.
  • What is the policy if a device gets lost or stolen? Is school like a hotel? They’re not responsible for lost or stolen items?


In conclusion,  Byod could be a minefield of misuse and distraction from learning unless policy that is clear and procedure is in place and effective. The school library needs to reach out to their students in ways that are innovative, unexpected, and information rich. for two main reasons.  First, libraries are using social media to convey messages, and make access to resources relevant and up-to-date. But most importantly, digital media has changed the way libraries interact with students, providing new ways to record history, society and culture.


Cook J Pachler N Bachmair B. (2011). Ubiquitous Mobility with Mobile Phones: a cultural ecology for mobile learning. e-Learning and Digitial Media Vol8 Number 3, 181-195.

De Witt, P. (2012). Are Schools Prepared to Let Students BYOD? Education Week.


This entry was posted in Assessable - Long, Melinda by melindahazelgrove. Bookmark the permalink.

About melindahazelgrove

Work Context: : I am the Year 2 teacher in a small [210] K-12 CEN school on the mid-north coast in NSW. I work full time and I’ve been teaching year 2 or stage 1 classes for about 5 years now. I am heading toward a TL position next year in our school as our current TL is about to retire. A strong interest in gifted education, technology and collecting ideas and information has helped me consider TL as a good way to use my strengths and contribute to our school community. Life Context: Matters of faith and family are at the core of who I am. My hubby of 24 years and I have 4 kids, two still at school in years 8 and 11 and two in uni. I love creativity and innovation which means that there’s always something interesting happening in our household but housework isn’t at the top of the list. I like to surf [we live with walking distance to the beach] and I dabble in Bonsai gardening. I frequently take on caring for injured wildlife and I’m currently caring for a Tawny Frogmouth who has lost an eye. I can’t resist photographing him because he is such a character so ‘Gargle’ will probably find his way onto my blog now and then.

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